2015 MLB Season Predictions

Crystal Ball

Over the past week and a half, 500 Level Fan has posted a preview of each of MLB’s six divisions.  Now it’s time to up the ante.  No more “previewing”.  It’s now time to “predict”.

As always, my predictions should not be wagered upon by anybody, because they will likely all be wrong.

Like last year, the 500 Level Fan predictions column will be split over two days.  Today I’m going to cover MLB predictions, including final standings, playoff results, award winners, and some miscellaneous categories.  Next, I’ll put my focus on the Blue Jays, with some individual and team predictions.

So sit back, read on, try not to laugh, and get ready to comment.

American League Predictions

East

1. Toronto

2. Boston

3. Baltimore

4. New York

5. Tampa Bay

Thoughts: They burned me two years ago, but I’m going all in once again.  Donaldson and Martin will boost the offense just enough to offset the loss of Stroman, and the young pitchers will come through…..Boston will be better than last year, but I’m not at all sold on Sandoval or Ramirez…..The loss of Cruz will really hurt the offense, and the injury clouds continue to hover over both Wieters and Machado.  That will prevent a repeat.…..No Jeter will take a while to get used to, as will the sight of a declining and unwanted A-Rod.  There are far too many question marks in New York this year…..If any team can surprise, it can be Tampa.  They have a great collection of young arms, but not a lot of help for Longoria.

Central

1. Detroit

2. Cleveland

3. Chicago

4. Kansas City

5. Minnesota

Thoughts: They are aging, hurting, and showing some rust, but Price, Cespedes, Miggy and co. will keep the Tigers at the top…barely…..I believe in Cleveland.  A lot of young talent in the field, at the plate, and in the rotation.  Plus they have the defending Cy Young winner in Corey  Kluber.…..It was a huge offseason in Chicago.  Expect the new bullpen, Samardzija, and Abreu to make the White Sox a contender…..The Royals were magical last year, but expect a step back.  Alex Rios is never the answer…..The future is coming in Minnesota, just not in 2015.

West

1. Seattle

2. Los Angeles

3. Oakland

4. Houston

5. Texas

Thoughts: They were close last year and the addition of Nelson Cruz should be just enough to push the Mariners into the playoffs as division champs.…..The Angels look good on paper but a lot of their players look to be on the wrong side of the career arc, and that will keep them behind Seattle…..The gap between the top 2 and the rest of the division is huge.  Even after a crazy winter, Oakland is still the best of the rest (even with Lawrie).…..Houston, at long last, is on the way up.  Their win total should be higher that last year.…..The Darvish injury is crushing for Texas.  They’re done.

Wildcards

Indians and Angels

Stat Leaders

HR – Jose Abreu, CHW

RBI – Jose Bautista, TOR

Average – Robinson Cano, SEA

SB – Jose Altuve, HOU

Wins – David Price, DET

ERA – Felix Hernandez, SEA

K – David Price, DET

Sv – Greg Holland, KC

Awards & Miscellany

MVP – Robinson Cano, SEA

Cy Young – Felix Hernandez, SEA

Rookie – Daniel Norris, TOR

Manager – John Gibbons, TOR

Bounceback Player – Jason Kipnis, CLE

Most Disappointing Player – Pablo Sandoval, BOS

First Major Player Traded – Chris Davis, BAL

National League Predictions

East

1. Washington

2. Miami

3. NY Mets

4. Atlanta

5. Philadelphia

Thoughts: With that rotation I don’t see how Washington misses the playoffs.  100 wins is a real possibility…..Giancarlo Stanton is the real deal, and sadly for Jays fans it looks like Henderson Alvarez might be as well……The Wheeler injury hurts, but the return of Matt Harvey might be enough to push the Mets over .500…..The Heyward trade still puzzles me.  Atlanta looks to be a team on the way down……It’s going to be a long, long year in Philly.  Will Utley and/or Howard be dealt?

Central

1. Pittsburgh

2. St. Louis

3. Milwaukee

4. Chicago

5. Cincinnati

Thoughts: If anybody is going to knock of the Cardinals it’s the Pirates.  McCutchen is a perennial MVP candidate, and the return of A.J. Burnett is more important than you think……They are always in contention and this year will be no different.  The addition of Heyward will keep the Cards right near the top of the division…..With Gomez, Braun, Lucroy and co., the Brewers should score runs.  If they can prevent them they might surprise a few people……I buy the Cubs as baseball’s next super power, but not until 2016.  This year will be about discovering just how good some of the young guys can be…..The Reds need huge years from Votto and Bruce to avoid the basement.

West

1. Los Angeles

2. San Francisco

3. San Diego

4. Arizona

5. Colorado

Thoughts: The Dodgers have the best roster top to bottom in the West, and even if they didn’t Kershaw would still pitch them into the playoffs……The loss of Sandoval won’t be crushing, but the pitching looks thin behind Bumgarner……The Padres were very active and should be much better, but where will everybody play?…..The Archie Bradley watch is on in Arizona….If Tulowitzki and Gonzalez can both stay healthy the Rockies can surprise.  But that was also said last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and on and on.

Wildcards

Cardinals and Marlins

Stat Leaders

HR – Giancarlo Stanton, MIA

RBI – Paul Goldschmidt, ARI

Average – Buster Posey, SF

SB – Billy Hamilton, CIN

Wins – Max Scherzer, WAS

ERA – Clayton Kershaw, LAD

K – Clayton Kershaw, LAD

Sv – Craig Kimbrel, ATL

Awards

MVP – Andrew McCutchen, PIT

Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw, LAD

Rookie – Gregory Polanco, PIT

Manager – Clint Hurdle, PIT

Bounceback Player – Joey Votto, CIN

Most Disappointing Player – Nick Markakis, ATL

First Major Player Traded – Chase Utley, PHI

Playoffs

American League

Wildcard Round – Indians over Angels

ALDS – Tigers over Mariners, Jays over Indians

ALCS – Jays over Tigers

National League

Wild Card Round – Cardinals over Marlins

NLDS – Nationals over Cardinals, Pirates over Dodgers

NLCS – Pirates over Nationals

World Series

The playoff drought will end.  Why not pick the Jays to win the whole thing?  After all, this is a Jays blog – did you expect anything else?

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