25 Blue Jay Predictions for 2016

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With Opening Day a mere two days away (!!!) it’s time to post the final prediction column of the year.  In past  Blue Jays prediction columns, I have gone all in on guys like Eric Thames, Colby Rasmus, and Colt Hynes.  Oops, oops, and oops!

So who will be my darling this year?

Here are 25 predictions about Toronto’s upcoming season.  Enjoy!

1. Jose Bautista leads the American League in HR.

2. Troy Tulowitzki stays healthy, has a huge year, and finishes in the top-5 of AL MVP voting.

3. Josh Donaldson continues where he left off in 2015, and joins Tulo in the top-5.

4. Marcus Stroman thrives as the “ace”, reaching the 20-win plateau.

5. Both J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada regress from last year, but while the stats are down across the board they still turn in solid seasons.

6. For the first time in years, Toronto’s bullpen stays relatively stable.  The club uses fewer than 15 relievers (after using 23 in 2013, 23 in 2014, and 22 in 2015)

7. Jesse Chavez is called on to make 10 starts.

8. Drew Hutchison is called up to make 3 starts.

9. Kevin Pillar struggles in the leadoff spot and is moved down to the 8/9 slot by the end of April.  He is replaced by Michael Saunders.

10. Saunders has a very nice bounceback season, finishing with an .800 OPS and 20 HR.

11. After being moved down, Pillar thrives on the basepaths, stealing over 20 bases after the All-Star break.

12. R.A. Dickey throws more than 200 innings for the 6th straight season.

13. The Blue Jays crush the Orioles, winning 14 of the 19 regular season meetings.

14. Edwin Encarnacion hits a home run into the 500 level….twice.

15. The Jays rip off four winning streaks of at least 6 games each.

16. GM Ross Atkins swings a deal for a backup catcher sometime in May.

17. Toronto absolutely humiliates the Red Sox by scoring over 20 runs in a June game in Fenway.

18. Aaron Sanchez struggles in April, but the Jays stick with him and he rebounds with a huge May and June….

19. …including throwing the second no-hitter in Blue Jays history.

20. The Blue Jays offense does not get shutout once, all season long.

21. Roberto Osuna starts the season as the closer, but Drew Storen finishes the season as the closer.

22. One of Bautista and Encarnacion signs an extension during the season.

23.  Ryan Goins starts over 75 games split between 2B and SS.

24. One member of the team posts a 30-game hitting streak.

25. The Jays use a 20-9 September to rally past the Red Sox and successfully defend their AL East title.

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