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.
The 500 Level Fan predictions will be split over two columns. The first covers MLB predictions, including final standings, playoff results, award winners, and some miscellaneous categories. The second will 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
4. New York
5. Tampa Bay
Thoughts: Morales adequately replaces EE, Bautista has a huge bounce back season, and the rotation repeats its 2016 dominance…..Red Sox might have a better team on paper, but the injury to Price hurts, Porcello drops back to Earth, and Sale’s transition to the AL East is rough…..Exact same Baltimore team as last year, one that is heavily reliant on the bullpen. That rarely works out well two years in a row.…..New York is a year away from true contention, but this year will lay the groundwork for the future…..The Rays’ offense just can’t pick up the great arms, which will force at least one starter to be dealt away before the deadline.
3. Kansas City
Thoughts: Edwin keeps the offense going, but having Salazar and Carrasco back for a full season is the difference maker for Cleveland…..Last chance for the Tigers. The aging core remains competitive, falling just short…..It’s time for the Royals to dismantle the core, and a rough start will have them selling in July…..Things can’t get any worse than last year for the Twins. The young players finally show they belong in the big leagues…..Jose Quintana will be traded soon. The biggest question in Chicago is when do Frazier, Cabrera, and Abreu go?
4. Los Angeles
Thoughts: The Astros added some big names, and those additions will help them avoid the terrible start that doomed them last year. They are just too talented to finish second…..Pencil me in as a Mariners believer. They won’t challenge for the division but will hold off the rest of the AL to secure a Wild Card…..Just can’t see Texas making its way back to October. I don’t trust any of the starters to stay healthy…..Another year, another hollow, playoff-less MVP season for Mike Trout…..Oakland, as always, is a mystery. Would anybody be surprised if they lost 100 or won 100?
Mariners and Red Sox
HR – Chris Davis, BAL
RBI – Miguel Cabrera, DET
Average – Jose Altuve, HOU
SB – Jarrod Dyson, SEA
Wins – Marcus Stroman, TOR
ERA – Corey Kluber, CLE
K – Chris Archer, TB
Sv – Zach Britton, BAL
Awards & Miscellany
MVP – Mike Trout, LAA
Cy Young – Corey Kluber, CLE
Rookie – Andrew Benintendi, BOS
Manager – John Gibbons, TOR
Bounceback Player – Jose Bautista, TOR
Most Disappointing Player – David Price, BOS
First Major Player Traded – Lorenzo Cain, KC
National League Predictions
2. NY Mets
Thoughts: Expect Harper to have a huge rebound season, Scherzer and Roark to continue to dominate, and Trea Turner to develop into a star…..If the New York’s starters can ever stay healthy this team would dominate. But until we see anything from Matt Harvey I think the Wild Card is the best bet…..Miami is a confusing team, seemingly always good enough to contend but never quite putting it all together. Nothing changes this year…..New stadium + promising rookies + dependable veterans = a step in the right direction for the Braves…..Unfortunately, expect a step back from the Phillies.
3. St. Louis
Thoughts: The Cubs are the defending champs and still have a scary looking team. Nobody can touch them in the division…..I expect a huge comeback season from McCutchen, with the Pirates making a late charge for the playoffs…..The loss of Alex Reyes hurts St. Louis, and despite adding Fowler they don’t quite have enough to reach October…..Very intrigued with the Brewers roster, especially Eric Thames, but this season might be more about where Ryan Braun ends up…..Cincinnati could be the worst team in baseball. Poor Joey Votto.
1. Los Angeles
3. San Francisco
5. San Diego
Thoughts: The Dodgers were destroyed by injury in 2016 and still nearly knocked off the Cubs in the NLCS. Expect more of the same in 2017 (without the injuries)…..I have a feeling about the Rockies. They finally have pitching to at least keep up with their mashers, and will surprise many…..The Giants are on their way down. Not even Bumgarner and Posey can save them…..Arizona is a mess…..San Diego is a bigger mess.
Mets and Pirates
HR – Nolan Arenado, COL
RBI – Nolan Arenaco, COL
Average – Joey Votto, CIN
SB – Billy Hamilton, CIN
Wins – Clayton Kershaw, LAD
ERA – Noah Syndergaard, NYM
K – Clayton Kershaw, LAD
Sv – Kenley Jansen, LAD
MVP – Bryce Harper, WAS
Cy Young – Clayton Kershaw, LAD
Rookie – Dansby Swanson, ATL
Manager – Dave Roberts, LAD
Bounceback Player – Andrew McCutchen, PIT
Most Disappointing Player – Mark Melancon, SF
First Major Player Traded – Ryan Braun, MIL
Wildcard Round – Red Sox over Mariners
ALDS – Indians over Red Sox, Jays over Astros
ALCS – Jays over Indians
Wild Card Round – Pirates over Mets
NLDS – Cubs over Pirates, Dodgers over Nationals
NLCS – Dodgers over Cubs
They still have a great rotation, a great offense, and hey – this is a Jays blog. Let’s play homers and pick the Jays over the Dodgers in 6.