It’s time. Can you feel it? Opening Day is just around the corner! The Blue Jays get started next week, April 2nd, but MLB kicks off the 2013 campaign Sunday March 31st when AL newcomers Houston host the Texas Rangers.
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. Tomorrow 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
1. Tampa Bay
3. New York
Thoughts: Really wanted to pick the Blue Jays, but with a healthy Evan Longoria, David Price, Fernando Rodney, and rookie hotshot Wil Myers, the Rays should be good – even with Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar…..No team will be in the spotlight more than the Jays, and I think they handle the pressure well enough to reach the postseason…..The Yankees are old, banged up, and getting worse by the day (Vernon Wells??? Really???). I really wanted to pick them to come last, but they are, after all, still the Yankees. They’ll find a way to stay competitive…..Baltimore played over their heads last year, and while they won’t regress as far as many think they will, a repeat playoff spot is not happening…..Boston in last? Absolutely. John Farrell deserves it!
2. Kansas City
Thoughts: Detroit was supposed to run away with the Central last year but didn’t. This year, with a healthy Victor Martinez, a full season of Anibal Sanchez, and Torii Hunter, they will…..It’s finally time for Kansas City to make the jump to contender. This won’t be the year they breakthrough, but a .500 record and meaningful September baseball could be in the cards…..Cleveland is an absolute wild card this year with the rag-tag group of guys they’ve assembled. I think theywill be up and down, all season long…..Chicago surprised last year, but can they really do it again?…..It’s going to be a long year in Minnesota. It will be interesting to see if Morneau finishes the season as a Twin..
Thoughts: A.J. Pierzynski and Lance Berkman won’t make up for the losses of Josh Hamilon and Mike Napoli, but the Rangers have the pitching depth to contend. Plus Jurickson Profar will make an impact somewhow…..Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, and Albert Pujols will ensure there is no slow start, but I’m concerned about the pitching after Weaver and Wilson…..Oakland may very well win the division again, but they’ll need a lot of players to repeat career years, which almost never happens…..Seattle locked up Felix Hernandez and dropped Chone Figgins, so they are automatically better than last year. Watch for Canadian Michael Saunders…..Houston may very well break the major league record for losses in a season. That’s how bad they are.
Jays and Angels
HR – Jose Bautista, TOR
RBI – Albert Pujols, LAA
Average – Mike Trout, LAA
SB – Mike Trout, LAA
Wins – David Price, TB
ERA – Justin Verlander, DET
K – Brandon Morrow, TOR
Sv – Joe Nathan, TEX
Awards & Miscellany
MVP – Jose Bautista, TOR
Cy Young – Justin Verlander, DET
Rookie – Wil Myers, TB
Manager – John Gibbons, TOR
Bounceback Player – Eric Hosmer, KC
Most Disappointing Player – Kevin Youkilis, NYY
First Major Player Traded – Jon Lester, BOS
National League Predictions
4. N.Y. Mets
Thoughts: The best team in the MLB enters 2013 with enforcements to the rotation, the bullpen, and the outfield – and no restrictions on Stephen Strasburg. They are heavy favourites…..Atlanta welcomes the Upton brothers, who have both disappointed for years. If they can realize their talents, the Braves will push the Nats…..Philly is old and grey, but never, ever, bet against Lee, Halladay, and Hamels…..Travis d’Arnaud might make an appearance in 2013, which will make the Mets the most interesting NL team for Jays fans…..What is there to say about the Marlins? An embarrassment to the game.
3. St. Louis
Thoughts: With Chapman going back to the bullpen, the Reds have a lights out relief corps, to go along with a solid rotation, and a powerful offense. They might not be challenged…..With Braun, Ramirez, and Gallardo, the Brewers can compete with anybody. The late addition of Kyle Lohse makes them a Wild Card contender…..No Chris Carpenter and no Rafael Furcal means two big holes to fill in St. Louis. They are always competitive but the playoffs might be out of reach…..I said they’d do it last year and they didn’t. But this year! This is the year the Pirates win 82 ball games…..The Cubs are getting better, but still a long way away.
1. San Francisco
2. Los Angeles
3. San Diego
Thoughts: The Dodgers spent the money, but the Giants are the defending champs, and have a dominant starting rotation, and the NL MVP. It’s their’s to lose…..Can all the big-name, big-money talent mesh in LA? There are too many questions marks in my opinion…..San Diego ended last season on a tear, but losing Headley for the first month will hurt…..A weird offseason in Arizona will culminate in a season full of struggles. They will be battling for last…..Walt Weiss inherits a team that can’t pitch, and is just all around bad. Thank goodness for Carlos Gonzalez.
Atlanta and Los Angeles
HR – Ryan Braun, MIL
RBI – Joey Votto, CIN
Average – Andrew McCutchen, PIT
SB – Bryce Harper, WAS
Wins – Stephen Strasburg, WAS
ERA – Stephen Strasburg, WAS
K – Stephen Strasburg, WAS
Sv – Craig Kimbrel, ATL
MVP - Joey Votto, CIN
Cy Young – Stephen Strasburg, WAS
Rookie – Adam Eaton, ARI
Manager – Bruce Bochy, SF
Bounceback Player – Adrian Gonzalez, LAD
Most Disappointing Player – Carl Crawford, LAD
First Major Player Traded – Andre Ethier, LAD
Wildcard Round – Jays over Angels
ALDS – Tigers over Rays, Jays over Rangers
ALCS – Jays over Tigers
Wild Card Round – Braves over Dodgers
NLDS – Nationals over Braves, Reds over Giants
NLCS – Reds over Nationals
In a series that will mean everything for Canada, with Toronto playing Joey Votto and the Reds, the Jays come out on top to win their first title since 1993. This is a Toronto Blue Jays site – did you expect anything else???