March 28, 2012

Predictions for a new MLB season

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Picks

Just in case you didn’t notice, the MLB regular season opened today. You might not have cared — unless you’re a fantasy MLB player or a Mariners or A’s fan — because the first pitch was around 6 a.m. this morning.

I could rant about starting the season in Japan while spring training is still going on for every other team in baseball, but I’ve done that before and really, it makes no sense. At least they sent Ichiro and Co. out there to draw some crowds that probably wouldn’t be matched stateside.

So, what’s the point of this post? Well since the season has started, why not keep up my tradition by throwing out some predictions, preview-style. Hey, it worked pretty well for my NBA predictions, where I called that Dwight Howard would finish the season with Orlando, but Derrick William would win rookie of the year.

-The Yankees will win 100 games. This is a team that won 97 games last year, can still rake on offence, didn’t lose any important pieces and improved their rotation significantly. A-Rod even went to Germany for that experimental Kobe Bryant-style blood treatment. What’s not to like here?

-The Red Sox will still do alright. Sure, their rotation isn’t the greatest, but the Yankees’ wasn’t last year either. Their lineup can do some damage and they can’t possible suffer through as many injuries as last year.

-Detroit has the AL Central locked up. Cleveland might be able to compete with them, but the Tigers are loaded up for a nice run. Even if their defence will be garbage.

- Jose Bautista won’t lead the majors in HRs. His number won’t be as rough as his second-half split from last year, but they won’t be as good as 2010 or the first half of 2011.

-We’re going to have some great races thanks to the extra wild card. Between Tampa Bay, Boston, Texas, the Angels and maybe even the Jays, Indians or Royals, three spots are up for grabs in the AL. Then in the NL, there’s even more parity, especially with Miami and Washington coming up in the East and the Central getting hurt by free agent departures.

-The Cubs will not win the World Series. But at least Theo Epstein can start them down the right path.

-Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw won’t repeat their amazing seasons. Kemp won’t lead the NL in home runs and nearly get the Triple Crown and Kershaw won’t win the pitching Triple Crown. The fact that they accomplished what they did last season was marvelous enough, there’s no way they can repeat it.

-Adrian Gonzalez will win the AL MVP. The Yankees’ lineup is great and balanced, same with Texas. The

As for Albert Pujols, who knows if L.A. even makes the playoffs?

-The biggest surprises (players): Aroldis Chapman (finally getting a chance to close?), Ichiro (bounce back from last year), Mark Buehrle (surprisingly good after switching leagues?).

-The biggest surprises (teams): Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates, Washington Nationals.

-The biggest disappoints (players): Brett Lawrie (can’t possibly match his stellar 2011 stint), Michael Pineda (Slumped in second half of 2011, showed up overweight), Ryan Braun (PED scandal will hang over his head)

-The biggest disappointments (teams): Toronto, Milwaukee, Atlanta.
-So, to round things up, here are the 2012 playoffs…
AL East: New York Yankees.
AL Central: Detroit Tigers.
AL West: Texas Rangers.
AL wildcards: Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays.
NL East: Philadelphia Phillies.
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds.
NL West: San Francisco Giants.
NL wildcards: Miami Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks.
AL championship: Yankees over Rangers.
NL championship: Phillies over Marlins.
World Series: Yankees over Phillies.

Oh, and in case you wanted to know, the Mariners won this morning in extra innings, 3-1.

Leave a Reply