Just for the record…. (2018 Baseball Predictions)

For the record…

The Houston Astros will repeat as World Series champions, beating the Washington Nationals in 6 games.

The Miami Marlins will have the worst record in baseball.

The Baltimore Orioles will trade Manny Machado by the deadline.

Mike Trout will be MVP… but only because Manny Machado will have been traded to an NL team.

Giancarlo Stanton will not hit 60+ HRs, but will hit 50+ HRs.

Same goes for Aaron Judge.

The Yankees will win the AL East

The Indians will win the AL Central.

The Astros will win the AL West.

The Nationals will win the NL East.

The Cubs will win the NL Central.

The Dodgers will win the NL West.

The Red Sox and Twins will be the AL Wild Cards, the Red Sox will win that game.

The Brewers and Diamondbacks will be the NL Wild Cards, the Brewers will win that game.

Shohei Otani will not win AL Rookie of the Year.

Otani will contribute more on the mound than the plate.

Ronald Acuna will be NL Rookie of the Year.

Michael Kopech will be AL Rookie of the Year.

Clayton Kershaw will win NL Cy Young.

Chris Sale will win AL Cy Young.

There will be three no-hitters this year, but only two of them will be by a single pitcher.

The AL will win the All-Star Game.

Many of these predictions will be wrong.

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2014 ALDS and NLDS predictions

Here are my predictions for the 2014 ALDS and NLDS series:

The Orioles are a good team and have a flare for the dramatic, and also seem to like giving the middle finger to any sort of baseball logic and sense. However, I do not think they can beat the Tigers rotation. Their only shot will be to get to the soft underbelly that is the Detroit bullpen. However, it’s entirely possible that the Tigers’ won’t give them that chance. Tigers in 4.

The Royals/Angels series is a bit less clear, partly because I haven’t seen them “live” as much as I’ve seen the O’s and Tigers, but also because they are very different teams (while the Orioles and Tigers have more-or-less the same approach as each other). The Royals, as we saw during the Wild Card game, are an old-style team that loves to bunt and steal, while relying on pitching to try and make up for all the times that might fail (the Royals actually were one of the worst teams in the league in certain offensive categories this season). The Angels are more of a standard modern team at the plate, with a big-name lineup that was the league’s most productive offense, led, of course, by Mike Trout. Their pitching, however, is nowhere near as big-name as their lineup. With such different teams going at each other, and with strengths going against strengths, this could be anyone’s series. That said, I think the Angels are the better overall team, so I think they will win it. Angels in 4.

The Cardinals/Dodgers matchup is one that has happened many times before- they are two of the flagship teams of baseball and stalwarts of the National League. They met last year in the NLCS and the Cardinals won in 6, but I think this time it’ll be different. The Cardinals no longer have postseason man-god Carlos Beltran, Michael Wacha is still recovering from injury (although certainly the Cardinals maintain a very deep rotation) and Yadier Molina isn’t fully healthy either. The Dodgers, meanwhile, now are another year wiser and experienced, and, oh, right, have Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke all nice and lined up to pitch in order. If not for the fact Hyun-Jin Ryu is going to be coming off an injury and that Dan Haren has long had trouble against the Cardinals, the starting rotation situation for the Dodgers would look almost as good as Detroit’s looks like against the Orioles.

While the Cardinals do have the advantage in bullpen, experience and overall team depth, all of that might mean diddly-squat, though, because this is a best-of-five series and to win the Cardinals will likely have to win at least two games against the 1-2 punch of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke (there are rumors that Don Mattingley will try to go with a 3-man rotation). I don’t think they can, even with Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn. Dodgers in 5.

The Nationals hold a edge against the Giants because  of the Wild Card game. Because the Giants had to play that, they probably won’t be able to have Bumgarner pitch until Game 3. Jake Peavy and Tim Hudson, of course, are also perfectly good (and Ryan Vogelsong has his moments), but they aren’t Bumgarner. The Nationals, meanwhile, will have Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez. So, advantage in the rotation. Nationals also hold the advantage in offense, with a deeper lineup that features two players (Denard Span and Jayson Werth) who were top-10 in batting average in the NL this season and with Bryce Harper having heated up after the All-Star Break and Adam LaRoche. While you can never count out Buster Posey and the rest of the Giants, I feel like the Nationals will win in 4.

 

So, there you go.

2014 SEASON PREVIEW (PART 10): Predictions for the Season, without any further explanations (except one)

It’s time. Who will be the division winners? Who will win the World Series? Time to see my predictions… without further explanation (except for one).

 

AL East: Boston Red Sox

AL Central: Detroit Tigers

AL West: Texas Rangers

AL Wild Cards: Tampa Rays, Oakland Athletics

AL Champion: Detroit Tigers

NL East: Washington Nationals

NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals

NL West: LA Dodgers

NL Wild Cards: Reds and Giants

NL Champion: St. Louis Cardinals

 

And finally….
World Series Champion: St. Louis Cardinals

 

So why do I think the Cardinals are going to win it all this year? Well, it’s partly my gut, but there is also plenty of good logic behind it. While they have lost Carlos Beltran, the fact remains that their young players- and they have some good ones- will be one more year experienced. And, what’s more, many of those young players are pitchers (such as 2013’s postseason hero Michael Wacha and fire-balling reliever Trevor Rosenthal), and as always pitching is the way to October success. Mix that with their experienced players like Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday, and you have a team that should be one of the favorites to win the World Series in 2014.

The Oh-Crud-I-Forgot-To-Write-This-Until-The-Last-Minute Super Bowl Prediction

By all accounts, the weather in NJ will be fine, so I’m going to go with Manning and the Broncos tonight. Once, in the past, I would have gone with the defensive advantaged team, but the NFL has changed, and that is no longer true. So, advantage Broncos, uhm… 27-24.

Predictions for tomorrow’s AFC and NFC championship games

Well, here are my predictions for tomorrow’s NFL games. Who will go to the Super Bowl?

  • In the latest super-epic-deathmatch between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, I think Manning will win. However this isn’t a game between Manning and Brady, it’s a game between the Broncos and Patriots. And that, ultimately, leads to Manning’s problem and tragedy: He could do great, even spectacular, and it still might not be enough if the Patriots just play better. So if the Patriots use their momentum and suddenly-amazing running game to beat the Broncos, don’t be surprised. However, that said, I still like the Broncos in a close one, since the Broncos are a better defensive team than, say, the Colts.
  • Meanwhile, I think the Seahawks will beat the 49ers, because, well, i still don’t see anybody beating the Seahawks at home. I know, that’s a cop-out answer, but when you are this late in the playoffs, sometimes cop-out answers are necessary, since it can be so hard to predict who could win a single random sporting event.

So, there you go, the Seahawks and Broncos will meet in the Super Bowl.

Unless I’m wrong.

Which I probably am.

Preview/Predictions for the 2013 NLCS

It could be a classic series in the making in the National League Championship Series. After all, we are seeing two pitching-rich members of the “Original 16” facing off, with exciting hitters old and new dotting their lineups as well. Who holds the edge? Well… I don’t know. As I’ve said before and will say again, it’s really difficult to predict a series, where one funny hop or blown call can change everything. So, let’s go aspect by aspect.

First, starting pitching. In this aspect, the Dodgers have an edge. Not too big of an edge, but an edge nontheless. First off, the fact that they were able to finish off the Braves in four games means that they can set up their rotation roughly how they want, with the exception that they will have to swap Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in the rotation, which, while not what they would have preferred, is hardly a death-blow. By comparison, the Cardinals will be unable to call upon their ace, Adam Wainwright, until Game 3, although they will be able to have young phenom Michael Wacha go against Kershaw. This leads to another advantage that the Dodgers’ rotation has over the Cardinals: depth. Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly are certainly capable pitchers who could defeat the Dodgers, but they aren’t quite at the one-two punch level of Hyun-Jin Ryu (who would be a Rookie of the Year candidate most seasons) or Ricky Nolasco.

Now, lineup. This goes in St. Louis’ favor. They have a deeper bench, more depth, and have Carlos Beltran, who, as has been noted before and will be noted again, is the greatest postseason hitter of our era, if not any era. The redbirds scored 77 more runs this season than any other NL team, and there’s really only one hitter of their eight position players (Pete Kozma) that I wouldn’t fear due to either numbers or reputation.

So, what about bullpen? I give this one to the Dodgers, slightly. Kenley Jansen is an awesome reliever, especially when you consider he once was a catcher. And they also have Brian Wilson, who seems to be back to normal (or whatever he calls normal), as well as other good relievers like J.P. Howell. While the Cardinals certainly aren’t hurting in the bullpen, with Trevor Rosenthal at the helm most notably, but I feel like the Dodgers have a slight advantage here- I’m not entirely sure why, I just feel that way.

However, there are other factors to keep in mind: the Cardinals have home field and more experience, for example, and, well, Don Mattingley still hasn’t won a World Series, despite playing for and then coaching with the Yankees, so you have to wonder if there is some sort of hex upon him.

I don’t believe in hexes, though. Well, not for the purposes of this article at least, as I predict the Dodgers will win in 7.

Previews/Predictions for the two NLDS series

Okay, so, it’s time to predict the NLDS series! Here we go:

Pirates vs. Cardinals

The Cardinals will probably end the Pirates fairy-tale season, and have to be considered one of the favorites to win it all. For one, their pitching is better set up, a result of the Pirates having to use Francisco Liriano in the Wild Card game (although it will be interesting to see how wonder-kid Gerrit Cole will do in expected his Game 2 start- that game could ultimately decide this series). For another, the Cardinals have plenty of experience, most notably that of Carlos Beltran, the greatest post-season hitter of this and perhaps any era statistically. It’ll be tough, but I predict Cardinals in 5.

Dodgers vs. Braves

A good one. Two teams that are ended up running away with their divisions but who none-the-less prone to being streaky. I, personally, think this series, like most series, will come down to pitching. And in that all-important department, the Dodgers have the advantage. They will able to throw out Clayton Kershaw twice, and still have Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu available as well. The Braves are no slouches and could well win this series, but their lack of Tim Hudson hurts their pitching depth. I agree with what Grantland.com said: “The Braves have a good playoff rotation. The Dodgers have a great one.”  Unlike Grantland, though, I predict Dodgers in 4, while they have them winning in 5.

Come back tomorrow for ALDS predictions.