Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 MLB Predictions


NL East

1) Nationals
2) Braves(WC)
3) Phillies
4) Mets
5) Marlins

I think the NL East will be pretty close to last year's results. The Nationals could be even better than the team that won 98 games last season. They added Denard Span, Dan Haren, and Rafeal Soriano to a team loaded with young stars. The Braves acquired the Upton brothers this offseason, but lost franchise icon Chipper Jones. Still a solid team with one of the game's best bullpens. Age is starting to catch up with the Phillies, and they'll need big comeback years from Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, and Chase Utley if they are going to contend. David Wright signed a long term deal to stay with the Mets, but he is in for another rebuilding year. The Marlins had yet another fire sale this offseason, trading Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell one year after signing them. Their fan base has had quite enough of owner Jeffrey Loria.

NL Central
1) Cardinals
2) Reds(WC)
3) Pirates
4) Brewers
5) Cubs

The NL Central will no longer have the Astros as their punching bag, with Houston moving to the American League. The Cardinals came within one game of returning to the World Series last year, and have the game's best farm system. They will have to do without Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal this season. The Reds blew a 2-0 lead in the NLDS to the Giants last year, ending the season dissapointingly. They return pretty much the same team, adding Sin-Shoo Choo and losing Scott Rolen. This might finally be the year the Pirates finish over .500. I still think they have too many holes to compete with the Reds and Cardinals, though. It looks like the Brewers pitching is going to keep them down this year, with a shaky staff after ace Yovani Gallardo. The Cubs look to be the doormat of this division and are coming off a season were they lost 101 games.

NL West

1) Giants
2) Dodgers
3) Diamondbacks
4) Padres
5) Rockies

A lot of people are picking the Dodgers to win the West, but I'm going with the defending champs. The Giants were written off as a fluke after winning the 2010 World Series, but it's not a fluke when you win a championship 2 out of 3 seasons. While the Giants may not have the star power the Dodgers do, I think they still have the better overall team. The Dodgers are certainly capable of winning the division, but I'm not convinced yet. What kind of production will they get from guys like Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, and Hanley Ramirez? I see those players being in possible decline. I'm still not sure on how Adrian Gonzalez and even Zack Greinke will adapt in LA. The Diamondbacks had a busy offseason and traded their biggest star Justin Upton for a package of players headlined by Martin Prado. Should still be a decent team, though. The Padres were one of the best second half teams in baseball last year. They have some emerging players, but will have to do without NL RBI leader Chase Headley for the first month. That could kill their momentum. The Rockies had a miserable season last year, and Walt Weiss takes over as the team's manager. This could also be Todd Helton's last year.

AL East

1) Blue Jays
2) Rays(WC)
3) Orioles
4) Red Sox
5) Yankees

This division should be a dogfight and it could be a close division overall. This is the first year in a long time that the Red Sox or Yankees are not favored to win it. The Blue Jays added RA Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, and Melky Cabrera in the offseason. One is never certain on teams that make big offseason splashes, it doesn't work all the time. I do think they should contend and on paper they have the best team. The Rays lost BJ Upton and  traded away James Shields and Wade Davis for a package of prospects headlined by Wil Nieves. Tampa also picked up several useful players and still have a lot of talent on the team. The key is they need a big year from Evan Longoria. The Orioles made their first postseason appearance in 15 years, and had a impressive knack for winning one run and extra inning games. Can their luck continue? Possibly, if their young players step up. The Red Sox picked up Joel Hanrahan, Ryan Dempster, Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew, and Mike Napoli during the offseason. Biggest move of all was replacing Bobby Valentine with John Farell. This team still has some holes and injury concerns, but won't have to deal with any sideshows this year. Age and injuries look to doom the Yankees this year. By the time Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira come back, they may of fallen too behind.

AL Central

1) Tigers
2) Royals
3) Indians
4) White Sox
5) Twins

The Tigers are the class of this division. I don't see any other team winning it this year. I see the next three teams being really close. I took a leap of faith picking the Royals second, but I think they turn it around this year. They made some moves to improve their pitching, trading for James Shields, Wade Davis, and Ervin Santana. They also have some emerging young position players. The Indians added manager Terry Francona, Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, and many others this offseason. They should be much improved, but their starting pitching is still a concern. If Ubaldo Jimenez can find his old form, it's possible they could contend for one of the wild card spots. The White Sox led the division most of the season, but lost it in the last month to Detroit. They still are a solid, but incomplete team. The Twins most likely will be at the bottom of the division.

AL West

1) Angels
2) Rangers(WC)
3) Mariners
4) Athletics
5) Astros

I don't think anyone thought the Athletics would win this division last year, not even Billy Beane. They snuck in a race that was supposed to be between Texas and LA. The Angels signed free agent Josh Hamilton away from division rival Texas. Hamilton joins a lineup that already includes Albert Pujols and Mike Trout. The Rangers still have a solid team, but have fallen behind the Angels. I think the Mariners do better this year, they made some moves to improve their offense. Felix Hernandez also signed a long term extension this offseason. I'm not sure where to peg the A's, they could finish anywhere between first and fourth. It seemed a little flukey, and they could fall back. Then again, they have some young talent that is getting better. The Astros play their first American League season this year, and figure to be as bad in their new league as their old one.


Wild Card Game
Braves over Reds
Rays over Rangers

Division Series
Nationals over Braves
Cardinals over Giants
Rays over Angels
Tigers over Blue Jays

Championship Series
Nationals over Cardinals
Tigers over Rays

World Series
Nationals over Tigers

1) Andrew McCutchen
2) Joey Votto
3) Allen Craig
4) Ryan Zimmerman
5) Buster Posey

1) Mike Trout
2) Evan Longoria
3) Miguel Cabrera
4) Jose Bautista
5) Jose Reyes

NL Cy Young
1) Stephen Strasburg
2) Clayton Kershaw
3) Matt Cain
4) Adam Wainwright
5) Cole Hamels

AL Cy Young
1) Felix Hernandez
2) Justin Verlander
3) Jered Weaver
4) Josh Johnson
5) David Price

NL Rookie of the Year

Shelby Miller

AL Rookie of the Year

Wil Nieves

NL Manager of the Year

Clint Hurdle

AL Manager of the Year

Joe Maddon

NL Comeback Player

Tim Lincecum

AL Comeback Player

Evan Longoria

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