Thursday, March 27, 2014

2014 MLB Predictions

NL East

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

After high expectations coming into last year, the Nationals dropped from 98 to 86 wins in 2013. Injuries played a role in that, and they came on strong late in the year last season. They added Nate McLouth and Doug Fister in the offseason. Fister joins Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, and Stephen Strasburg to form an impressive rotation. The Braves were able to win the division last year despite getting sub-.200 seasons from BJ Upton and Dan Uggla. Most of their team returns this year. Atlanta will have to make up for the loss of pitchers Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, who both are out for the season for their second Tommy John surgery. The Mets front office thinks they can win 90 games this season, and so does David Wright. They did add Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon, but will be without Matt Harvey this season. Everything would have to go right for their management's rosy predictions. Most likely, the Mets are a .500 team this year. The Phillies are an aging team with many big names on their roster. New manager Ryne Sandberg and veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins had some disagreements in spring training. Does this Phillies team have one last run, or will this team implode this year? In my opinion, Philly would need a time machine to contend this year. With Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez, the Marlins have two young stars to build around. That's been said many times in this organization, but Miami has a habit of selling off their stars. Some have predicted the Marlins could be a surprise team this year, but I think they have too many holes to contend.

NL Central

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

The Cardinals enter the season stronger than the team that fell short in the World Series last year. They lost Carlos Beltran, but added Peter Bourjos, Jhonny Peralta, and Mark Ellis in the offseason. Led by Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright, this team and its young pitching is primed for another run at the championship. After losing to the Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game, the Reds fired Dusty Baker and named pitching coach Brian Price manager. Of these two teams, I see the Reds in better shape because of their starting pitching. The Reds did have one major loss in Shin-Soo Choo, but they hope that rookie speedster Billy Hamilton can replace him. I don't see Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates going back to being a losing team, but I don't think they'll be quite as good this year. Still, I expect Pittsburgh to contend for at least a wild card spot this year. The Brewers had a lost season in 2013 because of injuries and the suspension of Ryan Braun. Their pitching has been there downfall the past two season, but they added Matt Garza this offseason. Milwaukee could make a run at a wild card spot, but they have some tough competition in this division. The Cubs were ranked as having one of the league's best farm systems, but their major league roster is one of the league's worst. I don't see anyway that the Cubs aren't in last place this year.

NL West

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

The Dodgers have surpassed the Yankees for the game's highest payroll. There are big expectations in Los Angeles, and ownership is expecting a World Series. Still, there are some questions about this club on injuries, team chemistry, and a couple of positions. The Giants are hoping that they continue their luck on even numbered years. They won the World Series in 2010 and 2012. In the offseason, the team added Michael Morse and Tim Hudson. I see the Giants performing better this year, but I don't see them better than the Dodgers. Arizona added Mark Trumbo, Bronson Arroyo, and Addison Reed this offseason, but ace pitcher Patrick Corbin is out for Tommy John surgery. The D-Backs have a solid, but unspectacular team. The Rockies are looking to avoid a third straight last place finish. They added Justin Morneau, Brett Anderson, and some bullpen help to attempt that. Bud Black is a solid manager, but has the misfortune of managing weak Padres clubs. San Diego doesn't have a terrible team, and Black keeps them competitive, but they don't have many standout players.

AL East

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

This division is one of baseball's most competitive. I look for the Rays to give the Red Sox a run for this division this season. Tampa Bay has a young, talented team that is deep in young pitching. Almost everything went right for Boston in 2013, and I don't look for that to repeat their championship this year. I still think the Red Sox are a good team with high expectations, but they may fall back in a tough division. The Yankees lost their best player in Robinson Cano, but added Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, and Masahiro Tanaka. Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte retired at the end of last season, and captain Derek Jeter plans to at this season's end. This is still an aging club, but they should be an interesting team in 2014. I feel that I may be underrating the Orioles by picking them fourth. They have a solid core with Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Manny Machado, and Matt Wieters. Baltimore added Nelson Cruz and Ubaldo Jimenez in the offseason. Last season was a nightmare for the Blue Jays, with their additions not paying off. Their is some talent on this Toronto team, but they have the worst pitching in this division, so I picked them last again.

AL Central

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

Detroit made some major changes this offseason. Jim Leyland retired and first year manager Brad Ausmus takes over. The Tigers traded Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler,  and moved Miguel Cabrera from third to first. They also traded away Doug Fister, and added closer Joe Nathan. The Royals had their best finish since 1989 last season, and look for their first playoff appearance since 1985 this season. I think that is very possible since they play in a weak division and have emerging young players on their roster. Terry Francona guided the Indians to the wild card spot in his first season. However, Cleveland lost Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir, and Chris Perez in the offseason. The White Sox are starting a transformation of their club. Paul Konerko will retire at season's end, and the team has acquired several young players they think will help them in the future. The Twins have one of the game's best farm systems, and Joe Mauer can't wait for them to come help him.

AL West

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

The Rangers made many additions this offseason, including Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo, JP Arencibia, and Joe Saunders. I think they have the most talent and depth in this division, but that depth will be tested. Jurickson Profar, Geovany Soto, Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison will start the season on the disabled list, and Yu Darvish may not be ready to start the season. I look for the Angels to rebound this season. Albert Pujols appears to be fully healthy, and Josh Hamilton hopes to hit better this year. Mike Trout may even be better, and the team made some moves to improve their pitching. It may not be wise to pick against the Athletics, who have defied expectations winning two straight division crowns. They lost Bartolo Colon, replaced him with Scott Kazmir, who starts the season hurt. AJ Griffin is also hurt and Jarrod Parker is lost for the year because of Tommy John surgery. I think Oakland will put up a strong showing, but will have more competition this year. The Mariners added Robinson Cano to help a weak offense. Seattle has two outstanding pitchers in Felix Hernandez and Hishashi Iwakuma, but not much else. I don't think the addition of Cano turns the Mariners into serious contenders. The Astros are trying to avoid their fourth straight 100 loss season in 2014. They added Dexter Fowler, Jesse Crain, and Scott Feldman, and have the game's best ranked farm system. Still, 2014 looks to be another long rebuilding season in Houston.


Wild Card
Reds over Braves
Angels over Royals

Cardinals over Reds
Nationals over Dodgers
Rangers over Angels
Rays over Tigers

Cardinals over Nationals
Rays over Rangers

World Series
Cardinals over Rays



1) Yadier Molina
2) Freddie Freeman
3) Bryce Harper
4) Andrew McCutchen
5) Hanley Ramirez


1) Mike Trout
2) Miguel Cabrera
3) Evan Longoria
4) Prince Fielder
5) Dustin Pedroia

NL Cy Young

1) Clayton Kershaw
2) Madison Bumgarner
3) Adam Wainwright
4) Shelby Miller
5) Stephen Strasburg

AL Cy Young

1) Felix Hernandez
2) Yu Darvish
3) David Price
4) Jered Weaver
5) Masahiro Tanaka

NL Rookie of the Year

1) Billy Hamilton
2) Kolten Wong
3) Carlos Martinez
4) Mike Olt
5) Jonathon Gray

AL Rookie of the Year

1) Masahiro Tanaka
2) Xander Bogaerts
3) Nick Castellanos
4) Taijuan Walker
5) Matt Davidson

NL Manager of the Year

Matt Williams

AL Manager of the Year

Joe Maddon

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