Now that you have OBVIOUSLY read through all 6 of the divisional analysis (or BS) that I wrote, it is prediction time. I might be a big homer here, then again I might not be. I have no idea what I’m predicting as of typing this so I’ll be as shocked as you are at what horrendous picks I make. So without furthur adieu….
AL wildcard teams:
Toronto Blue Jays – Of COURSE I’m taking the Jays to get a wildcard spot. Full disclosure, the closer we get to the season, the more I’m thinking they win the division, but I’ll stick with the Rays. The Jays are getting in and they’ll host the wildcard game. And they’ll play the…
Texas Rangers – 2nd straight year for the Rangers in the wildcard game, they would be the first team in the history of baseball to play in back to back wildcard games….this would be a tough matchup for my Jays, but as long as the staffs aren’t destroyed due to injuries I like the Jays top end guys over the Rangers in a big game.
Detroit over Toronto – I so badly want to pick the Jays to win it all, but I can’t and the reason I can’t is because there are 2 teams in the American League who will likely stand in their way. The Tigers are one of those teams. I think this would be a great series, but the Tigers would take them in 5.
LA Angels over Tampa Bay – After game 1 of this series it would be pitching vs hitting. Normally I go with the pitching any day of the week, but that Angels lineup is so lethal and I also think it would be stupid to think the Angels wouldn’t add to their team come the trade deadline.
Detroit over LA Angels – A heavyweight fight between 2 big spending franchises. Prince/Miggy vs Trout/Pujols/Hamilton. Weaver vs Verlander. It would be a great matchup if both teams stay healthy (always the key). At the end of the day however, I like the Tigers pitching better and they will win their 2nd straight ALCS.
NL wildcard teams:
LA Dodgers – All that money has to win them SOMETHING doesn’t it?! But all that money did buy them a pretty good team, they’ll just need a little time to gel. Once they do they’ll be one heck of a good team!
Cincinnati Reds – I had a tough time picking between the Reds and the Pillies to be honest, but while I think the Phillies bounce back with a good season I just think the Reds have too much talent to miss the playoffs. I do feel like the Reds are a team who are built for the postseason. They were my pick to win the NL last season and it just may have happened had it not been for a Scott Rolen error.
Cincinnati over Washington – The way I’m looking at this is we have 2 teams who will have the feeling of letting one get away. This SHOULD have been the NLCS matchup last year. But the Reds will have less baggage than the Nats. Maybe I’m nuts but I could see that decision to shut down Strasburg last year haunting the Nats for a while. They had a team ready to win and they didn’t take advantage of it.
San Francisco over St. Louis – As much as you can’t kill the Cards, you can’t kill the Giants either. Now have won 6 straight series and were 6-0 when facing elimination in last year’s playoffs. The one thing I would hope for however is a better series. That NLCS may have been the worst series I’ve ever seen go 7 games. How does a series go 7 games when just about every game is a blowout?!
San Francisco over Cincinnati – The Reds will have a shot at redemption. Their NLDS series last fall was awesome so if these 2 get together again expect more of the same. The Giants just have a little more experience. They get the hits when they need them and their staff is just a little better than Cincy’s, even though I have said the Reds staff is built for the postseason.
San Francisco over Detroit – In a rematch of what was a terrible World Series, the Tigers will take on the Giants. Like in most rematches of blowouts, the Tigers will be better prepared for this one. HOWEVER, while I’m impartial on the Giants I respect the hell out of what they’ve built. They’re a Buster Posey broken leg away from possibly being the 3 time defending champs. I like them to win their 3rd in 4 years.
American League MVP: Albert Pujols – Everyone has fallen in love with Mike Trout, and rightfully so. But Pujols productivity really picked up by the end of May and I just believe with that much protection in the lineup for him he will have another monster year.
National League MVP: Bryce Harper – This kids talent is just incredible. This might be too soon in his career to make this projection but I just really believe that he will really bust out. The kid has unreal drive to go with his talent and it also doesn’t hurt either of these guys that they could be leading teams that are almost locks to go to the postseason.
American League Cy Young: Justin Verlander – Not going to try to get cute with this pick. The guy is flat out the best pitcher in the game right now and I don’t think anyone is even close. Maybe I’m a homer but if I were to pick a bit of a dark horse here it would be Josh Johnson.
National League Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg – However if someone was to over take Verlander as the games best pitcher its this guy. Strasburg has amazing stuff and knows how to pitch at such a young age. He will actually get to pitch in September this season too!
American League Rookie of the year: Chris Archer – There are better prospects coming but you likely won’t see guys like Profar, Myers or Bundy until June. Archer has great stuff and apparently an even better work ethic.
National Leauge Rookie of the year: Shelby Miller – Going with 2 pitchers is tough not to do seeing how the game has been dominated by pitching since it got cleaned up. Miller is a higher ranked prospect than Archer and again with both guys it won’t hurt that they’ll be throwing for top end teams.
American League Manager of the year: Ron Gardenhire – Ok, the guys who win these awards are always the managers of teams that flat out shock everyone, and I have nobody pegged to really shock the world. So I guess I’m picking 2 teams here who could stun everyone but of course it goes against my picks. Terry Ryan is a great GM so having him back could really influence this team even quicker than many expect.
National League Manager of the year: Kirk Gibson – The D-backs have some really good young talent both on the team and on the way. This wouldn’t be near the stretch that the Twins are to bounce back but I believe it would still be a pretty big stunner if the D-backs grabbed a wildcard spot and even bigger stunner if they won the division.
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