Baseball still exists? Could have fooled me. But I still get excited for opening day, and since we're close, it's time to make 2013 season predictions. Last year, I predicted the World Series correctly! I have no clue if I can make it two in a row, but I'll try.
NL East: 1.) WSH 2.) ATL 3.) PHI 4.) NYM 5.) MIA
Capsule: The NL East is a division of consistent winners, from the Braves to the Phillies, with only a Mets blip in the middle. This is the Nats division now, as they are the class of the NL. The Braves are, as usual, wild card contenders. The Phillies could either be really bad, or really surprising, depending on how healthy they stay. The Mets and Marlins might as well think about 2014.
NL Central: 1.) CIN 2.) STL 3). MIL 4.) PIT 5). CHC
Capsule: At least the Reds won a playoff game last year. I have a feeling they'll win a series this time around. The Cardinals, despite injury problems already, will still contend for a wild card on the back of Adam Wainwright. The Brewers and Pirates are good, but not great. (Here's hoping the Pirates finally finish over .500)
NL West: 1.) SF 2.) LAD 3.) ARZ 4.) SD 5.) COL
Capsule: One thing the Dodgers will learn this season is that free spending money on stars doesn't guarantee you success, and losing the division out to the Giants might teach them that. I've read that San Diego could be this year's Oakland: low budget team with a good nucleus that could surprise. I don't see it, but they'll be annoying to play against.
AL East: 1). TB 2.) TOR 3.) NYY 4.) BAL 5.) BOS
Capsule: Baseball's toughest division continues to earn that mantle, and this year might be the toughest yet. I want to pick Toronto to win the division, but can't (see above about the Dodgers). The Yankees will have a horrific start to the season because of injuries and lack of hitting, but they'll rebound by mid-season. The law of averages will hit the O's in full force this year, even if I want them to keep winning.
AL Central: 1.) DET 2.) Everybody Else (Kidding)- CHW 3). KC 4). CLE 5.) MIN
Capsule: Detroit is better than they were last year, and all they need is a closer to be World Series favorites. The rest of the division is left to push the Tigers, and I think the White Sox are best suited to, even if KC and Cleveland will do so in spurts.
AL West: 1.) LAA 2.) OAK 3.) TEX 4). SEA 5.) HOU
Capsule: The Angels offense is terrifying. Their pitching behind Jered Weaver might also be. I can't see any way a team with this much offense misses the playoffs 2 years running, though. I'm not gonna doubt the A's anymore, and the Rangers will take their lumps this year while their prospects develop. And, I hope Astros fans enjoy those new uniforms, because those are much better looking than anything on the field will be this season.
NL Wild Cards: 1.) ATL 2.) LAD
AL Wild Cards: 1.) OAK 2.) TOR
NLDS: 1.) WSH over 4.) ATL
2.) CIN over 3.) SF
NLCS: 1.) WSH over 2.) CIN
ALDS: 1.) DET over 5.) TOR
3.) TB over 2.) LAA
ALCS: 1.) DET over 3.) TB
2013 World Series: Nationals over Tigers in 6
NL MVP: Joey Votto
AL MVP: Mike Trout (Go crazy, stat geeks)
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
NL Rookie of the Year: Oscar Taveras- St. Louis
AL Rookie of the Year: Jurickson Profar- Texas
NL Manager of the Year: Bruce Bochy
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Maddon