Friday, April 1, 2016

2016 MLB Season Predictions

A new baseball season is upon us, which means it's time for some predictions on what's coming down the pike. Last year's predictions went as they usually do, which means badly, but that's why erasers exist. It's a new year, and there's a chance to earn some redemption here. I will again apologize in advance to those who I have jinxed, but here are my 2016 MLB Season Predictions:

NL East:

1. New York Mets
2. Washington Nationals
3. Miami Marlins
4. Atlanta Braves
5. Philadelphia Phillies

There really isn't that much surprise in this order. The Mets have a dominant rotation that will only get better when Zack Wheeler returns, and even though the Nats have a more potent offense, it's hard to see them overcoming the Mets with all of the baggage in that clubhouse.

NL Central:

1. Chicago Cubs
2. St. Louis Cardinals
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Cincinnati Reds

The Cubs are a juggernaut, and even the mighty Cardinals who have won five straight division titles won't be able to match that. The Pirates will, like the Nationals, be competitive for a Wild Card spot this year but they've been outgunned by the two teams in front of them in their division.

NL West:

1. San Francisco Giants
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. Arizona D'Backs
4. San Diego Padres
5. Colorado Rockies

It's an even numbered year, and you know what that means.Their rotation figures to be fantastic with the additions of Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto behind Madison Bumgarner, and as long as they have enough offense they should be in pretty good shape. The Dodgers rotation has some major questions to be answered after Zack Grienke left for Arizona, and while their offense still has pop, the rotation figures to derail their chances at the NL West pennant. Do the D'Backs have enough to pass both the Dodgers and Giants? Probably not.

NL Wild Cards: 1. St. Louis Cardinals, 2. Los Angeles Dodgers.

AL East:

1. Toronto Blue Jays
2. Boston Red Sox
3. New York Yankees
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Baltimore Orioles

The Blue Jays lost David Price who changed that rotation midseason last year, but they will have full season of Marcus Stroman, which should offset that loss. But, their rotation still leaves something to be desired, as does the bullpen, even with Drew Storen. But, they will still probably lead the majors in most offensive categories anyway. The big spending, analytics dumping Boston Red Sox have a revamped rotation and an offense with pop, but there are still questions, just like there are with their rivals the Yankees. The Blue Jays offense is probably going to be too much to overcome.

AL Central:

1. Kansas City Royals
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Detroit Tigers
4. Minnesota Twins
5. Chicago White Sox

I'm not making the same mistake underestimating the Royals again. Not doing it.

AL West:

1. Texas Rangers
2. Houston Astros
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Anaheim Angels
5. Oakland A's

Texas baseball is going to dominate the AL West this season, and it's no surprise considering what both teams bring to the table after last season's surprises. But the Astros have a few more questions than the Rangers do, which is why they are where they are. None of the four contenders for the pennant blow anyone away, which is why fine margins can end up deciding who wins here.

AL Wild Cards: 1. Houston Astros 2. Boston Red Sox.

Playoff Predictions:

NL Wild Card Game: Cardinals over Dodgers (sorry to see you go, Vin!)
AL Wild Card Game: Red Sox over Astros

NLDS: Cubs over Cardinals in 4
             Giants over Mets in 5

ALDS: Royals over Red Sox in 4
             Blue Jays over Rangers in 3

NLCS: Giants over Cubs in 7 (Even Year Devil Magic)
             Blue Jays over Royals in 6

2016 World Series: Blue Jays over Giants in 6 (no more Even Year Devil Magic)

Awards Predictions:

NL MVP: Kris Bryant
AL MVP: Carlos Correa
NL Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner
AL Cy Young: David Price
NL Rookie: Corey Seager
AL Rookie: Byron Buxton
NL Manager: Bruce Bochy
AL Manager: John Gibbons
NL Homer King: Bryce Harper
AL Homer King: Miguel Sano

Giants even year devil magic, y'all. But sorry to the many Blue Jays fans on jinxing your team in advance.

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