Ahhhh! Smell that? That’s the smell of the fresh cut infield. Hear that? That’s the sound of the mitts popping. It’s that time again: it’s baseball season. We’re just a few days away from the first official Spring Training game and I’m here to bring you ten bold predictions for this upcoming season. Now, bold predictions can be criticized in pretty much every facet. They’re either too bold, not bold enough or just completely unrealistic. These predictions, I believe, do have some truth behind it. However, I wouldn’t wager my rent payment on any of them to come true.
- Miguel Sano leads the majors in home runs.
Sano may be only behind Giancarlo Stanton when it comes to raw power. The 22-year-old hit 18 home runs in just 80 games last year as a rookie and I expect that number to more than double. He may hit under .250 and strike out over 200 times, but this youngin’ can hit the ball very, very far.
- Cincinnati Reds trade Joey Votto to the New York Yankees.
The Reds are a bad baseball team. There is no point to have Joey Votto on the team to help win the organization 65 games. With the injury to Greg Bird and the age and injury history of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, it’s not out of the question that the Yankees might be looking to add a bat come July.
- Carlos Carrasco wins AL Cy Young award.
I picked the Cleveland Indians to win the World Series last year, largely in part to their rotation. Looks like I might have been a year too early. Carrasco is absolutely filthy. He had over 10 k/9 last season with a 1.07 WHIP. With what should be an improved Indians team, if Carrasco can go over 200 innings, I can absolutely see him bringing home this award.
- Carlos Correa wins AL MVP award.
Words cannot even describe how much I like Carlos Correa. It’s not every day a 20-year-old comes up, hits 3rd in the lineup for a playoff team, hits over 20 home runs and literally make the Astros one of the most exciting teams in baseball. Now, you might be thinking ‘well Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have both recently done it.’ Uhh, that’s exactly my point. Correa is that good. By this time next season, if not sooner, we’ll be talking about Correa being the best player in baseball.
- Los Angeles Dodgers miss the playoffs.
Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in all of baseball. Corey Seager is going to be great. Adrian Gonzalez is very, very good. But after those three players, I do not like this team at all. In fairness, I didn’t like them a lot last year either and all they did was win 92 games and win the NL West. But this season, the Giants got significantly better and the Diamondbacks stole the off-season after adding Zack Greinke to their improving roster. I don’t believe in the Dodgers rotation and I damn sure don’t believe that Yasiel Puig is going to get his head out of his ass and become this superstar that everyone thinks he is.
- Tampa Bay Rays win the AL East.
In a division that seems as unpredictable as the AL East, you may not see this as bold. But according to Bovada, the Rays have the worst odds to win the division. The Rays have never had the sexiest team in the majors or even in their own division. Yet, somehow, they stay competitive with their pitching and defense. I love the Corey Dickerson trade and the Steve Pearce signing. With the exception of Alex Cobb, the rotation is finally healthy. And when Cobb returns, hopefully after the All-Star break, it just gives the team another weapon. The value of Rays to win the division is something I may not be able to stay away from.
- St. Louis Cardinals win the NL Central.
No Heyward, no Lackey, no problem. Is it really bold to pick the team that lead the majors with 100 wins to win the division they’ve won three years in a row? Maybe not. But, they did just lose two of their best players to the division favorite, Chicago Cubs. And with all the hype surrounding the Cubs, I consider this to be fairly bold. There may be no organization in sports like the Cardinals. They have just reloaded year after year, regardless of who they don’t sign or re-sign. Adam Wainwright is back healthy and they added Mike Leake in free agency. I also suspect that highly touted prospect Alex Reyes, while suspended 50 games, will make an impact this season. It shouldn’t be too difficult to replace Heyward’s offense, and I fully expect Randal Grichuk and Stephen Piscotty to do just that.
- Noah Syndergaard wins NL Cy Young award.
Matt Harvey this. Jacob deGrom that. Guess what, guys? Noah Syndergaard is going to be better than both of them. The hardest throwing starting pitcher in all of baseball is going to take the league by storm in his first full season as a Met. That is, if you don’t think he’s already done so. Considering he’s only 23-years-old, Syndergaard is the first pitcher the Mets need to sign to long term contract. Like Carrasco, if the innings are there for Syndergaard, all the numbers could fall into place for him to win the Cy.
- Buster Posey wins NL MVP award.
Posey, 28-years-old. Three time World Series champion. The 2012 NL MVP. Likely a Hall of Famer if he retired today. All of those accolades and somehow I feel that he’s completely underrated. I believe the Giants run away with the NL West this season and if they do, Buster Posey will have a huge role in that. However….
- Washington Nationals defeat the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
According to Bovada, there are four teams ahead of the Nationals to represent the National League and seven teams ahead of the Tigers to represent the American League.The Nationals, supposed to be the National League favorites last season, seem to be forgotten this season. While injuries derailed their 2015 season, they’re healthy now and have only added to their already loaded roster. I’d love to see them have Trea Turner as the Opening Day shortstop and it’s only a matter of time before Lucas Giolito gets the call. Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Lucaz Giolito in the playoffs.. good luck.
The Tigers seem a little more far-fetched to make it to the World Series. While I realize pitching wins in October, I can’t get over the Tigers lineup 1-5. No, it’s not as good as the Blue Jays, but hey, I’m trying to be bold here. No, they didn’t get a true ace to replace David Price, but, Justin Verlander had a Verlander-like second half. They did add Jordan Zimmerman, who, while isn’t a number one guy, he’s still a very good pitcher. With an improved season from Anibal Sanchez and the addition of an actual closer in Francisco Rodriguez, the Tigers are a very sneaky team in the American League.