Friday, April 1, 2016

Cousin Jason's Predictions 2016

We are on the cusp of another season of Red Sox baseball and with it come the annual RSM Predictions. Barry got us started this afternoon, which reminded me that I needed to put mine together. Thanks, Cuz! So without further adieu here are Cousin Jason's 2016 MLB Predictions, as always guaranteed to be the worst of the bunch:

AL East
Toronto- Since 2006, only the Yankees in '11 and '12 have repeated as AL East Champs, the Jays make it happen in 2016
*Baltimore- A solid line-up and bullpen make up for underwhelming rotation to get O's back into the post-season
Boston- I really want to pick them higher, but have done so each year that they have finished last, so third it is
Tampa Bay- Rays pitch themselves out of the cellar, improved offense helps too
New York- Bullpen is scary good but, injuries and age limit effectiveness of the 'pen

AL Central
Royals- Is it possible that the team in KC is even better than last year's champions? I think so
#Tigers- Revamped line-up and Upton-infused Verlander get Tigers back into the playoffs
White Sox- South Siders overcome the Laroche train wreck with addition of Frazier and growth of Rodon
Twins- Molitor's crew is one year away from contending, but finish next to last in the AL's best division
Indians- Tito's tribe finish near .500 but take their lumps within the division

AL West
Mariners- It seems we have a surprise winner every year in the West, the trend keeps up
Rangers- Texas just misses out on the wild card despite a whirling Darvish
Astros- Last year's feel good team can't replicate 2015's success
Angels- Halos slug their way out of the basement
A's- When Rich Hill and Felix Doubront are 2/5's of your rotation, the Magic 8 Ball says: outlook does not look good

Awards
AL MVP- Manny Machado, Orioles
AL Cy Young- Felix Hernandez, Mariners
AL Rookie of the Year- Byron Buxton, Twins
AL Manager of the Year- Scott Servais, Mariners

Playoffs:
Wildcard Game: Tigers over Orioles
Divisional Series: Royals over Tigers in 5, Blue Jays over Mariners in 6
Championship Series: Blue Jays over Royals in 7 epic games, it's like 1985 all over again except in this remake the Jays win




NL East
Nationals- Too much talent for the rest of the division and Dusty manages to keep the peace in DC, earning thousands of write-in votes for President in the process
Marlins- Donnie Baseball and the Fish surprise their peers in a close shave
Braves- Atlanta may not have a roster of household names but play solid baseball all year
Mets- The post-season run of 2015, catches up with the Metropolitans youthful pitchers, the offense is not enough to make up for the rash of injuries
Phillies- They have some pieces to build for the future, see Maikel Franco and Aaron Nola, for the present, it's going to be a struggle

NL Central
Cardinals- St. Louis' anthem might as well be this
*Cubs- The hype is there, Theo's built a great roster, but see above
Pirates- The Buccos are the best NL team to not qualify for the post-season
Reds- Cincinnati fans should send several bowls of Skyline Chili to Milwaukee for having a team worse than their own
Brewers- At least Milwaukee fans have plenty of Miller Lite to drown out how bad their baseball team is

NL West
Los Angeles- Dodgers overcome pitching injuries, it helps when you have Clayton Kershaw
#San Francisco- Giants starting rotation is really good, which makes up for a scrap-heap bullpen to get back to the post-season
Arizona- Diamondbacks are in the hunt all year long but fall just short
Colorado- Rockies play well enough to stay out of last place
San Diego- Friars season goes in the tank with mid-season blow-up of 2015's off-season darlings

Awards
NL MVP- Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
NL Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
NL Rookie of the Year- Corey Seager, Dodgers
NL Manager of the Year- Don Mattingly, Marlins

Playoffs:
Wildcard Game: Cubs over Giants
Divisional Series: Cubs over Nationals in 7, Cardinals over Dodgers in 7
Championship Series: Cubs over Cardinals in 7, Cards can't continue their season-long dominance over the Cubbies

World Series:
Blue Jays over Cubs in 7, Canadians rejoice and find out the Expos are returning with the relocation of the Devil Rays to boot!

As a side note, lots of excitement in Montreal this weekend with the Sox and Jays playing at Olympic Stadium. On that note, I'm currently reading Jonah Keri's book about the Expos, "Up, Up, and Away". It has been a fantastic read and I highly recommend it.

Only hours away from the start of the regular season, Go Sox!

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