MLB Predictions

2015 Red Sox Maineiacs MLB Predictions

Deacon Art's Predictions

After getting the AL champ right in last year's picks (yes I actually had the Royals losing the Series but to St. Louis not the Giants) another year has rolled around and it is time for the annual pre season picks.  Despite my choice of the Royals do not take these to your local betting parlor.  But as usual this is my outlook on a new baseball season done in the style first used (to my best recollection) by Peter Gammons and the other Globies in the 1970s.  Here are my division by division finishes, post season series winners, award winners, and a list of Red Sox thoughts and random predictions around the game.

*= first  wild card winner  **= second wild card winner

AL EAST

1. BOSTON-        Worst to first again??  Place your Betts now.
2. BALTIMORE- Buck's Birds Battle- But can they win without an ace??
3. TORONTO-    Their arms are up in the air like they just do not care.
4. NEW YORK-  Hopes Hinge on aged stars, Tanaka's UCL and CC's knees.
5. TAMPA BAY- It's all about the (getting on) base, that's their trouble.

AL CENTRAL

1. CLEVELAND- The Indians win it, the Indians win it, omigod the Indians win it.
2.*CHICAGO-      Back to the Future 2 may have had the wrong Windy City team.
3.  DETROIT -      It doesn't look like a Buick, and the window is closing.
4. KANSAS CITY- Defending AL Champs get Yosted from '15 post season.
5. MINNESOTA- Never recover from Lee County Championship Series loss.

AL WEST

1. SEATTLE-              Cano's Club will Cruz to Crown.
2.** LOS ANGELES-Halos no longer biggest fish in the AL West pond.
3. HOUSTON-            And a little second baseman shall lead them.
4. OAKLAND-          What has Billy Beane wrought this time?
5. TEXAS-                 Can Injuries Derail the Rangers train again?? Yu betcha!

Postseason

Wild Card Game: Chicago behind Chris Sale shutout the Angels.

ALDS  Seattle (behind Felix, Paxton, and Walker) take White Sox in five.
             Boston bests Cleveland in four (sorry, Tito)

ALCS  Behind Rick Porcello, Boston takes Game 7 in Seattle to win AL pennant again.

AL Awards

MVP  Hanley Ramirez (edging out Jose Abreu and Michael Brantley)
Cy      Felix Hernandez (besting Chris Sale and Porcello)
MGR  Terry Francona (for the first time believe it or not)
ROY  Micah Johnson, 2B Chicago (over Rusney Castillo)
HR     Jose Abreu  44

NL EAST

1. WASHINGTON-  Max effort from loaded rotation leads Nats
2.** MIAMI -             You gotta get up and try, try, try
3. ATLANTA-           Two things keep rebuilding Braves from bottom- Mets and Phils
4. NEW YORK-        High expectations flushed
5. PHILADELPHIA- Twenty Five shades of grey.

NL CENTRAL

1. PITTSBURGH - Pirate Festival
2.* ST.LOUIS-       Consistent Cardinals are Central's competitors Arch enemy
3. CHICAGO -       The wait for the Cubbies kids to mature will be Maddon-ing.
4. CINCINNATI -  Cueto's contract conversations and Cincy's club collapse.
5. MILWAUKEE-  The team that will NOT make Milwaukee famous.

NL WEST

1. LOS ANGELES-    Friedman's franchise fends off Fightin' Friars.
2. SAN DIEGO-         They have the Wil/Will's but do the have the way?
3. SAN FRANCISCO-Another odd year for the World Champs.
4. ARIZONA-             Their best pitcher is GM Dave Stewart.
5. COLORADO-         If Tulo and Cargo are healthy....they could finish...ah never mind.

Postseason

Wild Card Game-  St. Louis schools upstart Marlins

NLDS  Washington over St. Louis in five
             Pirates over Dodgers in four as Clayton Kershaw fails in October again

NLCS  Pirates outlast Washington star studded rotation (a la the '13 Sox over the Tigers) in six

NL Awards

MVP  Andrew McCutchen
Cy      Max Scherzer (in a photo finish over Kershaw and Mets' Matt Harvey)
MGR  Clint Hurdle  (edging Mike Redmond of Miami)
ROY  Jorge Soler    (besting teammate Kris Bryant)
HR     Giancarlo Stanton 39

WORLD SERIES

With the Pirates making the first World Series since 1979 (versus Earl Weaver and the Orioles) and Boston making its fourth appearance of the 21st century, we have a rematch of the first World Series ever played in 1903.  One thing is a guarantee this one will not go eight games as in 1903 when Boston won the best of nine series 5 games to 3.

But like 1903, Boston falls behind 3 games to 1, losing games two through four after winning the opener behind Rick Porcello.  Boston staves off elimination in Game Five when David Ortiz doubles in two in the 14th inning.  The Sox return to Boston and cruise through Games Six and Seven behind the red hot bat of World Series MVP, Mookie Betts.  The winning pitcher in Game Six is Clay Buchholz and the starter acquired at the deadline wins Game Seven (who is it?  stayed tuned you will find out .... in July).

Red Sox predictions (other than winning the World Series):

1.  The outfield logjam shakes out like this: Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts, and Rusney Castillo each start 125 games or more as the regular outfield.  Shane Victorino is traded in mid-May to Seattle, and Allen Craig stays with the team until July before he is traded.  After the Craig trade, Jackie Bradley, Jr. rejoins the Sox and along with Daniel Nava are the 4th and 5th outfielders.

2. At least one of Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts makes the AL all star team.

3. As stated above the Red Sox acquire a starting pitcher at the deadline--but it will not be Cole Hamels.

4. One of the three kid lefties- Brian JohnsonEduardo RodriguezHenry Owens- will win at least eight games for Boston.

5. Rick Porcello and Wade Miley have strong Boston debuts--but Porcello hits the free agent market next winter.

6. Blake Swihart arrives in Boston by no later than the All Star Break to become the starting catcher, Ryan Hanigan will keep things afloat, but is running out of gas by the time Swihart arrives.

7. David Ortiz needing 34 home runs for career # 500 will fall ten shy as his numbers begin to slowly decline.  24 HR, 88 RBI, .284 BA.

8. Dustin Pedroia will have a better offensive year, due to better health, but his power numbers are gone for good.

9. Pablo Sandoval will put up the always solid, not superstar, numbers and will again shine in October.

10. Yoan Moncada will be playing for Portland by no later than July 4th.

Lastly some general MLB predictions:

The 2015 All Star Game is played in Cincinnati and the starting NL pitcher is hometown Johnny Cueto who flashes two shutout innings just weeks before he is traded to the American League.  The AL wins the game when Mookie Betts doubles home Jacoby Ellsbury (the lone Yankee representative) in the ninth inning.

Not only is the AL East very balanced and open, but the entire American League is filled with parity.  Only the Twins, Texas, and Tampa Bay are out of the race entirely come September 1st.

Jose Abreu challenges for the AL triple crown into the last week of the season.  But he loses the RBI title to Hanley Ramirez and the batting crown to Jose Altuve.

All three Pirate outfielders-Sterling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, and Gregory Polanco will have over 25 home runs and 25 steals.

First manager fired will be Mets' Terry Collins, and it may be before Memorial Day.  The Jays John Gibbons will be the next to go.  No one else is fired during the season because most of the other bad teams have first year managers.  If San Diego, with their high expectations and new GM, should stumble out of the gate, Bud Black could go as well.

The Mets' Matt Harvey is the only bright spot for his club and challenges for the NL Cy Young Award and does win comeback player of the year (Prince Fielder wins comeback in the AL).

At least two more well known pitchers have to undergo Tommy John Surgery. I will not mention any names because I do want to wish an injury on anyone.  But I will add rest and rehab for an injured UCL is a recipe for disaster.

Jason Heyward revives his career in St. Louis and enters next winter's free agent market looking for a $200 million dollar contract.

Alex Rodriquez struggles to get at bats with the Yankees at DH because the team has so many players needing time at DH.

The defending AL champs Royals trade free agent to be Alex Gordon at the deadline and fire Ned Yost after the season as manager.

Jon Lester will have a okay but not great first campaign in the National League, wining 11 games with an ERA of around 4.00.  Not exactly what the Cubs were paying for.

Jerry Remy will announce his retirement for broadcasting in October, and in a more surprising note, radio voice Joe Castiglione also announces he is retiring after 33 years in the booth, the most in Red Sox history surpassing Ned Martin.

Well, that is it.  I may very well be out on a limb picking Ye Olde Towne Team to win it all, but hey we have all seen it in this heyday of Boston sports.  I cannot wait to get another season started.

Cousin Jason's Predictions 

Art kicked off the prediction season on Friday, which meant that I needed to get myself in gear. So here they are, limited thought was put into these so unlike Art take these to your local betting parlor! (Not you Jarred Cosart)

AL East
Boston- This is a homer pick, but the Sox do have arguably the best offense in baseball
New York- Hey, someone has to finish 2nd in this division of mediocrity
Baltimore- Too many question marks in the rotation, but better than the next 2 teams
Toronto- Jays can put up runs but their rotation can’t stop opponents enough
Tampa Bay- A questionable offense and a MASH unit for a rotation=Last Place

AL Central
Chicago- An off-season of savvy moves leads the White Sox to the pennant
*Cleveland- Tito’s team just misses the Central crown but easily makes the postseason
Kansas City- The defending AL champs show the toll that a deep postseason has a team
Detroit- Tigers do just enough to stay ahead of the Twins, despite July fire sale
Minnesota- Ervin Santana suspension costs them 4th place

AL West
Seattle- M’s march to West crown
**Oakland- I always doubt them and they always seem to be in the hunt, so 2nd place it is
Los Angeles- Angels overcome Hamilton’s drug use and clubhouse issues to beat the Lone Star State
Houston- Spunky ‘Stros finish ahead of their in-state rivals while challenging Angels
Texas- Adrian Beltre is a fine player, the rest of the roster not so much

Post Season
Wildcard Game: Indians over A’s

ALDS: Seattle over Indians in 4
Boston over Chicago in battle of Sox, 5 games

ALCS: Boston over Seattle in 7, Sox postseason pedigree proves too much for the Mariners

AL Awards
MVP Robinson Cano
Cy Young Felix Hernandez
Manager Robin Ventura
ROY Steven Souza
HR Mike Napoli 38

NL East
Washington- Nationals are loaded with a sense of urgency to win it all
Miami- Marlins are young and talented, but pitching not quite there
New York- Mets do just enough offensively to help there young arms stay in the middle of the pack
Atlanta- Braves seem to be building for the future
Philadelphia- Note to Ruben Amaro, just blow it up already!

NL Central
Chicago- Theo’s club headed Back to the Future?
**St. Louis- A postseason is always in the Cards
Pittsburgh- Pirates come up short of another postseason berth
Milwaukee- Not much for Bernie Brewer to celebrate
Cincinnati- Slow start leads to Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman sweepstakes

NL West
San Diego- Addition of Craig Kimbrel puts them over the top
*Los Angeles- Dodgers continue to spend like crazy but can’t catch the Padres
San Francisco- Giants can’t duplicate World Series in 2015
Colorado- Rockies Baseball: Fighting to stay out of the basement since 1993
Arizona- D’Backs snake bitten all year long

Post Season
Wildcard Game: It takes a 1 game playoff but the Dodgers finally vanquish the Cardinals

NLDS: Nationals sweep Dodgers
Cubs over Padres in 5 as payback for the 1984 NLCS

NLCS: Nationals sweep Cubs

NL Awards
MVP Kris Bryant
Cy Young Matt Harvey (Meaningless No-Hitter against the Braves in Sept. seals it)
Manager Bud Black
ROY Kris Bryant
HR Kris Bryant 40

World Series

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, NL Champs sweep their way into the World Series only to wait around for the Boston Red Sox. Only this time the Nationals are up to the task and take it in 6 games.

Barry's Predictions

AL East
Toronto-It just feels like their year to me 
Baltimore*-If C. Davis and Machado bounce back they'll be better than last year
Boston-Starting Pitching will be better than people think, it's the bullpen that will do them in
Tampa-Kevin Cash might be their second or third best...hitter
New York-It just feels like their year to me

AL Central
Chicago White Sox-Their SP is better than people are talking about 
Cleveland Indians**-They're in the wild card hunt
Kansas City-They got hot in the second half last year, lightning won't strike twice 
Detroit-Their offense may score the most runs in the league, but it wont' be enough
Minnesota-They're better than people think, but they need one more year before they compete for a playoff spot

AL West
Seattle-They've been getting better every year and this is the year they make the playoffs
LA Angels-Mike Trout, Mike Trout, Mike Trout
Oakland-Will this Billy Beane reload compete right away?
Houston-They'll continue making strides this season 
Texas-They're shitty

AL MVP- Mike Trout
AL Cy Young- Felix Hernanadez
AL ROY- Dalton Pompey (Just based on name)
AL Manager of the Year-John Gibbons

Wild Card Playoffs
Indians over Orioles

Divisional Playoffs
Mariners over Indians
Blue Jays over White Sox

ALCS
Mariners over Blue Jays (in the Pat Gillick Bowl)

NL East
Washington-They're loaded; Can they live up to the expectations? 
New York Mets*-Camp town races sing this song...Duda, Duda...
Florida-They'll be in playoff contention most of the year, but collapse down the stretch
Atlanta-Still have enough good young pitching to be competitive but their offense will let them down
Philadelphia- They're still shitty

NL Central
Pittsburgh- McCutchen for MVP and win a playoff series??
St. Louis-Always tough, this year will be no different. 
Cincinnati-Look for them to start hot, like Milwaukee in '14, but fade down the stretch, like Milwaukee in '14
Chicago Cubs-Paper Champions. Not even Marty McFly thinks they can actually win the World Series
Milwaukee-They have a good lineup, but their pitching is not good enough in this tough division 

NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers-They have talent and they seem to add a good young player every year: Joc
San Diego Padres**-They get the results that the Cubs want
San Francisco Giants-Surest bet in MLB: No back to back championships for the Giants 
Arizona-Goldschmidt has MVP type season but it's not enough
Colorado-Too many injury question marks

NL Cy Young-Clayton Kershaw
NL ROY-Joc Pederson
NL Manager of the Year-Bud Black

Wild Card Playoffs
Padres over Mets 
Divisional Playoffs
Dodgers over Padres 
Washington over Pittsburgh

NLCS 
Washington over Pittsburgh

World Series
Washington over Seattle in 7 games. 

Just like Cousin Jason, minimal thought and research when in to these predictions. But, I will definitely put an end to this Red Sox homer train. The Red Sox will be better than last year, but I don't see any playoff games in our future. I think a third place finish for the Sox is just me being polite, don't be surprised if they finish fourth or fifth again this year.

Brandon's Predictions


These are a day late, and I know next to nothing about the National League, but here for record keeping are my predictions for the 2015 MLB season:

AL East
  1. Boston - the new hitters mash, Pedey and Napoli have big bounce-back years, and there is just enough pitching to win the division.
  2. Baltimore - Buck once again squeezes everything he can out of his talent
  3. New York - A lot of risk with an old roster, but there is still a lot of talent here
  4. Toronto - The Jays start hot, but sputter out once again. John Gibbons is one of only MLB managers fired midseason.
  5. Tampa Bay - seems like a season from hell is in play at the Trop
AL Central
  1. Detroit - everybody loves the winter champion White Sox, last year’s playoff darling Royals, and Tito’s Tribe, but don’t forget about Dre….err, the Tigers. They can still mash.
  2. *Cleveland - Tito leads the Sons of the Wahoo back into the dance
  3. Kansas City - They might still be managed by Ned Yost, they might still have a punchless lineup, they might have lost James Shields…crap, that’s a lot of “might”s. 
  4. Chicago White Sox - this year’s version of the 2013 Blue Jays. A team that won the winter and looks great on paper. 
  5. Minnesota - the Twinkies are coming. Just not far enough in 2015. Watch out for 2016 though. Or 2017.
AL West
  1. LA Angels - That Trout guy got a taste of the playoffs last year. This year, he wants the whole banana split.
  2. **Seattle - The Mariners and King Felix fight off the Royals, Orioles, and A’s for the second wild card.
  3. Oakland - Hang in there all year but come up short. That Sonny guy is the best Sonny in sports since this one
  4. Texas - A lot of power hitting, a lot of terrible pitching.
  5. Houston - the ‘Stros continue to improve, but they’re not ready to really compete yet.
AL Playoffs
Wildcard Game - Seattle over Cleveland - Facing King Felix in a one-game playoff? Yeah, good luck, Tribe.

ALDS - LA Angels over Seattle 
Boston over Detroit

ALCS - LA Angels over Boston

AL MVP - Mike Trout
AL ROY - Rusney Castillo
AL Manager of the Year - Lloyd McClendon

NL East
  1. Washington - That starting rotation is ridiculous
  2. **Miami - great outfield, good pitching, and the Salty Dog
  3. NY Mets - better, but not good enough
  4. Atlanta - trying to be bad
  5. Philadelphia - once they move Hamels, Howard, and possibly Utley, they may be the worst team in….well, forever?
NL Central
  1. St. Louis - same s***, different year
  2. Chicago Cubs - the Cubbies battle in the race all year, but end up short
  3. Pittsburgh - two playoffs in a row ends in 2015
  4. Milwaukee - the Brew Crew still mash, but not enough pitching
  5. Cincinnati - the fire sale starts in late June and Bryan Price is the second manager fired midseason
NL West
  1. LA Dodgers - the pieces start to fit together
  2. **San Diego - is German for “a whale’s vagina”
  3. Colorado - somebody has to come in third in this division
  4. San Francisco - the NL’s version of a Season from Hell
  5. Arizona - Tony La Dementia
Wild Card Game - San Diego over Miami

NLDS - San Diego over LA Dodgers
Washington over St. Louis

NLCS - Washington over San Diego

NL Cy Young - Stephen Strasburg
NL Rookie of the Year - Jorge Soler
NL Manager of the Year - Matt Williams


World Series - LA Angels over Washington in 6 games. Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. One of these years, he’s going to carry his team on his back and win it all. The Sox make it back to the ALCS, but come up short in their quest to go worst, first, worst, first.

2014 Red Sox Maineiacs MLB Predictions:

Barry's Predictions

I know it's tradition to let the Deacon post his predictions first and then the rest of us follow suit, but since the Deacon has been carrying all of us on his shoulders all offseason I thought I would jump back into the fray.  Here it goes. This year my picks are going to be 100% correct. Just call it a hunch.

AL East
1. Tampa Bay- They’re gunning for the Red Sox this year and they have the ammo.
2. Baltimore*- Also gunning for the Red Sox, bounce back year for them.
3. Boston**- More of an uphill battle this year, but still a playoff team
4. New York- Their Bullpen is the biggest weakness, many to choose from though
5. Toronto- Gibbons gets fired…again

AL Central
1. Detroit- The pitching is still great and their infield defense is more balanced now
2. Kansas City- They may take the next step (or they may not)
3. Cleveland- The best of the rest in this division
4. Chicago (AL)- Good pieces for the future they may get good faster than expected
5. Minnesota- Won’t play a home game above 28 degrees until early June

AL West
1. Oakland- I still don’t know how they’re doing it…but I’m done doubting them
2. Texas- Injuries are taking their toll, but they have a strong farm system
3. Seattle- Cano will put up Beltre like numbers in Safeco…
4. Los Angeles (AL)- Hamilton and Pujols will be better than expected but the pitching will not be.
5. Houston- Still 1-2 years away from being competitive. Let the George Springer countdown begin

AL MVP- Mike Trout
AL CY Young- Yu Darvish
AL Manager of the Year-Bob Melvin
AL Rookie of the Year- Xander Bogaerts
AL Keeper League RSM Champion- XanderBradleyJr’s

NL East
1. Washington- Expectations are low, perhaps that’s what they needed
2. Atlanta**- Pitching injuries are too much for them to win division, but enough talent left to make playoffs
3. Miami- Young pitching matures enough to get them around .500
4. Philadelphia- Lots of old talent in a young players game
5. New York Mets- Still a year or two away from being competitive

NL Central
1. St. Louis- Young talent wins out in what may be the 2nd toughest division in MLB
2. Pittsburgh*- Start a new streak by making the playoffs 2 years in a row
3. Cincinnati- This team seems to have missed their window to go to the World Series
4. Chicago (NL)-Young talent starts to break in, but this team won’t make a big jump until next year
5. Milwaukee- This team stinks more than Ryan Braun’s alibi

NL West
1. Los Angeles – Pitching talent leads them to division title
2. San Francisco- Bounce back season for them
3. Arizona- They’re gonna take a dip…in the standings not the pool (or is it the other way around?)
4. Colorado- Mile High has a whole new meaning. All you can eat Doritos in the clubhouse
5. San Diego- They’re not very good.

NL MVP- Paul Goldschmidt
NL CY Young- Clayton Kershaw
NL Manager of the Year- Don Mattingly
NL Rookie of the Year- Oscar Taveras

*Wild Card Winner
**2nd Wild Card Winner

Playoffs
Wild Card Play-in:
Red Sox over Orioles
Pittsburgh over Atlanta

Division Round:
Red Sox over A’s
Rays over Tigers

Pirates over Dodgers
Cardinals over Nationals

Championship Round:
Rays over Red Sox
Pirates over Cardinals

World Series:
Rays over Pirates

Deacon Art's Predictions

It is the eve of another baseball season ( not counting games played in Australia) and it is time for my annual predictions.  Right off the top I should mention that I am a long time superstitious Red Sox fan. Last year I did not pick the Red Sox to win the World Series, the AL East or to even make the playoffs. That worked out pretty damn well, so there is a very healthy dose of that superstition in these picks( but not the only factor).

American League

EAST

1. Tampa Bay-  Where There is a Wil There's a Way
2. Boston*- Red Sox Repeat Realistic? May Depend on X Factor
3. Baltimore- O's Contend 'Cause Duke Thinks Winter Meetings are in February
4. New York- Franchise Face's Farewell Foray Finishes Fourth
5. Toronto- '14 Jays Same as '13--Not Unlucky Just Overrated

CENTRAL

1. Kansas City- All-In Royals Overtake Tigers
2. Cleveland- Second in Central Again--But No Wild Card This Time
3. Detroit- Miggy and Three Great Pitchers and ??'s Everywhere Else
4. Chicago- Konerko's Farewell Finishes Fourth, as Well
5. Minnesota- But Byron Buxton is on Target for 2015

WEST

1. Texas- Gonna Party Like It's 1999
2. Los Angeles**- Magic Mike Carries So-so Pitching, Aging Teammates
3. Oakland- Moneyball Sequel Suffers Setback
4. Seattle- If Cano Hits .400 the M's Could Finish.......Third??
5. Houston- "With The First Pick in the 2015 Amateur Draft......."

*= Wild Card #1, **= Wild Card #2

Playoffs

Wild Card Game  Red Sox over Angels (as so many post seasons before)
ALDS Red Sox over Rays in 4 and Royals surprise Rangers in 5
ALCS Royals in 7 ( damned superstition)

AL MVP  Prince Fielder
AL Cy      Yu Darvish
AL ROY   Xander Bogaerts
AL Mgr.    Ned Yost

National League

EAST

1. Washington- Consider 2013 as Just a FiliBUSTered season
2. Atlanta**- Newly  Signed Nucleus Nudged by Nats
3. New York- Unhealthy Harvey Hampers Higher Hopes
4. Miami- Marlins Title Chances Equal Richie Incognito's for NFL Man of the Year
5. Philadelphia- Ruben Amaro Welcome to the 21st Century & the Unemployment Line

CENTRAL

1. St. Louis- Coming Crop of Cards Crush Central Competition
2. Pittsburgh*-Buccos Regression? That'll be a Cole Day in Hell
3. Milwaukee- Honoring Bob Uecker's 80th Birthday, Brewers Finish " Jussst a Little Bit Outside"
4. Cincinnati- Who Would Hire Their Pitching Coach as Manager??
5. Chicago- 106 Years and Counting

WEST

1. Los Angeles-  Everyone in the Pool
2. San Francisco- Every Other Year Champ Tries to Wrest the Belt Back
3. San Diego- Third in NL West, Fifth in MLB California Teams
4. Arizona- Dbacks Fished in Deep End of Pool for Pitching...and Caught Bronson Arroyo??
5. Colorado- Rocky Mountain Low

Playoffs

Wild Card Pirates over Braves

NLDS  Nationals edge Pirates in 5 and Cardinals need 5 to beat LA
NLCS St. Louis over Washington in 6

WORLD SERIES

The Cardinals reverse the curse of Don Denkinger and the 1985 World Series to take down the Royals in 6. First base ump Jim Joyce reprising Denkinger's famous missed call (at first base leading to a Game Six win for KC instead of the Cards who were 3 outs away from the title) calls Eric Hosmer safe at first with the Cards ( up 3-2 in the Series) leading 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. After a 14 1/2 minute review of the instant replay, the call is reversed and St. Louis has their World Series win.

NL MVP   Bryce Harper
NL CY      Clayton Kershaw ( who else?)
NL ROY   Gregory Polanco, Pirates
NL Mgr.     Matt Williams

Now for a few more detailed thoughts

AL East

Let's take a little more detailed look at the AL East.  I think as opposed to last year's pre-season thoughts, it is very likely the Rays and Red Sox distance themselves from the rest of the pack. I do think Baltimore could hang in all the way to the end if they can get any pitching ( Ubaldo, Kevin GausmanTommy Hunter as closer).  The Yankees ( more on them later) and Toronto will finish under .500 and well behind the leaders.   I did not pick the Rays to win the AL East on the afore mentioned superstition only.  They have a strong( although still not entirely proven to me) rotation of David Price and highly touted youngsters, and I do begrudgingly believe Wil Myers will combine with Evan Longoria to boost the heart of an otherwise potentially anemic offense. I think the Red Sox with their own strong pitching staff( very likely better than the Rays from 1 through 12+) are very well positioned to repeat.  If Xander Bogarts and Will Middlebrooks can live up to their ceilings and provide power from the left side of the infield, the Sox could pull away from the AL East just like 2013.

Yankees

Could the Yankees win the AL East and beyond in 2014?  Yes they could, but they would need almost all of the following ifs to come true.

*If the signs of age CC and Kuroda showed in 2013 can be reversed
*If David Robertson can come close to replacing Mariano Rivera
*If more importantly, they have anyone who can pitch in front of Robertson in set-up
*If Masahiro Tanaka can become an ace right away as in Japan
*If Derek Jeter can run or hit like a big league shortstop should
* If Mark Teixeira can not only recover from a serious wrist injury, but can he reverse a pattern since 2008 where his OBP, OPS, and RBI have decreased each year from the year before.
* If Jacoby Ellsbury stays healthy and can hit HRs in the right field bandbox( but no matter what Ellsbury provides isn't it totally offset offensively by the loss of Robinson Cano?)
* If Brian Roberts ( who makes Grady Sizemore look like Cal Ripken, Jr.) and Kelly Johnson are both decent major league infielders ( You might as well add Jeter to this too.  What a terrible infield.
* If Carlos Beltran can play in the field almost all of the time because New York all ready has several other guys who need to be at DH( Soriano and yes, we are looking at you Jeter, to begin with). And again can Beltran really provide any more than Curtis Granderson did before his injury filled 2013?
* If Michael Pineda can overcome the rust of missing two whole years AND his limited big league experience before the injury.

I cold go on, but enough about them.  To repeat if nearly this entire list falls their way ( or if they spend another half billion on players during the year) they could contend.

Tigers.

This is the prediction most likely to bit me on the butt.  Tigers third in the AL Central and out of the playoffs.  As I mentioned in the one line prediction above, I feel like the only givens for Detroit are Miguel CabreraJustin VerlanderMax Scherzer, and Anibal Sanchez. Even there you can come up with questions: How does Cabrera respond to his new contract which equals the GNP of several small third world nations?  Justin Verlander has thrown something like over a thousand pitches more than any other MLB pitcher in recent years...does he feel that?  Sanchez has been injured on and off in his entire career and how does Max handle being the defending Cy Young winner and more importantly impending free agency( after turning down $144 million from the Tigers this week).  And these are their solid guys.  Detroit has other veteran players but to me they all have ??'s.  Too old? Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter.  Adjusting to playing home games in a non hitters park?  Ian Kinsler.  Injury issues? Alex Avila and Jose Iglesias ( out for all of '14?)   Youngster trying to make it? Nick Castellanosand Drew Smyly.  Overrated? Austin Jackson.  Then the flat out holes in their team...shortstop( they traded for Andrew Romine and Alex Gonzalez, yikes), left field, and most of all the bullpen even with Joe Nathan who is after all 39 years old.  And maybe most importantly, Jim Leyland is retired replaced by novice manager Brad Ausmus. Ausmus comes in with high regard in the game ( he very well would have been hired in Boston, if they had not been able to make a deal for John Farrell).  But he is no Jim Leyland.

Rule Changes

I am probably in the vast minority, but I do not like the expanded replay, hell I was not all that jazzed about the replay for home runs that was all ready in place.  As I alluded to in my predicted ending to the World Series, I foresee a delay in big league games that are all ready too long.  If you want to get more calls right, hire better umpires.  I know I am fighting a losing battle, and I do think as the year goes on the replay will go somewhat smoother, but all the rules about when a manager can challenge are going to cause controversy on their own.

Speaking of controversy, the rule change to greatly reduce ( apparently not to eliminate) home plate collisions will be a nightmare.  Baseball cannot even seem to clearly state what the rule is to be.  First it was no collisions, then it was the runner can hit the catcher if he is in a certain position in regards to the plate.  Who the hell knows?  And there seems to be a massive split among players and other baseball people on if the rule is even needed. Even among the catchers themselves.  This will be a mess. I predict the entire rule is scrubbed during the season.

Now for a few quick predictions before getting to some Red Sox centric forecasts.

*AL wins the All Star Game ( for those who read my World Series prediction carefully you all ready knew this) 2-1 at Target Field on a 8th inning 2 run single by Coco Crisp.

* Moving to the hitter friendly park in Texas leads to a rejuvenated Prince Fielder with 44 home runs and an MVP season( but he fails in the post season as in 2013)

Harold Reynolds in the Fox Game of the Week booth will make us miss Tim McCarver.

*Kirk Gibson will be the first manager fired, followed by Bob MelvinJohn Gibbons, and Walt Weiss.

*Javier Baez and Kris Bryant arrive at Wrigley Field and show Cubs fans the beginning of Theo magic.

* Attendance will continue to climb and TV money continues its explosion as well.

* The A's finally strike a deal with the Giants to move to San Jose, and the Rays begin a process to move to Montreal which will happen by 2017 if not sooner.


14 Red Sox Related Predictions for '14

*Jon Lester, with his new extension ( signed in April for 5 years, 110M) will pitch like the post season ace he is all year long, and Clay Buchholz will make it through the entire year without injury.

Felix Doubront has a breakout season wining  15 games, which trail Lester and Buch, but he will lead the team in strikeouts edging Lester.

* One of John Lackey and Jake Peavy ( maybe both) will fight the injury bug.

Koji Uehara takes a step back from his 2013 super season, but is still the best closer in the AL.

* Xander Bogaerts makes the American League All Star team.

* With a healthy thumb, Dustin Pedroia power returns and he has a career high in home runs.

* Will Middlebrooks improves his selectiveness at the plate ( there is NOTHING wrong with his selectiveness otherwise), cuts down on his strikeouts, raises his OBP and combines with Xander to provide over 50 home runs from the left side of the infield.

David Ortiz's numbers come down slightly ( 25 HR 95 RBI and hits .288) but he and Mike Napoli, who has another season with no hip related issues, provide production in the middle of the order.

*Red Sox outfielders will be plagued by injury throughout the year. This will lead to Jackie Bradley, Jr. starting over 100 games for Boston and performing solidly.  Grady Sizemore will be among those with nagging injuries, but he will make it all the way through 2014 with no major injury and will re-sign to stay in Boston.

* Besides the stellar seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley, Jr., other Red Sox prospects will play a big part in their 2014 success.  With a pair of 37 year old catchers in AJ Pierzynski and David RossChristian Vazquez will get time behind the plate by July and he will be the starting catcher by mid August.  The plethora of outfield injuries mentioned above will open the door for not only Bradley, Jr. but also Bryce Brentz.  Brentz will bring his raw power and strong arm to Boston and will play a key role in each corner outfield spot.  and with predicted injuries in the rotation, both Allen Webster and Anthony Ranaudo will make a number of key starts for Boston.  Henry Owens and Matt Barnes will make their MLB debuts as well.

Brandon Workman will make some starts in Boston, but even with veteran pitching injuries, the emergence of the other kid starters will leave Workman largely ( and very successfully) in the Boston bullpen.

* At least one of the Boston coaches get hired as big league managers after the 2014 campaign.  Torey Lovullo is the most likely, but do not count out Brian Butterfield ( maybe back in Toronto).

Jerry Remy will bow to pressure and take a reduced role at NESN. Dennis Eckersley and Derek Lowe both have stints as Don Orsillo's partner.  Jamie Erdahl, after the  Bruins season ends up as Jenny Dell's replacement. NESN will continue the revolving door used in spring training until after the Bruins have their Stanley Cup parade. ( that is a free non-baseball prediction).

* Lead by Mookie Betts the Portland Sea Dogs win the Eastern League pennant.


Well, there you go.  Do not take these to Vegas, but hopefully they will be close come October.

Happy Baseball to you all.

Brandon's Predictions

Time to throw my hat into the ring with my 2014 MLB predictions. Let's play ball!

AL East

Baltimore - A big bounce-back year for the O’s who mash their way to an AL East crown to give us our fourth different AL East champion in five years
Boston* - The Beards shake up superstition by shaving their beards and heads (and everything else) in mid-July and the Sox nab the first wild card behind the best/deepest pitching staff in the bigs.
Tampa Bay - Some hitters get old (Zobrist) or crash back to earth (Loney), and the Rays decide to move David Price by the trade deadline.
NY Yankees - the Yanks start hot, but injuries and ineffectiveness pile up as the summer goes along. Tanaka starts hot, but is getting crushed by late July.  Jetes makes his farewell by missing the postseason two years in a row. Joe Girardi gets canned.
Toronto - I’ve picked the Jays to make the playoffs two years in a row and I’m tired of getting duped. This year I’m picking them to have the fourth-worst record in the AL and have a new manager by the end of August. Make your Vegas bets accordingly.

AL Central

Detroit - They still have the best hitter on the planet in Miggy and one of the best/most durable pitchers in the AL in Verlander (as long as Kate Upton doesn’t weaken his legs), plus a bunch of talent and winning experience. It’s close until the end, but the Tigers take the Central again.
Kansas City** - Two of the worst players in the entire AL were whoever the Royals started at 2B and RF last year. Upgrades at those two positions plus a deadline deal for one more pitcher leads KC into the playoffs for the first time since the Reagan administration.
Cleveland - the Indians stay in the wild card race until the very end but come up short. They need another hitter or two.
Minnesota - Nolasco and Hughes give them two pitchers who actually deserve to be in a big league rotation, their lineup is a little better than you think, and Buxton is on the way.  More fun in the twin cities this summer.
White Sox - Too many old, slow, white dudes (Konerko, Dunn) and not enough Chris Sale to save this dismal team. Abreu mashes, but can’t hit a curve ball. He gives Jobu cigar, rum. He doesn’t come.

AL West
LA Angels - I like this team heading into 2014 with lowered expectations, a healthy Jered Weaver, and a year in LA to settle in for Pujols/Hamilton. Having the best baseball player in the world doesn’t hurt, either.
Oakland - The A’s stay in a crowded wild card race until the very end, but come up a little short. They have been maximizing their talent for years now, one of these years they have to come up short, right?
Texas - The injuries are already piling up and they don’t have a ton of depth behind them. Behind Darvish nobody on their staff scares me. I see one of those seasons where everybody is hurt, everything goes wrong, and they finish well out of the playoff picture.
Seattle - I so badly want to pick them to make the playoffs, or at least finish in the top three in the AL West. Then I look at my 2013 Blue Jays pick, and look at their starting rotation and realize they’re not getting higher than fourth. Although getting rid of Eric Wedge was their best transaction of the winter.
Houston - this will be a good team.....for me to poop on (timely Conan O’Brien reference)

AL Playoffs
Wildcard - Boston over Kansas City
Divisional Series - Baltimore over LA Angels
Boston over Detroit
ALCS - Baltimore over Boston

AL MVP - Mike Trout
AL Rookie of the Year - Xander Bogaerts
AL Manager of the Year - Ned Yost

NL East

Washington - lower expectations and another year of experience for Harper/Strasburg lead D.C. to the best regular season record in baseball in 2014.
NY Mets - The Mets make a surprise run at the NL wild card before coming up just short. All Big Fat Bartolo Colon does is win. And take 'roids.
Atlanta - The Braves are dealing with injuries to their rotation and underperforming mashers (B. Upton, Heyward). They fall to 3rd in the division.
Philadelphia - Hey they have Ryan HowardJimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley in the middle of their lineup, which is really good.....if this were 2008.
Miami - At least they have a hideous park to play in.

NL Central

St. Louis - they have a solid lineup and electric arms all through their staff. They make an easy run through the NL Central again.
Cincinnati** - the Reds get back to the playoffs by beating out the Mets, Braves, and Padres for the second wildcard.  Votto and Bruce mash. Hamilton runs like Hayes, but he hits like shit. Much like the Mariners, their best off-season move was firing Dusty Baker.
Milwaukee - Fear the Beer is back as the Brew Crew sticks around in the wild card hunt until the end. Pretty solid top of the rotation. One of the best hitters alive added to breakout 2013 star Carlos Gomez at the top of the order. Bratwurst. Yum.
Pittsburgh - A big tumble for the Pirates after making the playoffs in 2013. No Burnett, Liriano can’t repeat success, and the Pirates start a new streak of incompetence.
Cubbies - “No, really, Theo is building this thing from the ground up. You just wait until these prospects start coming up - it’s going to be great!  Buy your 2017 season tickets now!”

NL West

LA Dodgers - The best pitcher alive anchors a solid rotation, which includes Big Fat Ryu. Puig is electric. Kemp could have a bounce-back season. If they have a hole, they can always throw another $10-50 million at it.
San Francisco* - The Giants get back to the playoffs with a very good pitching staff, a slimmed-down Kung Fu Panda, and a big bounce back year from Buster Posey.
San Diego - the Fathers stay in the wild card hunt until the last week of the season. A surprise team of the NL (along with the Mets and the Brew Crew) wins with pitching and defense.
Arizona - The Diamondbacks have been up to a lot of stuff over the last year or so. It seems like you always hear their name mentioned at winter meetings and they are always wheeling and dealing....so, why is their team so bad? And how long will the tough guy act last from Kirk Gibson before it becomes grating? I wanted to find a way to get this team into the playoffs, but I just don’t see it.
Colorado - third-worst team in the NL above the Marlins and Cubs. Honest question: if they sell beer at Coors field, will they also sell marijuana? I can see the promotional nights now (not to mention sales of peanuts and Cracker Jacks). 

NL Playoffs
Wildcard - Giants over Reds
Divisional Series - Cardinals over Giants
Nationals over Dodgers
NLCS - Nationals over Cardinals

NL MVP - Joey Votto
NL Cy Young - Stephen Strasburg
NL Rookie of the Year - Travis d’Arnaud
NL Manager of the Year - Mike Matheny

World Series - Nationals over Orioles in the Battle of the Beltway

Cousin Jason's Predictions

Late to the game as always, but hey I still got these done on opening day this year!

AL East
1. Boston- I picked the Sox to finish 3rd last year, but said they had the most talented roster in the AL East, they still do and repeat as division champs
2. Tampa Bay*- Rays are solid but, their offensive short comings keep them from topping the Sox
3. Toronto- Blue Jays have the talent to finish higher and the combustibility to finish last
4. Baltimore- Orioles have the hitting and pitching but, lack the intangibles to put it all together
5. New York- Yankees lack of infield and bullpen depth=long season in the Bronx

AL Central
1. Detroit- Tigers ride Cabrera bat and starters to the divisional crown, maybe further
2. Kansas City**- Royals offense is one of baseball’s best as Royals return to the playoffs
3. Cleveland- Indians cannot duplicate Tito’s first season but hang tough for 3rd
4. Minnesota- Twins improved pitching is enough to keep them out of the cellar
5. Chicago- White Sox have too many holes and the South siders join the Cubbies in rebuild mode

AL West
1. Texas- Rangers hit everything in sight after trading for Giancarlo and ride Darvish’s 25 wins to the top
2. Oakland- A’s regress but not enough for the others to catch them
3. Seattle- Mariners play great after the break but, can’t make up for their slow start
4. Los Angeles of Anaheim- Angels lower expectations do not help as Hamilton and Pujols continue to regress, thanks for the memories Mike Scioscia
5. Houston- Astros still struggle to field a complete Major League roster and it shows

Wild Card
Tampa Bay over Kansas City

ALDS
Detroit over Tampa Bay
Boston over Texas

ALCS
Detroit over Boston

AL MVP- Miguel Cabrera
AL Cy Young- Yu Darvish
AL ROY- Nick Castellanos
AL Manager- Ron Washington

NL East
1. Washington- Nationals put together the season everyone expected in 2013
2. Atlanta- Braves have a furious finish after injuries put them behind the 8 ball
3. Philadelphia- Phillies are getting long in the tooth, but still have enough teeth to finish 3rd
4. New York- Mets benefit from having the Marlins to avoid the basement
5. Miami- Jose Fernandez becomes the face of the franchise as Stanton is moved mid-season

NL Central
1. St. Louis- Cardinals have too much for everyone in the NL, perhaps in baseball
2. Cincinnati**- Reds get a breath of fresh air without Dusty Baker
3. Milwaukee- Brewers are vastly improved but not enough to challenge the Cards and Reds
4. Pittsburgh- Pirates have a talented line-up but it is not enough to overcome their woeful pitching
5. Chicago- Cubs are the hottest team in September as they continue to build the foundation

NL West
1. Los Angeles- Dodgers out talent and out spend their NL West rivals
2. San Francisco*- Giants pitches their way into the post season
3. Colorado- Rockies fans experience a contact high by leading at the break, it wears off though
4. Arizona- Diamondbacks get rattled early and slither through a 4th place finish
5. San Diego- Padres lack the hitting to support their pitching

Wild Card
San Francisco over Cincinnati

NLDS
St. Louis over San Francisco
Washington over Los Angeles

NLCS
St. Louis over Washington

NL MVP- Paul Goldschmidt
NL Cy Young- Zack Greinke
NL ROY- Billy Hamilton
NL Manager- Bryan Price

World Series

St. Louis over Detroit


2013 Red Sox Maineiacs MLB Predictions:

Deacon Art

American League

East

1. Tampa Bay- The Rays are not Perfect, but the Price is Right
2. Boston- What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger
3. Toronto- Another Off-Season Champ Fails to Make Post-Season
4. New York- Elderly Empire Falls Back
5. Baltimore- Return to Earth in One Run/Extra Frame Games Means Return to Fifth

Central

1. Detroit- Top Talent Takes Tigers to Title
#2.Cleveland- Francona- The Indians Years....First Chapter=Second Wild Card Spot
3. Kansas City- All-In Kansas City Shields Selves from Another Losing Campaign
4. Chicago- First Fan Barack Obama's Second Term will be Smoother than Ventura's
5. Minnesota- Target will be Squarely on Ron Gardenhire

West

1. Oakland- Oakland Outlasts Over-Spending Opponents
* 2 Los Angeles- Grabbing Wild Card Despite Thin Pitching is No Joshing Matter
3. Texas- End of the Ron Washington Error
4. Seattle- Offense has Smoak-No Fire...but They'll Always Have Felix
5. Houston- "Alex, I'll Take "Historically Inept" for $2,000"

 *= First Wild Card, #= Second Wild Card

Playoffs
Wild Card Game  Indians over Angels (  Not Weaver's turn to pitch)
ALDS  Rays over A's in 4, Tigers over Tito's Tribe in 5

ALCS Detroit over Tampa Bay in 5

MVP  Mike Trout
CY     Jered Weaver
Mgr of Year   Tito
ROY   Aaron Hicks ( you know I really meant Jackie Bradley, Jr. but I don't wanna jinx it)

National League

East

1. Washington- No National Deficit in Talent
*2. Atlanta- Really Good Team, but Not Chipper Enough To Catch Nats
3. Philadelphia-Phils Finally Find Young Players.....Unfortunately They're Michael and Delmon
4. Florida- Fish Finish outta Fifth Following Fire Sale
5. New York - Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, please Meet Your New York Mess

Central

1. Cincinnati- Cincy Choo-In as Central Champs
#2. Pittsburgh- Buccos Avoid September Swoon, Hurdle over .500 mark
3. St. Louis- Next Wave of St. Looie Stars Keep Cards Contending
4. Milwaukee- Offense has Braun, but Hurlers Get Sand Kicked in Their Face
5. Chicago- Theo's Second Season in Second City Resembles Initial Campaign

West

1. Arizona- Backs Buck Odds...Chase Down NL West Crown
2. San Francisco- Giants Only Grab World Series Trophy Every Other Year
3. Los Angeles- Money Can't Buy You Love
4. San Diego-  Young Padres Can Contend....in 2015
5. Colorado- Their Entire Pitching Staff is ...well....Rockie

* #= same as AL above

NL Wild Card Game  Buccos over Braves ( One game format bites Atlanta's ass again)

NLDS Washington sweeps Pirates, Cincy sweeps Arizona.

NLCS Nats over Reds in 7 games to bring the World Series to DC for the first time since 1933.

ROY Oscar Taveras, St. Louis

WORLD SERIES-- Washington wins first DC crown since 1924 by beating the Tigers in the 12th inning on aAnthony Rendon home run, mimicking the Senators 12 inning Game 7 win over the Giants in 1924.

Some thoughts explaining some of the above and other random predictions:

* The last place team in the AL East will be within single digits of first place in the Games Behind column. This parity plus the fact that the AL West teams will feast on Houston and to some degree Seattle ( not to mention they all get the Cubs in inter league play), while the Central top tier chews up the Chisox and Twins, means no wild card team will come from the East.

* If any AL East team does fall way behind the pack, it will be the Yankees because they cannot overcome the injuries that have all ready begun.

* Don Mattingly will be the first manager fired ( Charlie Manuel the second). Carl Crawford will blame the firing on the Boston media.

* Giancarlo Stanton wins the All Star Game with a walk off 508 foot home run off Mariano Rivera at Citi Field.  This will allow the Nationals ( the team and the League) to have home field advantage in the World Series again.

* The Rangers are still reeling from their last week of September collapse in 2012.  They also cannot recover from losing veterans like Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton, and their long time team leader, Michael Young.  Despite a winter full of the Rangers pursuing Zach Greinke and Justin Upton, etc. they have not added any help at all.  The fired Ron Washington will be replaced by DeMarlo Hale.

* Because of the year old changes in the CBA, the trade deadline activity is only moderate.  However, even though the Red Sox are neck and neck for the AL East lead, they trade Jacoby Ellsbury to the Giants andStephen Drew( back to Oakland to replace an injured Jed Lowrie at shortstop).  The Sox permanently install Jackie Bradley, Jr. in center and Jose Iglesias at short and their pennant contention does not skip a beat with the changes.  The Sox also get contributions from Allen Webster, Bryce Brentz, and after a September call upXander Bogaerts.

*The Pirates not only jump over .500 after 20 straight losing seasons and claim a wild card spot, but this will begin a decade long string of contending Pirate teams.

* The move to the AL means not only will the Astros lose over 100 games again, but they will challenge the 1962 Mets record of 120 losses.  Like everything else, Houston will fail in this attempt.

*The Braves will have the first outfield in MLB history to have all three starters break the 25/25 HR/SB marks.  Jason Heyward will finish a close third in the MVP to Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper.

*Miguel Cabrera becomes the first batter in major league history to win the Triple Crown in consecutive years.  However, this time in part due to remorse over the 2012 vote, Mike Trout edges Miggy for MVP. Dustin Pedroia finishes third.

*Within two weeks from the end of the World Series, both fall classic skippers retire.  Jim Leyland ( to jump before the Tiger ownership cans him for losing the Series for the second year in a row)  and Davey Johnson both call it a career.

* During the December Winter Meetings, the Yankees finally re-sign free agent Robinson Cano by matching a 8 year 184 million dollar offer from the Dodgers.  Cano had all but signed the LA offer because Brain Cashman told the New York media he would not pay for a player's decline years.  The Steinbrenner boys channeled their father's inclination to meddle and overruled the GM.  The Yanks keep Cano, however Cashman quits and takes over Joe Torre's job in the MLB office.

Brandon's Predictions

AL East
  1. Tampa Bay - With a full season of Evan Longoria, the addition of Wil Myers, and a pitching staff full of young studs David Price, Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, Alex Cobb and eventually Chris Archer, they are the best in the AL East.
  2. Toronto - Chemistry will be an issue, as will their bullpen and the puzzling re-hire of John Gibbons.  However, they have amassed such a plethora of talent they can’t help but win 88-90 games.  Melky Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion are the two biggest keys to contention.
  3. Boston - Fueled by a pitching staff that eats innings, keeps games close, and nails down leads, the Sox contend for the playoffs all year long before coming up just short at the end.  Will Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr, Jose Iglesias, and Allen Webster lead a youthful, energetic, fun team to watch.
  4. New York Yankees - Despite all the age and injuries, they still have a lot of talent on this roster.  Problem is, they won’t get to assemble it until June.  I think they start slow and pick up steam late in the year, but can’t climb above 4th in the loaded AL East.
  5. Baltimore - I don’t completely buy the “they got insanely lucky last year so they’ll go back to being bad this year” argument, but I also don’t buy that they’ll be the second-best team in this division again.  They may win 80 games and still finish last.
AL Central
  1. Detroit - the best hitter alive, the best pitcher alive, the best first baseman in the AL and the best butt-smoking manager alive.  Hint: they’re good.
  2. * Kansas City - I’m buying the hype.  I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.  I’m pushing my chips into the middle.  Shields will be good and the kids all produce.  Playoff baseball in Kansas City!
  3. Chicago - They always seem to win more games than they are projected to.  Guys like Konerko, Rios, and Ramirez seem like they should stop being good, but never do.
  4. Cleveland - The Tribe makes some strides and with Tito and Swish on board they have the loosest clubhouse in the majors, but with that craptastic pitching staff it doesn’t matter.
  5. Minnesota - Their lineup is sneaky good.  Their pitching staff is pretty good...if they were a high school team.
AL West
  1. LA Angels - Mike “Trouser” Trout, Pujols, Hamilton, and an underrated pitching staff leads to an AL West victory by a comfortable margin
  2. *Oakland - A solid rotation, the continued emergence of Yoenis, and playing Houston leads to back-to-back playoff appearances
  3. Seattle - A bit of a surprise team in the AL stays in the wildcard hunt until the end.  They’ve added enough offense to be taken seriously.
  4. Texas - The Rangers backslide in a big way.  They lost too many guys and replaced them with too many question marks.
  5. Houston - Yikes.
AL Playoffs
Kansas City over Oakland in wildcard round

Detroit over Kansas City
Tampa Bay over Anaheim

Tampa Bay over Detroit in 6

AL MVP - Miguel Cabrera
AL Cy Young - David Price
AL Manager of the Year - Jim Leyland

NL East
  1. Atlanta - The Braves out-perform the darlings of every MLB prediction page I saw (see below) and win the NL East behind the Uptons (when are they going to acquire Kate to complete the Upton trifecta?), Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel, and a better than average pitching rotation.
  2. *Washington - The Nationals are everybody’s pick to win the NL East, and most people’s pick to win the World Series.  I say they hit a few road bumps that keep them from winning their division, but they get into the playoffs by easily capturing the first wild card.  Harper, Strausburg, and company are too good to keep out of the postseason.
  3. Philadelphia - The aging Phillies make one more run at the post-season, but come up just short of a wild card after being in the race all year.  The front office then laments not blowing the team up at the trade deadline.
  4. NY Mets - The Mets’ starting rotation is better than people think, even without Johan Santana, but their lineup stinks.  At least they’re not the...
  5. Miami - Will fight all season long to stay in the hunt...for worst team in the majors.
NL Central
  1. Cincinnati - The Reds have everything you want in a winning ballclub: they hit for average and power, they have stars, they have speed, they have a solid rotation (Johnny Cueto is better than anybody realizes), and a lights-out closer in Aroldis Chapman.  I say the Reds win the NL Central by the biggest margin of any division champ.
  2. Pittsburgh - The Pirates finally finish above .500 for the first time since George H.W. Bush was president.  However, they come up short in both the playoff race and the MVP race as McCutcheon comes up just short.
  3. St. Louis - They have perhaps the best crop of rookies ready to enter the bigs of any team in the majors.  This crop will help the Cards contend all year long, but they fall short of the playoffs.
  4. Milwaukee - If Ryan Braun ends up getting suspended for PEDs, then they could fall to dead last in a hurry.  If Yovani Gallardo steps up his game a notch, they could compete for the playoffs.  Low floor, high ceiling team.
  5. Chicago Cubs - Jeff Samardzija is legit.  Anthony Rizzo is, too.  Starlin Castro is as well.  Everybody else, meh.
NL West
  1. LA Dodgers - Their roster is not deep, and they have spots filled with downright bad players (Juan Uribe?Luis Cruz?), but they also have the best pitcher in the NL (Clayton Kershaw) and perhaps the best position player (Matt Kemp).  Kemp struggled with injuries last year, but when he is healthy he is one of the best three players in all of baseball.
  2. *San Francisco - Essentially the same team that won it all a year ago.  It would take a crippling injury or two for them to not make it back to the postseason this year.  If they stay healthy, they get in again.
  3. Colorado - I picked them to win the division last year and they bombed horribly.  I’ll go ahead and pick them 3rd this year, and pray that Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez stay healthy all year and rake in Coors Field.
  4. Arizona - They supposedly wanted to build a “grittier” roster this offseason to make the mentality of manager Kirk Gibson.  They got grittier, but they also got worse.
  5. San Diego - One of these years, their kids might vault them back to the top of the NL West.  It won’t be this year.  San Diego fights tooth and nail for the most losses in the majors with Miami and Houston.  Stay classy, San Diego.
NL MVP - Joey Votto (Freddie Freeman finishes in the top 4 in voting)
NL Cy Young - Clayton Kershaw
NL Manager of the Year - Dusty Baker
NL Rookie of the Year - Shelby Miller

NL Playoffs
Wild Card Game - Washington over San Francisco

Atlanta over Los Angeles
Cincinnati over Washington

Atlanta over Cincinnati in 7

World Series - Tampa Bay over Atlanta in 7

Barry's Predictions

AL East
Tampa Bay- They still have enough pitching, Evan Longoria and the best manager in the division.
*Baltimore- Last year was not a fluke and they'll prove it this year
Boston- They'll be fun to root for again and compete for a playoff spot all year
Toronto- Paper Champions
New York- Are they too old? IDK but they are not healthy enough

AL Central
Detroit- Return of VMart will give them a boost
#Cleveland- Tito Francona will give them a boost and they can dance
Kansas City-Their improved pitching will keep them in contention all year
Chicago- The rest of the division improved and they didn't so they'll fall in the standings
Minnesota- Vance Worley is their ACE...'nuf said

AL West
Angels- Pujols is more comfortable and productive and he has more protection in lineup
Seattle- They are improved and the rest of the division is not as strong as they appear...
Texas- If they stink are they still gonna do the stupid hand signals when they reach base??
Oakland- Regression to the mean season for the Athletics players and team
Houston- Lots of players from the California Penal League

AL MVP- Evan Longoria
Manager of the Year-Buck Showalter

Playoffs
Baltimore over Cleveland- Wild Card Round

Divisional Round
Angels over Baltimore
Detroit over Tampa Bay

ALCS
Angels over Detroit in 7

NL East
Washington Nationals- Harper and Strasburg begin a long run of success in the nation's capital
#Philadelphia Phillies- Halladay is toast, but Hamels and Lee lead a revival
Atlanta Braves- Hard to win when you can't put the ball in play. What's the record for K's by a team?
New York- Still not very good and it takes a while to rebuild
Miami- Will they lose more than Houston?? The race is on!!!

NL Central
Cincinnati- The most well balanced team in the division
*Pittsburgh- They've been building towards this for two years..this is the year they make the postseason
Milwaukee- Decent pitching, decent lineup...not good enough to make the playoffs
Chicago- In a bit of an upset they won't finish last
St. Louis- They're due for a bad season...that's all I got

NL West
Los Angeles- Clayton Kershaw has a monster season
San Francisco- It's hard to repeat. They'll get hit with the injury bug this year
Arizona- Lost J. Upton but have a solid pitching staff
Colorado- Perhaps the best lineup in the division, but their pitching is mile high
San Diego- They still have a baseball team??

NL MVP- Joey Votto
Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw
Manager of the Year- Clint Hurdle
ROY- Bryce Harper...oops...watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat...Travis D'Arnaud

Playoffs
Wild Card Round
Pittsburgh over Philadelphia in an in state rivalry game

Divisional Round
Washington over Pittsburgh
Cincinnati over Los Angeles

NLCS
Cincinnati over Washington

World Series
Angels over Cincinnati in 6 games

Cousin Jason's Predictions

American League

East
Toronto- Unlike my peers at RSM, I'll buy the hype
*Boston- Top to bottom, the Sox roster is stronger than the other AL East teams
Tampa Bay- Too many holes for the Devil Rays to cover with Price, Maddon, and Longoria
New York- The AARP Cards arrive frequently in the Bronx this year
Baltimore- Regression to the mean

Central
Detroit- Easily the best team in this division
#Cleveland- Tito and the Tribe Harlem Shake into the postseason
Kansas City- The Royals with a revamped rotation will be in the hunt until the end but come up short
Chicago- Peavy and Sale pitch the South siders out of the basement
Minnesota- Mauer and Morneau can only do so much, pitching is the achilles' heel however

West
Los Angeles- The best team in the AL rides a deadly line-up to October
Texas- The Rangers fall off the pace early but rally to finish 2nd in this weak division
Seattle- The former voice of the PawSox Aaron Goldsmith and an improved roster make strides
Oakland- Another regression to the mean
Houston- Bad baseball in Houston...but not historically bad

Playoffs
Boston over Cleveland in Wildcard Game as Dempster outpitches Daisuke
Los Angeles over Boston in 5
Detroit over Toronto in 4
Los Angeles over Detroit in 6

Cy Young Justin Verlander

National League

East
Washington- The capitol is rocking all-summer as the Nationals run away with it
*Philadelphia- Much like the Sox, the Phils rebound from their disappointing 2012
Atlanta- Justin Upton and Jason Heyward are not enough to vault the Braves into the postseason
Miami- The Marlins fallout of contention early and shop Stanton at the deadline
New York- If not the worst team in the NL, pretty damn close

Central
Cincinnati- Joey Votto and Company slug their way to the top of the Central
Pittsburgh- McCutcheon treats the NL like his own personal video game but it is not enough to get the Bucco's into October
St. Louis- The postseason is not in the cards for the team from the Gateway to the West
Chicago- Another long season for Theo's gang, but some Wrigley magic keeps them out of the cellar
Milwaukee- The Brew Crew and their fans will want to drink heavily, which boosts Miller sales

West
San Francisco- The Giants prove too much for the rest of the West
#Los Angeles- Magic in Chavez Ravine
Colorado- The Rockies make another late season run but fall short
Arizona- Diamondbacks lack the talent to keep pace
San Diego- Padres World Series drought remains celibate

Playoffs
Philadelphia over Los Angeles in Wildcard Game- Home field advantage propels the Phillies
Washington over Cincinnati in 4
Philadelphia over San Francisco in 7
Washington over Philadelphia in 6

Cy Young Matt Cain
Manager Bruce Bochy

World Series- Washington over Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Orange County of California in 6, Nationals fans storm the Mall and attempt to topple the Washington Monument

2012 Predictions

2012 Red Sox Maineiacs MLB Predictions:

Deacon Art

AL East
1. Boston
2. Tampa Bay*
3. NY Yankees
4. Toronto
5. Baltimore

AL Central
1. Detroit
2. Cleveland
3. Kansas City
4. Minnesota
5. Chicago

AL West
1. Los Angeles
2. Texas*
3. Seattle
4. Oakland

AL Playoffs
Texas over Tampa Bay in wildcard game
Detroit over Texas
Boston over Los Angeles
Boston over Detroit

AL MVP
Adrian Gonzalez

AL Cy Young
Jon Lester

AL Rookie of the Year
Yoenis Cespedes

AL Manager of the Year
Manny Acta

NL East
1. Washington
2. Philadelphia*
3. Atlanta
4. Miami
5. NY Mets

NL Central
1. Cincinnati
2. Milwaukee*
3. Pittsburgh
4. St. Louis
5. Chicago
6. Houston

NL West
1. San Francisco
2. Los Angeles
3. Arizona
4. Colorado
5. San Diego

NL Playoffs
Milwaukee over Philadelphia in wild card game
Cincinnati over Milwaukee
San Francisco over Washington
Cincinnati over San Francisco

NL MVP
Joey Votto

NL Cy Young
Madison Bumgarner


NL Rookie of the Year
Bryce Harper


NL Manager of the Year
Davey Johnson

World Series
Red Sox over Reds in 6

Brandon Terrill

AL East
1. Boston
2. NY Yankees*
3. Toronto*
4. Tampa Bay
5. Baltimore

AL Central
1. Cleveland
2. Detroit
3. Kansas City
4. Chicago
5. Minnesota

AL West
1. Los Angeles
2. Texas
3. Oakland
4. Seattle

AL Playoffs
Toronto over NY Yankees in wild card game
Boston over Cleveland
Los Angeles over Toronto
Boston over Los Angeles

AL MVP
Adrian Gonzalez

AL Cy Young
Felix Hernandez

AL Rookie of the Year
Yoenis Cespedes

AL Manager of the Year
John Ferrell

NL East
1. Atlanta
2. Philadelphia*
3. Washington
4. Miami
5. NY Mets

NL Central
1. St. Louis
2. Cincinnati
3. Milwaukee
4. Pittsburgh
5. Chicago
6. Houston

NL West
1. Colorado
2. San Francisco*
3. Arizona
4. Los Angeles
5. San Diego

NL Playoffs
San Francisco over Philadelphia in wild card game
Colorado over San Francisco
Atlanta over St. Louis
Atlanta over Colorado

NL MVP
Troy Tulowitzski


NL Cy Young
Yovani Gallardo


NL Rookie of the Year
Devin Mesoraco


NL Manager of the Year
Davey Johnson

World Series
Boston over Atlanta in 6

Barry Terrill


AL East
1. NY Yankees
2. Boston*
3. Tampa Bay
4. Toronto
5. Baltimore

AL Central
1. Detroit
2. Cleveland
3. Kansas City
4. Chicago
5. Minnesota

AL West
1. Texas
2. Los Angeles*
3. Seattle
4. Oakland

AL Playoffs
Boston over Los Angeles in wild card round
Detroit over NY Yankees
Red Sox over Texas
Red Sox over Detroit

AL MVP
Jacoby Ellsbury

AL Cy Young
Jered Weaver

AL Rookie of the Year
Lorenzo Cain

AL Manager of the Year
Bobby Valentine

NL East
1. Philadelphia
2. Miami
3. Washington
4. Atlanta
5. NY Mets

NL Central
1. Cincinnati
2. Milwaukee*
3. Pittsburgh
4. St. Louis
5. Chicago
6. Houston

NL West
1. Colorado
2. San Francisco*
3. Los Angeles
4. Arizona
5. San Diego

NL Playoffs
San Francisco over Milwaukee in wild card game
Philadelphia over San Francisco
Cincinnati over Colorado
Philadelphia over Cincinnati

NL MVP
Troy Tulowitzski

NY Cy Young
Cliff Lee

NY Rookie of the Year
Bryce Harper

NL Manager of the Year
Jim Tracy

World Series
Red Sox over Philadelphia in 7

Cousin Jason


AL East
1. Boston
2. Toronto
3. Tampa Bay
4. NY Yankees
5. Baltimore

AL Central
1. Detroit
2. Minnesota
3. Cleveland
4. Kansas City
5. Chicago

AL West
1. Los Angeles
2. Texas
3. Seattle
4. Oakland

AL MVP
Albert Pujols

AL Cy Young
Brandon Morrow

AL Rookie of the Year
Jesus Montero

AL Manager of the Year
John Farrell

AL Playoffs
Toronto over Texas
Los Angeles over Toronto
Red Sox over Detroit
Red Sox over Los Angeles

NL East
1. Philadelphia
2. Washington*
3. NY Mets
4. Atlanta
5. Miami

NL Central
1. St. Louis
2. Milwaukee
3. Pittsburgh
4. Cincinnati
5. Chicago
6. Houston

NL West
1. Los Angeles
2. Colorado*
3. San Francisco
4. Arizona
5. San Diego

NL Playoffs
Washington over Colorado in wild card game
Los Angeles over Washington
Philadelphia over St. Louis
Philadelphia over Los Angeles

NL MVP
Matt Kemp

NL Cy Young
Clayton Kershaw

NL Rookie of the Year
Drew Pomeranz

NL Manager of the Year
Davey Johnson

World Series
Red Sox over Philadelphia in 7

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