Saturday, March 29, 2014

MLB Predictions 2014

We are officially 1 day away from the start of the MLB season (since I refuse to consider the Australian games true games). Here are our predictions for the 2014 season!

American League

AL East- Boston Red Sox
The defending champs lost Jacoby Ellsbury, but the resurgent Grady Sizemore should help fill that gap and youngster Jackie Bradley Jr. will prove to be a more than capable backup should Sizemore go down. A full season from Clay Buchholz will also help bolster the Sox staff, leading them to another AL East title.

AL Central- Detroit Tigers
The loss of Prince Fielder may hurt the offense a bit, but I see no real competition in the division for the Tigers. Their pitching staff is as strong as any teams and recent acquisition Ian Kinsler should be a potent force in the middle of the Tigers lineup.

AL West- Oakland A's
The AL West could be the most intriguing division in the AL this season. Many people like the Angels as a bounce-back team, but a lack of pitching depth will prevent them from capturing the West in my opinion. Likewise for the Rangers, who have 3 starters on their opening day roster with no major league experience whatsoever, pitching will be a major problem. While the A's are certainly not a perfect team, I see them winning 90-92 games behind Sonny Gray, who could be a sleeper candidate for the AL Cy Young this season.

Wild Card- Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Rays
Both teams are loaded with young talent and I think the pitching staffs are what will make the difference in the always competitive Wild Card race. The Rays staff is anchored by Matt Moore, David Price, Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson while the Royals have James Shields and the flame-throwing Yordano Ventura in their rotation. I could also see the Angels making a run at a playoff birth should Albert Pujols rebound from his 2013 numbers.

League Champs- Boston Red Sox
Rookie of the Year- Xander Bogaerts
Cy Young- David Price
MVP- Mike Trout

National League

NL East- Washington Nationals
The Nationals will make the playoffs off the strength of their rotation, which will also be the X factor as to how far they can go in the playoffs. Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Doug Fister could be the best playoff rotation in the league and if they can all stay healthy, this could be the year the Nationals make a run at the World Series title.

NL Central- St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are returning just about everybody from last year's roster and will only be better with a full season of Michael Wacha to look forward to. There is no reason they shouldn't win the NL Central title.

NL West- Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers might spend more than any other team in the MLB but they certainly have the talent to justify it. Their lineup is full of all-stars, from Matt Kemp to Yasiel Puig to Hanley Ramirez to Adrian Gonzalez. Having the best pitcher in the league certainly doesn't hurt either.

Wild Card- Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves

Both teams made the playoffs last year and they should both be even better this season. Gerrit Cole and Julio Teheran are two of the best young pitchers in the game and after a full season of experience in the majors, they will be ready to lead their teams to the playoffs once again.

League Champs- LA Dodgers
Rookie of the Year- Archie Bradley
Cy Young- Jose Fernandez
MVP- Hanley Ramirez

MLB Playoffs

World Series- Red Sox vs. Dodgers
The Red Sox and Dodgers boast two of the strongest lineups in the league and both have strong rotations as well. The Red Sox certainly have more depth which will could come back to hurt the Dodgers should one of their stars get hurt or underperform, but the strength of the Dodgers starting pitchers cannot be overlooked. Clayton Kershaw, Ryu and Zack Greinke are all great pitchers but only Kershaw has shown success in the postseason and with the amount of pitches he throws in a season, he won't be able to be effective by the end of the playoffs. I think this series will go 7 games with the Red Sox finally prevailing due to their pitching depth.

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