Reviewing My NL Predictions

In the National League I picked the Reds, Nationals and Diamondbacks to finish atop their divisions.  I also picked the Braves and Pirates to join them in the playoffs as the Wild Card teams. 

NL Central

In the NL Central my predictions were the Reds finishing first, with the Pirates, Cardinals, Brewers then Cubs rounding it out.  I also had the Pirates finishing in the second Wild Card spot.  The Central currently have three of the four best teams in the league right now with the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds.  They are also the three top teams in ERA and WHIP in the MLB.  Jason Grilli has been a dominating force for the Pirates in the closer role and he leads the league in Saves with 22.  It is still early in the season and I think the Reds are still in a great position to have the best record in the National League.

St. Louis Cardinals – 35 – 18

Pittsburgh Pirates – 34 – 20

Cincinnati Reds – 33 – 21

Chicago Cubs – 22 – 30

Milwaukee Brewers – 19 – 33

NL East

The Atlanta Braves are leading the East Division by 5.5 games, the biggest lead by any of the Division leaders.  The Nationals are only at .500 so far in this short MLB season so far but I definitely expect them to keep getting better and better.  I picked the Nationals to win the division with the Braves getting a Wild Card spot and then the Phillies, Marlins and Mets finishing in that order.  The Marlins have the worst record in the MLB and I think that they will finish that way even though I did not pick them that way.  They are dead last in many hitting categories in the National League, which is understandable because many people say that they have a Triple A lineup. 

Atlanta Braves – 31 – 21

Washington Nationals – 27 – 27

Philadelphia Phillies – 26 – 28

New York Mets – 22 – 29

Miami Marlins – 13 – 41

NL West

 

I didn’t think the Dodgers were going to make the playoffs this year even with their huge payroll, but I did not think that they would ever be 8 games below .500.  I thought that this would be one of the best divisions in baseball and would end up beating each other up, which is pretty much what is happening.  The Diamondbacks are leading the division and the Dodgers are in last but they are only 7 games apart.  The Dodgers do still have a lot of time to turn it around and get to the top of the division.  I picked the Diamondbacks to win the division with the Dodgers, Giants, Rockies and then Padres finishing last. 

Arizona Diamondbacks – 30 – 24

San Francisco Giants – 29 – 25

Colorado Rockies – 28 – 26

San Diego Padres – 24 – 29

Los Angeles Dodgers – 22 – 30

 

The current playoff picture looks like this:

1. St. Louis Cardinals

2. Atlanta Braves

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

WC – Pittsburgh Pirates

WC – Cincinnati Reds

 

Currently I only have one playoff team incorrect so far in this early season.  I still feel confident about my picks, especially confident with the way that the Pirates and Reds are playing.  The Diamondbacks are going to have a tough road with the teams that are in that division and with the Giants who know how to win. 

 

Thank you for reading my blog, please feel free to comment your ideas on the page.  This is my opinion and I would love to hear yours, you can’t learn anything if you only listen to yourself.  Also please click the follow link on the bottom right and put your email in.  Thank you.

Reviewing my American League Predictions

It’s just about a quarter of the way through the MLB season and I am going to be reviewing the predictions that I made at the beginning of the season.  Here we go. 

AL Central

In the AL Central I predicted that the Detroit Tigers would win the Division with the Indians, Royals, White Sox and Twins to follow in that order.  I thought that the Royals and White Sox would be doing better than they are now but there is still a lot of ball to be played, Royals lineup needs to give some run support to their new pitching (mostly because I have James Shields on 2 fantasy teams and he only has 2 wins with a 2.47 ERA and a .96 WHIP, CMON!).  I am still going to stick with my predictions that the Tigers will win the division and the Indians are going to be one of two AL Wild Cards.

Cleveland Indians – 27 – 19

Detroit Tigers – 26 – 19  

Kansas City Royals – 21 – 23 

Chicago White Sox – 21 – 24 

Minnesota Twins – 18 – 26

AL East

The AL East is a well-rounded division.  The Red Sox and Yankees are doing a lot better than I thought they would be, the Red Sox especially.  The Yankees have the 2nd best record in the American League with 28 wins and 18 losses.  The revival of Vernon Wells career has been a huge lift to a lineup that lost Mark Teixeira, A Rod (good riddance) Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson (who is back now) to injury.  The Blue Jays, even though I didn’t think they were going to be a playoff team are doing a lot worse than I had predicted but are 7-3 in their last ten games so they are getting better.  I thought that the East would end up with the Orioles winning with the Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays and Red Sox finishing in that order.  So far my predictions are off but I do still think that the Orioles will persevere through a tough grind better than any of the other teams and still come out on top; especially with Manny Machado’s emergence and Nate McClouth’s renewed career along with Chris Davis, Adam Jones, JJ Hardy and Matt Weiters. 

New York Yankees – 28 – 18

Boston Red Sox – 28 – 20

Baltimore Orioles – 25 – 22

Tampa Bay Rays – 24 – 22

Toronto Blue Jays – 20 – 27

AL West

The AL West is so far about how I predicted it with my two playoffs teams flip flopped, just like the Central.  The Rangers are leading the division with the American League’s best record and the Athletics’ are in 2nd place with a record of 25-23.  The Angels started off very slow but have won their last 5 games.  Houston is a very bad team and is still trying to find their identity in their new league.  The Mariners have lost 6 straight games but are tied with the Angels for 3rd in the division.  They have some bright spots now and then with the additions of Morse and Ibanez in the lineup; and then King Felix, Wilhemson and Iwakuma have been good pitching but they just do not have enough talent to compete in the tough AL West. 

Texas Rangers – 30 – 17

Oakland Athletics – 25 – 23

Los Angeles Angels – 20 – 27

Seattle Mariners – 20 – 27

Houston Astros – 14 – 33

So far in the league the seeds would look like this:

1. Texas Rangers

2. New York Yankees

3. Cleveland Indians

WC – Boston Red Sox

WC – Detroit Tigers

But it is still early in the season and there are about 115-120 games left for each team.  I am still holding onto my predictions and I have made then for a reason.  Of course these standings are not going to be the same all year long.  Who knows with injuries, trades and the hot/cold streaks of baseball.  For all we know the Astros could win the World Series.  Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little( A LOT!!!) about that. 

 

Thank you for reading my blog, please feel free to comment your ideas on the page.  This is my opinion and I would love to hear yours, you can’t learn anything if you only listen to yourself.  Also please click the follow link on the bottom right and put your email in.  Thank you and stayed tune for the National League Prediction Review.  

Let’s think about this…

Ok, so by now everyone has heard that the Detroit Tigers have signed Jose Valverde to a Major League contract and he has been named to the closer role.  RUN!!!!  That’s what everyone is thinking, from what I have been seeing on the Tigers Facebook page is everyone is an armchair GM…

“Seriously. This is a disgrace to those who currently play in this team, to those who actually buy tickets to come watch, to those of us who follow on their phones and in their living rooms. As a cousin if one who played in 68 I say shame in you whoever made this decision. Pay him out if your salary!!! We are certainly doomed if it comes down to the bullpen.”

I think that might be a bit extreme.  But here’s another one…

“That is a terrible decision. Whoever made it should be fired!”

Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland made this decision, remember the guys who built the team for their run to the WORLD SERIES last year, which had Valverde on it. They each have 3 pennants and 1 World Series ring.  Leyland is a 3 time Manager of the Year.  Dombrowski has had some serious talk about him becoming the next Commissioner of Major League Baseball…  FIRE THEM!!!

“OMG he cost us the World Series last year!!!  Didn’t they learn??????”

Wait, he pitched???  Oh no, he didn’t pitch in the World Series and if he did that would have meant there was a Save Opportunity, which there wasn’t.  The Tigers were only up at one point in the World Series, in the 3rd inning of game 3 until the Giants tied them in the 6th.

“*puts head into hands and silently weeps*”

This must be a Royals fan who is scared of Valverde, who has a career high 20 saves against them.  Valverde has led the MLB in not just Saves (110) over his last 3 years with the Tigers, but also in Save Percentage (93%).  Oh no!!!  Why would they ever sign him, he blew 5 saves last year…

“Ugghhh with Leland and Valverde throwing games we will NEVER see a world series! Big disappointment Detroit!!!”

LEYLAND and Valverde were both on the team last year that saw the World Series, oh it must not count.

Let’s settle down.  First of all, he wasn’t the worst closer in history.  In 2011 people still hated him even though he was 49 for 49; maybe he could’ve done better (NOPE!).  Last year he had 5 blown saves.  Motte (7), Axford (9), Chapman (5), Betancourt (7), Clippard (5), Putz (5), Wilhemsen (5), Aceves (8), Broxton (6), Jansen (7), Casilla (6), Bell (8), Cook (7), League (6), Parnell (5), Belisle (7), Hernandez (6), Rodriguez (7), and Strop (7) all had as many or more blown saves than Valverde did, most of them in not as many Opportunities.  If this works out, which it definitely could, then the Tigers look like geniuses.  If it doesn’t then cut him and they are right back to where they were before.  He knows how to close games, as he has proven, his velocity was just down last year and he has regained that form according to sources (Wait is this ESPN???).  I like this signing, Villareal was struggling this year more than Valverde was last year (Tigers fans on Facebook now HATE Villareal too).  Let’s give this guy a shot again, he has proven he can do it once and I think he is hungry to prove it once again.  I’m backing the Tigers this season and I trust in Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski, that’s why they are at their jobs and I’m sitting at my computer.  If it doesn’t work out then let’s just blame it on Leyland because he smokes, that sounds like logic to me folks…

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National Championship Game

 

2013 Playoff Picture

After making my predictions of who is going to win each division and also get the Wild Card berths for the playoffs, I will make predictions of what I think will happen in this postseason. In the AL I had the division winners being the Orioles, Tigers and the Athletics. In the National League the division winners that I predicted were the Nationals, Reds and Diamondbacks. The Wild Card teams were the Indians and Rangers in the AL and in the NL the Braves and Pirates.

Wild Card:

ALWC:

Indians over Rangers – I think that the Indians will actually win this one game playoff, even though I think that the Rangers are a more complete team and have a much better pitching staff. I love what the Indians new lineup looks like and the Rangers does not look at all like the one that took them to back to back World Series.

NLWC:

Braves over Pirates – I don’t care who pitches for the Braves in this game, Kris Medlen or Tim Hudson will shut down the Pirates in a one game playoff and then hand the ball to the best closer in the game right now, Chris Kimbrel.

Divisional Series:

ALDS:

Tigers over Indians: Tigers will just be too much for the Indians, both with their lineup and their pitching staff. I do not see a more complete team than the Tigers have. They just need to fill that closer role, which I am sure someone will stand out soon enough.

Orioles over A’s: The Orioles ability to persevere and win games late will be the reason they win this series. And Chris Davis is another.

NLDS:

Reds over Braves: Dusty Baker will out manage Fredi Gonzalez and utilize his players better. The Reds lineup is deeper than the Braves and so is their rotation. The back end of their pitching staff with Chapman and Broxton is going to be tough to get late inning hits too.

Nationals over Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks benefitted from a division that kept beating each other up, which is why I do not have a Wild Card from what I think is the best division in the NL. They will be wore out by this time of year and won’t put up much of a fight against the young and talented Nationals.

Championship Series:

ALCS:

Tigers over Orioles: Tigers win in 5 games. Orioles pitching staff won’t be able to match up against the Tigers lineup. Hopefully not too early for another long break like the last two times they were in the World Series.

NLCS:

Nationals over Reds: This is going to be a very good series. The Nationals will win in 6 games, Strasburg and Gonzalez are going to be a great 1-2 combo in the rotation for a playoff run.

World Series:

Tigers over Nationals: The Tigers will win the World Series for the first time since 1984. They have no holes in their lineup. Torii Hunter will give this team a great defender, a great number two hitter who knows what to do when to do it but most importantly I think he will be a leader with Victor Martinez that this team needs. The Nationals have a very great team but I think the Tigers rotation is not only better but 1-5 is much deeper than the Nationals. The Tigers were in this situation last year and got embarrassed. I think that they will it their goal to do as much harm in this Series as they can to make up for last year’s let down.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you have missed any others make sure to read them. Feel free to comment, this is my opinion and I would enjoy hearing yours. Remember to click FOLLOW in the bottom right of the screen to become a follower.

NL Playoff Picture

After making my predictions for my American League playoffs team, today’s post will be about the National League.  I really respect the National League managers because they have to manage the game a lot more than American League.  They have to decide whether or not to keep a pitcher in if he is pitching well and take an out or to pull him and have a pinch hitter.  I do think that next year the DH rule will be enforced over all of baseball which is saddening because of the tradition of the NL but with everyday interleague play there needs to be a level playing field.  It will also provide more jobs to players and keep bigger names in the game for longer.  Here are my picks for the NL Playoff Picture.

The Washington Nationals are one of my favorite teams in the NL. I love the way that Bryce Harper plays and even though people such as Ozzie Guillen and Cole Hamels were trying to get into the youngsters head, he wouldn’t let it happen.  I think that he will get better this year than last; he had 22 home runs and a .270 average.  He is moving from the 2nd batter in the lineup to 3rd where he should get more opportunities for RBI’s.  The addition of Denard Span adds a true leadoff, a base stealer, and a very rangy centerfielder that will give the Nationals the option to have Harper play LF.  Their pitching staff with Gio Gonzalez, a full year from Stephen Strasburg and the newcomer Rafeal Soriano as their closer, this team could make history in the fall.  The Atlanta Braves are going to be the first Wild Card team that makes the playoffs.  They have a good team especially when they added the Upton brothers to play in the same outfield but have some weak spots in their lineup, most notably catcher and 3rd base.  Gerald Laird is a very good defensive catcher but he lacks at the plate.  They have Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco as their 3rd base options to fill Chipper Jones shoes.  Hopefully for their sake Brian McCann comes back quickly because Laird is definitely a backup catcher at this point in his career.  The Phillies pitching staff is very good and with Chase Utley and Ryan Howard back in the lineup they will do better this year than last but will ultimately come up short.

In the NL Central I think that the Cincinnati Reds are the clear favorite.  They have very good relief pitching with Chapman, Broxton and Marshall and good starting pitching to with Cueto, Latos, Bailey and Arroyo.  The addition of Shin-Soo Choo alongside Phillips, Votto, and Bruce will give the Reds a very good lineup.  I think the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to get the final WC spot and make it to the playoffs for the first time since 1992.  The St. Louis Cardinals have been the Wild Card the past two seasons but will fail to make it this year with the loss of Lohse and Furcal.  The Mets and Marlins will be terrible this year.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in four games last year against the Detroit Tigers. The Los Angeles Dodgers were purchased for 2.125 billion dollars, the highest price tag for a team in the history of sports.  The Giants have an MVP in Buster Posey and Cy Young Award Winners in Barry Zito and Tim Lincecum.  The Dodgers have 7 Silver Slugger Awards and 7 Gold Gloves among Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Eithier; and two Cy Young Awards in their pitching staff.  With all that being said, the Arizona Diamondbacks are going to win the NL West.  As good as Justin Upton was he needed a change of scenery and the DBacks got Martin Prado in return plus good prospects especially in Randall Delgado.  The trade also levels out their outfield and gives Parra, Kubel and Ross more consistent playing time.  They also have two young prospects in Adam Eaton and AJ Pollock that will finally get a chance to prove themselves in a full season.  Their pitching staff is very good with Kennedy, McCarthy, Miley among the others.  JJ Putz, who I have played “catch” with, is a veteran guy who has 77 saves and a sub 3 ERA over the past two seasons as their closer.  Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero and Aaron Hill are not the biggest names in the Major Leagues but they will definitely be the spark plug that gets the Diamondbacks to the postseason.  This was my toughest decision but I think that none of these teams will be the Wild Card because they will be beating up on each even though they have 3 very good teams.

NLWC – Braves vs. Pirates

NLDS – Reds vs. Braves/Pirates

NLDS – Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

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AL Playoff Picture

After the first games of this season and seeing a little bit of how most teams will fill out their lineups I am going to give my predictions for each division.  This took me quite a bit of thought and some rolling of the die, not really but probably would have ended up better.  Here is my prediction of the American League.

In the AL East I have the Baltimore Orioles winning the division.  Yes I have seen the Toronto Blue Jays lineup and it does look disgustingly good but half of these players were also on the Miami Marlins team that looked disgustingly good too.  I just don’t trust this team right now, I could definitely see them putting it together down the road but in my opinion this year is not going to be theirs.  Baltimore’s ability to grind out games and find ways to win is what it takes to reach the playoffs and become successful.  Games are not played on paper.  The loss of John Farrell to the Red Sox will be worst than expected.  For the first time in a long time a Wild Card team will not come from the AL East either.

In the AL Central the Royals and Indians will both make a play for the Division title but the Tigers pitching and experienced lineup will be too much to handle.  The additions of Martinez and Hunter, as I have said many times before in previous posts, will be very crucial.  I think that the White Sox will not do as good this year as they did last year.  They will fizzle out around the All Star break.  The Royals will make a strong push for the division and even stronger for the Wild Card but they will come up short, look for them to make a run next year though.  I do believe that the Indians will end up getting the final spot in the AL playoffs as a Wild Card.  The additions of Francona, Swisher, Reynolds, and Bourn will put this team into a lot of situations that they were not in last year. 

I had the toughest time with the AL West.  The Astros intrigue me a lot but their young lineup needs a lot of development and their pitching staff needs some help,  Bud Norris cannot pitch in every game.  The Mariners lineup is greatly improved and they have one of the best starting pitchers in the league with King Felix.  With their outfield fences moved in this year it will be exciting to see what Montero,  Morse and Morales will be able to do.  I chose the Oakland A’s to win this division once again this year.  I love their lineup with the addition of Jed Lowrie and Chris Young.  Their pitching staff is always producing, which might have something to do with former Central Michigan University pitcher and current Oakland A’s pitching coach Curt Young.  The Wild Card team came down to the Rangers and the Angels, which was a very hard choice for me.  I think that the loss of Torii Hunter will be a lot bigger than expected and the addition of Hamilton will not be as good as expected, especially since he was hitting in the Rangers hitter friendly park for half of his games.  I expect Trout to go through a sophomore slump and Albert is not the same hitter than I think he was in St. Louis, his contract is one of the worst I have seen in a long time.  Their pitching staff does have Jered Weaver who is a stud but I think that CJ Wilson is a little bit overrated, he usually folds in the playoffs and I’m not sure how he will perform in big games.  Texas is the team to make the playoffs with the first Wild Card spot.  Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre are going to lead this team to the playoffs once again.  They have been there before and know how to win games.

ALWC – Indians vs. Rangers

ALDS – Tigers vs. Indians/Rangers

ALDS – Orioles vs. Athletics

 

Thank you for reading my blog.  If you have missed any others make sure to read them.  Feel free to comment, this is my opinion and I would enjoy hearing yours.  Remember to click FOLLOW in the bottom right of the screen to become a follower.