Gazing into the future – 2014 season predictions

Again, just for the fun of it, my 2 cents on how the season will play out. And again, if you are taking this to Vegas you are doing so at your own risk.

Lets stick to traditions and since I started with the east last year, why not do it again.

NL East

  1. Washington Nationals
  2. New York Mets
  3. Atlanta Braves
  4. Miami Marlins
  5. Philadelphia Phillies

This one is getting more difficult to predict by the minute. Had anyone asked me at the beginning of spring training my choices for the first to places would have been Washington ad Atlanta. But with the Braves losing pitchers to surgeries faster than A-Rod is able to buy new friends the whole situation changed. I still view Washington as the best team in the division. But Atlanta, I don’t know, I can’t see them competing. Notice the 2nd place for the Mets, which is much more wishful thinking than a realistic assessment. But, hey, the general manager was talking about the possibility of 90 wins, so, why the hell not? Miami will make an impact with all the young guns down there and for the Phillies the most interesting question will be if Jimmy Rollins is still with the team when the season ends.

AL East

  1. Tampa Bay Rays
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. New York Yankees
  4. Baltimore Orioles
  5. Toronto Blue Jays

This has to be Tampas year. The Yankees are loaded, but old, Boston won’t be able to repeat and the rest of the pack looks too weak to me. Yes, New York has loaded up with Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran and Tanaka, but I think they will eventually falter and show their age. And I still don’t think Tanaka is a frontline starter across the pond. Although I’ll be more than glad if he proves me wrong. Up north in Boston a lot of players will have to replicate their years from last season for the Red Sox to contend again. And while I love the success Koji Uehara is having it still leaves some doubts to rely on a 39 year old closer. Baltimore and Toronto don’t seem to have the pitching to compete. Especially the Blue Jays don’t look improved to me. Which leaves the Rays as the team to beat. They got the pitching, they got Longoria and Myers, they should fill their hole at shortstop with Hak-Ju Lee at some point during the season. There’s a lot that can go wrong, but I really like the Rays’ chances to win the division.

NL Central

  1. St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. Cincinnati Reds
  4. Chicago Cubs
  5. Milwaukee Brewers

With everybody taking a step back the division is for the Cardinals to lose it. Any other scenario doesn’t make any sense. Pittburgh lost too much firepower to repeat their Cinderella story from last year, but because of the minnows in the division I think the Pirates will come out on top of the rest. Which won’t be enough for a wild card spot, mind you. Cincinnati lost Choo and Arroyo, I wonder how they will rebound from that. Word from the wise: there’s a corner outfielder in your system who might me able to help. Chicago, ah, well, yes. Another long season at Waveland and Sheffield. And I know it’s nasty but just for Ryan Braun I want the Brewers to come in last.

AL Central

  1. Detroit Tigers
  2. Kansas City Royals
  3. Cleveland Indians
  4. Minnesota Twins
  5. Chicago White Sox

The Central theme seems to be that there’s one dominant team and the rest of the pack. Detroit should win this even though they’ve traded Fister to the Nationals. The Kinsler-Fielder trade should stabilize the lineup defensively and the pitching is dominant. And, hey, maybe they even have a closer now with Nathan. Kansas City is due. And they’ve got themselves Norichika Aoki which to me is the steal of the offseason. Cleveland was a nice story, but I can’t see them coming close to competing again. And, well, as for the Twins and the White Sox, there’s always next year.

NL West

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. San Francisco Giants
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. Colorado Rockies
  5. San Diego Padres

The Dodgers will have to prove that money doesn’t only win you division titles but also pennants and championships. They are the team to beat. They have the pitching to succeed. The have the bats to inflict damage. They can only beat themselves. As for the other teams the Giants should rebound from their last campaign and it’ll be interesting how Lincecum fares. Arizona will be in the mix, too. The Rockies and the Padres should be on the outside looking in.

AL West

  1. Oakland Athletics
  2. Texas Rangers
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
  5. Houton Astros

This one is tough. Really. The only prediction I can make with confidence is that Houston will come in last again. But apart from that it looks as if it’s wide open. Texas loaded up with Fielder, they might have the best pitcher in the division in Yu Darvish. But you can never count out the A’s. And at some point it should all come together for the Angels. Oh, and the Mariners now have a face to go alongside with the King. I still see Oakland crossing the line first, but this thing can shake out one way or the other.

With the divisions in place, here’s what the postseason will look like.

National League

  • Wildcard: Giants over Diamondbacks
  • NLDS: Nationals over Giants/Dodgers over Cardinals
  • NLCS: Dodgers over Nationals

American League

  • Wildcard: Royals over Rangers
  • ALDS: Rays over Royals/Tigers over Athletics
  • ALCS: Rays over Tigers

World Series

  • Rays over Dodgers

I was horribly wrong with my predictions last year so expect the season to go a completely different way.

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