Monday, April 6, 2015

Opening Day Predictions

It's that time again, my unscientific, inexpert predictions for the 2015 season. Last year my record wasn't too great but I did write this for the Giants: "It is an even-numbered year, isn't it? Time for another surprise World Series run." Here are this year's picks. The cards in the picture are the sticker cards from 1983 Fleer. I have a bunch of these to trade if anyone is interested.
AL East
1. Yankees
Of course I will always pick the Yankees. It seems to be fashionable to pick them at or near last place, but this was a second-place team last year that generally improved in the off-season. Basically it amounts to health - if all or most of the geezers and young pitchers can stay healthy and effectivess, the Yankees can be as good as anyone. Of course that's a big if...

2. Orioles
The Orioles have had two very good years out of three, but regressed this off-season. They'll still be very good but won't win 96 games again.

3. Red Sox
It's fashionable to pick them to go worst-to-first-to-worst-to-first, but that seems highly unlikely, particularly with a pitching staff with no aces.

4. Blue Jays
Remember that flurry of moves the Blue Jays made two years ago? They have been very quiet since. RA Dickey and Mark Buehrle were nice pitchers once upon a time but are not championship quality any more.

5. Rays
Looks like the window of opportunity is firmly shut for the once-exciting Rays.

AL Central
1. Indians
Lots of good young talent and an excellent manager; Cleveland could certainly take this wide-open division.

2. Royals
They surprised everyone last year; they will find it a lot harder this year with a target firmly on their back.

3. White Sox
They had a good off-season; they were sixteen games under .500 last year, so probably won't be too much higher than .500 this year.

4. Tigers
This seems like an aging team that made some questionable personnel decisions.

5. Twins
Hiring inexperienced managers seems to be the new trend; let's see if it pays off for Minnesota.

AL West
1. Angels
What team had the best record in baseball last year? The way their season ended makes everyone forget about the Angels, but at least in the regular season the 1-2 punch of Trout and Pujols is tough to beat, especially these days when hitting is at a premium.

2. Mariners
They went from 71 wins to 87 wins last year; teams that make that kind of leap almost always regress somewhat the following season.

3. A's
Teams that lose big games the way the A's did last year can get demoralized; it certainly seems that Billy Beane might have been from the strange off-season he put together.

4. Rangers
This team went from really good to really bad really fast.

5. Astros
I was doing the AL divisions from memory and complete forgot about the Astros. I don't hate them, but I guess they're pretty forgettable until they prove to me otherwise...

NL East
1. Nationals
No team appears to have it easier than Washington, the only NL East team to win even 80 games last year. The division will almost certainly be tougher this year.

2. Braves
Like the Yankees, everyone counts them out, but this is a team that always plays better than expected.

3. Mets
The Mets right now are a ton of hype built on a few young arms. It remains to be seen where the Harvey/DeGrom staff will fall on the axis between the Gooden/Darling staff and the Wilson/Isringhausen staff.

4. Marlins
There are a few good young players here, but they seem quite a ways away from pulling it all together.

5. Phillies
They lost 73 games last year and didn't get any better in the off-season.

NL Central
1. Cardinals
Still the class of the division until proven otherwise.

2. Brewers
The Brewers have quietly put together a pretty good team. Could be a sleeper pick for 2015.

3. Cubs
If Joe Maddon can get this team into contention by the trading deadline I could see Theo Epstein making some aggressive win-now deals.

4. Pirates
Still a very good team in a surprisingly tough division. A little short in the pitching staff though.

5. Reds
They might have a chance in a weaker division but not here.

NL West
1. Dodgers
They were a little quieter this off-season - maybe this is the year they develop consistency and become the behemoth they are trying to be.

2. Giants
I guess Giants fans can sleep through odd-numbered years. Watch out in 2016 though...

3. Padres
They look like this year's version of the 2013 Blue Jays.

4. Rockies
I wonder if the rise of good pitching and decline of good hitting over the last few years particularly hurts the team in the best hitting park in the league.

5. Diamondbacks
This team could be bad for a while.


  1. Do you really hate the Astros that much?

  2. I sure hope you're predictions are wrong...

    A. Don't want to watch the Yankees, Angels, or Dodgers in the playoffs.

    B. Don't want to see the A's and Padres golfing while the Yankees, Angels, or Dodgers are still playing baseball.