Friday, March 30, 2018

MLB Predictions

I read Bob Walk the Plank's 2018 predictions the other day and his post got the ol' wheels a turnin'. I've been pondering who I would pick for division winners and awards ever since. I've done this exercise in the past, with little success, but it's always fun to go back after the season to see how idiotic you were a mere six months prior. So, I'm doing this post now, for Future Me.

AL East - Yankees
AL Central - Indians
AL West - Astros

Wildcard 1 - Red Sox
Wildcard 2 - Mariners

Best Record in the AL - Yankees . . . This may be the year in which the number of Topps Now Yankees cards produced reaches the 20% plateau of the entire set. Thus, infuriating many collectors while also driving The Lost Collector to file for bankruptcy.

ALCS - Indians . . . I like their starting pitching, but I wonder if their offense will provide enough of a punch.

NL East - Nationals . . . I believe the Nats will be the first team to clinch their division. The NL East, at least right now, isn't very strong. Although, I think the Phillies and Braves are on the upswing.
NL Central - Cubs
NL West - Dodgers Diamondbacks . . . Yep, an upset. What if Cody Bellinger has a sophomore slump and we've already seen the best of Corey Seager? What if Kershaw has another back issue and Chris Taylor comes back down to earth? What if the Dodgers give Matt Kemp 400 plate appearances before they realize a 0.700 OPS from your left fielder isn't going to cut it?

Okay. So maybe I'm still not over the Dodgers steamrolling the Cubs in the NLCS last year? 

Wildcard 1 - Diamondbacks . . . I do believe in the Dbacks, but I don't think they have enough to overtake the Dodgers. Plus, who knows how the new humidor in Arizona will change things?
Wildcard 2 - Brewers . . . They are a young group who showed much during the first half of 2017. Now a year older and more experienced I wonder if they can challenge the Cubs?

Best Record in the NL - Nationals
NLCS - Nationals . . . it appears I'm "all in" on the Nats. If Scherzer and Strasburg can stay healthy, then they have enough pitching to get through the playoffs. Plus, what kind of crazy numbers is Bryce Harper going to put up in his walk year?

World Series - Indians over Nationals . . . The Indians end their title drought and Harper leaves the Nats just short of giving DC its first World Series title since 1924.

AL MVP - Mike Trout . . . He'll turn 27 in August, which generally means he's entering his prime. Scary.
NL MVP - Bryce Harper

AL Cy Young - Chris Sale
NL Cy Young - Noah Syndergaard

AL ROY - Dan Vogelbach
NL ROY - Ryan McMahon

Well, that was a fun exercise. I struggled with the Cy Young winners and NL ROY of the year. I figure Chris Sale is upset after losing to Corey Kluber last year. He'll come out this year and strike out the world.

Syndergaard? I don't think the Mets will be very good this year, but Syndergaard didn't throw a ton last year and that may work to his advantage in 2018. King Felix has shown in the past that you don't need a ton of wins to capture the Cy Young Award.

Ryan McMahon? I'm not sure I believe all the hype surrounding Ronald Acuna. Scott Kingery was  given consideration, too. I like McMahon's bat, but I wonder if he'll get enough plate appearances?

I know. I know. Vogelbach was a total homer pick for Rookie of the Year. Yet, he made the Opening Day roster after an off-season in which the Mariners traded for Ryon Healy to play first base.
And obviously he hit the snot out of the ball this spring:
 Here's what Vogelbach brings to the table that Healy doesn't: consistent quality at-bats. I mean the type of at-bat where the hitter makes the pitcher work. Check out the Vogelmonster's OBP. It's an unsustainable number, but the separation from the batting average is over 100 points. That's very impressive.

Healy only drew 23 walks in 600+ plate appearances last year, while posting a 0.754 OPS. He's not taking a free pass and he isn't crushing the ball. A 0.754 OPS from first base is very meh. If the Mariners truly give Vogelbach a chance, then I think they'll be kicking themselves for making the Healy deal.

So, yeah. Everyone is calling for some two-way star on the west coast to be the ROY in the AL, but I think the Vogelmonster will give him a legitimate run for his money. #VogelmonsterFanBoy

I'm glad baseball's back and I look forward to watching the 2018 season unfold, even if most of my predictions prove to be way off target.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Don't underestimate the Mets. I think they take the NL East this year. I really do and not just because I'm a Mets fan. They have a better club this year than they had in 2015. Injuries are the primary reason they looked so bad last year (and even in 2016). The pitchers are healthy, now. The bullpen is stacked. They've added depth, versatility, youthful exuberance and veteran leadership. The Mets are due for good luck and health while Washington is due for bad. Zimmerman is definitely on the downside of his career, Murphy too, and I'll take d'Arnaud/Plawecki over Matt Wieters easy at this stage in their careers. And, while Washington's top pitchers are as good as anyone's, their rotation is only 3 deep and I question their bullpen. Not saying the Mets get to the Series this year, but I think they take the East. At worst, they snag the Wild Card.

    1. Yeah, the Nats have some holes and you make some nice points about the Mets. I'll slide them into my Top 15, but my money is still on Washington in the NL East. It'll be fun to watch it play out!

  2. Indians over the Nationals. I could live with that. I just don't want to see the Yankees win #28.

  3. No predictions that will have you jumping in Lake Michigan?

    After last year, I don't think I could stomach living in this area if the Nats eliminate the Cubs so if the Cubs are out, let's hope its someone else.

  4. I'm just waiting to see today's Topps NOW offering. Has to be a Stanton card in there, right?

  5. Man, I wish Jimmy Nelson stayed healthy. That Brewers lineup is legit.