It’s time for my annual pre-season baseball predictions!
Last year, I incorrectly predicted a lot of things. I had the Red Sox and Cardinals in the World Series, I had the Twins losing 105 games, and I only predicted 4 of the 10 playoff teams correctly (Tigers, Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers). I even had the two teams that met in the World Series–the Giants and Royals–finishing with losing records. So how will I do for an encore?
The Twins seemed like they were handcuffed a little bit this offseason. They have too many uber prospects about to join the team, so they couldn’t go spending big on free agents to fill those spots. Instead they pretty much stood pat at key positions, aside from bringing back Torii Hunter and adding Ervin Santana. I’m cool with that. I maybe would have tried to find a better stopgap center fielder like Peter Bourjos, but we’ll see what the Schafer/Robinson duo can do.
I doubt the Twins will move up the standings much in 2015, but I could see them winning 4-7 more games and finishing around 78-84 if all breaks right. They are in a surprisingly tough division all of a sudden, with the White Sox loading up, the Royals fresh off a shocking World Series appearance, and the Indians apparently everyone’s sleeper for 2015. I think the Tigers are on the downhill trend, but will still be competitive for the next year or two.
I imagine there will be a lot of evening out from last season. Overachievers like Danny Santana and Kurt Suzuki are bound to come back down to earth a little, while underachievers like Joe Mauer and Josmil Pinto are probably due for a slightly better year. If Santana and Vargas really are as good as they played in their rookie seasons, Mauer bounces back, Dozier continues to be a force in the top of the order, and they get anything whatsoever out of their center fielders, they should be a great offensive team again. I like the starting rotation of Hughes, Santana, Nolasco, Gibson, and Milone, but the defense behind them–especially in the outfield–is going to skew their numbers into looking worse than they are. Everyone is down on the Twins for their lack of outfield defense, and that’s a fair argument. Arcia and Hunter have very poor range. Even Schafer has a negative career UZR in center. That could be the Twins’ Achilles heel.
Officially, I’m predicting 76-86 and a last-place finish. But I think 2016 will be the year they challenge for a playoff spot… and if not then, definitely 2017.
|AL East||W||L||GB||NL East||W||L||GB|
|NY Yankees||83||79||4||NY Mets||81||81||24|
|AL Central||W||L||GB||NL Central||W||L||GB|
|Chicago WS||91||71||–||St Louis||97||65||–|
|AL West||W||L||GB||NL West||W||L||GB|
|LA Angels*||89||73||1||San Francisco||91||71||2|
AL Wild Card: LA Angels def. Detroit
NL Wild Card: Pittsburgh def. Miami
ALDS: Seattle def. LA Angels, Boston def. Chicago
NLDS: Washington def. Pittsburgh, St Louis def LA Dodgers
ALCS: Boston def. Seattle
NLCS: St Louis def. Washington
World Series: St Louis def. Boston (I’m hoping I’m way off. It’s a World Series I wouldn’t watch.)
AL MVP: Mike Trout, LAA
NL MVP: Andrew McCutchen, PIT
AL CY: Felix Hernandez, SEA
NL CY: Jacob DeGrom, NYM
AL MGR: Robin Ventura, CHW
NL MGR: Mike Redmond, MIA
AL ROY: Rusney Castillo, BOS
NL ROY: Jorge Soler, CHC
AL Comeback Player: Prince Fielder, TEX
NL Comeback Player: Ryan Howard, PHI
AL HR Leader: Jose Abreu, CHW, 48
NL HR Leader: Troy Tulowitzki, COL, 43
AL Batting Champion: Carlos Santana, CLE, .332
NL Batting Champion: Anthony Rendon, WAS, .336
Got any predictions you’d like to officially add for the record? Leave a comment and we’ll check back in October!