Hello again. As we wait for the Super Bowl and March Madness I have come back from the dead to remind everyone that pitchers and catchers report in three weeks.
Baseball is slowly sneaking up on us, yet it’s still early enough where there is nothing too intriguing to talk about.
Keeping this in mind, I came to the realization: What better time to make some idiotic predictions? Enjoy.
Bryce Harper heads to Philly, heads to the Postseason…and takes home the NL MVP
Harper rumors have been circling all off-season long, and although nothing has been confirmed, Philly seems to be the favorite. That’s not the bold portion of this prediction.
Bryce Harper signing into a change of scenery will do his production wonders, and he will transform near his MVP form of 2015. This addition will be enough to push the Phils over the hump—who were oh-so-close last season—earning the first NL wild card spot.
Because of this, a slew of big time teams will have to fight for one spot, meaning…
The Rockies, Cardinals, and Nationals all miss the Postseason
The last time none of these teams were in the postseason was 2008. To put that into perspective, I was the ripe age of six-years old and Barack Obama was elected to his first term as President. Been a while, huh? That’ll all change this year.
If I have the Phillies sitting pretty in the first slot, who does that leave? Hello again, Joe Maddon. Despite my lack of faith in the Cubs, they’re still a very capable regular season team. I love the Rockies and the Cardinals off-season has been fantastic.
The Nats will have a chip on their shoulder after 2018’s disappointment. However, it’s simply too hard to pick against a team that won 95 games last year. Cubs by a hair.
Mike Trout is still the best player in the world, as he cruises to 3rd MVP in a losing season
Is it really bold to say that the best player in baseball will win the MVP? Maybe not in most scenarios. However, Trout is a special case.
For one, Trout’s game is largely overshadowed by the situation he’s in. His Angels are poorly built, injury-ridden, and have seemed to lose more than they win lately. The Dodgers have always been Southern California’s golden child. Partner that with a lack of winning, and the Halos are getting less and less press run as Trout’s years go by.
Secondly, Mike Trout has been given the “LeBron treatment” in recent years. With the exception of 2016, Trout has become so good for so long that the BBWAA essentially gives the AL MVP to the best player on one of the best teams. You could easily make an argument for Mike Trout to win the award every season, much like you could for LeBron in the NBA.
With all that said, 2019 is the year Trout reclaims his award. He’ll hold off the injury bugs, continue to put up monstrous numbers, and earn his 3rd MVP in a sub-.500 season for Anaheim. Trout is still the best, the Angels, however, are far from that.
The NL Central solidifies itself as baseball’s top division…
In 2018, the NL Central featured four teams—Milwaukee, Chicago, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh—that finished above .500. None of these clubs have regressed on paper, while the Reds, who finished in the cellar, are quickly approaching the point of relevancy.
This division will once again have four teams above .500, and be the only division to have all teams over seventy wins. This division is well on it’s way to ruling the National League for the next decade.
…While the AL Central solidifies itself as the worst.
While the National League Central remains the best, the American League Central remains the opposite.
Cleveland is easily the worst division winner in the league. With the way other AL teams have improved, all signs point to Cleveland being another first-round exit. Minnesota will improve from last year’s disappointment but won’t come close to the postseason.
Chicago, Detroit, and Kansas City are all at different points in rebuilds and will likely all finish with under seventy-five wins. This is going to be a brutal year to say the least.
The MLB announces a future addition of two expansion teams, one going into each league
Now we move into the boldest of the bold. After talks about bringing back the Expos and potentially giving Portland a club, Rob Manfred finally pulls the trigger after the 2019 season.
Without formally announcing any locations, the MLB confirms that each league will be given an expansion team in 2021. As expected, Montreal and Portland are the overwhelming favorites. Baseball is looking to appeal to people more and expanding the game is the best way to do so.
The two AL wild card spots go to teams from the East
The Yankees are the Yankees. They’ll hang close with Boston and end up settling as a 95-win first wild card team in the end. The second spot is where things heat up. The race seems to come down to Oakland, Minnesota, and Tampa Bay.
Oakland overachieved last year and Minnesota isn’t quite there yet. Give me the Rays. Cy Young winner Blake Snell, Kevin Cash, The Openers. Playoff baseball will return to South Florida and The Trop will host multiple postseason games. Book it.
The Yankees and Cubs flop in the playoffs—Again.
The 2018 postseason was pretty good to haters of baseball’s blue bloods. The Cardinals missed the playoffs, the Cubs were dropped in the Wild Card game, and the Yankees were swept out of the ALDS by Boston.
As I said, the Cubs are still good but don’t have that guy to give the ball to in a win-or-go-home anymore. They can easily lose another wild card game if they run into an big game pitcher and/or a hot lineup.
As for the Yankees, they’ll draw the Rays at home in the wild card game and… promptly be shocked by Blake Snell and Tampa Bay. It’s called bold predictions for a reason.
The Brew Crew win the Fall Classic
This team is going to be really, really good. Christian Yelich is a bonafide star, Lorenzo Cain is the perfect compliment, and that bullpen is practically built for October. Plus, Milwaukee has enough system talent to pull off another big trade if they wish.
As a neutral observer, I cannot state how much I believe in the Brew Crew. They’ll win the toughest division in baseball and grind their way through the bracket on their way to a ring. The ultimate win for frats everywhere. Dilly Dilly!
BONUS: I am completely wrong about most of these and will be happy to hit on one
The chances are we will all look back on this piece in November and laugh at how wrong I was about every one of these.
Truth be told, if I’m right about one I’ll consider that a success. Low expectations lead to overwhelming results, folks.