With a new year upon us, we’re getting closer to the promise land. That’s right, baseball is coming later this year, and what better way to celebrate than to make predictions? Some teams loaded up this season, some teams got worse, and some teams just didn’t do anything. With free agency far from over, the entire landscape could change in an instant, but for now, here are my boldest predictions for this season.
The White Sox will make the ALCS
Yeah, yeah, the South Siders had a disappointing year last year when they were dubbed to be at least in contention for a Wild Card. However, with a healthy Chris Sale and newly acquired Todd Frazier and Brett Lawrie in tow, this lineup is suddenly balanced and dangerous. And word is they may not be done, as they have been linked to OFs Yoenis Cespedes and Alex Gordon. If Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon can have breakout years, this team can make some noise in the playoffs.
The Yankees will not lose a game this season when leading after 7 innings
With the acquisition of Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees bullpen is looking VERY scary. With Dellin Betances (84 IP, 131 SO) and Andrew Miller (61.2 IP, 100 SO) already in tow, teams are going to have a tough time doing any type of damage against the Bronx Bomber’s pen. And now with the ability to give any of these pitchers a break on any given night, all 3 look to be fresher than they were last season; hitters beware.
The Cubs 3 Mashers (Rizzo, Bryant, and Schwarber) will combine for 100+ home runs
The Cubs have quite the power trio on their hands. The combination of Rizzo, Bryant, and Schwarber combined for 73 homers last season, but that was with Schwarber arriving in June and Bryant coming two weeks into the season. With another season of experience for those two youngsters, there batting eye is only going to get better, which means there’s gonna be a whole lotta long balls in Wrigley.
The Blue Jays will miss the playoffs
The Jays had a great year. After making the playoffs for the first time since 1993, they certainly held their own in the playoffs. However, with the a number of AL teams improving, and no real threat in their starting rotation, I don’t see them repeating their 2015 success; especially now that David Price is gone. While they did sign J.A. Happ, who had a tremendous second half last season, I don’t think it will be enough, especially since the Jays were average record-wise before acquiring Price. They needed an ace and they failed to get one, and that will spell their downfall.
The Houston Astros will win 100 games
The Astros, like the Cubs, were ahead of schedule last year, making the playoffs while boasting young talent in spades. They have a bona fide ace in Dallas Keuchel, a great bullpen (which got even better by acquiring closer Ken Giles), and a budding superstar in Carlos Correa. With another great talent seemingly ready to break the majors next season in AJ Reed, this should be a fun team to watch next season; not so much for their opponents though.
The Mets will trade one of their young starters
The Mets have done a great job at grooming their young talent. Their starting rotation next year of Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Syndergaard, and Matz could easily be the best in baseball. However, they could aso use another young, controllable hitter to pair with Michae Conferto. Those types of hitters require a kings random to attain in trades, and the Mets have plenty of arms to offer. If the Mets want to reach the World Series again, they may have to get another masher, as, let’s be honest, their acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes was a very large reason they even made the playoffs
The Indians will make the playoffs
The AL Central is poised to be very strong this year, as the Tigers and White Sox another improved this offseason. However, don’t forget the Tribe, as they almost made the playoffs despite star Michael Brantley missing more than a month of action. However, they did add another budding star, as rookie Francisco Lindor lit up the MLB with contact and power hitting. Throw in their formidable starting pitching trio of Kluber, Carrasco, and Salazar, and you got a team that can be dangerous.
The Giants will once again win the World Series
They say that history repeats itself, and no team knows this more than the Giants. Every year since 2010, they’ve won it all in even years, and guess what 2016 is? However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have a great team. They boast arguably the best rotation in baseball, and their hitters are no slouches either. Throw in them possibly signing any of the free agent OFs that are left, and they have one of the best teams in baseball. If they reach the postseason, you may as well crown them right then and there.
Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference