I get a lot of things wrong in life. The best and more recent example of this is my picking of Michigan State to win it all in the NCAA tournament.
when you pick michigan state to win it all pic.twitter.com/jwtGQXJCM8
— Connor Guercio (@connor_guercio) March 18, 2016
So naturally, I am going to try and correctly predict what the final standings will be for the upcoming MLB season. I am not the first person to do with and certainly will not be the last one before Opening Day.
American League East
1. Toronto Blue Jays
2. Boston Red Sox
3. New York Yankees
4. Baltimore Orioles
5. Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays’ 2015 season: 93-69, .574
Why I will be right: The reigning AL East division champions are coming into the 2016 season with high expectations. A team loaded with talent, it will be disappointing if the Jays are not able to return to the playoffs in any form after being one of the best teams last season.
Lead by right fielder and public enemy number one in Baltimore, Jose Bautista is the clear face of the franchise which was made ever more evident by his performance in Game five of the American League Division Series last season against the Texas Rangers.
The success of the Blue Jays will come down to their ability to hit the long ball with guys like Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Colabello and reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson leading the charge.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: In a division with strong bullpens, the Jays have one of the weaker ones. Lead by 21 year old Roberto Osuna, who had a very solid season last year, the Jays will have to rely heavily on Brett Cecil and Drew Storen to help in the later parts of the game.
Along with the theme of pitching, the Jays lost their best starter and trade acquisition from a year ago, David Price, to the division rival Red Sox. As of right now, their rotation consists of Marcus Stroman, Marco Estrada, R.A. Dickey, J.A. Happ, and Aaron Sanchez. Outside of Stroman, that is a very average rotation.
The hope is that Estrada can follow up his surprisingly good year last year with another top notch season and that free agent acquisition J.A. Happ can replace a void left by David Price. Spoiler alert: he probably won’t.
Boston Red Sox’s 2015 season: 78-84, .481
Why I will be right: I absolutely hate that I am buying into the hype of the Red Sox once again after they spent a ton of money in the off season. I did it in 2015 and still am kicking myself for believing that Hanley Ramirez would be a contributing factor everyday as a left fielder.
Nonetheless, the Red Sox still have some of the better young talent in the game with Mookie Betts patrolling center field and Xander Bogaerts as the everyday short stop. Along with them, utility man Brock Holt, their only All Star last season, is still a very decent player who gives me night terrors because of his bloop hits that drive in two.
David Ortiz, who is entering his final season, can still mash home runs like nothing and you know he will be ready to prove everybody wrong this season that thinks he is on a decline, myself included.
Oh, and acquiring one of the games best closers in Craig Kimbrel to compliment Koji Uehara is a nice touch along with signing one of the games best starters in David Price to polish up your rotation.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: It is the Red Sox. They have been disappointing now for the last two seasons but are always a contender due to their existing talent and financial resources available to go out and get top talent.
Their clear weak spot is starting pitching outside of David Price. Their current rotation has Clay Buchholz, Joe Kelly, Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez rounding it out and that is very mediocre. Along with not having the strongest bullpen, the Red Sox might have to be ready to score as many runs as possible in order to keep up in division games.
New York Yankees’ 2015 season: 87-75, .537
Why I will be right: The Yankees as of right now have one of, if not the best bullpen in baseball. Between signing Andrew Miller after the 2014 season, bringing Dellin Betances through their system and trading for Aroldis Chapman this past off season, they have built a deadly force that will help them shorten a lot of games and make opposing offenses score early and score often.
Along with acquiring Chapman, the Yankees traded for Starlin Castro from the Chicago Cubs and rounded out their infield which now includes Castro, Mark Teixeira, Didi Gregorious and Chase Headley. That group may not jump off the page but they are very well rounded and for the left handed hitters, Yankee Stadium is a dream come true.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: Age is killing the Yankees, literally. Carlos Beltran is 38, Mark Teixeira is 35, C.C. Sabathia is 35, and Alex Rodriguez is 40. Along with that, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Brian McCann are all 32 and not getting any better. Their time to win is now especially with A-Rod still on the team and able to hit home runs at his age.
Baltimore Orioles’ 2015 season: 81-81, .500
Why I will be right: I am an Orioles fan but I am also a realist when I say this: the current Orioles roster is very weird and probably will not be that good. They easily have the weakest starting pitching in the division with Chris Tillman still being labeled as their “ace” and guys like Yovani Gallardo, Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez rounding out the rotation.
The bright spot in the pitching is Kevin Gausman who will start the season on the D.L. with a shoulder problem but is not expected to miss a start.
Outside of the pitching, it is home run or bust for the Orioles. Resigning Chris Davis, signing Pedro Alvarez and trading for Mark Trumbo made it evident that the Orioles clearly know what their strength is. In a ballpark such as Camden Yards, they know that home runs will be easy to come by for this lineup but it can be their killer in the end.
Why I will (hopefully) be wrong: The Orioles also have one of, if not the best bullpens in baseball. They brought back set up man Darren O’Day, the informal leader of the bullpen, to compliment Mychal Givens, Brad Brach and one of the best closers in baseball: Zach Britton. If the Orioles starting pitching can limit the game to 5-6 innings and let the bullpen take over, watch out.
Tampa Bay Rays’ 2015 season: 80-82, .494
Why I will be right: The Rays are talented but very inexperienced. While Kevin Kiermaier is one of the more underrated young stars in the game today, they really do not have much more around him besides Evan Longoria, offensively.
Their starting pitching is their saving grace. Leading the way in that department is Chris Archer, a perennial Cy Young contender now, Matt Moore, Drew Smyly, Jake Odorizzi and Alex Cobb. You can make an argument for this being the best rotation in the division.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: Good starting pitching can possibly take the Rays into a wild card race deep into the season, especially in a division where it’s home run or strikeout for the other team’s offenses. The Rays have won before with what seemed to be limited talent on the roster so it would not surprise me this season.
American League Central
1. Kansas City Royals
2. Detroit Tigers
3. Minnesota Twins
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals’ 2015 season: 95-67, .586
Why I will be right: They are the defending World Series champions, if you are not aware. Also, they have been to two straight World Series in the past two seasons.
The Royals have become a model franchise in modern baseball in a way. They started the trend of having an elite bullpen and riding that through the postseason instead of the traditional way of letting your ace pitcher carry you. They also made small ball cool again and are not afraid to try it at any point in the game. Also, they are a very young and talented team.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Royals, while succeeding without one last season, do not have a top-of-the-rotation ace like other perennial contenders do. They traded for Johnny Cueto mid season last year and he did not pitch like an ace at all. They will have to hope that Yordano Ventura matures a little bit more and can take on some leadership with that pitching staff.
Detroit Tigers’ 2015 season: 74-87, .460
Why I will be right: The Tigers went out this off season and added two very big pieces to their team: Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmermann. They spent a lot of money on those two but I do not view it as being reckless with their money. Upton fills a hole at left field and Zimmermann is added to a rotation that already has very solid pitchers such as Justin Verlander, Daniel Norris, Shane Greene, and Anibal Sanchez. And then of course, they have that Miguel Cabrera guy.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Tigers easily have the worst bullpen out of any possible contender. They went out and got Justin Wilson from the Yankees and signed Francisco Rodriguez but that does not match up at all to what the Royals have on their roster. The Tigers better hope the starting pitching can go very deep into ball games.
Minnesota Twins’ 2015 season: 83-79, .512
Why I will be right: The Twins have one of the more odd yet good rosters in baseball. Nobody really jumps off the page but that could all change in a year or so. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are now both at the Major League level and they are going to be fun to watch. Last season, I was sitting behind home plate and saw Miguel Sano crush a home run in Camden Yards and was just blown away by the kind of power he has. Also, they still have Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier who are both reliable players at this point.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: While the Twins have a lot of young talent on the offensive side, their pitching may be their weak point this season. Their rotation consists of Ervin Santana, Phil Hughes, Ricky Nolasco, Tommy Milone and Trevor May which in a division with some top notch rotations, ranks probably last among them all.
Cleveland Indians’ 2015 season: 81-80, .503
Why I will be right: The Indians have one of the best pitchers in baseball and one of the best hitters and baseball and nothing else. Corey Kluber leads the rotation which also includes Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, Zach McAllister and Trevor Bauer and they may need to hope for good seasons out of the ones not named Corey Kluber. Michael Brantley was a possible MVP a few years ago but has gone almost unnoticed in Cleveland since then, which is sad for someone with his talent.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Indians are only two years removed from a Wild Card game appearance, believe it or not. They have one of the better young players in the game in Francisco Lindor up the middle with the underachieving Jason Kipnis. They were able to unload Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn last season which could open the door for Tyler Naquin, the Indians first round pick in 2012.
Chicago White Sox’s 2015 season: 76-86, .469
Why I will be right: I feel so bad for the White Sox. First, they always go out and try to out-do themselves in the off season. Second, they have all of the talent in the world and can not seem to put it together. And third, they just lost their “clubhouse leader” Drake LaRoche, Adam LaRoche’s son.
All joking aside, the White Sox are one of the more weirder teams in baseball in my opinion. You would think a team with an elite starter, power hitting first baseman, solid outfield group and quality starting pitching would succeed? Not them, apparently.
They went out and got Todd Frazier, which is the smartest move they have made the past few off seasons, signed Jimmy Rollins to most likely play short stop at 37, acquired Brett Lawrie to most likely play second base because they have nobody else listed to play there and they still did nothing to help David Robertson and the bullpen outside of signing Zach Duke.
Why I will be wrong: Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Carlos Rodon could be a very interesting group to watch if Rodon is to start this season. The addition of Mat Latos adds depth to their already decent starting staff and signing Austin Jackson as a fourth outfielder is a smart move due to his defensive abilities.
American League West
1. Houston Astros
2. Texas Rangers
3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Oakland Athletics
Houston Astros’ 2015 season: 86-76, .531
Why I will be right: The Astros have a lot to look forward to this season. They have one of the best young players in the game in Carlos Correa, one of the best contact hitters Jose Altuve, a solid outfield group that includes Colby Rasmus, Carlos Gomez, George Springer and Jake Marisnick as their 4th outfielder and they have the reigning Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel.
The Astros solidified their bullpen, a weak spot on their team last season, by bringing in Ken Giles from the Phillies and added Doug Fister to their already potent rotation which includes Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh and Mike Fiers.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The expectations could go to their heads and they could stumble out of the gates and always find themselves playing catch up in the division as the year goes along.
Speaking of the division, the AL West can be one of the tougher divisions to play in, especially with the Angels and Rangers always being perennial contenders. It might take a lot to derail the Astros this season.
Texas Rangers’ 2015 season: 88-74, .543
Why I will be right: The Rangers were one of the surprises of the 2015 season with winning the division unexpectedly and acquiring one of the more talked about pitchers on the trade market: Cole Hamels. Once Yu Darvish rejoins the team, those two at the top of the rotation will push the Rangers to having one of the better rotations in the league.
As for their offense, it pretty much speaks for itself at this point. Prince Fielder had a very good bounce back season last year, Rougned Odor is coming into his own, Adrian Beltre is still Adrian Beltre and of course Joey Gallo is still waiting for his chance to play everyday in the Majors.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: For all the strengths their rotation has, their bullpen seems to have all of the weaknesses. Shawn Tolleson is possibly their most solid bullpen arm and they did bring in former division rival Tom Wilhemsen but other than those two, it is a very worrisome group.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s 2015 record: 85-77, .525
Why I will be right: Just one season removed from a division championship, the Angels look to get back to the postseason for only the second time in the Mike Trout era and they may inevitably miss out due to them just not being as good as their divisional opponents.
Mike Trout is still on the team and when he is on your side, you have a great chance at success. They did acquire one of the best defensive short stops in the game in Andrelton Simmons this off season which will possibly help push the Angels to a more solidified infield along with Yunel Escobar at third, Johnny Giavotella at second and C.J. Cron at first.
Why I will be wrong: There is Mike Trout and then there is the rest. Kole Calhoun can hold his own in right field but those are easily the two best offensive weapons the Angels have. They will have to rely heavily on Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker and Hector Santiago to solidify the rotation especially with the question marks that surround Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney.
Also, how in the world does Mike Scioscia still have his job? Seriously, it boggles my mind sometimes. I guess you get some leeway if you win a World Series but 13 years of not being able to return to that peak? It just confuses me to no end.
Seattle Mariners’ 2015 season: 76-86, .469
Why I will be right: I feel so bad for the Mariners. They are such a fun team and have some top level talent, such as Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano, and it just never works out. They are easily one of the more disappointing franchises of the last decade especially with having the best pitcher in the American League, in my opinion, on their team for most of it.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Mariners did make some smart moves this off season. They acquired Leonys Martin from the Rangers, signed Nori Aoki and Adam Lind and were able to keep Hisashi Iwakuma after he failed a physical with the Dodgers and they took his contract off the table.
The hope for the Mariners is that Robinson Cano hits home runs, Kyle Seager plays at a top level, Chris Iannetta can do what Mike Zunino could not do: hit, and hope Felix can get some help from guys like Iwakuma, Taijuan Walker, Nathan Karns, and Wade Miley.
Oakland Athletics’ 2015 season: 68-94, .420
Why I will be right: The Athletics are in a clear rebuilding phase and do not possess the Major League talent to make a playoff run. Or they do, who knows; they are the Athletics after all. They went to the playoffs in a year that Josh Reddick and Jarrod Parker were two of the three highest player in WAR on the team.
Anyway, back to the Athletics of today. Outside of Sonny Gray, I do not see any top talent on this roster that could propel them to even a fluke of a postseason run.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: When everyone counts out the Athletics, they do their best to prove everybody wrong. They can be the perfect team to prove everybody’s predictions wrong and go to the playoffs which I would find hilarious.
>National League East
1. New York Mets
2. Washington Nationals
3. Miami Marlins
4. Atlanta Braves
5. Philadelphia Phillies
New York Mets’ 2015 season: 90-72, .556
Why I will be right: The Mets easily have the best rotation in all of baseball. Also, they are getting Zack Wheeler back this season from an elbow injury so he should help this rotation flow even better now, which is more than we can say for Matt Harvey currently.
But enough about Matt Harvey’s inability to know when his bladder is full, let me return to the team that plays in the Flushing neighborhood of New York City. The Mets are favorites to win the NL East again for obvious reasons: pitching. Along with Harvey and Wheeler, they have Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz in that deadly rotation. Along with them, they have Jeurys Familia who stepped into the closer role after Jenrry Mejia was suspended at the beginning of last season.
The Mets can also score some runs too. They were able to resign Yoenis Cespedes, their big trade deadline acquisition and acquired Neil Walker from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Along with those two, Lucas Duda coming into his own, d’Arnaud stepping up at the plate and Curtis Granderson finally hitting the way the Mets wanted him to when they signed him, this could all spell another year of October baseball in Citi Field.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: Unless some mysterious act happens where the group of starting pitchers all go mysteriously missing, I think the Mets have no real reason to worry this season.
But, then again, they are the Mets and we are all giving them way too much credit to not mess things up. Also, outside of Familia, the bullpen may struggle but that does not seem to be as much of a worry when you have five guys that can go nine innings every night.
Washington Nationals’ 2015 season: 83-79, .512
Why I will be right: For as much as I like to poke fun at the Nationals organization, they do have some very good and young talent. For starters, that Bryce Harper guy is still there and he is very, very good. If he is able to stay healthy, he is easily one of the two best players in baseball; the other being Mike Trout.
Along with Harper, the Nationals have Ryan Zimmerman, Anthony Rendon, Daniel Murphy, who they signed this past off season, Jayson Werth and newly acquired Ben Revere who they got from Toronto. On the pitching side, they have Max Scherzer who threw TWO no hitters last season, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark. That is still a very solid group of young players and I did not even get into Trea Turner and Lucas Giolito who will both most likely be on the team next year but still lurk in the minors.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: Jonathan Papelbon and his presence could just ruin everything for the Nationals. Oh, and the rest of their bullpen is not that great especially after trading away Drew Storen.
Miami Marlins’ 2015 season: 71-91, .438
Why I will be right: Let us just face facts here: the Marlins are not as good as we all want them to be. I would love to see Giancarlo Stanton crank out a Game 7 winning home run off of that stupid statue in center field but it will never happen. Christian Yelich is entering Rick Porcello territory of “this is the year he will break out” being the headline about him every spring training.
They finally have a “real” manager again in Don Mattingly after Dan Jennings filled in as manager for a majority of the season last year. I put the word real in quotes because I still think Mattingly is an overrated manager and that is coming from someone who is distantly related to him.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Marlins can possibly tell the whole league to screw off and finally play like they are supposed to. The main key for them is that Giancarlo Stanton needs to stay healthy. He is easily the best power hitter in the game by pure skill and needs to be in that Marlins lineup every single game for them to have any chance of making a postseason run.
Outside of Stanton, Yelich is still a decent player but he can play at a better level I still feel like. Dee Gordon was other-worldly last season and might regress a little but should still be a decent player. They get Jose Fernandez for the full year (on an innings limit) and they brought in Wei-Yin Chen to compliment him at the top of the rotation.
Atlanta Braves’ 2015 season: 67-95, .414
Why I will be right: The Braves are lucky that they share a division with the Phillies because they would be the laughing stock if it wasn’t for them. The Braves are in a clear win later mode which began not this past off season but the one before with the trade to send Jason Heyward to the Cardinals. They added to that by sending Shelby Miller to the Diamondbacks and Andrelton Simmons to the Angels. The Braves will sacrifice a few years of losing now so that the product on the field is better a few years from now.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The only way this prediction is wrong is if the Braves finish last instead of the Phillies, which is a very real possibility. I just do not see any scenario where the Braves make any sort of play for a playoff spot.
Philadelphia Phillies’ 2015 season: 63-99, .389
Why I will be right: The Phillies are easily the worst team in baseball but that all could change in a few years. Unfortunately for now, the Phillies and their fans will have to endure some tough seasons ahead.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Phillies could surprise some people and perform well on occasion and possibly not finish in the cellar of the NL East.
Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Nola should all be fun players to watch on the Phillies this season and hopefully a glimpse into the future of the Phillies where they can get back to their winning ways of the late 2000’s.
National League Central
1. Pittsburgh Pirates
2. Chicago Cubs
3. St. Louis Cardinals
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers
Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2015 season: 98-64, .605
Why I will be right: I truly believe this year the Pirates finally take that step and win the division after hosting the National League Wild Card game for three straight seasons. In the toughest division in baseball, they are the team that stands out to me and who I think take the leap forward towards that division title.
With the best outfield core in baseball that includes Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco and former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates are showing that they have some of the best young talent in the game right now. Gerrit Cole is coming into his own as a top line starting pitcher who can lead this young rotation very well I think.
To compliment their great outfield, their solid infield consists of newly acquired John Jaso, Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Jung Ho Kang as the starters with guys like Sean Rodriguez, Michael Morse and David Freese ready to go at any moment. I am really looking forward to watching the Pirates play this season.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: In a division with the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, it is very hard to pick a winner. I truly think once again that all three of those teams will go to the postseason once again, but the order varies by person.
As for the Pirates, outside of Mark Melancon and Tony Watson, I am not the biggest fan of their bullpen. They seem to piece it together every single year and just run with whatever they put together and that may come back to hurt them.
Chicago Cubs’ 2015 season: 97-65, .599
Why I will be right: Well, it finally happened; the Cubs are good again. It is very hard to find a weakness on this team in either their lineup and rotation.
Lead by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs are looking to return to the playoffs after being curb stomped by the Mets in the National League Championship Series. They added Ben Zobrist, John Lackey, Trevor Cahill, Jason Heyward, one of the bigger off season signings, and brought back Dexter Fowler, to the dismay of every single Orioles fan.
As for their rotation, it pretty much speaks for itself at this point. Jake Arrieta, much to the dismay of every single Orioles fan also, won the NL Cy Young Award and propelled the Cubs past the Pirates in the NL Wild Card game and got them to the NLCS. They also have Jon Lester, another top of the line pitcher and Jason Hammel along with Lackey and Cahill possibly rounding out the rotation.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Cubs are still a very young team. While they did get postseason experience last year, you always have to worry if they can live up to the hype, especially in the current NL Central with the ever present Cardinals and Pirates.
The only true weak spot I see is the bullpen outside of Hector Rondon closing out games and Pedro Strop being the set up man. Other than that, it is hard to find any other true weakness like I previously stated.
St. Louis Cardinals’ 2015 season: 100-62, .617
Why I will be right: It feels so weird to put the Cardinals third in my predictions based on the year they had last season and their way to never ever disappear from the contention picture.
The Cardinals do have a solid starting group with Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Mike Leake and Lance Lynn and their bullpen is easily the best in the division with guys like Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist, Seth Maness and Jaime Garcia.
My true worry with the Cardinals comes down to their very young outfield. Losing Jason Heyward to the division rival Cubs hurts but if I have learned anything from the past few years, every single Cardinals prospect works out and becomes a star in some way, shape or form. Randal Grichuk, Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty are just the new batch of young players to come out of the Cardinals organization that will hit big home runs in the playoffs eventually.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: They are the Cardinals. The devil magic will be out in full force this season in some way or another.
In a division where the Cubs and Pirates seem to get all of the attention, the Cardinals have seemingly gone unnoticed going into this season which will just inspire them more to prove people wrong and take the division from one of the other two exciting teams in the Central.
Cincinnati Reds’ 2015 season: 64-98, .395
Why I will be right: A majority of the time I forget that the Reds exist. I will be reading some baseball news and see “Billy Hamilton steals three bases” and be reminded about their existence.
In a division with the Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates, the Reds are pretty much written off from the beginning of the season along with the limited talent left on their roster especially after trading away Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: Hey, the Reds could finish fifth and the Brewers could finish fourth. Those two teams are pretty much interchangeable at this point and it is weird to see considering that just five years ago both teams ruled the division.
I see Joey Votto’s time ending in Cincinnati very soon along with Brandon Phillips, who they tried to trade during the off season, and then the rebuild will be in full motion. It is a shame because Votto is one of the more underrated talents in the game and I hate to see his prime years wasted on a perennial loser.
Milwaukee Brewers’ 2015 season: 68-94, .420
Why I will be right: I just went through the current active roster for the Brewers and could only recognize nine names: Matt Garza, Will Smith, Jonathan Lucroy, Chris Carter, Scooter Gennett, Aaron Hill, Jonathan Villar, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ryan Braun.
Fun fact: Aaron Hill is only 34. It feels like he has been around forever to me. Maybe I’m just getting old, who knows.
Anyway, back to the dumpster fire that is the Milwaukee Brewers; they are pretty much in full rebuild mode at this point. Ryan Braun’s best days are behind him even though it just felt like yesterday that he broke onto the scene and was breaking everybody’s hearts by testing positive for steroids.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: Like I previously stated, the Reds and Brewers are pretty much interchangeable for fourth and fifth place to where they will become irrelevant by May due to the other three teams in the division.
I truly feel bad for the Brewers. Like the Reds, it was only a few years ago where they were a potential postseason team and were only two games away from the World Series in 2011.
National League West
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Francisco Giants
3. Arizona Diamondbacks
4. Colorado Rockies
5. San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2015 season: 92-70, .568
Why I will be right: The Dodgers at this point become an easy pick to pencil in to win the NL West. As of right now, they are the three time defending champions of the division but can not seem to make the jump from Divisional Series to Championship Series.
It is not for a lack to talent though. With Clayton Kershaw leading the team from the mound, the Dodgers hope that this is the year they can advance further in the playoffs. With guys like Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez and former prospect Corey Seager, the Dodgers can only hope to make that leap this season.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: After Kershaw, the Dodgers rotation is not as good as it was last year with Zack Greinke leaving for the Diamondbacks. They signed Kenta Maeda out of Japan and Scott Kazmir who will join Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood in that questionable rotation.
San Francisco Giants’ 2015 season: 84-78, .518
Why I will be right: Adding Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to a rotation with Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain is very promising especially for a team that had to trade for Mike Leake at the trade deadline last season.
Outside of the pitching, they added Denard Span to help solidify their outfield with Gregor Blanco in left field and Hunter Pence in right. As for the rest of the offense, the Giants have one of the more underrated infields in baseball with Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford and Matt Duffy rounding it out. All of those guys are young and have still not hit their peak so they will be fun to watch this season. And of course, there is that Buster Posey guy.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: It is an even year so the Giants are almost certainly going to win the World Series. I would like to thank every other team for thinking they had a chance this season.
In reality, the Giants biggest weakness is the bullpen but with a strong rotation, they can probably get by with a less than great bullpen like that have in other years where they went on to win the World Series.
Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2015 season: 79-83, .488
Why I will be right: I will not buy into the Diamondbacks hype. I will not buy into the Diamondbacks hype. I will not buy into the Diamondbacks hype.
For as much as everyone is talking up the Diamondbacks, they do have a very, very good starting rotation with Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin and they can always rely on Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollack to be the players everyone already knows. I do also like the addition of Jean Segura from a defensive standpoint; his weak point now is his offense.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Diamondbacks might actually back up their hype and ride that to their first playoff appearance since 2011. I still am not quite sure what will stop them first: their weak bullpen or atrocious new uniforms.
Colorado Rockies’ 2015 season: 68-94, .420
Why I will be right: The Rockies should be thankful for the Orioles for putting everyone’s attention on their mediocre rotation to where everyone forgets about the Rockies mediocre one. It also does not help that they play in Coors Field, a hitters haven. I do not see any way the rotation is the saving grace for the Rockies in 2016.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: The Rockies still have a very solid offense even after trading away Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson. Lead by Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies will never worry about scoring runs especially in Coors Field.
They also have a fairly solid back end of the bullpen with Jason Motte, Chad Qualls and Jake McGee which were all off season acquisitions for the Rockies.
San Diego Padres’ 2015 season: 74-88, .457
Why I will be right: After the failure of the 2015 following a big off season for the Padres, they went back to their ways of selling off players to try and acquire some minor league talent. The Padres still have a decent group of starting outfielders with Jon Jay, Wil Myers and Matt Kemp but even those three can not save this team.
Why I will (probably) be wrong: They do share a division with the Rockies so they still have a chance to finish fourth. They also still have some decent starting pitchers in James Shields and Andrew Cashner but unfortunately for those guys, they will most likely just be trade bait once the deadline rolls around.
Time will tell if any of these predictions will actually come true. If anything, I like to keep this and look back on it around June or July just to see how wrong I was. Or I get every single one right and I’m some mad genius; I highly doubt that though.