Bold predictions for the baseball season

   March 31, 2013 5:45 pm


Tony Battaglia Rick Green Tom Reisenweber
AL East
1. Toronto Toronto Toronto
2. Baltimore Tampa Bay Baltimore
3. Tampa Bay Baltimore New York
4. New York Boston Tampa Bay
5. Boston New York Boston
AL Central
1. Detroit Detroit Detroit
2. Kansas City Cleveland Kansas City
3. Cleveland Kansas City Cleveland
4. Chicago Chicago Chicago
5. Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
AL West
1. LA Angels LA Angels Texas
2. Oakland Texas LA Angels
3. Texas Seattle Oakland
4. Seattle Oakland Seattle
5. Houston Houston Houston
Wild Card Baltimore def. Oakland Cleveland def. Texas Baltimore def. LA Angels
Division round Toronto def. Baltimore LA Angels def. Cleveland Detroit def. Baltimore
Detroit def. LA Toronto def. Detroit Toronto def. Texas
ALCS Detroit def. Toronto Toronto def. LA Angels Detroit def. Toronto
MVP Mike Trout, Angels Jose Bautista, Blue Jays Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
Cy Young Justin Verlander, Tigers Felix Hernandes, Mariners Justin Verlander, Tigers
Rookie Aaron Hicks, Twins Wil Myers, Rays Jurickson Profar, Rangers
Manager Ned Yost, Royals John Gibbons, Jays Buck Showalter, Orioles
NL East
1. Washington Atlanta Washington
2. Atlanta Washington Atlanta
3. Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia
4. New York New York New York
5. Miami Miami Miami
NL Central
1. Cincinnati Cincinnati St. Louis
2. St. Louis Pittsburgh Cincinnati
3. Milwaukee St. Louis Milwaukee
4. Pittsburgh Milwaukee Pittsburgh
5. Chicago Chicago Chicago
NL West
1. LA Dodgers LA Dodgers San Francisco
2. San Francisco Arizona LA Dodgers
3. Arizona San Francisco Arizona
4. San Diego San Diego San Diego
5. Colorado Colorado Colorado
Wild Card Atlanta def. San Francisco Washington def. Arizona Atlanta def. Cincinnati
Division round Washington def. Atlanta Cincinnati def. Atlanta Washington def. Atlanta
LA Dodgers def. Cincinnati Washington def. LA Dodgers San Francisco def. St. Louis
NLCS Washington def. LA Dodgers Cincinnati def. Washington Washington def. San Francisco
MVP Bryce Harper, Nationals Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Joey Votto, Reds
Cy Young Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers Stephen Strasburg, Washington Stephen Strasburg, Washington
Rookie Julio Teheran, Braves Hyun-Jun Ryu, Los Angeles Shelby Miller, Cardinals
Manager Don Mattingly, Dodgers Clint Hurdle, Pirates Bruce Bochy, Giants
World Series Detroit def. Washington Cincinnati def. Toronto Detroit def. Washington

Tony’s take on the Indians: Cleveland has a shot at making the playoffs because of a maturing lineup and the offseason additions of Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Mark Reynolds, Mike Aviles and Brett Myers. New manager Terry Francona brings a buzz to the team that is hard to ignore. However, it all boils down to the rotation and the stability at the front end with Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez. If the starters show progress and the bullpen stays strong, the Tribe will contend in the AL Central.

Tony’s take on the Pirates: Pittsburgh is looking forward to finally putting together a winning season after 20 years of sub-.500 finishes. Will this be the year? Clint Hurdle’s team is banking on its core players, led by Andrew McCutchen, to continue to develop and carry out its winning agenda. The few moves made in the offseason — the addition of catcher Russell Martin being the biggest addition — could help, but the Bucs’ ability to avoid a second-half collapse will be the biggest key to finally snapping the streak.

Rick’s take on the Indians: What’s not to like about their offseason moves? I certainly wish the Pirates would do something similar. The Tribe has speed and power, and Terry Francona is awesome in the “Harlem Shake.” It’s all trending in the right way for the Tribe. If they get the pitching, they’ll get a wild-card spot.

Rick’s take on the Pirates: Spring is all about optimism, so why not be optimistic about the Pirates? This is the one time where you can take such a rosy outlook. I’ll go all-in with the Bucs ending their 20-year string of futility. I’ll even predict them to finish second in the division, fueled mainly by Andrew McCutchen’s MVP performance. Russell Martin might not hit for an average, but he’ll throw out baserunners, something that was needed last year. One other highlight: Gerrit Cole is runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting.

Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts on the season in the comments below.



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