Another year of baseball is almost upon us! It is time to make my 2016 predictions, but I wouldn’t run to Vegas to place these bets. The past several years have been tough to predict (no one saw the Mets breaking out last year). It was a magical season for the Royals; we will see if they can do it again!
Toronto – Division Champ
Baltimore – Wild Card
New York (Yankees)
Toronto returns a lot of talent and their pitching will be improved. The Yankees made no significant changes in the offseason, which I think will prove costly. The Orioles could have been propelled to the top of the AL East, if Fowler had not ran out on them like a nervous bride.
Detroit – Division Champ
Kansas City – Wild Card
Chicago (White Sox)
The Detroit Tigers may have been the most underachieving team in baseball. I like the moves they have made this offseason to position themselves for success, however. Kansas City will not be an easy out, either.
Texas – Division Champ
Los Angeles (Angels)
Texas returns a solid rotation and great power on offense. Adding Ian Desmond to that line-up will only make it more potent. The Los Angeles Angels will miss the playoffs, but barely. I think their pitching rotation will fade come September.
Washington – Division Champs
New York (Mets)
How many years do writers have to pick the Washington Nationals before they burst onto the scene? I think this is the year they finally win the NL East, as predicted. I like Harper in the line-up as the clean-up hitter, along with their pitching rotation. I think that Strasburg has a breakout year in the midst of contract talks. Look for the Marlins to be an improved baseball club.
Chicago (Cubs) – Division Champ
Pittsburgh – Wild Card
The Chicago Cubs are loaded for a deep playoff run. This is the best chance they have had in at least 15 years. I expect the Pirates to do well this year; they have a very solid bullpen with great front of the line starters. McCutchen will be excellent, as always. The St. Louis Cardinals will miss the playoffs for the first time since Noah’s ark.
San Francisco – Division Champs
Los Angeles (Dodgers) – Wild Card
The San Francisco Giants have to win it this year, right? It is an even year. In all seriousness, I expect great baseball from the Giants this year. I expect Buster Posey to have another excellent campaign while helping that rotation tighten up compared to last year. Sorry Dodgers fans, money does not buy championships, but it will get you to the playoffs this year.
AL Wild Card:
Baltimore @ Kansas City
KC 4 – BAL 3
NL Wild Card:
Pittsburgh @ Los Angeles
LAD 6 – PIT 2
AL Divisional Rounds:
Texas vs. Kansas City (Texas 3-2)
Toronto vs. Detroit (Toronto 3-2)
NL Divisional Rounds:
LA vs. Washington (Washington 4-1)
San Francisco vs. Chicago (Chicago 3-2)
Toronto vs. Texas (Toronto 5-2)
Chicago vs. Washington (Chicago 4-3)
Chicago vs. Toronto (Chicago 4-3)