MLB 2016 Preview

Well, it’s here again, Opening Day. It should be declared a national holiday, but since it falls on a Sunday this year, we’ll let it slide. A long and tiresome journey awaits baseball fans everywhere:

Via MLB.com

162 games, full of winning and losing streaks, slumps and spikes, jubilant celebration and utter frustration. Most fans, unfortunately, will feel that frustration by season’s end. For a select few teams and their fans, however, hope stays alive into October. With that in mind, here is my 2016 preview and predictions. I don’t believe in guessing records, as EVERYONE who tries to do it fails (especially PECOTA). But I will predict order of finish within respective divisions, wild card teams, and Opening Day power rankings. I’ll also make a few bold predictions, and attempt to predict some individual awards. Without further ado, here we go!

NL West: (Preseason Power Ranking in Parenthesis)

Via: Steve Mitchell USA TODAY Sports
Via: Steve Mitchell USA TODAY Sports
  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (8)
  2. San Francisco Giants (12)
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks (18)
  4. Colorado Rockies (24)
  5. San Diego Padres (27)

NL Central: 

Via CBS Local
Via CBS Local
  1. Chicago Cubs (1)
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates (7) *Wild Card #2*
  3. St. Louis Cardinals (13)
  4. Milwaukee Brewers  (25)
  5. Cincinnati Reds (28)

NL East:

Via: Getty Images
Via: Getty Images
  1. New York Mets (4)
  2. Washington Nationals (6) *1st Wild Card*
  3. Miami Marlins (17)
  4. Atlanta Braves (29)
  5. Philadelphia Phillies (30)

AL West:

Via BleacherReport
Via BleacherReport
  1. Houston Astros (5)
  2. Texas Rangers (10) *2nd Wild Card*
  3. Seattle Mariners (11)
  4. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (23)
  5. Oakland Athletics (26)

AL Central:

Via Getty Images
Via Getty Images
  1. Kansas City Royals (2)
  2. Cleveland Indians (14)
  3. Minnesota Twins (15)
  4. Detroit Tigers (21)
  5. Chicago White Sox (22)

NL East: 

Via NY Daily News
Via NY Daily News
  1. Toronto Blue Jays (3)
  2. Boston Red Sox (9) *1st Wild Card*
  3. New York Yankees (16)
  4. Tampa Bay Rays (19)
  5. Baltimore Orioles (20)

NL Playoff Predictions:

Wild Card: Washington Nationals defeat Pittsburgh Pirates

Divisional Rounds:

Chicago Cubs defeat Washington Nationals

New York Mets defeat Los Angeles Dodgers

NL Pennant Round:

Chicago Cubs defeat New York Mets

AL Playoff Predictions:

Wild Card: Boston Red Sox defeat Texas Rangers

Divisional Rounds:

Kansas City Royals defeat Houston Astros

Boston Red Sox defeat Toronto Blue Jays

AL Pennant Round:

Kansas City Royals defeat Boston Red Sox

WORLD SERIES:

Chicago Cubs defeat Kansas City Royals

Why not give the old Cubbies a bit of hope?  The Royals are teetering on a dynasty, and playing with house money after their World Series win in 2015.  I still think they have the formula to win the AL, but Chicago… well… they deserve to be happy at this point.  They have the generals (Maddon and Epstein) and the dynamic players (Rizzo, Arrieta, Heyward) to make life miserable for the opposition.

Bold Predictions:

Yasiel Puig comes back to have a huge season after struggling in 2015.

Randal Grichuk hits 35 Home Runs.

The Yankees struggle enough to have a veteran fire sale in July.

Jose Bautista struggles due to ongoing contract negotiations.

No team wins, or loses 100 games.

Billy Butler is Designated for Assignment.

CC Sabathia Retires after the season.

Individual Awards:

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, LHP Dodgers

AL Cy Young: David Price, LHP Red Sox

NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton, OF Marlins

AL MVP: Mike Trout, OF Angels

NL Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager, SS Dodgers

AL Rookie of the Year: Jose Berrios: RHP Twins

There you have it, the Great American Sports Network MLB predictions for 2016.  Did I get it wrong?  Tell me why your favorite team could win it all!  Do you have any other bold predictions?  Leave your comments and let’s see what craziness might happen in the league this year.

 

 

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