This might be my favorite post to write each year. Making predictions about the coming season is just good ol' fashioned fun, and I'm actually getting better at it as shown by the predictions from last year I got right:
- 87 wins for the Angels. OK, not quite nailed, but close enough.
- Reagins not making any deadline trades because the team has no money. NAILED IT!
- Kazmir waived by the end of May. I overshot it by a few weeks, but I was trying to be nice at the time.
- Fernando Rodney for team LVP. One could argue it was Vernon Wells, but Fraudney was so bad and depleted the bullpen so much as a result that I get this one on the spirit of the prediction.
- The Angels needing to scoop a veteran pitcher off the scrap heap to replace injured Joel Pineiro. See Williams, Jerome.
Now, here are the predictions I missed horribly:
- Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter as co-MVP of the team. I'm embarrassed.
- No Hank Conger until September. Never underestimate Mike Scioscia's willingness to carry three catchers.
As for picking the rest of MLB, that I still suck at, so just ignore that part of last year's predictions if you don't mind.
Alright, enough screwing around and living in the past. Let's look ahead to this year and make some bold predictions!
- C.J. Wilson will finish above Jered Weaver and Dan Haren in AL Cy Young voting. I'm dead serious about this. He is going to kill it now that he doesn't have to pitch in Arlington half the time, plus, he Weaver and Haren all figure to be so good that they will split the vote somewhat, causing Wilson to come out on top in a bit of an upset.
- This is the last season Erick Aybar will spend as an Angel. But will it be because he was too bad and they don't want him or too good and they can't afford him? I'm going with the latter, which is a bad thing for the Angels since this coming free agent market is largely devoid of talent, so Aybar is destined to get overpaid.
- The Angels and Rangers will get into a bench-clearing brawl. Mike Napoli and Jered Weaver will be prominently involved, I'll let you figure out the rest of the details for yourself.
- Jordan Walden will go 38-for-42 on save opportunities.
- Fans will still complain ad nauseam about Walden being a horribly unreliable closer and demand the Angels trade for a replacement.
- Jeff Mathis will finish the season with a higher batting average than Chris Iannetta.
- Mark Trumbo will play 75+ games at third base and finish with a UZR over zero resulting in approximately 7,289 articles trying to figure out exactly how that happened with the consensus being "you can't predict baseball."
- I have no factual basis for this, just a hunch, but I predict Ervin Santana spends at least eight weeks on the disabled list. Also, I really hate that I have a good track record on pitcher injury hunches.
- Peter Bourjos will make the All-Star team, and I promise it won't be because I figured out how to stuff that ballot box for him (as far as you know).
Just for laughs (since my track record in this area is awful), here are my predictions for the end of season standings and playoffs. Number of team wins are in parentheses.
AL East: Yankees (97), Rays (92), Red Sox (87), Blue Jays (83), Orioles (60)
AL Central: Tigers (90), Indians (84), Royals (80), White Sox (74), Twins (68)
AL West: Angels (94), Rangers (89), Mariners (73), Athletics (72)
NL East: Braves (90), Marlins (87), Phillies (86), Nationals (85), Mets, (71)
NL Central: Reds (88), Brewers (87), Cardinals (85), Cubs (75), Pirates (73), Astros (49)
NL West: Giants (91), Diamondbacks (86), Rockies (81), Padres (78), Dodgers (76)
AL Wild Card: Rays over Rangers
NL Wild Card: Marlins over Brewers
ALDS: Yankees over Tigers; Angels over Rays
NLDS: Giants over Marlins; Reds over Braves
ALCS: Angels over Yankees
NLCS: Reds over Giants
WORLD SERIES: Angels over Reds
C'mon? Did you really think I wasn't going to be biased and NOT pick the Angels?
Now, some awards. I will try not to be too biased here.
AL MVP: Albert Pujols
NL MVP: Joey Votto
AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander
NL Cy Young: Zack Greinke
AL Rookie of the Year: Matt Moore
NL Rookie of the Year: Yonder Alonso
AL Manager of the Year: Joe Girardi
NL Manager of the Year: Ron Roenicke
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