2013 Baseball Predictions
After a two year absence, I will bring to you my predictions for the 2013 baseball season. I expect this to be another fun season with many surprises and highs and lows. Many people feel like the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites and they are. However, I don’t believe either one of them will be as good as people expect. Read my predictions and weep (The X means division winners and * means wildcard winners).
X-1. Tampa Bay Rays 93-69: Year after year, experts count out the Rays and year after year they prove them wrong. The Rays didn’t have the flashy off-season like the Toronto Blue Jays, but they didn’t need to. Their biggest addition is a healthy Evan Longoria. Longoria only played in 74 games last season for a Rays team that won 90 games in 2012. Yes, I realize James Shields is gone, but you still have the current Cy Young Award winner in David Price and one of the best rotations in baseball. I’m not buying the Blue Jays winning the East because a lot of those same players were on the Miami Marlins roster. We saw how bad the Marlins performed last season. While I think the Jays will be competitive, I think they are a little overrated. That’s why I’m picking the Rays.
*2. Toronto Blue Jays 87-75: The Blue Jays are the team that won the off-season championship by acquiring players Jose Reyes, R.A. Dickey, Melky Cabrera, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, and Emilio Bonifacio. Add that with Jose Bautista and the talent they already have and this is a much improved team. I do like the Blue Jays to compete for a wild card spot, but I think the team will have a lot of ups and downs with this new team to win the East.
3. Boston Red Sox 82-80: I know this may surprise some people but I truly believe the Red Sox have improved. New Manager John Farrell has already improved this pitching staff. The offense for the Red Sox is always among MLB’s best and I like the free agent moves they made. The Red Sox could compete for the Wild Card provided David Ortiz comes back and returns to form. Since we don’t know his status, I will say the Sox will finish over .500.
4. Baltimore Orioles 81-81: The Orioles won 16 extra inning games last season. O’s have one of the best players in the majors in Adam Jones, but they will find it hard to duplicate that same magic in 2013. However I do think they still a good be a good team.
5. New York Yankees 77-85: I know I’m going to catch a lot of flak from Yankee fans because of this pick, but the Yankees are an old, broken down team. Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson will all miss the first part of the season. Derek Jeter, who is coming off of an injury himself, will be 39 in June. All those years of the Yankees not producing young talent in their farm system will finally catch up to them in 2013.
X-1. Detroit Tigers 97-63: Believe it or not, the Tigers will be a better team in 2013 than they were in 2012, when loss to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. They get Victor Martinez back for the whole year, and they signed Torii Hunter in free agency and that will make their exciting offense that much effective. If there’s a weakness with this team, it is their bullpen. If they can get that straighten out, the Tigers will be hard to beat.
2. Cleveland Indians 84-78: While experts were all in love with the moves the Blue Jays made this off season, the Indians were quietly building a nice team themselves. The Indians offense will be improved with the additions of Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, Drew Stubbs, and Mark Reynolds. They also added a two-time World Series Champion Manager in Terry Francona. With a smart veteran manager like Francona and their additions, this team will compete for one of the wild-card spots. What may prevent them from getting it is their rotation and young team. I do like the direction of this team.
3. Chicago White Sox 81-81: White Sox surprised a lot of people last season and were in control of the division until they lost it to Detroit late in the season. They really didn’t make any moves to improve their team and that’s why I feel like they will finish no better than third place.
4. Kansas City Royals 80-82: A lot of people believe the Royals are a playoff contender, but I just don’t see it. I thought it was a mistake to trade so many good prospects for James Shields, a pitcher who is good but not ace material. The team also signed pitchers Jeremy Guthrie and Ervin Santana. Royals have good young players in Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Billy Butler, but they are a year away from competing for a playoff spot.
5. Minnesota Twins 67-95: I use to always say that as the Twins had Manager Ron Gardenhire, they would be competitive, but those days are long gone. Minnesota has a good minor league system but that’s not going to help them in 2013. Twins should consider trading Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau because they aren’t winning in 2013.
X-1. Los Angeles Angels 94-66: If there’s a team that could challenge the Tigers for the American League Championship, it is the Angels. They signed the biggest name in free agency in outfielder Josh Hamilton. This gives the Angels three of the best hitters in baseball, In Hamilton, Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols. The team also signed Ryan Madson, who will be a good addition to their bullpen. Add that with their starting pitching in their rotation Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson and this team could make a serious World Series run.
*2. Oakland A’s 87-75: The A’s shocked everyone by winning the AL West last year. They don’t team have any big names, but they win with strong pitching and good hitting. Josh Reddick finished 2012 with 32 Home Runs and 85 RBIs, both career highs. Don’t expect the A’s to go away in this division.
3. Texas Rangers 86-76: The lost of Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli will hurt the Rangers. Hamilton was the heart of their offense and I think it will hurt them more than everyone believes. Rangers can still get one of the wildcard spots because of their offense, but I will give the edge to the A’s because of their pitching.
4. Seattle Mariners 75-87: Felix Hernandez signed a seven-year 175 million. He is clearly the face of this team and will be their best player again. The Mariners have some young players in Danny Hultzen, Tajuin Walker, and James Paxton, but will have to wait a little while before they become a factor.
5. Houston Astros 52-110: The Astros were a bad team in the NL Central and I expect them to be even worse in the AL West. The American League have a lot of teams with good offenses and the Astros don’t have the offense to compete with the teams in AL on a daily bases. They also don’t have a good minor league system either. Expect a long year in Houston for Astro fans.
X-1. Washington Nationals 94-68: I wanted to pick the Atlanta Braves to win the NL East, but the Nationals appear to be too good on paper. They have good lineup, great pitching rotation and a top-of-the-line closer. Nationals signed Starting pitcher Dan Haren and Closer Rafael Soriano in the off season. While Mike Trout had the better rookie year, I expect Bryce Harper to be the better player going forward. This will be a tough team to beat in October.
*2. Atlanta Braves 92-70: Braves brought both Upton brothers to Atlanta to play in their outfield. I believe B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, and Jason Heyward can be the best outfield in all of baseball. They have five men deep pitching rotation and Kimbral is one of the best closers in the business. Braves will compete for the NL East.
3. Philadelphia Phillies 87-75: I’m high on the Phillies. I think Lee and Halladay will return to form and those two alone will keep the Phillies competitive. If Chase Utley and Ryan Howard can stay healthy most of the year, then the Phillies can and will compete in the NL East. Remember, this was hottest team the last month and half of the season in 2012.
4. New York Mets 74-88: I do like the direction the Mets are going in, but fans won’t see the progress in wins and losses in 2013. Mets have some good young players in Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard, but I don’t expect a lot from them in 2013. At least Met fans can enjoy David Wright, Mr.Met, for years to come.
5. Miami Marlins 54-108: As long as Jeffrey Loria owns this team, they are going nowhere fast. Last season, there was plenty of hype and hope in Miami and South Florida after a big offseason. This year, the team will be lucky to fill half of Marlins Park for games. Loria has traded every quality MLB player not named Giancarlo Stanton. I feel bad for Stanton because he is one of the best power hitters in the majors and he has to play for an owner that cares more about making money than winning.
X- 1. Cincinnati Reds: 90-72: Reds won the NL Central last year and I expect them to be much better in 2013. Their only major addition this offseason was acquiring outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. I expect Choo to be a 20-20 guy in the National League. Joey Votto is back after missing a lot of time due to injury last year, he should be an MVP threat as usual, as well as Jay Bruce. I have a hard time believing anyone will beat the Reds for the Division in the Central.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates 85-77: I’m predicting the Pirates will have their first winning season since 1992. Andrew McCutchen, who is an MLP candidate can single handedly change the outcome of a game. A.J. Burnett had a good season last year as he finished with 16 wins. Burnett, along with Wendy Rodriguez, and James McDonald will carry the pitching staff. Expect the Pirates will compete for a wildcard.
3. St Louis Cardinals 81-81: After last year, I have learned never count the Cardinals out. I do believe they will take a step back in 2013. Cardinals have an older team and Furcal is out for the entire 2013 season. Holliday and Beltran will have to have a good season for this team to compete. Wouldn’t surprise me if the Cardinals got a wild card spot and it wouldn’t surprise me if they finished less than .500.
4. Milwaukee Brewers 77-85: They’re a lot of questions for the Brewers this season. Who, after Yovani Gallardo will step up in the rotation? Can they get any offense from anyone else not named Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez?
5. Chicago Cubs 64-98: The Cubs have a good rotation with Jeff Samardzija leading the way. Matt Garza is solid, and Edwin Jackson is a quality number 3 starter. Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo are good young players, but this team still has a long way to go. Don’t expect the Cubs to compete in 2013, but they are headed in the right direction.
1. San Francisco Giants 92-70: The reigning World Series Champions the favorites to win the NL West, but I have them winning the west again. Reason I’m picking the Giants over the Dodgers is because of their rotation. The Giants rotation, has Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Tim Lincecum. While Lincecum had a bad 2012, I fully expect him to bounce back and return to his CY Young form. Giants also have 2012 NL MVP Buster Posey, who will only continue to better in his third full season. Giants and Dodgers rivalry should heat up unlike never before.
*2. Los Angeles Dodgers 90-72: Dodgers are turning into the late 1990’s Yankees by the way they’re spending money. They brought in Zack Grenkie to help solidify a rotation already lead by Clayton Kershaw. Dodgers have three MVP candidates in my opinion, with Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, and even Hanley Ramirez. All will have to be a factor if they want to overtake the Giants in the West.
3. Arizona Diamondbacks: 80-82: Arizona have a decent team that will be in games. Martin Prado will be solid on offense for the D-Backs. If you haven’t heard the name Paul Goldschmidt, you will. Goldschmidt hit .286 with 20 homeruns last season and I believe he’s a future all-star. Indirectly, the Diamondbacks may decide who wins this division.
4. San Diego Padres: 75-87: Padres have a good young farm system, but I don’t expect much from them. Chase Headley should have another good year, but I expect Cameron Maybin to be a good player for the Padres this year and for years to come.
5. Colorado Rockies: 65-97: Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are exciting on offense, and Wilin Rosario and Dexter Fowler good players as well. Rockies will be in games because of their offense and they will have to be because of lack of a pitching.
World Series: Tigers over Braves
Detroit Tigers World Series Champions
NL MVP: Andrew McCutchen
AL MVP: Evan Longoria
NL CY Young: Matt Cain
AL CY Young: Justin Verlander
Antwan Staley is a Journalism graduate from East Carolina University. You can listen to Antwan every Saturday morning on Blogtalkradio.com or follow him in Twitter @blackredsoxfan