I hate making predictions. It’s a hard thing to do. You take a roster of men, and based on stats and previous performance and/or scouting reports, you make a prediction. There is an element in baseball that no one talks about but everyone knows: The Surprise Factor. While self-explanatory, it has many examples: the 1951 Giants — “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” — a dream when on the bottom that you can work your way to the top of the standings.
In more recent years, the 2004 Red Sox, during the ALCS, down three games to none, came back to beat the Yankees ( which you know I am always happy about) and later win the World Series against the Cardinals.
This year, I tried my hand at predicting the winners and wildcards. My NL Predictions and AL Predictions. I admit fully that I was blinded by Cub fandom. I just really want to see the Cubs in the World Series. I was surprised at Lester. I thought he had a pickoff move. This is essential in small ball in the NL. No one could have guessed what the Astros have done. I mean, if I weren’t a huge Ranger fan, I would be cheering for these Texas boys. The Astros have made the AL West a real division, with some real competition.
Who would I pick to win now? Well, being a glutton for punishments, I would say this:
My new AL predictions:
West: I would like to see the Astros beat the Angels, and I predict Astros will win the division. I think that if they make some trades, there could be real Wild West fun. I see the Angels being the wild card again, like last year.
Central: Royals Royals Royals. They still have the magic from last year, and, no surprise, what make a great team great: camaraderie.
East: If you going to spend some money, you might as well get something for it. The Yankees should be on top, for all they put into the team.
My new NL predictions:
West: I love the Dodgers, where pitching is king. There is going to be some back-and-forth in the standings with the Giants, Dodgers will prevail.
Central: I think we will see The Surprise Factor at work. The Pirates are coming back in a big way. It’s going to make for some fun baseball.
East: Chocolate sauce all around. The Nationals have this in the bag. That being said, I see the Mets coming in as the wild card.