I hadn’t planned on doing this, but after Marty Lurie asked me for some baseball predictions on Saturday — you can listen to my segment here — I figured it’d make sense to go through with this incredibly unique and revolutionary sports journalism process. Sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box, go out on a limb, take a long jump off of a short pier.
(Because there’s no law that says you have to start with the AL East)
1. Los Angeles Dodgers: Puig vs. Mattingly could drag this team down like big-money Dodgers teams of the past, but that seems unlikely.
2. San Francisco Giants: An offense-first Giants squad making the playoffs? What is this, the early-2000s?
3. San Diego Padres: Finished with the same record as the Giants last year (76-86), as well as the same record over their last 30 (17-13).
4. Arizona D-Backs: Brandon McCarthy may not be all that durable, but he leads all Opening Day starters in retweets and favorites.
5. Colorado Rockies: Here’s a team that makes you think, “You know, maybe I wouldn’t be the worst general manager in Major League Baseball.”
1. St. Louis Cardinals: They’ve made the playoffs 10 times in the last 15 years and have only eight losing seasons in the last 30 years. They also have the best fans in baseball.
2. Cincinnati Reds: I heard some ESPN guys interview Brandon Phillips on the radio after Phillips’ line drive hit umpire Brad Myers in a very bad place, and Phillips used the term “McNuggets” in reference to Myers’ genitals at least eight times.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates: If they end up winning the division or getting one of the Wild Card spots, are we still supposed to pretend to care? Because I could barely muster any enthusiasm for these guys last year. I’m tapped out.
4. Milwaukee Brewers: Could be a surprise 92-win team or completely awful. Something fishy is going on with Carlos Gomez, too. He was a career 8.1 WAR player over his first six years, then had an 8.9 WAR season in 2013.
5. Chicago Cubs: Batting cleanup (for now, and only against right-handed pitchers), Nate Schierholtz!
1. Washington Nationals: I’m not saying they’ll make it to the World Series (although it’s possible), but they’re in the least competitive division in baseball. Yeah, yeah, ON PAPER.
2. Atlanta Braves: Team Tommy (John).
3. Miami Marlins: Their lineup gets pretty depressing after Giancarlo Stanton, but they might have the best right-handed starter in baseball.
4. Philadelphia Phillies: Five position players, three starting pitchers and their closer all have something in common: they’re all at least 33 years old.
5. New York Mets: 2014 was a lost year once Matt Harvey’s elbow gave out.
1. Oakland Athletics: Losing Jarrod Parker hurts, but they’re still the most balanced team in this division.
2. Texas Rangers: As long as Yu Darvish’s injury isn’t a long-term thing, they’ll contend — their offense is too good.
3. Los Angeles Angels: Don’t let Mike Trout fool you — this team is OLD.
4. Seattle Mariners: Logan Morrison is lucky he keeps ending up on teams that don’t get a lot of media coverage, because his Twitter buffoonery is shielded from the masses.
5. Houston Astros: It’s a thin line between scrappy and crappy.
1. Kansas City Royals: The most impressive-looking team I saw in Arizona. It’s a silly reason to pick a team first, but they won 86 games last year.
2. Detroit Tigers: Joe Nathan is 39, which makes me feel really old. See, it’s always more fun to use the ages of athletes you grew up watching as an age barometer instead of talking about your own age.
3. Cleveland Indians: Last season was a little too magical for Cleveland, a town that isn’t exactly known for experiencing a lot of good luck. Also, Tony Plush is their leadoff hitter. Not exactly Kenny Lofton 2.0.
4. Chicago White Sox: There are only two semi-interesting players on this entire roster: Jose Dariel Abreu and Chris Sale.
5. Minnesota Twins: Weren’t things supposed to get better after leaving the Metrodome? Also, Keven Correia is their No. 2 starter.
1. Tampa Bay Rays: David Price is the elder statesman of the rotation. He’s 28.
2. Boston Red Sox: After adding A.J. Pierzynski, the Sawx lead all of baseball in punchable faces. Oh … hi, John Lackey!
3. Baltimore Orioles: I’ve got to admire a team that has three guys named Steve (Clevenger, Pearce, Lombardozzi) on their bench.
4. New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez should buy a seat behind home plate and attend every Yankees game. Oh, the team? Great lineup, awful rotation unless C.C. Sabathia isn’t actually done (doubtful) and Masahiro Tanaka becomes another Darvish.
5. Toronto Blue Jays: I made a bet with Giants Nirvana in 2012 that the Blue Jays (who had added a ton of expensive pieces via trades and free agency) that the Blue Jays would finish in third place at best. They finished in fourth, and I still have not collected.
Rookies of the Year: I have no idea
NL Cy Young: Adam Wainwright
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
NL MVP: Buster Posey
AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL Wildcard: Giants over Reds (Bumgarner over Latos)
AL Wildcard: Red Sox over Tigers
NLDS: Nationals over Giants; Cardinals over Dodgers
ALDS: A’s over Royals, Rays over Red Sox
NLCS: Cardinals over Nationals
ALCS: Rays over A’s
World Series: Rays over Cardinals