It’s that time of year. Lush green grass, clay-red warning track and infield, pristine white bases, sizzling hot dogs, icy slushies, the crack of wood. Baseball season.
And today’s opening day. Granted, there’s only one game today, but it counts. (Most teams’ first game of the season is tomorrow, April 1st.) Regardless, today is a great day for all baseball fans, including me.
Background info: there are 30 teams in the MLB (major league baseball), and each plays 162 games in the regular season. The teams are split into 6 divisions of 5 teams each. The teams in each division with the most wins, plus 4 wild-card teams, move on to the playoffs.
Many baseball fans and experts – including me – take this time to predict how many games each team will win this season, as well as which team will “win” their division. There are 2,430 games in the regular season, so we just concern ourselves with that for now. Playoff stuff comes later.
I’m a big baseball fan, so I figure this year I’ll chime in with my predictions and picks for who wins the division. I’m just a humble fan – not even close to an expert – so take my predictions with a grain of salt.
I’ve written down how I think each team will do (wins/losses), plus some analysis that’s loaded with baseball jargon. Avoid the analysis if you don’t know too much about baseball. Remember that the top team in every division (rank 1) gets to move on to the playoffs, so everyone is fighting for that spot.
And, without further ado, my predictions & picks.
My division (I’m a Phillies phan.) As much as I’d like the Phillies to retake the division crown, I see them falling a bit short, although with a healthy offense and a still-solid pitching lineup they’ll do much better than last year. The Braves aren’t going to be as great as last year (plus they’ve lost Chipper), and the Nats’ pitching will put them on top. The Mets and Marlins are gonna suck like it’s 2011, seeing as the Mets are still rebuilding and the Marlins sold half of their roster.
|4||New York Mets||74||88|
This was a tough one, seeing as I’m not too familiar with this division. All I know is that the Pirates won’t hit .500 (what’s that, 19 straight losing seasons?) and the Cubs will be awful. I know the Reds will win (their offense is too good) but the other two teams I can’t say.
|2||St. Louis Cardinals||84||78|
This’ll be a fun division – you’ve got two of the best teams in the game here in the Giants and Dodgers. Neither team has changed much from last year so I don’t expect many changes from those two; the Giants should win the division again with about 94-95 wins, with the Dodgers just falling short. The other three teams will be mediocre at best, although if the D-Backs recapture their 2011 form they could pull off an upset.
|1||San Francisco Giants||95||67|
|2||Los Angeles Dodgers||90||72|
|4||San Diego Padres||73||89|
As usual, a completely stacked division. I’m being a bit brave in my predictions here. I think the Jays will completely collapse toward the second half of the season, despite their buying half of the Marlins’ roster and adding some notable names (Reyes, Dickey, Buehrle, etc.) Same thing happened to the Marlins last year. I think the Yanks will have a mediocre, injury-plagued year (it’s started already; Jeter, Teixera, Granderson, et al. are injured) while the Orioles keep up their magic from last year (not many other people expect that.) I think the Red Sox are just good enough to come out on top, although really any of the 5 teams could take the division.
|1||Boston Red Sox||89||73|
|3||New York Yankees||83||79|
|4||Tampa Bay Rays||78||84|
|5||Toronto Blue Jays||74||88|
I’m not too sure about this one either. To get the numbers to work out right I gave this division – minus the Tigers, who will definitely win – some horrible numbers. The Royals are a much, much better team than last year, while everyone else is more or less the same. I think the Royals will have a winning record but I don’t see them challenging the Tigers. The White Sox are decent but… that’s it. Nothing too special. The Twins and Indians will, unfortunately, be awful.
|2||Kansas City Royals||82||80|
|3||Chicago White Sox||80||82|
Now this will be a fun division to watch. The Astros will be playing their hearts out here – well, they’ll be playing for the 1st draft pick in June (i.e. they’ll be playing for the worst record.) And because of that they will have, once again, the worst record in baseball, and everyone else in the division will do great because they get to face the Astros 19 times. The other 4 teams will be duking it out for first, although it may not seem that way from my predictions. The Rangers are still good despite losing some top guys, the Mariners are much improved, and the Athletics have some stud young pitchers, but the Angels just can’t be beat. Trout, Pujols, and Hamilton? Most teams would kill for one of those guys!
|1||Los Angeles Angels||96||66|
Got any different (or similar) predictions? Let me know in the comments!