Sunday, April 7, 2013

Final Predictions for the 2013 Season

***The Season Preview and Predictions that follow are not betting advice in any way shape or form.  Please do not bet any money based in any part on these predictions.***

This looks like it will be a great season.  Some cities that have not had playoff expectations for years (Kansas City, Baltimore, Washington, Pittsburgh) are going into this season with high hopes.  Other long time or recent contenders (Philadelphia, the Yankees, Boston, Texas, Tampa Bay, St.Louis and Milwaukee) are falling back towards the middle of the pack.  This could be one of the most competitive seasons in years and there are few teams who look like they have no chance at all to make the playoffs.  So get ready because it is a long, fun trip to October.  I hope everyone enjoys the ride as much as I will.

Head of the Class: 
There are a few teams that appear to be head and shoulders above the rest of their division and are clear cut favorites to dominate.  The Tigers lost the World Series last year but appear to have fixed nearly all of their problems (with the exception of closer).  They already had some bullpen issues this week and resigned Jose Valverde to a minor league deal.  The Angels challenged for a playoff spot last year and if it had not been for a slow start they would have done it.  They have added some firepower in Josh Hamilton but their pitching rotation is a big question.  They have already started of 1-3 but it is very early and a 2 game deficit can disappear very quickly.  The Cincinnati Reds have not won a World Series since 1990 but they are returning a team that won 97 games (even while losing three great players in Votto, Phillips and Rolen, to injuries for extended periods).  These three teams are the only ones you could say are poised to be clear favorites to win their divisions with little competition.

Look Out Below:
We are used to seeing several teams at the top of the divisions but those names are changing.  The Yankees have made the playoffs every year (except 2008) since 1995.  They have had a rough off season losing Rodriguez, Teixeira, and Granderson for extended periods while Jeter, Hughes and Gardner may start the season on the DL as well (although for shorter periods).  The Yankees have not entered a season with this many concerns since the 1994 strike.  This may be the Yankees time to rebuild.  The Phillies have gotten old faster than they should have.  Injuries to Howard, Utley and Halladay timed with Carlos Ruiz's suspension for a positive PED test may cause the Phillies to start rethinking their future. The Cardinals spent last year with the idea that they could win if they could just hang in there until Chris Carpenter got back.  This year Carpenter won't be back and neither will Rafael Furcal, the spark that got the Cardinals engine started.  The Brewers, Rangers and Rays have continuously lost key players to free agency without replacing them with proven talent.  The ownership and management of the Red Sox are a mess.

Ready to Strike?:
The Nationals are on the cusp of being at the head of the class but they are still a very young team.  Strasburg and Harper need to prove that they can continue to grow.  The Braves have the best outfield in baseball but their pitching staff is a big question mark.  The Blue Jays have made great improvements but have they made too many at one time?

Serious Contenders:
The Dodgers have a ton of talent but are already dealing with serious injury concerns.  The Royals have slowly (very very very very very slowly) built a good young core of players and added a veteran leader in James Shields.  Can they all achieve their potential together?  The Pirates have teased their fans for the last two seasons and collapsed after the All Star Break.  Can they put together a full good season?  The Athletics surprised everyone with their Division Title in 2012.  They lost several players who made that possible.  Is there enough left?

Rock Bottom:
The Marlins spent millions to bring a set of stars to Miami and open their new stadium.  Midway through the season they were dumping payroll and it continued this off season.  They are left with Giancarlo Stanton and...?  The Astros were the worst team in baseball last year. They have moved to the AL West this year but they brought the same old team.  The Rockies have four great players in Helton, Fowler, Gonzalez and Tulowitski.  Will any of them be there after the trade deadline?

Here is a final prediction* of what I believe the standings will look like at the end of the year:
American League East
1. Toronto Blue Jays
2. Tampa Bay Rays (Second Wild Card)
3. Boston Red Sox
4. New York Yankees
5. Baltimore Orioles

American League Central
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Kansas City Royals (First Wild Card)
3. Cleveland Indians
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Minnesota Twins

 American League West
1. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Texas Rangers
4. Seattle Mariners
5. Houston Astros

Wild Card Game:  Kansas City Royals over Tampa Bay Rays
American League Divisional Series: 
Detroit Tigers over Kansas City Royals;
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over Toronto Blue Jays
American League Championship Series:
Detroit Tigers over Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

American League Most Valuable Player: Prince Fielder (Detroit Tigers)
American League Cy Young Award Winner: Jered Weaver (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)

1. Washington Nationals
2. Atlanta Braves (First Wild Card)
3. Philadelphia Phillies
4. New York Mets
5. Miami Marlins

1. Cincinnati Reds
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
3. St.Louis Cardinals
4. Chicago Cubs
5. Milwaukee Brewers

1. San Francisco Giants
2. Los Angeles Dodgers (Second Wild Card)
3. San Diego Padres
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. Colorado Rockies

National League Wild Card Game: 
Los Angeles Dodgers over Atlanta Braves
National League Division Series:
Cincinnati Reds over Los Angeles Dodgers
Washington Nationals over San Francisco Giants
National League Championship Series: 
Cincinnati Reds over Washington Nationals

National League Most Valuable Player:  Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)
National League Cy Young Award Winner:  Stephen Strasburg (Washington Nationals)

*-  These picks vary slightly from my original picks only in the fact that I have dropped the Yankees from a Wild Card Spot to 4th in the American League East.  The day after my American League East preview was published Curtis Granderson broke his arm and will miss a significant part of the season.  Since then Mark Texeira, Phil Hughes, Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner have all suffered injuries.  This is added to the previous loss of Alex Rodriguez and rumors of shoulder issues with Sabathia dating back to the postseason last year.  Due only to these injuries I have changed my prediction in the American League East.


  1. Two things jump out at me: You have your Orioles finishing in the basement? And you have the Nationals beating the defending champs? Wow. Are they that good this year?

    That picture you posted of the 1940 WS program got me thinking... How many pairs of WS teams were repeats of previous years? I'd think it has to be a lot, right?


  2. I do have the Orioles finishing last this year but it is not impossible that they might win the division. The division is very evenly matched but they won a lot of games last year by one run and won a lot in comeback fashion. Also, their pitching rotation is very unsettled. I did also pick the Nationals to reach the NLCS. They do have a very strong team and I have seen quite a few experts pick them to win it all.

    There are quite a few repeat matches throughout the World Series history. The A's and Giants have met many times (both as a Philadelphia-New York and as an Oakland-San Francisco matchup). The Dodgers and Yankees met seven times when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn. Since the move to LA the two have met four times in the Series. The Giant-Yankees, Cubs-Tigers, Cardinals-Tigers, Cardinals-Yankees and Braves-Yankees have all happened several times just to name a few. Last season we very nearly had another Cardinals-Tigers classic matchup but instead wound up with Tigers-Giants for the first time ever.


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