Paul’s Amazing and Sure-To-Be-Perfect 2016 MLB Predictions

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The amount of research that went into these predictions would be laughably insufficient if it even existed. This would be back-of-napkin, but I don’t have a napkin around and I’m too lazy to get up to get one. This is more like scribbling on the underside of a plastic red cup that was once filled with Emergen-C. With that being said, I’m sure they will be 100% accurate at season’s end and we’ll all be able to come back and marvel at how my baseball intellect is on such a higher plane than all of you luddites.

American League East

  1. Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (Wild Card)
  3. Boston Red Sox
  4. New York Yankees
  5. Baltimore Orioles

The Blue Jays’ loaded offense should carry them to a second straight division title despite some iffy starting pitching. The Rays have a charming lineup full of guys you’ve never heard of but their pitching and defense is so strong that I think they’re going to sneak their way into the playoff conversation. Despite the potential star power of Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox still look like a mess to me and their starting pitching behind David Price…blech. The Yankees get a lot of hype for having the best bullpen in baseball, but having the best bullpen in April has never won anybody any division titles, and their lineup is old and susceptible to collapse at any moment. Baltimore’s lineup could just as easily blast 250 homers as it could devolve into an unwatchable parade of high-strikeout .220 hitters, and their chronic inability to develop any pitching will likely bite them in the butt once again.

American League Central

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

I absolutely love Cleveland’s starting pitching and I think this is the first time in nearly a decade that they make serious waves in the playoffs. The Royals barely had any turnover in their lineup from their championship year and they should be just as strong as ever, easily clearing 90 wins. The Tigers could challenge the Blue Jays for best offense in the AL, but their season hinges on whether Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez can stay healthy and effective, because their bullpen and back end starters look nightmarish. Despite the arrival of Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, the Twins look primed to fall victim to the Plexiglass Principle and regress, mostly because they continue to refuse to develop strikeout pitchers as if it were still 1974. The White Sox made moves in the offseason but did nothing to address an absolutely terrible defensive unit and they apparently abandoned a coherent team-building philosophy circa 2009.

American League West

  1. Houston Astros
  2. Seattle Mariners
  3. Texas Rangers
  4. Los Angeles Angels
  5. Oakland A’s

The Astros’ all-or-nothing offense can be ugly to watch at times, but full season contributions from budding superstar Carlos Correa and an improved bullpen should let them coast to the division title. I’m perennially bullish on the Mariners, for some reason, but now that they’re out of the Jack Zduriencik era, they may be able to finally develop some of their hitters. The Rangers caught fire in the last couple months of last season and strike me as a regression candidate with a high potential to disappoint. The Angels are going to waste another Mike Trout MVP-type year because their pitching is mostly crap. No one knows what in the hell the A’s are doing these days, but it’s at least blatantly clear that they’re going to be terrible.

National League East

  1. Washington Nationals
  2. New York Mets
  3. Miami Marlins
  4. Philadelphia Phillies
  5. Atlanta Braves

Don’t underestimate the ability of Dusty Baker to get the most out of a roster oozing talent. Baker gets flak for not being sabermetrically-inclined (to put it mildly) and he always wears out his welcome eventually, but I loved this signing. He’s historically been a great players’ manager and that’s exactly what the Nationals need after last year’s disaster. The Mets have insane pitching, but I think they’ll miss the playoffs by a hair because I just don’t think they’re as good as the Wild Card contending Pirates, Cardinals, or Dodgers. The Marlins are a dark horse playoff team if everything shakes out right, but it’s impossible to root for any franchise run by Jeffrey Loria, so screw them. The Phillies are in full tear-down mode and will be a whipping boy for at least another two years. The Braves made a lot of great moves this offseason to strengthen their farm system, but the major league product is an abomination.

National League Central

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

The Cubs have so much talent in their lineup that it’s unfair. Even with Kyle Schwarber out for the season, they should sleepwalk to 95 wins, at the least. The Pirates’ front office is maybe the smartest in the game, and their ability to turn retreads into contributors is unmatched in the game today. They also have a star-studded outfield and an ace in Gerrit Cole. In a world where the Cubs didn’t exist, they’d dominate this division. The Cardinals are a factory of young talent and will be in it right to the end, but I think this is the year they finally fall short of the playoffs with the loss of Jason Heyward. The Brewers stink but watch out for my guy Domingo Santana, who has star potential if he can cut his whiffs down (granted, it’s a big “if”). The Reds are in teardown mode and I challenge you to name more than three players on their roster without looking.

National League West

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

With bias proudly on display, I will predict that this Giants team will turn out to be the best of the 2010s thus far. I love the offense and the signings of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija will bolster the rotation enough to make them one of the NL’s best teams. The loss of Zack Greinke will hurt the Dodgers more than people think, but not enough so that they won’t nab a Wild Card spot. The Diamondbacks made a lot of commotion in the offseason but they still appear to be a rudderless ship, and the loss of A.J. Pollock is potentially season-immolating. The Padres aren’t as bad as they looked in the first three games of the season against the Dodgers, but they’re still going to be sunk by a horrific outfield defense. The Rockies will continue to be utterly incapable of developing quality pitchers and their team ERA will once again be unsightly.

AL Playoffs

Wild Card: Royals over Rays

ALDS: Royals over Astros, Blue Jays over Indians

ALCS: Blue Jays over Royals

NL Playoffs

Wild Card: Pirates over Dodgers

ALDS: Giants over Nationals, Pirates over Cubs

ALCS: Giants over Pirates

World Series: Giants over Blue Jays because even year.

Awards:

AL MVP: Carlos Correa

NL MVP: Bryce Harper

AL Cy Young: Chris Archer

NL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole

AL Rookie of the Year: Tyler White

NL Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager

Number of times yours truly has a horribly unproductive Sunday because his MLBTV subscription renewed: Infinity.

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One Response to Paul’s Amazing and Sure-To-Be-Perfect 2016 MLB Predictions

  1. Pingback: A Look Back at My “Amazing” Predictions | Paulie Unfiltered

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