Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013 Predictions

Predictions in baseball are stupid, but they are also a lot of fun.   So, here are mine for 2013 as Opening Day has finally arrived:

Division Races:

AL East:

1.  Toronto Blue Jays- I'm not as big a fan of all the trades they made as some, but they are a loaded team now.  Some depends on whether Jose Reyes' legs will withstand the pounding from the artificial surface and that is a thin reed to lean on, but the team has a lot of other assets.

2. Tampa Bay Rays- They need a healthy season from Longoria on offense, but they have great pitching led by David Price.

3.  Baltimore Orioles- If everything breaks right again, they could end up #1, but their pitching doesn't seem to cut the mustard for me.  Dylan Bundy would be a huge upgrade right now, but they will keep him down for a couple of months for arbitration clock management.

4.  Boston Red Sox- I'm not as impressed with the additions of Victorino and Napoli as some, and their pitching still seems like a complete mess.

5.  New York Yankees-  Oh how have the mighty fallen?  The Yankees are now known more for picking up players off the Giants scrapheap than for signing superstars.  The trade for Wells was obviously made out of desperation and will not help.  This is, all of a sudden, a very bad team!

AL Central:

1.  Detroit Tigers- They are loaded again and should run away with the division.

2.  Kansas City Royals-  They added pitching in the offseason and they have several young players who are primed for breakouts.

3.  Chicago White Sox- They have some interesting young players, but the talent pipeline is not running fast enough so they will come up short.

4.  Cleveland Indians- They added some respectable pieces in Bourn and Swisher, but their pitching is still pretty pathetic.

5.  Minnesota Twins- The Twins have some talent in the pipeline but are not ready to compete yet.

AL West:

1.  Oakland A's- The Rangers and Angels are the popular favorites, but the A's have much better hitting than Texas and much better pitching than the Angels.

2.  Seattle Mariners- The Mariners retain their excellent pitching and add several power bats.  Pitching still rules in baseball and the Mariners are going to be a lot better than people expect now that they have decent hitting to back up their pitching.

3. LA Angels- Lineup of superstars but the pitching staff is a collection of innings eaters.  Loss of velocity and K% bodes ill for Jered Weaver's future.  A collapse is not out of the question.

4. Texas Rangers- The lineup loses Hamilton and Napoli and does not add anything.  That is not a scary lineup anymore!  The pitching is decent, but will it be enough?

5.  Houston Astros- This team is rebuilding and doing it the right way, but they will be very bad this year.

NL East:

1.  Washington Nationals- Best team in baseball on paper.  In a playoff matchup, I'll take Bochy to outmanage Davey Johnson, but the Nats are going to win the NL East.

2.  Atlanta Braves- The Braves have a lot of talent and could give the Nats a run for their money if it all falls into place.  They've got problems at catcher, 2B and possibly 3B, which will likely hold them back.

3.  Philadelphia Phillies- Ryan Howard and Chase Utley seem to finally be healthy and Domonic Brown seems to be finally ready, but this team has a lot of age.  Halladay looks like he might be done.

4.  New York Mets- David Wright starting the season with a rib cage injury is not a good thing.  The Mets have a couple of nice building blocks on the pitching side with Matt Harvey ready to break out and Zack Wheeler coming soon, but overall the talent level is not there.

5.  Miami Marlins- How bad are the Marlins?  2/5's of their pitching rotation goes down with injuries on the eve of Opening Day and 20 year-old Jose Fernandez is being pressed into service.  The Marlins have some talent on the farm but it's gonna be a long walk home for them.

NL Central:

1.  St. Louis Cardinals- The Cardinals are weak up the middle, but they have pitching, pitching and more pitching and a pipeline of talent that is backed up for miles.

2.  Cincinnati Reds- If he can stay healthy, Shin-Soo Choo will help the top of their lineup a lot.  The pitching is still not quite up to the Cardinals standards and they don't seem to know what to do with Aroldis Chapman.  Read Keith Olbermann's blog for a spot on take on Chapman.

3.  Pittsburgh Pirates- The Pirates have a nice lineup, but the pitching leaves a lot to be desired.  Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon would be immediate upgrades but will start the season in the minors.

4.  Milwaukee Brewers-  The BrewCrew has evolved away from the Harvey's Wallbangers days into a run and gun team.  They have added even more speed with Jean Segura at SS.  The signing of Kyle Lohse helps shore up the rotation which is underrated.

5.  Chicago Cubs- the Cubs have a few nice pieces in Castro at SS, Rizzo at 1B and Samardzija on the mound as well as some interesting prospects, but this team is still a long, long ways from contending.

NL West:

1.  San Francisco Giants- The Giants are defending champs for the second time in 3 years.  It's crazy hard to repeat, but I think this team has it in them.  They do need Pablo Sandoval's elbow to get healthy soon, but with Belt and Crawford now forces in the lineup, it's less critical than in past years.  What could derail everything is a couple of injuries to the starting rotation.

2.  LA Dodgers- The Dodgers have undeniably bought themselves a lot of talent.  I'm not convinced that it all fits together.  I am also not convinced that Clayton Kershaw is completely healthy.

3. San Diego Padres- the injury to Headley and suspension of Grandal hurt a lot, but this is a much better team than they are generally given credit for.

4.  Arizona Diamondbacks- This team absolutely hemorrhaged talent in the offseason in an effort to gain "chemistry".  They bet the farm on Adam Eaton taking over in CF and he's out for who knows how long with UCL issues.

5.  Colorado Rockies- If TMT(Two Month Tulo) can stay healthy, they will have a dangerous lineup, but the pitching is a complete shambles in many ways.

Wild Cards:

AL:  Tampa Bay Rays and KC Royals.

NL:  Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds.

AL Pennant:  Detroit Tigers

NL Pennant:  San Francisco Giants

World Series Champion:  Giants

AL MVP:  Yoenis Cespedes

NL MVP:  Bryce Harper

AL Cy Young:  David Price

NL Cy Young:  Stephen Strasburg

AL ROY:  Dylan Bundy

NL ROY:  Jean Segura

What are your predictions?


  1. pretty good picks. although i am loathe to picking anything, as things change so quickly in this game, despite the grind.

    wish wolfe would change his mindset and allow beane to create a dynasty. with the talent beane has been forced to dump, melvin could easily take the team to the ws.

    i dont get what the snakes were thinking...chemistry isnt created, it is developed. look at 2012 giants and a's...both developed in slightly different ways.

    here is the poll question...if the quarter billion dollar bums dont make the playoffs, what does everyone think will happen? will donnie baseball get the boot? has agent ned set himself up as the teflon gm, the way sabey sabes has? will they allow their new vp of baseball ops to do what he said he wanted and build from within, knowing that it means at least 3-5 years of losing teams?

    happy easter and passover to those that those that dont...happy opening day, you heathen bastiches



    1. If da Bums fail to make the playoffs, Donnie is history. Agent Ned probably is too, but that's not as clear cut. I think Agent Ned's future with the team depends on how well he meshes with Kasten and negotiates a detente between the competing, diametrically opposing visions of Kasten and Magic, less on how well they do on the field.

    2. Ariel Rose?

      I googled it, and lets just say I am glad I did not do that at work...

    3. Isn't Ariel Rose the girl who died of cancer and who Sergio Romo befriended?

    4. Not saying these are not great stories, but Bacci tends to get more sentimental about them than I do. Gotta admire his passion and compassion, though.

    5. Found it...

      Ariel Rose Gariano. Not sure I heard that story. Of course, I am not in the BA, so I miss a lot of these types of stories.

    6. You have to dump the A's while more people are high on them...maybe buy them back when they are low again.

      Trading, not creating, is the way to flip.

  2. I'll hold my opinions to the Giants, mostly...

    Love the spirit Bacci - glad you're on our team.

    I see the Giants getting out of the gate with some ups and downs. The team has to find it's 2013 mojo and will in Sept. Pitching again carries the team thru offensive slumps. I think the lineup 1 to 9 will be more productive than in past years - the Brandons and Pence will have a lot to say about this. Don't see anyone Huffing-out or drinking the tainted leche this year. Stay steady and step it up in Sept/Oct. Giants deep into the playoffs fo'sure.

    Bums 8 games out, Donnie gone and chaos in the Ravine. More $$$ spent and does McCourt still own the parking lots, good luck with that.

    Panda - Really the only offensive question mark this year. Our Panda seems to have found the downside of his fun loving ways - ya gotta exercise some discipline (plate, pants, paunch) to get the big paycheck. We'll see, but unless his elbow sets him back for 2 - 3 months, expect a BIG power year from the Panda. And maybe switch hitting to 5th place if Belt takes off.

    Timmy - still inconsistent, though going deeper into games. I think his body, diet and training are right and that is the foundation he was missing last year. Now he needs to learn how to pitch with less strikeout stuff. Used to love Timmy Day and now I'm wondering, can he make out of the 5th. If not, he will tax the Giants bullpen too much and find himself there.

    Surprise Player - Hembree. Come Sept this guy will be a stud.

    Issue - 6th starter. Depth will be needed at some point. Let's hope it's not this year as I don't see Heston having the stuff, yet, Surkamp has a long way to go in TJ recovery, and Kickham is not MLB-ready, yet. Come 2014, however, I think one of these guys joins the rotation.

    Fan issue - If only we had a LF power hitter. If you don't know Giants baseball by now, you never will.

    Go Ginats, can't wait.

    1. That's a pretty good analysis. I look for Sabes to acquire some type of RH power bat for LF mid-season. Those don't exactly grow on trees though.

    2. Maybe Quiroz and one of our RP prospects can buy a decent one, though...

  3. Good predictions Drb and its all in fun. I think the Mets can't wait too long to call up Zack Wheeler due to Johann Santana's shoulder surgery and Jeremy Hefner as their 5th starter. How well do you see Wheeler's debut season with the Mets turning out, just as good as Matt Harvey's? Looking forward to following the Giants minor leaguers too!


    1. I think Wheels might be in for a rough debut if they bring him up too soon. I'm not convinced the command is quite there yet.

  4. milb rosters should be complete by end of day...

    and ya, i know i go towards the more emotional end of the game, but i think that is what makes it special

    i went to niner and warrior games as a kid, and they were fun, but i will never forget the first giants game my dad took me to at the stick. cold, ugly night in 72...but when i walked into the special box (that he got for being employee of the month) and saw that huge expanse of green under the was love at first sight...


    1. wow...cavan sent down to sj because they are converting him to 3rd base....hmmmmmm

    2. Wow, that has to be blocking somebody who thought they were coming UP to SJ.

    3. that would be Garrett Buechele who might be reasonably bent that he is getting blocked from SJ by Cavan.

    4. Where do you find the assignments? I can't find them...

    5. DrB. Could you start a new entry for the MiLB news and discussions? I think a brief. Post what you know about MiLB assignments would be sufficient, and very helpful for most of us.

  5. I like your cy young predictions. Assignments came out! Some surprises. I'd say big ups to Andrew Susac for making Richmond is the biggest and baddest. And Chris Marlowe making the SJ rotation, good for him and his folks.

    Wish me luck in my roto draft. 15 team league, I have the 1st pick of the draft. I'm bucking conventional wisdom and taking Trout. 5 tools OFs, my one weakness.

    Bacci, don't ever change. I'm about 10 years behind you on the entrance to the Stick, but it was the same for me. But my first games were across the bay, watching Ricky's rookie year. So I have the same weakness for the A's you do.

    1. Nothing wrong with taking Trout first overall. It's between him and Miggy Cab and Trout gives the possibility of dominance in 5 categories while Miggs ain't gonna be stealing any bags for you. I've downgraded Braun due to concerns that he might run afoul of MLB's current drug investigation.

    2. It's btw one's weakness of the A's teams of Hunter, Bando, Rudi, et al and the disdain for this one man pretending to be a genius.

  6. Was stunned to read the national experts' predictions that Pavs listed. Wow. Guess the Giants will have to win ten WS in a row to impress this crowd.

    N.L. West Champion:
    Olney (ESPN): Diamondbacks over Giants - really w/Eaton out + chemistry experiment, really?
    Law (ESPN): Giants over Dodgers
    Kurkjian (ESPN): Giants over Dodgers
    Bowden (ESPN): Giants over Dodgers
    Crasnick (ESPN): Dodgers over Giants - okay only everything falls in place for da' bums, and that ain't in the cards with this group.
    Simon (ESPN): Giants over Dodgers
    Stark (ESPN): Dodgers over Giants
    Garciaparra (ESPN): Dodgers over Giants
    Mulder (ESPN): Giants over Diamondbacks
    Cameron (FanGraphs): Diamondbacks over Giants
    Morosi (Fox Sports): Diamondbacks over Giants
    Rosenthal (Fox Sports): Giants over Dodgers
    Heyman (CBS Sports): Giants over Dodgers
    Knobler (CBS Sports): Dodgers over Giants
    Miller (CBS Sports): Giants over Dodgers
    T. Brown (Yahoo): Giants over Dodgers
    Passan (Yahoo): Dodgers over Giants
    Verducci (SI): Giants win West
    Sheehan (SI): Padres over Diamondbacks - What is Joe smoking?
    Baseball Prospectus (staff average): Dodgers over Giants
    AccuScore: Dodgers over Giants
    PredictionMachine (50,000 simulations): Dodgers over Giants - That's why they play the games!

    Really I can get the da Bums over the Giants on paper, but have they watched any baseball in the last three years?