October 14, 2019

TGS Contributor Baseball Predictions

MLB-Predictions

Spencer Hughes

Division winners
AL East – New York. They’ll scrap with Boston as usual but come out ahead.
AL Central – Cleveland. I think the whole division will disappoint, though.
AL West – Houston. Great young core here and a real chance to be the next fun dynasty.

NL East – Philadelphia. The Harper signing makes a big splash.
NL Central – St. Louis. This will be baseball’s most competitive division – three teams within a few games at the end.
NL West – Los Angeles. All that money keeps buying wins.

Wild cards
AL – Boston wins over my surprise team of the year, the Los Angeles Angels.
NL – Atlanta wins over Milwaukee, who just barely beats out Chicago to get here.

World Series
Houston cruises to the AL pennant to face an upstart Atlanta team. The Astros take the title over the Braves in 5 games.

MVP
AL – Mike Trout gets the Angels to the playoffs and is the best player in the league anyway, so he’ll get this award.
NL – Bryce Harper returns to form and brings the Phillies to the NLCS. Easy call here.

Cy Young Award
AL – Blake Snell is a bright spot for the Rays’ future and goes back-to-back on Cy Youngs.
NL – Max Scherzer puts the team on his back with a totally dominant season in DC.

Three bold predictions
1. Scherzer wins the award, but Miles Mikolas comes in 2nd in NL Cy Young voting.
2. With the coming expansion of rosters to 26 players, the Milwaukee-style “opener” pitching strategy becomes much more popular and the game begins to look much different as only the most elite pitchers will face batters more than twice per game. This one may take a few years, but the trend will continue in 2019.
3. Somehow, the Orioles don’t finish last in the AL East. They squeeze past Toronto for 4th place.

Three not so bold predictions
1. The NL Central will be the most competitive division, and it will result in one of the 10 best teams in baseball missing the playoffs just because of how it cannibalizes itself. My pick for this unfortunate outcome is the Cubs.
2. Trout and Harper winning MVPs lead to incessant speculation that they will soon team up in Philadelphia. Just the idea of that connection starts to drive other players to Philly on discount contracts. Will the Phillies become baseball’s Golden State?
3. The AL Central will be baseball’s worst division with perhaps only one team – but no more than two – above .500.

Favorite baseball movie and clip
The best movie is definitely Major League. This is its most quotable moment, and I use this line dozens of times a season when a pitch is wild.

Most hated baseball player

I think this has to be a Yankee or a Cub for me. So why not both? Aroldis Chapman is an abuser and the Cubs won a World Series with his assistance. Now the Yankees are trying to do the same. Who wants that?

David Graf

Division Winners

AL East – New York Yankees. The Yankees will somehow win the toughest division in baseball this year because they finally have a solid pitching rotation. They may have been afraid to spend this offseason, but they will make a big splash or two before the trade deadlines passes.

AL Central – Cleveland Indians. The Indians will clinch the division after they win their 82nd game.

AL West – Houston Astros. The Astros lost Marwin Gonzalez and presumably Dallas Keuchel. However, if their position players stay healthy, they’ll be even better than they were last year.

NL East – Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies added Jean Segura, JT Realmuto, Bryce Harper, and Andrew McCutchen. The only way I see them losing the division if more than one guy tries to choke Bryce Harper in the dugout.

NL Central – St. Louis Cardinals. Firing Mike Matheny last year and adding Paul Goldschmidt was exactly the winning recipe they needed to rise back to the top.

NL West – Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers will swing a few big trades and beat up on bad teams like the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks to barely squeak into the playoffs like they did last year.
Wild Card Teams

AL Wild Cards – Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. The AL East will beat up so badly on the rest of the league that it will make everyone else rethink competitive balance.

NL Wild Cards – Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals. This game will give the Nationals the chance to finally win a playoff series.

World Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers will finally win a World Series by beating the New York Yankees in six games. Clayton Kershaw won’t try to do his best Madison Bumgarner impersonation, which will benefit the Dodgers this time around.

MVP

Nolan Arenado will win the National League MVP, and I’m picking him every year until he finally gets his due in the MVP race. Alex Bregman will win the American League MVP because somehow the Astros will have an even better regular season than the last two seasons they’ve had.

Cy Young Award

National League: Aaron Nola. Nola will pull his best Milwaukee CC Sabathia impersonation down the stretch to win the NL East, and this will make him the easy pick.

American League: Trevor Bauer. Trevor Bauer will win even though he’ll end up getting traded to an AL West pretender for 75 cents on the dollar midseason.

Three bold predictions

Manny Machado gets traded again at the deadline to a contender. The Tampa Bay Rays will finally figure out their stadium situation. Rafael Palmeiro gets signed to a minor league deal with an MLB affiliated club.

Three not so bold predictions

Aaron Judge hits 50 homeruns after staying healthy for the whole season. Kyler Murray will go higher in the NFL Draft than he did in the MLB Draft. The Philadelphia Phillies break the National League single season home run record for one team, which was set by the Houston Astros in 2000 with 249.

Favorite baseball movie and clip 

My favorite baseball movie is Hardball because anything with Keanu Reeves is the greatest movie ever made. The best clip of the movie is when the Chicago Bulls cover the spread netting Conor a cool $12k or when Sammy Sosa makes a cameo.

Most hated baseball player 

Anyone who has ever put on a Boston Red Sox uniform is pretty much dead to me. There’s nothing worse than Fenway Park and Boston sports fans.

Nicole Gustafson

Division winners

The Cleveland Indians win the weak AL Central, Boston Red Sox hold on to another close battle in the AL East, and the Houston Astros beat out the Oakland Athletics in the AL West. I don’t see much change in the AL at all, honestly. There are a lot of teams that aren’t trying to get better or are too far away.
In the NL, Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies take the East, the LA Dodgers stay atop the West, and the St. Louis Cardinals emerge from a hellish race in the Central that could end with three teams in the playoffs. I like the addition of Paul Goldschmidt to give them the edge.

Wild Card Teams

The New York Yankees and the Oakland A’s in the AL. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers in the NL.

World Series

It’s a rematch of the Astros and Dodgers with the same result – another trophy in Houston.

MVP’s

It feels silly to bet against Mike Trout so I won’t. The Angels may or may not ever get it together, but you can always bank on a quietly tremendous season from him.

I’m going to take a bit of a risk in the NL and predict Ronald Acuña has a huge year now that he’s settled into the big leagues, similar to Kris Bryant in 2016. I know it’s unconventional to pick two guys who I don’t see making the playoffs, but Trout is special and I think all NL divisional and Wild Card races will be close.

Cy Young Winners

I’m going to pick Justin Verlander, partly because I think the Astros will have a great year and partly because he’s on my fantasy baseball team so I’m trying to speak it into existence.

In the NL, Max Scherzer will lift up the Washington Nationals in their first season post-Harper. He’s always in the Cy Young hunt.

Three Bold Predictions

– The San Diego Padres finish 3rd in the NL West. They finished last in 2018 at 66-96. Adding Manny Machado isn’t enough to make them a contender or even a factor in the playoff picture, but they have some developing talent. The Arizona Diamondbacks have some big holes to fill after losing Goldschmidt and AJ Pollock and the San Francisco Giants weren’t that much better than the Padres last year.
– Yu Darvish has a bounce-back year and shuts up all the fans complaining about his contract. Health will be a big factor, but I think he reminds everyone why he earned those dollars.
– The Atlanta Braves starting rotation costs them a playoff spot. With hitters like theirs, the Braves are never out of a game. But they return Sean Newcomb and Julio Teheran, who were inconsistent in 2018, as well as Mike Foltynewicz. Max Fried and Kevin Gausman also started games last season. None of those names jump out as someone who can carry a rotation, outside of maybe Foltynewicz, who had a break-out year in 2018.

Three Not So Bold Predictions

– Bryce Harper still will not win a playoff series. I believe in the Phillies’ ability to get there, but I don’t think they have enough to stay there against teams with more postseason experience.
– MLB’s new rules and tensions between the league and players will be an ongoing storyline. MLB will continue to insist that pAcE oF pLaY is worse for the game than, say, blackouts, and the players will continue to be annoyed by the state of free agency and service time manipulation. There are some big problems brewing under the surface.
– There will be another Game 163 in the National League. Every race has the potential to be close and there were two last year.

Favorite Baseball Movie and Clip

A League of Their Own is special to me because I, as you may have guessed from my contributor photo, am a female baseball fan. I also have family in Rockford, which is the home of the Peaches. There are a lot of great baseball movies, but I don’t think this one can ever be topped. Thank you, Penny Marshall, and RIP.

Most Hate Baseball Player

Generally, I don’t hate players. The most annoying player is any Cardinal who has ever had a clutch hit against the Cubs. But I respect them. I just don’t like that their success comes at the expense of my team.
I do, however, hate Ryan Braun. Refer to exhibits 1-5,000: every article written about how he smeared the person who collected his drug test because he was mad that he got busted trying to cheat. Ryan Braun should go 0 for the season, every year.

Matthias Schwartzkopf

Division Winners

AL East – Boston

AL Central – Cleveland

AL West – Oakland

NL East – Philadelphia

NL Central – Milwaukee

NL West – Los Angeles

Wild Card Winners

AL – Tampa Bay and Houston

NL – Chicago and St. Louis

World Series

Dodgers and Tampa Bay, just for the heck of it.

MVP

AL – Mike Trout

NL – Kris Bryant

Cy Young Award

AL –  Justin Verlander

NL – Max Scherzer

Three Bold Predictions

– Bryce Harper doesn’t produce as much as he should in year one of his big contract.

– Tampa Bay will beat out the Yankees while being close enough to endanger the Red Sox for the AL East.

– Javy Baez leads the national league in home runs.

Three Not So Bold Predictions

– Stanton hits 50 home runs.

– White Sox continue to be much like the Chicago Bulls and look like a dumpster on fire.

– The Orioles have the worst record in all of baseball again.

Favorite Baseball Movie and Clip

Field of Dreams. It’s just one of those feel good movies, and, as everyone knows, it’s not heaven.

It’s Iowa.

Most Hated Baseball Player

Recency bias is going to kick in here, but Daniel Murphy. Crushed the Cubs in the NL Championship series, and it just hurt so much. Plus, he can tend be a dirtbag of a human as well.

Ted Flint

Division Winners

Cards, Braves, Dodgers, Red Sox Indians, Angels.

Wildcard Teams

Brewers, Phillies and Rangers, Twins

World Series

Cardinals over Red Sox because that is how my sports luck is trending.

MVP

Goldschmidt and Trout

Cy Young Award

Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer

Three Bold Predictions

-Cubs don’t make the playoffs

-Twins come within one game of the playoffs

-Trout comes within percentage points of a Triple Crown

Three Not So Bold Predictions

-The DH never comes to the National League

-People continue to complain about length of games

-I get mad at the Cubs front office and make an ass of myself online

Favorite Baseball Movie and Clip

The easy answer here is the Sandlot, so that is the movie I am going with. The 4th of July scene where they are playing as the fireworks is Top 10 movie moment for me.

Runner up: “Why didn’t you just knock on the door? I would have gotten it for you.”

Most Hated Baseball Player

The answer will always be Ken Griffey Jr because he stole the home run at the end of Little Big League.

Matthias Schwartzkopf
Matthias Schwartzkopf 18 Articles
Staff Writer

He is Matthias Schwartzkopf, the Highlander. Born in 1592 in the Highlands of Scotland and he is still alive. He is immortal. For four hundred years he's been a warrior, a lover, a wanderer, constantly facing other Immortals in combat to the death. The winner takes his enemy's head and with it, his power. I'm a Watcher, part of the secret society of men and women who observe and record, but never interfere. We know the truth about Immortals. In the end there can be only one. May it be Matthias Schwartzkopf, The Highlander.

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