Major League Baseball predictions

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Mike Ruggiero

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It’s the last month of the Major League Baseball season and I want to make my remarks and thoughts about the remaining games, heading into the postseason.

Starting in the American League, here are the teams I feel are DONE for the year as far as playoff hopes are concerned.

BOSTON RED SOX

All I can say is…what happened?

Tampa Bay Rays

Well, it is the American League East, but I give them credit for coming back from being 18 games under .500 at one point this season.

Minnesota Twins

I still think that that one year they stunk was all a joke since all of their good players were hurt. Guess I was wrong.

Chicago White Sox

Well…couldn’t be as bad as last year, right?

Texas Rangers

Let’s hope it was just an “injury” plagued year because this is seriously a dangerous ball club when healthy.

Houston Astros

I don’t see them as an AA team anymore and I love their young talent and think they aren’t too many years away from a playoff push. The Astros are definitely a very improved team.

 

As for the National League:

 

Philadelphia Phillies

They need younger talent.

New York Mets

I still think Citi Field is a curse. I’d say go back to Shea, but it’s demolishd.

Miami Marlins

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very impressed by this team with their young talent and was very surprised they did this well.  Just not yet but very close.

Chicago Cubs

Knew they wouldn’t be good this year, but I think they will be a team making a strong push in 2015 with their young talent of Javier Baez and Jorge Soler.

Cincinnati Reds

Injuries and, yeah, they were due for a bad year.

Colorado Rockies

Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos “Cargo” Gonzalez are always getting injured and they NEVER HAVE PITCHING or else this team has always been a threat in my opinion because of their offense. If only they were healthy.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Disappointed in this team, both talent and personality *cough cough* Randall Delgado.

San Diego Padres

Don’t get me wrong, they’re starting to blossom a really good pitching staff, but complete opposite of the Rockies. THEY HAVE NO OFFENSE!

So that’s 14 teams I believe are definitely out. Now here are the teams that are still in the playoff hunt.

 

American League East

This is seriously the best division in baseball and despite not all showing this year from each team, there are five dangerous teams.  Like I said before, I don’t know what happened to the Red Sox and at the trade deadline they got rid of all their pitching, but got offense. Not completely winners I think.

The Rays have some work to do, but they did manage to battle back there just isn’t enough time. Now the three other teams left that I think are in the hunt are the Blue Jays, Yankees and Orioles. Unfortunately, despite the fact I think they’re in the race, the Blue Jays won’t make it this year. They have a very dangerous offense, but either Bautista or Encarnacion get injured and that’s one big bat out of their lineup half of the season and the biggest problem is they have no pitching at all, whatsoever.

So I think the Blue Jays are going to miss the playoffs, but still finish with a winning record and be a push for next year. The Yankees are going to miss also and it will be sad since it’s Jeter’s last year, but I can see them falling off in 2015 because they are old and need younger guys on their roster instead of focusing on high priced free agents.

The Orioles will win the division. They have young talent and have a dangerous showing to their club.

American League Central

The Twins and White Sox are definitely out. This division is getting pretty interesting and surprising. The Indians have a good club, both pitching and batting, but unless they go on a hot winning streak to end the season like they did last year, I don’t think they’re going to make it either.

Really, I think most of the teams in the American League are set, they just need to figure out what spots meaning division or wild card. The Royals have been, for several years now, a team with a lot of talent. This year what has kept them in this race and will finally give them a playoff berth is their pitching. Their offense has talent but I honestly don’t think their offense has fully blossomed yet there still are a few kinks. So I do think the Royals will make it, but I do think they’re kind of overrated for the time being. I still like what I see but I don’t think they’re as good as they look right now.

Here’s the problem with the Tigers. For starters, they don’t have a solid bullpen and their former MVP, Justin Verlander, is having a bad year. That puts a dagger into them. What’s worse is the fact that Miguel Cabrera hasn’t been completely healthy this year and is having a decent year but nothing like the past two seasons. His health will probably make a HUGE difference. I feel that the Royals might just beat the Tigers for the division and the Tigers will take the Wild Card.

American League West

Well, this division was also quite a surprise. The Texas teams are due to build talent in their systems. The Mariners will place third and make a strong push for the second wild card, but just come up short to the Tigers by a game.

The Angels will win this division.  They are a strong team with a dangerous group of players who have finally come through and Mike Trout will win the MVP. The Athletics will take the Wild Card because they are in trouble. Yes, at the deadline, scouts thought the ALCS would be the Tigers and Athletics, but the A’s got rid of Cespedes. Jonny Gomes and Adam Dunn are not Yoenis Cespedes and that’s a spot that I think really changed the Athletics.

ALE Division Title: Baltimore Orioles

ALC Division Title: Kansas City Royals

ALW Division Title: Los Angeles Angels

AL Wild Card 1: Oakland Athletics

AL Wild Card 2: Detroit Tigers

Now the National League will be different. Really there’s two teams I feel are definitely in and five squads I feel that are questionable.

Let’s start with the East.

National League East

The two teams that will still be in the race in September are the Braves and Nationals. The Braves are underrated in my opinion. They can be a dangerous ball club, but they are not consistent both on the field and off. They have lots of talent in Heyward, the Upton Brothers, Gattis, Simmons, Freeman, and even their pitching. The problem is most of their star players get injured a lot or they aren’t consistent. The Upton Brothers are streaky, as well as Gattis, and Heyward is either injured or not playing to his fullest potential (I never saw him as a leadoff hitter. He’s more of a cleanup hitter).

So even though I think the National League teams have to show who they really are, I feel that the Braves will be the team that just miss the postseason because of their inconsistency. The Nationals are one of two teams I definitely feel have their spot in the National League. Their pitching is solid and their offense isn’t the best, but it’s still good enough to make this team one of the more dangerous teams in the league.

National League Central

Last year it was three teams, this year it is three again, except one different team. Before I state my prediction, there is no favoritism being played here. This division is up for grabs. For starters, I feel that the Brewers will collapse. I’m not just saying this because I hate them, but it is true. I think they are the most over-rated team in the league. All they did was get off to a hot start in April and they haven’t played that well since. Their pitching isn’t that great and their offense is cold. Jean Segura isn’t hitting, Aramis Ramirez is always injured, Mark Reynolds hit .090 with 30 Homers and 55 RBI’s pretty much, and the stupid, cocky trio of Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun aren’t producing much either.

So I honestly feel this team won’t make it to the postseason either. The Cardinals are definitely the National League’s best team of all-time, but the thing that questions me are their rotation. I thought this team would be a lot better after they got Lackey and Masterson, but both deals haven’t worked out. Adam Wainwright is also struggling, which isn’t good sign. Second off, their offense is NOTHING compared to last year.

Matt Adams is really their only hitter producing all year, everyone else was either injured, not hitting, or overrated *cough cough* Matt Holliday. The Pirates do have a shot. Scouts have even said the Pirates proved that, despite a 12-20 start, they can beat ANYBODY in this league. They just need to show their talent and going into September on a positive note after a strong finish coming off a seven game losing streak.

However, since I feel the five teams that have spots up for grabs are the Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates, Braves, and Giants, I feel that the Pirates will be a Wild Card team again and the Cardinals will win the division due to their experience in this part of the season, but it will be a close race.

National League West

Two California teams will be taking the cake here. The Dodgers, despite a few holes I will discuss later, will win the division and the Giants will just edge out the Braves for the Wild Card.

NLE Division Title: Washington Nationals

NLC Division Title: St. Louis Cardinals

NLW Division Title: Los Angeles Dodgers

NL Wild Card 1: San Francisco Giants

NL Wild Card 2: Pittsburgh Pirates

Now, for the bigger predictions, my playoff predictions.

 

Wild Card Round 

AL: Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers

This game will be played in Oakland and no doubt there will be Lester vs. Scherzer in this game. This will be a pitchers dual, but once again, the Athletics are in trouble and I think they’re falling off since the departure of Cespedes.  Their offense isn’t as strong as it was earlier in the year.

DET 2 OAK 0

NL: San Francisco Giants vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

This game will be played in San Francisco. Madison Baumgartner vs. Gerrit Cole. This could be a pitchers dual, but the Pirates have played well against the Giants the past few years, and the Giants haven’t been as strong of a team since they last won the World Series. Despite not having as much experience, here’s my final score:

PIT 5 SF 1

 

Division Series

AL: Los Angeles Angels vs. Detroit Tigers

This series will involve some serious pitching. The Tigers need to have their best stuff from their starters against a dangerous offensive team like the Angels. The Tigers have a strong offense also in V-Mart, Kinsler, and JD Martinez. They have all the tools with base running and hitting.  But the one thing that will make a huge difference is the health of Miggy. Without his bat, this team is different. Once again also, the Tigers bullpen isn’t sharp, and the Angels have a stronger bullpen.

LAA takes series, 3-1.

AL: Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals

Young talent needs to be shown in this series. The Orioles have developed young players who have already had this type of experience back in 2012. The Royals, like I said before, are talented but still haven’t reached their full potential mostly with their offense.

BAL takes series 3-0.

NL: Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Both of these teams are similar, young talent with a few veterans with experience. But the Nationals are the team to beat in the National league because of their consistent pitching. Their offense isn’t completely amazing but it is good enough to win this team a lot of ballgames. It will be close, but the Nats will just win the battle.

WAS takes series 3-2.

NL: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Both of these teams are very experienced in the postseason. The Cardinals are probably more experience. But the Cardinals pitching staff is a little rocky and their offense isn’t like it was in 2013. The Dodgers offense also isn’t showing its true stuff, but it’s stronger than the Cardinals in my opinion. Offense will make a huge difference in this series.

LAD takes series, 3-1.

 

Championship Series 

AL: Los Angeles Angels vs. Baltimore Orioles

These are definitely the two strongest teams in the league right now. The Angels are dangerous with a mix of young talent and veterans. The Orioles are young, but they have a big piece missing with Matt Wieters being shelved all year, and I just don’t think their young talent matches the Angels. Will be a good series though.

LAA takes series, 4-2.

NL: Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

This will also depend more on the better offensive team. With Kershaw pitching, this definitely won’t be a sweep. The Dodgers offense has struggled though all season with injuries and not that much production. The Nationals pitching has been consistent and once again, their offense is good enough to make them win any ballgame.

WAS takes series, 4-2.

 

World Series 

Los Angeles Angels vs. Washington Nationals

I like both of these teams. They are both solid teams with pitching and offense. They both also play well at home, which will make this a tight series. But without a doubt, the team with the stronger roster wins it all.

LAA take series, 4-1.

Unless they collapse, the Los Angeles Angels are my current team I see winning the 2014 World Series. Lastly, I want to share my predictions for awards at the end of the season.

AL MVP: Mike Trout

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez

AL Rookie Of The Year: George Springer

AL Batting Title: Jose Altuve

AL Home Run Title: Nelson Cruz

AL RBI Title: Jose Abreu

AL Rolaids Reliever: Greg Holland

AL Comeback Player Of The Year: Albert Pujols

NL MVP: Andrew McCutchen

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw

NL Rookie Of The Year: Billy Hamilton

NL Batting Title: Josh Harrison

NL Home Run Title: Giancarlo Stanton

NL RBI Title: Giancarlo Stanton

NL Rolaids Reliever: Craig Kimbrel

NL Comeback Player Of The Year: Dee Gordan

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