Another baseball season is upon us, bringing with it 162 more chances for each of us to live and die a little (and then hopefully another 15 or so after that), and another chance for me to show off my infinite wisdom by making predictions that stand little chance of proving true.
Los Angeles seems to have the most talent of any team in baseball, and they're the team I'd be most surprised to see miss the playoffs. Those bottom three are likely to be fairly close together, and my putting Arizona last may be due to my disliking how they're run, from the front office on down to the field.
St. Louis has been so well run throughout the 2000s, and they look like the class of the division again. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh could be Wild Card contenders, while Milwaukee doesn't seem to have the horses and Chicago is still a year or two away from turning itself back into a contender.
I thought Washington would win the division comfortably last year, but things sure didn't go their way. Atlanta looked like a contender earlier this spring, but injuries have taken a toll on their pitching staff, and I think they'll finish a ways back, but fight for a Wild Card spot.
A tough division to call, with four teams with a plausible shot, none of whom look great to me. I think Texas takes it, but wins fewer games than any other division winner. Oakland and Los Angeles (of Anaheim) both contend too. Houston finishes with the worst record in baseball for the fourth year in a row.
I'd love to believe the Indians will win the division, as I know many of you do, but I don't see it. I think winning 90+ games requires too much going right for the pitching staff, and Detroit winning fewer than 90 requires too much going wrong for them. Put me down at 84 wins for the Indians, too few to make the playoffs. Sorry.
Tampa Bay and Boston may be the AL's two best teams. I like the Rays' run prevention to carry the day. There isn't a bad team in the division, but I expect Baltimore to draw the short straw. New York should contend for a Wild Card spot, but for the first time since I don't know when, I don't expect them to make the playoffs (knock wood).
NL MVP: Buster Posey
NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg
AL MVP: Evan Longoria
AL Cy Young: Yu Darvish
NL Wild Cards: Giants and Reds
AL Wild Cards: Red Sox and Angels
NLCS: Dodgers over Cardinals
ALCS: Tigers over Rays
World Series: Dodgers over Tigers
Feel free to drop your predictions into the comments, or just to tell me what a chucklehead you think I am.