This is the last day for the predictions, and so it’s time for the playoff predictions and the postseason awards predictions. Let’s start with the postseason predictions.
AL Wild Card
Tampa Bay Rays over Kansas City Royals
NL Wild Card
Pittsburgh Pirates over San Fransisco Giants
ALDS 1 – Detroit Tigers over Tampa Bay Rays in 4 games
This will be a relatively easy series for the Tigers, who I think will have the best record in the AL. The Rays will still take 1 game, but it’ll be the Tigers in 4.
ALDS 2 – Boston Red Sox over Oakland A’s in 4 games
I always root for the A’s, but in the postseason, their flaws come out. They are a pretty solid team, but they won’t be able to handle the Red Sox.
NLDS 1 – Los Angeles Dodgers over Pittsburgh Pirates in 4 games
The Pirates only really got to 5 games last year because it was the Cardinals. That familiarity helped them a bit. On top of that, I don’t think they’re as strong of a team as they were last year, and so they will fall to the Dodgers, who will most likely have the most wins in the NL.
NLDS 2 – St. Louis Cardinals over Washington Nationals in 5 games
It wouldn’t be a Cardinals-Nationals series if it didn’t go to 5 games, right? The Nationals are just too talented for the Cardinals to win it in 3 or 4. They’ll have to fight to win it, but in the end, they’ll move on.
ALCS – Detroit Tigers over Boston Red Sox in 6 games
Both of my championship series predictions are the same match ups as they were last year, but the difference here being that the Tigers will win in 6. With home field advantage on their side, the Tigers will go and take one in Fenway and then bring it back to Detroit to win in 6. ALCS MVP – Justin Verlander
NLCS – St. Louis Cardinals over Los Angeles Dodgers in 7 games
This one’s a little bit harder to justify. No home field for the Cardinals, and having to beat Clayton Kershaw to get to the World Series is a tough pill to swallow, but they beat him last year. Of all the struggles that the Cardinals have with lefties, the best lefty in the game is one of the only ones that the Cardinals can actually get runs off of. In the end, it’s another hard fought series that the Cardinals find a way to win. NLCS MVP – Matt Holliday
World Series – St. Louis Cardinals over Detroit Tigers in 6 games
Yes, I am picking my favorite team to win the World Series. Maybe I’m a little bit biased, but think about it. The Cardinals lost the World Series in 6 games last year. They then proceeded to shore up their defense in center and shore up the astronomically bad bat at shortstop. They lost a guy in right field who was pretty good, but basically replaced him with a guy who started the last two months of the season at first base, and has the potential to get 30+ home runs this year. They have the same rotation that they had down the stretch last year, and it was good. They lost in 6 last year, but they seem poised to win it in 6 this year. That’s my prediction and I’m sticking to it. World Series MVP – Adam Wainwright
Now, let’s move onto the awards, making my readers who like the Cardinals happy, while alienating most everyone else.
Cy Young Winners – Adam Wainwright & Masahiro Tanaka
Well, you can call me a home fan on the first part of that if you will, but I think that someone other than Clayton Kershaw has to win it sometime. Wainwright has been great, and he always is right up there near the top of the Cy Young voting anyway. He just needs Kershaw to slip up a little bit or miss a couple starts (although I never hope for an injury to another player) in order for him to get to the top and win it. Masahiro Tanaka will probably win the AL Cy Young. The guy has 7 different pitches that he can use. Almost nobody has seen him pitch, and that gives him another advantage. On top of that, last year’s AL was dominated by Scherzer and I don’t think he’ll be as good this year in a contract year. There’s plenty of room to sneak in there and get the award.
Rookie of the Year – Kolten Wong & Xander Bogarts
Listen, I know this is probably another bad “I’m just a Cardinals fan” pick, but Wong is really good. He has made his mark in Spring, and if he can shake off his 2013 performance in Cardinal red (and this spring says he can), then the field is wide open for him. If Taveras would have made the club, I might have said he would, and being the #3 prospect doesn’t hurt, but apparently his ankle still does, and so he’ll be in Memphis for now. Xander Bogarts is a great talent, and although I am not excited that the Red Sox are going to get this one, most people have him at the top of their prospect lists and expect a good year from him.
MVP – Yadier Molina & Miguel Cabrera
You’re probably thinking, “Oh, this guy is an idiot. He’s only picking Cardinals.” Yes, it’s hard for me to see outside of my Cardinals bubble, but I have written about this before. Yadier Molina is the best catcher in baseball, and that truth is universally held. He plays at probably the hardest and most influential spot on the playing field. His hitting has caught up to his defense, something that not many catchers can say. On top of that, the leadership that he has in the clubhouse and in the pitching staff, as well as the fact that the team wins with him and loses without him, means that he is the most valuable player in baseball. Hands down. On the AL side, it’s hard to bet against Miguel Cabrera. That guy can just rake. I am not sure that he’s going to win again, but I’m not one to bet against it.
Well, that ends the predictions for this year. If I’m right, I’m going to come back at the end of the year and be ecstatic that I even knew what I was talking about. If I’m wrong, which I’m fairly certain that I will be for pretty much everything, then I’ll just bury this post in months of fantastic writing hoping that you forget that I even said anything. Here’s to a great 2014 season!