Coach Jayzor’s 2013 MLB Predictions

World Series - San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers - Game 4

Coach Jayzor’s 2nd Annual MLB Predictions

 Last year, I made my predictions before the season started, as all respectable prognosticators should. However, this year, life got busy, and I found myself two weeks into the season. A wise man once said, “Better late than never.” That was either Benjamin Franklin or Winston Churchill. At any rate, I have included the current standings and my predicted standings. In some cases, they are similar. In some cases, they are very different (See the AL East, where I have predicted the exact opposite of the current standings). If you read until the end of this post (which is quite a feat), you will be rewarded with my predictions for MVPs, Cy Young Awards, and World Series teams. Enjoy the predictions, and enjoy the season!

*NOTE: Current Standings are as of the morning of 4/17/13 (before any games were played).*

AL East

Current Standings:

1. Boston Red Sox

2. New York Yankees

3. Baltimore Orioles

4. Tampa Bay Rays

5. Toronto Blue Jays

Predicted Standings:

1. Toronto Blue Jays

Analysis: They spent too much money to be this bad. This was my early assessment of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (The The Angels Angels, if you directly translate their team name) last year, but this year I do think that the Blue Jays will recover. Even with the early loss of Jose Reyes, they are a very talented team with a great pitching staff.

Player to Watch: Brett Lawrie (Will this be his break-out year?)

2. Tampa Bay Rays

Analysis: This is a “homer” pick, considering Vanderbilt’s David Price is their best player and my favorite MLB player. Also, second baseman Ben Zobrist lives and goes to church in Nashville, Tennessee. I do think that they are close to being a great team, and they will probably win the wild card, if not the division.

Player to Watch: Ben Zobrist (As I said, he’s a Christian from Nashville who is on my fantasy baseball team. Enough reason for me to support him.)

3. Baltimore Orioles

Analysis: This is an apology to the Baltimore Orioles players, coaches, and fans. Last year, I wrote that they were the worst team to ever set foot on a baseball diamond (or something along those lines). And they ended up being really good. I’m sorry. The Orioles are not as good as they were last year, but they are not as bad as I thought they would be.

Player To Watch: Chris Davis (He hit a homerun with a broken bat for goodness sakes!)

4. New York Yankees

Analysis: This is not your grandfather’s Yankees team. They are old. They are injury-prone. And quite frankly, they are not very good. Their pitching is suspect, and they have weak spots throughout their batting order. Vernon Wells (the 2013 version, not the 2005-2007 version) is their “power” hitter. That could be a major problem.

Player To Watch: Mariano Rivera (Simply put, he’s classy, and he’s an incredible pitcher. Enjoy his last season.)

5. Boston Red Sox

Analysis: I never thought that I would see the day! I am predicting the Yankees and the Red Sox to finish 4th and 5th place respectively in the AL East. Times, they are a-changin’. Yes, these two teams are currently 1st and 2nd place in the standings, but that won’t last. They are bad teams.

Player To Watch: Jackie Bradley Jr. (I just thought I would be the 493,768th person to write or say his name. He has been terrible thus far, but apparently he’s good.)

AL Central

Current Standings:

1. Detroit Tigers

2. Kansas City Royals

3. Minnesota Twins

4. Chicago White Sox

5. Cleveland Indians

Predicted Standings:

1. Detroit Tigers

Analysis: I am predicting them to play in the World Series because they have, in my opinion, the two best players in baseball (Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera). When you have the best pitcher and the best hitter, you will win a lot of baseball games. It’s pretty simple, folks.

Player To Watch: Prince Fielder (He’s the reason that Cabrera gets so many good pitches to hit.)

2. Chicago White Sox

Analysis: I don’t really know a lot about this team, but I know that Ozzie Guillen is no longer their manager. While that is disappointing from an excitement perspective, it’s probably a good thing from a baseball perspective. They are the best team in Chicago…which isn’t saying a lot. They are the second best team in this division…which isn’t saying a lot.

Player To Watch: Chris Sale (I expect this lefty reliever-turned-starter to have a big year.)

3. Kansas City Royals

Analysis: If they would ever go back to their awesome uniforms of the 1970s and 1980s, they would at least be more fun to watch. Every year, this team gets a little better. They are the equivalent of the Washington Nationals (Montreal Expos) of the American League. One day, sooner rather than later, they will be relevant.

Player To Watch: Eric Hosmer (I believe the hype. He’ll figure out his struggles eventually.)

4. Cleveland Indians

Analysis: The race for last place in this division will be like a battle of the two teams from “Major League” and “Little Big League,” expect there’s no Lou Brown or Billy Heywood to turn things around in the end. Yes, this team is bad, but not as bad as the Twins. Don’t expect the Disney movie turn-around at the end of this season, Indians fans and Twins fans.

Player To Watch: Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn (I know he’s fictional, but he’s awesome.)

5. Minnesota Twins

Analysis: See my analysis above for the Indians. And if you are invited to a Twins-Indians game, stay home and watch a double feature of “Major League” and “Little Big League” on TBS. You will have a more enjoyable evening.

Player To Watch: Lou Collins (Again, he’s fictional, but like I said, watch the movie.)

AL West

Current Standings:

1. Oakland Athletics

2. Texas Rangers

3. Seattle Mariners

4. Los Angeles Angels

5. Houston Astros

Predicted Standings:

1. Los Angeles Angels

Analysis: They are going to do it to me again. They are so talented. They spent all the money. So I’m predicting them to win baseball games. It sounds so easy. If they don’t make the playoffs, it will be the biggest waste of money since…well, the Miami Marlins of last year.

Player To Watch: Albert Pujols (How does he keep producing at this level year after year?)

2. Texas Rangers

Analysis: They lost some firepower, but they still have enough to compete. Plus, I’m sure they will channel Chuck Norris (insert “Walker Texas Ranger” joke here) to win some games. As we all know, no one messes with Chuck Norris.

Player To Watch: Chuck Norris (If you can watch an episode of “Walker Texas Ranger” with a Rangers game in the Picture-in-Picture, that is an ideal situation.)

3. Oakland Athletics

Analysis: For some reason, I am not buying this team. I have seen “Moneyball.” I watched their miracle run last season. I know that they have the best record in baseball since last June. However, I watch their games, and I look at their lineup. I am baffled. So I am compromising and picking them to finish in 3rd place.

Player To Watch: Coco Crisp (He is talented, but his cereal is delicious.)

4. Seattle Mariners

Analysis: There’s not a lot to like about this team…unless you are the opposing pitcher. I was, am, and always will be a mediocre pitcher (left-handed, mid-80s fastball). However, I am confident that I could get a few outs against this team. Yes, a few players would get hits against me, but come on…they are major leaguers. Keep in mind that real pitchers get to face this lineup.

Player To Watch: Felix Hernandez (Only because Ken Griffey Jr. and Randy Johnson no longer play for this team. Frowney face. Mid-90s baseball video games. It was all downhill from there.)

5. Houston Astros

Analysis: This team is so bad that they haven’t even made a Disney movie about the possibility of success. I am quite confident that this team will not make me look dumb for saying this. They will lose 100 games. No questions asked. Book it.

Player To Watch: Justin Maxwell (He’s a really good player on a really bad team. People will know his name someday.)

NL East

Current Standings:

1. Atlanta Braves

2. Washington Nationals

3. New York Mets

4. Philadelphia Phillies

5. Miami Marlins

Predicted Standings:

1. Atlanta Braves

Analysis: I’ll admit it. This is my favorite team. I’ve been waiting since the late 1990s for this team to be this good. Yes, the days of Otis Nixon, Ron Gant, and David Justice are back with the likes of the Upton brothers and Jason Heyward. No one will ever top the Blauser to Lemke 6-4-3 double play. While this pitching staff is not Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz/Avery/Mercker, they are talented and underrated.

Players To Watch: Paul Maholm/Mike Minor (They look like average pitchers, but these lefties get the job done.)

2. Washington Nationals

Analysis: This was (is) the sexy pick to win the NL East, the National League, and the World Series. I’m not falling for it. Yes, Stephen Strasburg’s fastball is sexy. Yes, Bryce Harper’s homeruns are sexy. Yes, Jayson Werth’s beard is sexy. But again, I’m not falling for it. The Atlanta Braves are just sexier.

Player To Watch: Jayson Werth’s Beard (It has its own Twitter account. Please follow.)

3. Philadelphia Phillies

Analysis: This team still has players who were once very good. Cliff Lee, Roy Hallyday, Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Michael Young. If all of these players were in their prime, I would pick this team to win it. They are not, and they will not.

Player To Watch: Ben Revere (I once knew a man named Ben Revere. I feel much better, baby, when you’re near. #LFOreference)

4. New York Mets

Analysis: This might be the best team in New York City, which is sad to say. The Mets are not very good, but hey, Mets fans, you’re better than the Yankees. Not in the current standings. But someday, someday… Also, Travis D’Arnaud (still in the minors) is the next Mike Piazza.

Player To Watch: David Wright (He’s the only thing that’s “right” on this team. I like puns.)

5. Miami Marlins

Analysis: This team got absolutely gutted after their pitiful performance last year. When you take away the best players (minus Giancarlo Stanton) from an unsuccessful team, what do you get? This year’s Miami Marlins. They will be lucky if they don’t lose 100 games.

Player To Watch: Giancarlo Stanton (He’s off to a slow start, but he’ll hit 30 homeruns minimum, probably more like 40.)

NL Central

Current Standings:

1. St. Louis Cardinals

2. Cincinnati Reds

3. Pittsburgh Pirates

4. Milwaukee Brewers

5. Chicago Cubs

Predicted Standings:

1. Cincinnati Reds

Analysis: Small ballpark + A bunch of power hitters = A lot of homeruns. The Reds’ pitchers will struggle in this Cracker Jack ballpark, but they will score enough runs to win games. I think that this is the year for the Reds…at least to make the playoffs.

Player To Watch: Jay Bruce (My namesake. I think he’ll start dropping bombs.)

2. Pittsburgh Pirates

Analysis: I want so badly to relive the glory days of the Pirates and Braves in the NLCS and Sid Bream’s famous slide. I don’t think that the Pirates are quite there yet, but they have a lot of young talent.

Player To Watch: Starling Marte (He might be a “star” someday. For now, he’s the Pirates unknown leadoff hitter. Did I mention that I like puns?)

3. St. Louis Cardinals

Analysis: Mike Matheny is my favorite manager in baseball. That doesn’t mean that he can get this team to the playoffs, but if anyone can, it would be him. I’m not sure how Matt Adams isn’t playing every day with a .600+ batting average with HRs and RBIs aplenty…oh wait, that’s because this team is loaded with hitting.

Player To Watch: Matt Adams (If he plays every day, he will put up HUGE numbers.)

4. Milwaukee Brewers

Analysis: The Brew Crew is back, and Ryan Braun is off of steroids. That’s a problem, folks. This team will compete with the Cubs for the cellar dwellers of this division. They seem to be a farm team for other major league teams.

Player To Watch: Yovani Gallardo (I watched him play for the Nashville Sounds, and he’s only gotten better.)

5. Chicago Cubs

Analysis: Since I watched the Cubs on WGN as a child, I’ve always wanted them to be good. I’ve always been disappointed. I’m not getting my hopes up this year. Much like the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians, you’d be better off watching “Rookie of the Year” than this Chicago Cubs team.

Player To Watch:  Henry Rowengartner (He’s also fictional, but don’t you wish he were real?)

NL West

Current Standings:

1. Colorado Rockies

2. San Francisco Giants

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

4. Los Angeles Dodgers

5. San Diego Padres

Predicted Standings:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Analysis: The Dodgers may do it to me as well. As much as I hate “big market” teams like the New York Yankees, it has been proven that money can (and often does) buy success. If that’s the case, then the Dodgers may have MAGICally figured out how to succeed.

Player To Watch: Carl Crawford (I think that he will be the “comeback” player of the year.)

2. San Francisco Giants

Analysis: Winning the World Series makes them an instant candidate to win the division. They’ve got better pitching than hitting, but they were able to ride it all the way last year. Why not again? Well, one reason may be that this division (minus the Padres) is much more competitive than last season.

Player To Watch: Brandon Belt (One of these seasons, he’ll start “belt”ing homeruns like he’s supposed to. Too punny? Never!)

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

Analysis: The Diamondbacks are a middle-of-the road team. They will go on five-game winning streaks this season, and they will go on five-game losing streaks this season. Their hitting and their pitching is streaky. Don’t be surprised if they make a run at the playoffs.

Player To Watch: Wade Miley (He’s left-handed. I’m partial to lefties. In one of my fantasy baseball leagues, I drafted only lefties. I will lose.)

4. Colorado Rockies

Analysis: The Rockies always put on a show with fireworks aplenty. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get big-name pitchers to sign with the team because of the rarified air in Denver. Unless they can win games 9-8 and 11-10, they will struggle to sustain success throughout the long summer.

Player To Watch: Carlos Gonzalez (He’s my choice to win the MVP. Enough said. The definition of a five-tool player.)

5. San Diego Padres

Analysis: Dare I compare this team to the Houston Astros? I dare. The Astros left the National League, opening up a competition for worst team in the NL. The Padres are the frontrunners for this title in my humble opinion.

Player To Watch: Jedd Gyorko (Keep an eye on him because all of the scouts say to do so, and his last name is fun to say.)

Atlanta Braves

End of the Season Predictions:

NLCS: Atlanta Braves over Washington Nationals

ALCS: Detroit Tigers over Los Angeles Angels

World Series: Atlanta Braves over Detroit Tigers

NL MVP: Carlos Gonzalez

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera

NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander

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Posted on by Jay Salato in Baseball, Featured, Sports

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