MLB 2013: Ten Bold Predictions
It is my journalistic obligation to preface this article by saying that no one at Fantasy Judgment, including the author of the following article, is in possession of Gray’s Sports Almanac or has ever been certified with psychic powers. After spending the past several weeks analyzing and breaking down hundreds of players for fantasy baseball rankings, Kyle Brown has dusted off his crystal ball and deemed himself the next Oracle (hey Morpheus, how ya doing?). So as the 2013 MLB season is set to begin, here are some bold predictions for you.
Ten Bold Predictions
By: Kyle Brown (@CavghtLooking)
It is so close to the beginning of the season that I have started to lose my grip on reality. My desire for meaningful baseball has eroded my rationality and replaced it with wild hope, excitable hubris, and a spiteful confidence for preposterous and polarizing predictions. Calm and collected rankings lists are useful and all, but that time has passed. These thoughts are pure gut, and I should warn you that my gut has never been wrong. Not once. Ever.
10. Madison Bumgarner wins 20 games, has a 2.53 ERA, and strikes out 220 batters en route to his first Cy Young.
Stephen Strasburg who? Clayton Kershawhat? No, neither pitcher is going to take down the Cy this year. Bumgarner is going to silence all of the velocity haters, all of the mechanics haters, and all of the haters in Dodgertown and put together a ludicrous season in the Bay.
9. Aaron Hill decides to eat grits every morning and goes 30-20 for the Diamondbacks.
This prediction isn’t even all that ridiculous. Hill has hit over 30 home runs in a season before. However, all the grit is piling up in Arizona and is going to spill over the edge and coalesce into Aaron Hill magic. In case you were wondering, Mr. Hill favors yellow grits over white grits and adds just a small tab of butter on top. If Diamondbacks aren’t planning on serving grits at Chase Field this season then someone in the marketing department should be fired.
8. The Yankees finish fourth in the division for the first time since 1992.
Question: what team won their first World Series in 1992? The Toronto Blue Jays. The universe is calling, but it isn’t calling New York City. Man, Mo should have just retired. The injuries are piling up, the golden boy is breaking down, and the Yankees are toast. Toronto, Tampa, and Boston will all finish ahead of New York this season, but at least New York will still be better than Baltimore because…
7. The Orioles will lose every one-run game they play in this season.
Jim Johnson blows every lead given to him and strikes out zero batters for the entire year. Brian Roberts gets injured. The front office decides to pay Albert Belle more money for not playing baseball in an effort to reverse the mojo. This stratagem fails.
6. Freddie Freeman becomes the best hitter in Atlanta.
Upton this and Upton that. Sure, those guys are fine. Yes, Jason Heyward might go 30-30. Regardless, I think this is the year that Freeman sheds all of his youth and steps out of the darkness and into his freckles (does he even have freckles? Well, if he doesn’t, he should). I’m thinking 325-35-120. Yeah, that feels about right.
5. Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel both save 50 games and have over 130 strikeouts.
The Reds’ smart decision (no, really) to keep Chapman in the pen leads to one of the most bizarre statistical battles in MLB history. Fans in Atlanta and Cincinnati begin rooting for close games. Fans in St. Louis are baffled and watch their team win the division by blowing out opponents.
4. Gerrit Cole gets called up in the second half and leads the Pirates into the playoffs.
This is less of a “bold prediction” and more of a “prediction that I need to come true so that I don’t completely lose my mind and decide to move into a lean-to under a bridge in Pittsburgh until the Pirates win the World Series and am never heard from again.”
3. Brandon Belt hits 25 home runs.
This is it. This is the year that Brandon Belt finally lives up to his name. What I have seen this spring is encouraging (yes, I am citing spring training numbers in a positive way) and his minor league numbers are just too good for him to turn out mediocre. It is a baseball fact that if you are that good in the minors, then you will be a very good player in the majors. No, seriously, it is a fact. (It should be noted here that I am a philosopher and don’t really believe in the concept of “facts”)
2. Ben Revere steals 70 bases.
If Ben Revere hits a ball in the air this season he should have to do push-ups. His speed and base-stealing skills are ridiculous. The 7-year old scouting report on him is only one word: FAST. He is going to run wild in Philly and be crowned the new king of the steal.
1. Troy Tulowitzki puts up numbers that should win him the MVP.
Colorado’s pitching provides Tulo with ample opportunity to flash his leather and the air in Denver allows for 36 of his fly balls to leave the stadium. Unfortunately, the Rockies will be an afterthought in the standings and Tulo will only receive MVP votes from writers based in Colorado. (Editor’s Note: we cannot guarantee that Troy Tulowitzki will not injure himself reading this article or doing other mundane tasks).