baseball

2017 Baseball Predictions

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Last year I made my predictions for the 2016 MLB season, and I did surprisingly well. I picked 3 of 6 division winners, 2 of the 4 wild card teams, and the eventual World Series winner. So, rather than quit while I’m ahead, I thought I’d plunge into making predictions again this year. As with last year, I’m using the computer-based PECOTA projections from Baseball Prospectus as a guide, although I don’t follow it slavishly. Let’s get started!

AL East

Boston Red Sox (89-73)
Tampa Bay Rays (86-76)
New York Yankees (82-80)
Baltimore Orioles (80-82)
Toronto Blue Jays (78-84)

Last year I said, “PECOTA always loves the Rays, but I’ve lived around them long enough to know that PECOTA is wrong.” Perhaps now that I’ve moved away from the Tampa area I’m more nostalgic for them, but I think they will be in contention for the Wild Card (and I predict they will get it). I think this division will be tightly grouped, with even the bottom team being respectable.

AL Central

Cleveland Indians (95-67)
Detroit Tigers (80-82)
Kansas City Royals (75-87)
Chicago White Sox (73-89)
Minnesota Twins (70-92)

Expect for the NL Central, this division has the best chance of being a run-away. Adding Encarnacion, having Andrew Miller for a full year, and getting back a number of their injured stars makes the Indians the team to beat.

AL West

Houston Astros (91-71)
Seattle Mariners (89-73)
Texas Rangers (82-80)
Los Angeles Angels (75-87)
Oakland A’s (70-92)

Last year I predicted the Rangers would flop, and they ended up with the best record in the AL. But their run differential was paltry which showed they weren’t that strong of a team. I think the standings will show that this year.

NL East

Washington Nationals (93-69)
New York Mets (92-70)
Atlanta Braves (78-84)
Miami Marlins (74-88)
Philadelphia Phillies (69-93)

This is the hardest division to pick the winner. I’ve gone back and forth between the Nationals and the Mets, but I think the Nats will edge the Mets for the division.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs (97-65)
St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)
Pittsburg Pirates (78-84)
Milwaukee Brewers (76-86)
Cincinnati Reds (73-89)

Cubs in a runaway. I’m hopeful my Reds improve from last year, but that pitching staff is raw.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70)
San Francisco Giants (86-76)
Colorado Rockies (82-80)
Arizona Diamondbacks (72-90)
San Diego Padres (68-94)

I do not know why PECOTA loves the Dodgers so much (predicting 97 wins, which is extremely high for PECOTA), but I do think they have what it takes to win this division.

Playoffs

AL Division Winners: Red Sox, Indians, Astros
AL Wild Cards: Mariners, Rays

NL Division Winners: Nationals, Cubs, Dodgers
NL Wild Cards: Mets, Giants

Wild Card Winners: Mariners, Mets
ALDS Winners: Indians, Astros
NLDS Winners: Cubs, Nationals

ALCS Winner: Astros
NLCS Winner: Cubs

World Series: Cubs over Astros, 4 games to 1.