March 28, 2019
It's opening day (again!) Time for the traditional exercise of trying to predict the future and declare, in advance, the winners in this upcoming season. Bill and Tim give it a go, even though we pretend no expertise beyond the average fan's. How good are our skills? How much do we know? How much do our biases show (hint: a lot)? Well, all we really know for sure is, some of these predictions will be wrong.
Who will make the playoffs?
AL East winner
Tim: Yankees. The Red Sox are the popular pick here, but the damn Yankees somehow will win more games. Maybe I'm pinning too much on James Paxton, but I'm picking a victory for evil this year.
Bill: Yankees. Brute force will propel the Yanks to the top, with another record-setting homer barrage.
AL Central winner
Tim: Twins. Again, I'm going against the grain here, as most think Cleveland is the best of this sorry bunch. And they are, on paper, but one significant injury and they'll be in trouble. I'm instead picking rookie manager Rocco Baldelli's Twins in a very weak, barely-over-.500 first-place finish.
Bill: Twins. The division is terrible, it should be Cleveland, but they'll be upset.
AL West winner
Tim: Astros. They're just too good. The A's won't do what they did last year, and the Angels aren't as good as people think they are. The Mariners might be better than people think, but not that much better.
Bill: Astros. No one will challenge them.
AL Wild Card game
Tim: The Red Sox will beat the Rays for the WC entry to the postseason.
Bill: Angels over Red Sox. Because I'm tired of the Red Sox.
Tim: Astros. Too much pitching.
Bill: Yankees. Too much power.
NL East winner
Tim: Nationals. Largely on the back of Max Scherzer. People like the Phillies for all their off-season moves, but somehow I think they'll disappoint.
Bill: Mets. Canó! Díaz! deGrom!
NL Central winner
Tim: Cardinals. This is a stacked division that could go any of three ways, really, but I'm going with St. Louis in a tight race.
NL West winner
Tim: Rockies. Another tough division, this one figures to go down to the wire again between the Rox and Dodgers. Colorado has, for once, pretty decent pitching with Kyle Freeland, Tyler Anderson, and German Marquez in the rotation, so I'm giving them the slight edge.
Bill: Dodgers. F@#&in' Dodgers.
NL Wild Card game
Tim: The Brewers will defeat the Dodgers on the strength of the Cain/Yelich/Braun outfield.
Bill: Phillies over Cardinals. Segura mania!
Tim: Brewers in an upset. Because why not.
Bill: Brewers. Because Pilots!
World Series champions
Tim: The both-teams-that-switched-leagues World Series will go to Houston. Too much pitching.
Tim: Matt Chapman. It's uncommon for anyone on a non-playoff team to win the MVP, but Chapman is too good for Oakland. The smarter money's probably on JD Martínez or Alex Bregman, but if it's really about the value of a single player, I like Chapman.
Bill: Aaron Judge.
AL Cy Young
Tim: Gerrit Cole. Time for Cole to outshine his teammate Justin Verlander.
Bill: Chris Sale.
AL Rookie of the Year
Tim: Eloy Jiménez. Obviously, minor-league stats don't always translate to the bigs, but this guy had himself a year last year. And the White Sox being the White Sox, he'll play every day and put on a show in mostly losing causes all season long.
Bill: I don't know any rookies, so I'll say Braden Bishop!
AL Manager of the Year
Tim: Kevin Cash. Cash will get recognition for taking the Rays farther than they really have any right to go.
Bill: Rocco Baldelli. Rookie manager makes the postseason with Minnesota.
Tim: Nolan Arenado. He's the best third baseman in the game, and there are several contenders for that title. The best defensive infielder anywhere and major power threat, in or out of Colorado's altitude.
Bill: Lorenzo Cain.
NL Cy Young
Tim: Max Scherzer. The heterochromic Nats ace will win his fourth Cy in his third 20+ win campaign.
Bill: Jacob deGrom will repeat.
NL Rookie of the Year
Tim: Nick Senzel. The Nats' Victor Robles is the favorite here, but I like Senzel's bat a little better, especially at Cincinnati's bandbox ballpark.
Bill: I don't know any rookies. Braden Bishop!
NL Manager of the Year
Tim: Bud Black. Leading the Rockies to their first division title will be enough to edge out the Cards' second-year manager Mike Shildt.
Bill: Craig Counsell, for winning a tough division for Milwaukee.
Check back in October/November to see how badly we missed on all of these! Meanwhile, what do you think? Add your predictions in the comments below.