A Visit to the Mound
Baseball fans over-analyzing an over-analyzed game
|But Coach, I only sent that pic to one girl.|
A Visit to the Mound is regularly updated series of emails touching on a wide range of baseball subjects.
Do we dare submit our predictions and succumb to the pressures of clickbait, newsworthiness and timeliness? I say yes! Who are we to flout the conventions of blogging. here are my mildly unscientific predictions
AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Indians
NL West: Mariners
AL Wildcard game LA Angels over Chicago White Sox
NL East: Nationals
NL Central: Pirates
NL West: Dodgers
NL Wildcards: Marlins over Padres
ALCS- Red Sox over Mariners
NLCS- Nationals over Marlins
World Series- Nationals over Red Sox in 6
AL ROY- Carlos Rodon
NL ROY- Kris Bryant
AL Cy Young- Felix Hernandez
NL Cy Young- Jordan Zimmermann
AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton
Yes I realize picking against Clayton Kershaw for NL Cy Young is enough to warrant Lucy from the Peanuts "5 cents for Psychiatry" type of help, but he has to slow down sooner or later right? Zimmermann is the Joe Walsh of the Nationals staff, and Strasburg and Scherzer are Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Sure Fry and Henley were the principals, but you don't have Hotel California without Walsh's solo.
The true function of the internet is not to expose people to new ideas that they didn't know existed, its provide the content that reinforces the beliefs and interests that they already had. Oh and cat videos. Since no one writes any comments, clicks are the only feedback available. And we love feedback.
AL East - Baltimore Orioles
Rotation solid with sufficient young upside and the offense should be good enough to feast on a division of average to poor pitching.
AL Central - Chicago White Sox
Top 3 starters known commodities & will mix and match the rest. O unbalanced, but the top of the lineup will carry that team.
AL West - Seattle Mariners
Its an easy bandwagon to get on when you consider the questions that surround the rest of the division.
AL WC1 - Boston Red Sox
Line-up will mash, but back end of rotation will be in flux all year.
AL WC2 - Cleveland Indians
Only because a one game playoff between Francona and Farrell is what we as baseball fans deserve.
NL East - Washington Nationals
I mean, come on.
NL Central - Pittsburgh Pirates
This team does to many things right to mucking around that Wild Card spot forever.
NL West- LA Dodgers
This team will still get it done despite Don Mattingly.
NL WC1 - St. Louis Cardinals
I can never count them out.
NL WC2 - San Diego Padres
I think the edge the Cubs on Karma. Padres are clearly all in, Cubs are too reliant on young players.
AL WC Game - Red Sox
Not that Farrell deserves it more than Tito, they'll just hit and hit and hit...
NL WC Game - Cardinals
Been there, done that.
ALDS - White Sox v. Orioles
White Sox - Top 3 starters too much in a 5 game series
ALDS - Mariners v. Red Sox
Red Sox - I know pitching wins championships, but after Felix who do you really count on in that rotation? Plus Red Sox will be a wrecking crew by then.
NLDS - Pirates v. Dodgers
Pirates - Mattingly finally does them in.
NLDS - Nationals v. Cardinals
Nationals - Too much pitching. Too much offense.
ALCS - White Sox v. Red Sox
Red Sox - I like the White Sox, but I don't like them that much.
NLCS - Nationals v. Pirates
Nationals - As smart and tough as the Pirates are that Nats are just overwhelming
World Series - Nationals v. Red Sox
This is where the Red Sox starting rotation minus a huge move or 2 will be undone. A healthy Nats team can hang offensively and the pitching is just that much better.
The Washington Nationals as your World Series Champions!
AL ROY: Rusney Castillo (Betts used up his eligibility last season)
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale
AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL ROY: Joc Pedersen
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
NL MVP: Andrew McCutchen
I read your picks this morning and then went about my day so as to intentionally forget what you had written. I was amused to go back and see that we both had the Nats over the Red Sox in the World Series. Its like, "Yep, we're homers, but we're not that big of homers".
One take away that I had from this whole exercise was really thinking long and hard about the AL Central and coming away not liking any of the teams all that much. So much can go wrong for the Tigers and so much has to go right for the Tribe. The White Sox are really unbalanced and we didn't even mention the AL Camp Royals or red headed stepchild Twins. That division will be interesting and I wouldn't be shocked if the team that wins it only does it with 88 wins.
Now all we need is a title about naked celebrities and our attempt at click bate will be complete.
I had a tough time NOT picking the Cardinals for the NL Central. Somehow they get it together every year, and a big piece in their lineup in Matt Carpenter is probably due for a bounce back, as is Wacha. I know in September we'll be watching them close a 5 game gap in like 12 games and be sitting here saying "I told you so" as the pundits pontificate about how the Cardinals pump their fists on home runs THE RIGHT WAY and Normal Rockwell makes a painting about it
Can we talk about the random nature of the baseball playoffs for a minute? After reading our predictions I realized that by the time we actually get to October, someone like the Reds will be on a run that no one saw coming, Felix Hernandez will be out for the year, and the A's will have traded half their roster. We've seen wild cards win the past few years. Ultimately the best team during the season isn't really rewarded for anything, and all it takes is a team getting hot at the right time. I have no personal problem with this as it keeps fan bases engaged longer, but I've heard some lament that they'd rather see the truly best teams in the world series. I don't know, isn't randomness what makes sports kinda fun?