Posted by Jimmy Boyd on
The MLB regular season is fast approaching and it’s time to unleash our predictions on how we see things playing out in 2014. I tackled the 15 National League teams, while fellow handicapper Ryan James previewed the 15 American League teams. If you want to see where I have every team finishing in the standings, read my projected win totals.
Ryan doesn’t see a whole lot changing at the top of the division. He’s got the Red Sox defending their title with the Rays coming in second and securing one of the two Wild Card spots in the American League. He does see some changes on the way with the other three teams. Ryan has the Blue Jays bouncing back from a disappointing 2013 to secure the No. 3 spot. Yankee fans won’t be happy here, as he thinks New York is headed for their first losing season since 1995. Not a lot of love for the Orioles either, who he has finishing last with a mere 78 wins.
- Boston Red Sox (98-64)
- Tampa Bay Rays (91-71)
- Toronto Blue Jays (85-77)
- New York Yankees (80-82)
- Baltimore Orioles (78-84)
No surprise here with the Tigers predicted to win the AL East, as they have done so each of the last three seasons. While the Indians won 92 games and were just one-game back of Detroit for the division title in 2013, Ryan believes Cleveland is going to disappoint and the Royals are going to end up being the biggest competition to putting a stop to the Tigers reign. While I don’t know about the Indians finishing with a losing record, I’m on board with Kansas City being a team on the rise. No real shock in the bottom half of the division, where almost everyone is going to have the White Sox penciled in fourth and Twins finishing up in the basement.
- Detroit Tigers (92-70)
- Kansas City Royals (89-73)
- Cleveland Indians (80-82)
- Chicago White Sox (74-88)
- Minnesota Twins (64-98)
The Angles have been considered the team to beat in the AL West heading into the regular season each of the last two years, but have not been able to live up to expectations. Ryan thinks that trend is about to change, as he has Los Angeles squeaking by the Rangers for the top spot in the division. While he has Texas coming up just short, he thinks they are headed back to the postseason as a Wild Card. The big surprise in the AL West is the expected downfall of the A’s, who Ryan has finishing 4th with a losing record. Oakland is coming off back-to-back division titles where they won no fewer than 94 games. Ryan also sees the Mariners big offseason paying off, as he has Seattle improving by a whopping 17 games over their 71-win campaign in 2013.
- Los Angeles Angels (93-69)
- Texas Rangers (92-70)
- Seattle Mariners (88-74)
- Oakland Athletics (79-83)
- Houston Astros (62-100)
I see the NL East being a clear tw0-team race for the title. While the Braves come in as the defending champs, I think Washington and their dominant starting rotation are poised to regain control of the division. With that said, I do have Atlanta making it back to the postseason as one of the two NL Wild Card representatives. As for the other three teams, I don’t expect any of them to end the year with a winning record. However, I do think the Marlins are one of the true sleeper teams, while the Phillies are one of the most overrated teams in baseball.
- Washington Nationals (95-65)
- Atlanta Braves (91-72)
- New York Mets (74-88)
- Miami Marlins (73-89)
- Philadelphia Phillies (69-93)
This division was arguably the best in baseball last year, as they had three different teams win at least 90 games and make the playoffs. A claim no other division can make. I like the Cardinals to repeat as division champs. St Louis is loaded with young talent and has the veteran leaders to build off last season. As for the Reds and Pirates, I look for Cincinnati to be a force once again, while Pittsburgh takes a step back from last year’s magical run. I have the Brewers picked fourth, but Milwaukee is flying under the radar and could end up contending for a playoff spot. As for the Cubs, I see another painful losing season on the way, as they continue in their major rebuilding project.
- St. Louis Cardinals (98-64)
- Cincinnati Reds (92-70)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (84-78)
- Milwaukee Brewers (81-81)
- Chicago Cubs (71-91)
I know I’m not exactly going out on a limb predicting the Dodgers to win the division and finish with the best record in baseball, but I think Los Angeles has the starting pitching and star offensive players to be even better than they were a year ago. Keep in mind they won 92 games, despite the fact that they had a losing record in July. As for the rest of the NL West, I look for the Giants to bounce back in a big way after failing miserably to defend to their 2012 World Series title. Arizona is another team that could surprise and contend, but I just don’t feel they have the starting pitching to be taken seriously. I expect the Rockies to show some minor improvements and the Padres to continue their losing ways.
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