Baseball is back and it’s time to give out my predictions for the 2016 season. The new year officially kicks off with three games Sunday, April 3. Followed by a full slate of games on Monday April 4.
After coming painfully short of winning it all in 2014, the Kansas City Royals finished the job in 2015. The Royals defeated the New York Mets in 5-games.
Now the question turns to who will win it all in 2016. According to the oddsmakers the Chicago Cubs are the odds on favorite. Chicago is currently listed at +500 or 5 to 1.
Future odds are a great source to help make educated projections on where teams will finish. I also like to look at the regular season win totals for every team. Speaking of future odds, now is a great time to check out the MVP odds and Cy Young award odds.
Accurate predictions also requires spending a lot of time breaking down the offseason moves. You also want to look at individual players and their expected performance.
I’ve included my predictions on where each team will finish in the standings below. I also give out my early season playoff predictions. Be sure to check out my MLB handicapping guide if you plan on betting baseball this year.
Toronto snapped a lengthy playoff drought by winning their first division title since 1993. The Blue Jays lost David Price in free agency to rival Boston. That has a lot of people picking the Reds Sox, but I’m calling for Toronto to defend their title.
Overall this figures to be one of the more competitive divisions. I have just 10-games separating first from last. By far the smallest gap of any division.
Kansas City proved their doubters wrong. Some thought the Royals wouldn’t even finish with a winning record. They ended up winning 95 games. While I’m not expecting a major setback, I do expect a bit of a hangover from winning it all.
I believe the team to beat is the Detroit Tigers, who finished last in the division in 2015 at 74-87. Detroit signed starter Jordan Zimmermann an added a big bat in Justin Upton.
Almost everyone had either the Angels or Mariners winning the West in 2015. Instead it was the Rangers and Astros at the top of the standings. Both Texas and Houston made the postseason, with the Astros a major surprise.
This year I look for Houston’s talented young nucleus to take center stage. I have them finishing a full 4-games ahead of runner-up Seattle. With that said, you can’t count out the Angels or Rangers.
The Mets came out of nowhere to win the NL East. It was suppose to be Washington that ran away with the title, but instead they finished a full 7-games back. I’m expecting a bigger fight from the Nationals in 2016, but my money is on New York.
The only other team with a legit shot at making things interesting is the Marlins. Both the Phillies and Braves are in major rebuilding modes.
Last year the Cardinals won 100 games and only won the division by 2-games over the Pirates. Chicago also was in the mix, just 3-games back at 97-65.
I think it’s safe to say this will be a three-headed race again this season. However, this time I look for the Cubs to jump out to the front of the pack.
The Dodgers won their third straight division title in 2015. It wasn’t exactly close, as they ended up a full 8-games in front of the Giants. The other three teams all finished below .500.
This year I expect a closer race between LA, San Francisco and Arizona. All three teams are loaded with talent. I give the slight edge to the Giants, who have made a habit of winning it all in even years.
Below you will find my playoff predictions for the 2016 season. These are all based off the projected records in the standings above.
No real big surprises on either side for me. I have the Red Sox and Tigers replacing the Rangers and Yankees in the AL. In the NL the only new team in the postseason is the Giants over the Pirates.
As you can see I have the Cubs and Mets meeting once again in the NLCS with the Red Sox and Tigers in the ALCS.
I don’t know if you can draw up a better matchup than the Red Sox and the Cubs. Both teams certainly have what it takes to make it this far.
Chicago came close to fulfilling the Back to the Future fortune last year. This time I believe they get the job done. The Cubs haven’t been to the World Series since 1945 and haven’t won it all since 1907.
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