MLBTR Writer Predictions

Nine MLBTR writers give 2011 predictions!  Click here to see postseason and award picks from Tim Dierkes, Ben Nicholson-Smith, Mike Axisa, Luke Adams, Mark Polishuk, Zach Links, Dan Mennella, Howard Megdal, and Steve Adams.  Make your predictions in the comments and we'll check back here in November.


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162 Comments on "MLBTR Writer Predictions"


Gumby65
4 years 4 months ago

Only request, please BUMP THIS THREAD at the end of the season =)

4 years 4 months ago

I’m probably wrong but:

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Twins
AL West: Rangers
AL WC: Yankees

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Brewers
NL West: Giants
NL WC: Rockies

ALCS: Red Sox over Yankees
NLCS: Giants over Phillies
WS: Giants over Red Sox

4 years 4 months ago

no love for the Cardinals. sigh.

5_tool_MiLB_fool
4 years 4 months ago

gee i wonder why……

4 years 4 months ago

you’re a funny one.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

the guy who picked brad emaus to win the NL ROY is much funnier

OKGOJAYS85
4 years 4 months ago

I fully support your comment, Emaus?? Really, would he be the first rule 5 guy to win it?

3 years 5 months ago

And see what no Cardinal love get’s you! lol.

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

All 45 ESPN analysts picked the Red Sox to win the East (as do I) and all MLBTR writers except one did it too. Zach is the odd man out. Although he picks Boston to beat the Yankees in the ALCS. And I see Mike picked the Red Sox to win the East but to lose to the Yankees in the ALCS. I’d be interested in hearing why.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

both howard and dan have the yankees missing the playoffs. i’d be very surprised

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

Steve too. Although Steve and Dan picked an AL West team, arguably the worst division in the league, to win the wild card.

vonhayesdays
4 years 4 months ago

wild card coming out of the east or the central very surprised to see two al west teams in there

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

Crazy things do happen, but I think picking an AL West team to win the wild card is going way against the odds. But hey let’s hope for a good season and we shall see.

vonhayesdays
4 years 4 months ago

Good season , is worth hoping for , and everybody likes the unexpected unless it happens to them . opening day tomorrow getting goose bumps

4 years 4 months ago

AL west worse not even close. The AL east for once will be balanced. which means that they might not have any team over 90 wins. Boston only team that could run away with it but looks like a bunch of teams canceling each other out.

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

2 teams from the East each won at least 95 games last year, 1 team won 89 games, and the 4th place team won 85 games. 2 AL East teams can easily, easily win 90 games this year (most likely Yankees and Sox).

Not a single team in the AL Central or AL West had a winning record against the AL East. Every AL East team had a winning record against the AL West. And only the Red Sox and Orioles in the AL East had a losing records against the AL Central.

Oh and if I may add, last year’s AL West division champion won exactly 90 games, 2nd place was Oakland with 81 wins, not even above .500. Which would mean the 4th place Blue Jays would finish 2nd in the AL West

Yes that was last year and this is this year, but if the AL West is not the worst division in the AL, then which is of the 2? MAYBE the only division worse than it in all of baseball is the NL Central. But the AL West is clearly the weakest of the AL divisions.

OKGOJAYS85
4 years 4 months ago

Lets not forget that if the Blue Jays actually were in that division they would get to play those teams a lot more. Add in they had the second best winning record against the AL East last year (behind Tampa), and I would say the Jays would have walked away with the AL West division.

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

That’s true too.

Gumby65
4 years 4 months ago

ESPN? Red Sox? Sheesh, That’s going off on a limb.

thomel
4 years 4 months ago

Why is everyone in denial that the Red Sox are woefully underperforming in spring training? I too think they have alot of great names, but I think that people are going to be surprised when they don’t live up to their very lofty expectations. Funny how in a quick decade the Red Sox go from “can’t win a thing” to “how can they lose”! I tag the Red Sox as having the highest potential for being disappointing! Sorry Theo…

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

so judging by your spring training rational..

Should I buy my Jays 2011 World Series jacket now?

thomel
4 years 4 months ago

Are the Jays your home team? If so then of course! Also, I would never sell MY team up the river with a sarcastic comment and no games played.

Anyways. what real analysis does anyone use without real games. Are you using your gut, or perhaps your daddies opinion. At least I am a spacial statistician and have reasons for my predictions other than ESPN hype:)

________________________________________

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

you are so right spring training stats have very high predictive value historically

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

don’t you remember the giants spring training last year???

.. because I sure don’t

0bsessions
4 years 4 months ago

I looked it up the other day in response to some people crying sky is falling over the Red Sox’ tough spring (Spoiler alert, based on records back to 2002, results were inconclusive), the Giants actually had the best record in the Cactus League, so Spring Training stats are completely dead on!

On the other hand, can anyone guess who had the worst record in the Cactus League? I’ll give you a hint: it was an AL team.

4 years 4 months ago

Dan Mennella knows what he’s talking about.

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

Why because he picked the Yankees to miss the playoffs? It can happen of course, but I got a feeling that’s why you’re saying that lol

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

My guess is he’s a ChiSox fan

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

Ahh didn’t see the WS prediction, good catch.

4 years 4 months ago

for sure, even though I hate to jinx them I wouldn’t mind having a great summer with the Sox. Hope they go all the way but like I said, I’m not to sure with everyone picking them to win the division.

4 years 4 months ago

Oh no. You jinxed them. Somehow you saying that will make them lose. And so will a billy goat.

WhiteSoxHomer
4 years 4 months ago

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: White Sox
AL West: Athletics
AL WC: Yankees

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Brewers
NL West: Giants
NL WC: Braves

ALCS: Red Sox over White Sox
NLCS: Phillies over Giants
WS: Red Sox over Phillies

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

love the love for the athletics i’m seeing here. and though i don’t think it’s likely, i’d looove a boston-atlanta WS

listen to me. you can tell tomorrow is opening day, can’t you

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

Cities that had a team named the Braves in it. Hoping Milwaukee wins the central too? lol

uconndirk
4 years 4 months ago

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: White Sox
AL West: Rangers
AL WC: Rays

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Reds
NL West: Giants
NL WC: Rockies

ALCS: Red Sox over Rangers
NLCS: Phillies over Reds
WS: Phillies over Red Sox

WhiteSoxHomer
4 years 4 months ago

I really wish I had your optimism that the Rays could take the Wildcard.

NL_East_Rivalry
4 years 4 months ago

maybe he meant 2012?

mac_aberdeen77
4 years 4 months ago

It’s pretty hard to see anyone other than the Red Sox win the East this year. The Yankees and Rays are going to have decent seasons, and I think Baltimore and Toronto could potentially be decent, but the Red Sox have a great rotation and serious firepower.

4 years 4 months ago

I’m a Yankees fan and I picked them to lose in the LCS vs the Red Sox, might have been the hardest pick I had to make, but they have a better team.

I’m just saying even though we have a rivalry i’m not one of those blind Yankee fans, this is a transition year.

This goes without saying that I’ll be rooting hard for the Yanks to take it all this year like I do every year. I just don’t expect it like most misguided Yankee fans do. However I agree with you Baltimore and Toronto are going to be really tough this year.

Chuck
4 years 4 months ago

AL east teams don’t play each other in the LCS.

0bsessions
4 years 4 months ago

Off the top of my head, the Red Sox and Yankees have faced off in the ALCS at least three times (1999, 2003 and 2004). Then there was the Cardinals versus Astros a few years back and who knows how many interdivision LCS matchups. Have you been sleeping since just before divisional realignment or something?

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

You’re thinking of the LDS. League Division Series. That’s when they can’t play each other. LCS is the 2nd round.

Chuck
4 years 4 months ago

Teams in the same division can’t play each other in the LCS.

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

You’re thinking of the LDS. League Division Series. That’s when they can’t play each other. LCS is the 2nd round.

4 years 4 months ago

It sure is nice to hear from more level-headed fans; I might have learned to appreciate good baseball rather than wins or losses since I am a Mariners fan… :) but it does appear that the Yankees are at a cornerstone (or close to it) seeing as Jeter, Posada, and Mo are all coming up to the end of their careers. It seems like they have some work to do replacing those guys, but it’s the Yankees. They aren’t going to have anything close to a rebuilding year anytime soon since they will still have Tex, Cano, and A-roid in the middle of their lineup. They are always going to be good, I guess I have just accepted it by now.

Admittedly, I know not a whole lot about the AL East, but the Jays and O’s look much, much better, at least offensively. One thing I know, is that a friend of mine’s cousin is in the Jays minor league system…. but I digress. Anyway, the question mark to me would be their pitching staffs. (sp?)

Cards_Fan_93
4 years 4 months ago

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Twins
AL West: Rangers
AL Wildcard: Athletics

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Rockies
NL Wildcard: Reds

ALCS: Red Sox over Twins
NLCS: Phillies over Cardinals
WS: Phillies over Red Sox

Jonathunder
4 years 4 months ago

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: White Sox
AL West: Angels
AL Wildcard: Yankees

NL East: Braves
NL Central: Reds
NL West: Giants
NL Wildcard: Phillies
ALCS: Red Sox over White Sox
NLCS: Braves over Phillies
WS: Braves over Red Sox

metsman
4 years 4 months ago

Emaus NL ROY? I find that really interesting, I hope Howard is on to something. It got the Mets on the board in some shape or form so that’s nice.

dawgpaddlez
4 years 4 months ago

im a mets fan..but eamus as rookie of the year seems a little outlandish to me too…either that guy lives in vegas or is a jays fan or something..

metsman
4 years 4 months ago

As a outlandish as it is, It’s probably the least outlandish way you could insert the Mets into any of the considerations. Although I’m not sure why everyone is so high on the Braves, I think it’s about as misguided as predicting the Mets end up in last place. I see the Mets ending up in third and the Braves second, losing out on the wild card to the Brewers or Reds.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

see three different writers predict crawford winning the MVP award. that would just blow me away, as he doesn’t have the kind of stats that win over baseball writers. and several of his teammates do

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

That really surprised me too. I like Crawford a lot and I think he has a good year, but he’s not a HR/RBI kinda guy, which is what gets you MVP votes.

Unrelated but did you see Beckett tonight? He had everything working for him.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

almost every sox fan i know — even the ones that are savvy baseball people — is expecting beckett to have a bad to very bad season. goes without saying that most everyone outside of boston thinks so too

i’m not seeing it. his velocity wasn’t down, his swinging strikes weren’t down, and if anything he has more weapons now than he’s had before. like 2006, 2010 was about command. the guy seems to get in his own head and makes small problems big, protracted ones

having said that, command is very correctable. i expect beckett to correct it and have a very solid 2011. and if he can use his change-up and cutter effectively, he could have a season that’s much better than solid

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

Beckett does well in odd number years. I certainly don’t see him doing as bad as he did last year (when he did pitch). Same for AJ Burnett actually. But I don’t expect Great numbers from either of these 2 guys either.

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

The whole odd year Beckett thing really is a misnomer. He arguably pitched better in ’08 than he did in ’09, only the results weren’t as good. I could even make a case that he pitched at least as well in ’08 as he did in ’07. In ’08 he had the highest K/9, second lowest HR/9, and second lowest FIP of his time with the Sox and the lowest BB/9 and xFIP of his career. Anyway, I couldn’t say that I expect great numbers from Beckett, but I will say that I wont be shocked by them. It really did seem to be all about command last year rather than “stuff” for Beckett.

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

I’m with you. He is supposed to have improved his change-up too, more movement and 2-3 MPH slower. I wouldn’t be too shocked to see him go back to the ’07-’09 Beckett.

EarlyMorningBoxscore
4 years 4 months ago

I agree with you totally about command. Obviously the Beckett from 07 is not going to be back, but I could see him getting 14-16 wins and an ERA of 3.60-4.00.

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

I expect the same from Beckett.

How do you think Clay will do? I don’t think he will have the same ERA or an even better ERA than he did last year though. On the plus side he definitley will throw more innings (if he’s consistent that is). I expect a better year out of Lackey. Dice-K who knows. And Lester will probably have a Lester year.

EarlyMorningBoxscore
4 years 4 months ago

For Clay, I also feel the ERA will be higher I mean he had like a 2.33 last year and that is hard to replicate. I’d say 15-17 wins for clay and an ERA around 3.35-3.75. Lackey I’d expect basically the same from him that I would Beckett 14-16 wins ERA 3.60-4.00 though I think he has a better chance of having an ERA under 4. I think the Sox would be happy with 10-12 wins from Dice-K and an ERA of like 4.00-4.30 he is the number 5 guy after all. If Lester can have a good first month and not lay an egg like in years past. I could see 18-20 wins ERA of 2.80-3.20 and his 200+ K’s.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

clay’s ERA will be higher, but he may actually end up pitching better than he did last year. there’s lots of room for his strikeouts to increase and his walks could also go down

MB923
4 years 4 months ago

Dustin Pedroia not much of a HR/RBI guy and won MVP in 2008 with 17 HR 83 RBI (definitely earned it though)

And who can forget Ichiro’s MVP in 2001 with 8 HR and 55 RBI.

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

Sure, it certainly happens, but that’s more the exception than the rule.

0bsessions
4 years 4 months ago

The exception that proves the rule. I can’t remember much of the 2001 playing field, but Pedroia only won the 2008 MVP because there was a very thin field of candidates for the award. Teixeira was was one of only two players with a better WAR in the AL and he played half the season in the NL. The other was Sizemore, but his counting stats didn’t really stand out in the way writers generally lean toward (His low BA killed him, despite putting up better numbers in general) A-Rod had better offensive stats, but Pedroia’s impressive fielding more than closed that gap.

Sizemore’s the only guy in the AL I could say probably deserved it more, but playing for a crappy team and that low BA killed his chances.

MaineSox
4 years 4 months ago

I actually remember thinking at the time that Pedroia was (arguably) not even the most likely player on the Red Sox to get the MVP. I actually thought that Youkilis was more likely to get the award than Pedroia was since he put up better offensive numbers, which is what generally gets you MVP votes.

Chuck
4 years 4 months ago

Surprised me too, to see Crawford so much for MVP. Although, his numbers will surely be inflated in that lineup. He has all the protection in the world.

mac_aberdeen77
4 years 4 months ago

AMERICAN LEAGUE
WEST: Texas Rangers
CENTRAL: Minnesota Twins
EAST: Boston Red Sox
WILD CARD: Chicago White Sox

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Michael PiƱeda
MVP: Joe Mauer
CY YOUNG: Felix Hernandez

NATIONAL LEAGUE
WEST: San Francisco Giants
CENTRAL: Cincinnati Reds
EAST: Atlanta Braves
WILD CARD: Philadelphia Phillies

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Brandon Belt
MVP: Albert Pujols
CY YOUNG: Roy Halladay

NLCS: Braves over Reds
ALCS: Twins over Red Sox
WORLD SERIES: Twins over Braves

JacksTigers
4 years 4 months ago

How’d you get the ~ over Michael Pineda’s name. I’ve never been able to figure it out.

4 years 4 months ago

on a mac option+n then N

4 years 4 months ago

Not exactly sure on a Windows or Linux. Something similar; maybe the Fn key? probably alt.

MSUcorner
4 years 4 months ago

I like where you’re going with the Twins, as a Twins fan of course. Right now as it sits, I’d be shocked if the WC came from the east, so good call on the ChiSux.

The East is so unpredictable in my opinion. I see all 5 teams capable of beating each other. The Yankees and Red Sox are both weak in the rotation, and made no offensive upgrades (crawford + A-Gon replacing V-Mart and Beltre is a wash, you’re high if you think otherwise). Baltimore is going to be exceptionally improved this year, and will steal a lot of wins from the Two Empires, as will the Blue Jays. I have a hard time counting the Rays out, just based on their style of play and possible depth within the organization. Hellickson has the potentially of more than making up for Garza, and they may be able to get a combination of players to replace Crawford’s production. I think I see the Rays skating over the dogpile in the East.

Rangers did what they did without Cliff Lee, so he wasn’t a huge loss. They actually played worse once he came over. But I see the Athletics pitching staff as much better than the questions marks in Texas. It’s going to be tight between those two. I feel the A’s are due, but that Nolan refuses to let them lose. I gotta go Rangers though, last year was a big turning point for that club.

AL East: Rays
AL Central: Twins
AL West: Rangers
AL WC: Athletics

NL East: Braves
NL Central Brewers
NL West: Rockies
NL WC: Giants

Phillies have a ridiculous pitching staff, but what the yankees and red sox lack in pitching, the Phillies lack in offense and health. I don’t think they are built for a full season. In a play off series? Yeah they’d be great, but not over 162 games, you have to score runs. I cite example 1, the Mariners of the first half of 2010.

Soxman17
4 years 4 months ago

LOL! “ChiSux”. I see what you did there….very creative!

vonhayesdays
4 years 4 months ago

Clayton Kershaw wins Cy Young oh man thats funny what future brain surgeon wrote that , maybe in a few more years . i think he is good dont get me wrong but come on man dont be one of those guys who picks crazy picks and then when one of your ten off the wall picks actually wins. you act like a genius ,

4 years 4 months ago

NL West: Rockies
NL Central: Reds
NL East: Phillies
NL Wild Card: Braves

AL West: Rangers
AL Central: White Sox
AL East: Red Sox
AL wild Card: Yankees

NLCS: Rockies over Phillies

ALCS: Red Sox over Yankees

World Series: Red Sox over Rockies

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez

NL MVP: Troy Tulowitzki

AL Cy Young: David Price

NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay

4 years 4 months ago

The Cardinals are being highly underrated by nearly everyone.

JacksTigers
4 years 4 months ago

They lost their best pitcher and Carpenter has shown in spring that he is a possible DL candidate. The team is just not that good. If Pujols or Holliday go on the DL (even for 15 days) the Cards will fall back in the standings FAST. It’s not a good time to be a St. Louis fan. All you can do is hope for the best and pray Pujols will come back for under 300MM. The Cardinals 10 year reign of terror is about to end. Sorry.

stl_cards16
4 years 4 months ago

Sorry for you, but it’s alway a good time to be a Cardinals fan. This team is better than it’s given credit for. Obviously they are not the favorite to with the Central, but with Albert, Holliday, and Rasmus in the middle of the order and the rotation still as good as most teams…….this team is being seriously underrated. The Cardinals WILL compete through August, and that is a garauntee. If Albert comes back it doesn’t matter, it’s about this year, and the Cardinals will be right in the thick of things when August rolls around, then you never know what happens.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

AL
East- Sox
West-Angels
Central-Twins
Wildcard-Yankees

NL
East-Braves
West-Rockies
Central-Reds
Wild Card-Phillies

AL MVP- I desperately want to say anyone else but Adrian Gonzalez… but after looking at his home spray chart applied Fenway, if he stays healthy he should win..If not him Hamilton for the repeat.

NL MVP-Tulo

AL ROY- Hellickson
NL ROY-Freeman

AL CY- Price
NL CY- Lee

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

i assume everyone who is giving the nod to tulo over pujols is just doing so because the rox have a better shot at the playoffs than STL?

did you not pick a WS winner because the playoffs are a virtual toss-up?

OR IS IT BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO…MAHBLES! YOU HAVE NO MAHBLES?!

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

re: tulo- yes, I think the Rockies make the playoffs and cards don’t.

I’m a gambler.. last year every dime I won on betting on the rangers, I lost by betting against the giants. .

Moral of the story, anything can happen.. but if I had to pick a WS winner today, I’d pick the Rockies.

what are your picks oh wise one? I’m curious

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

indians in 6

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

you think they’ll be eliminated from the post season after just 6 regular season games?

Harsh dude

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

i’m a gambler too, for srs. and that’s why i hate preseason predictions for baseball. a 6 month 162 game season is just too volatile too predict with any confidence at all. it’s just useless. having said that, here are my completely ordinary predictions

AL
East – BOS
West – OAK
Central – CHI
WildCard – NYY

NL
East – PHI
West – COL
Central – MIL
WildCard – ATL

AL MVP – Gonzalez
NL MVP – Pujols

AL ROY – Hellickson
NL ROY – Freeman

AL CY – Verlander
NL CY – Lee

and like i said, cleveland in 6

OKGOJAYS85
4 years 4 months ago

I have to agree with everything except the Yankees getting the WC. As a Jays fan I hope they get it together a year early and make a push (probably not this year) but I think the Yankees are going to struggle on the mound enough that their hitting will not be able to compensate. I think baltimore will be much better this year and drag down the win totals of all of the AL east teams. I expect there to be a pretty good race come september without a true bottom dweller in the East. With that said there is a good chance for a central team who beats up on KC, Detroit, and Cleveland this year to pull out the wild card or be right there to the end. The Sox will most likely win the East but be under their projected 95 wins, they play too many good teams.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

I wouldn’t hold your breathe with our fair blue jays.. Realistically, we got worse from last year.. No Marcum, No Wells.. now I loved both trades, they we’re both future trades.

Not to mention that we probably won’t win 15 games vs the orioles this year. .Garza’s out of the division which is good.. If they finish .500 I’d be ecstatic.

RiverKKiller999
4 years 4 months ago

Damn, some one picked Brandon Beachy for NL Rookie of the year? Bold choice.

buchachan
4 years 4 months ago

NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Brewers
NL West: Giants
NL Wild Card: Braves

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: White Sox
AL West: A’s
AL Wild Card: Tigers

NLCS: Braves over Brewers

ALCS: Red Sox over White Sox

WS: Red Sox over Braves

NL MVP: HanRam

AL MVP: Morneau

NL Cy Young: Grienke

AL Cy Young: Lester

NL ROY: Freeman

AL ROY: Hellickson

Donskoy
4 years 4 months ago

I love Morneau and I think he’ll have a good year coming off that whole concussion business, but there’s no way he can win AL MVP if the Twins come in third in the central.