MLB predictions, Division by Division.
First off, let me congratulate the Indians on finally doing away with the intolerable Chief Wahoo insignia on their hats. While I know that some fans are frustrated, and that it will be another year until they really phase out their insensitive mascot, it’s long overdue. Don’t believe me? Watch Major League. The clownish fans inspired by the mascot make the movie near impossible to watch without cringing. We don’t need another generation of Indians fans growing up like that. On the plus side, the Indians are better than their 7-5 start and the bats will catch fire. This team was impressive last year and I expect more of the same in 2018.
Prediction: Corey Kluber dials it up again this year and wins twenty games despite
shoddy run support.
OK. So maybe reports of Joe Mauer’s demise have been exaggerated. He’s leading the Twins in average, on base percentage and hits. His OPS is currently a robust .2 over his career average. That’s a lot. Oh, and they lead the division at the moment. The issue with Minnesota is the rotation. Jake Odorizzi leads the team in strikeouts and ERA, but he hasn’t shown front of the rotation type stuff over his career. Kyle Gibson is also pitching better thus far than his career average would suggest. It probably can’t last.
Prediction: Fernando Rodney will lead get dinged up as much as any closer in the AL,
but come away with thirty saves. The Twins will fall back to the middle of the pack.
Here’s everything you need to know about the South Siders this year. No one on the team is hitting .300. No one. DH Matt Davidson has the only OPS over 1.0 on the team, and he hit three homers on opening day. So they’re just not hitting for average. It’s a shame, too. They’ve hit the third most homeruns in the AL thus far this year, but have just over half of the RBI’s posted by the AL-leading Angels. If they can get some more men on base, they might turn it around. James Shields looked brilliant against his former team and Reynaldo Lopez has been pitching well, posting a .69 ERA despite his 0-1 start.
Prediction: Jose Abreu and Davidson will carry the offensive load, hitting a combined 60
HR and over 200 RBI. The White Sox still lose more games than they win.
Jordan Zimmerman lived every ball player’s biggest nightmare against the Indians yesterday, taking a rocket shot off the bat of Jason Kipnis directly to the face. Thankfully, the injury ended up being more scary than serious, and Zimmerman is in line to make his next scheduled start. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news. The Tigers three homeruns thus far this season are the worst in the majors. A whopping thirty-nine INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS have hit that many, or more. One of them is a pitcher. It’s at this point that I’d like to remind you that Miguel Cabrera plays for the Tigers. Ouch.
Prediction: Without a serious power surge, the Tigers will struggle to stay out of the
basement. Miguel Cabrera continues the slide into oblivion that started last year.
Am I the only one who feels like the Royals should still be kind of good? They went to the World Series in 2014, losing to the Giants and then returned to win it all in 2015. Since then? They’ve been forgettable. Not bad enough to ridicule, and not good enough to matter, finishing at, or just under .500 both years. Eric Hosmer is off to San Diego, but the team really doesn’t feel like it’s much better, or worse than the previous two forgettable seasons.
Prediction: I think the Royals get out of the basement in the Central, led by Mike
Moustakas and Alcides Escobar. I’m guessing that they’ll catch the Tigers and White
Sox. They’ll be the middle of the Central.
Image source: USA Today