Sunday, March 3, 2013

2013 MLB Predictions

With the first pitch of the 2013 season less than a month away, a lot of sportswriters are making predictions about the upcoming pennant races. From what I can see, no one is making any bold statements about how things turn will turn out. There seems to be a general consensus among the various sources. Here is the predicted order of finish according to three trusted authorities:

American League East
Baseball Digest                   Bleacher Report             Vegas Odds
Blue Jays                                  Blue Jays                      Blue Jays
Yankees                                    Rays                               Yankees
Orioles                                      Yankees                         Rays
Rays                                          Orioles                            Red Sox
Red Sox                                    Red Sox                          Orioles

American League Central
Baseball Digest                   Bleacher Report               Vegas Odds
Tigers                                         Tigers                              Tigers
White Sox                                 Royals                             White Sox
Royals                                       White Sox                       Royals
Indians                                      Indians                            Indians
Twins                                         Twins                                Twins

American League West
Baseball Digest                     Bleacher Report               Vegas Odds
Angels                                         Angels                             Angels
A's                                                 A's                                    A's
Rangers                                      Rangers                          Rangers
Mariners                                    Mariners                        Mariners
Astros                                         Astros                             Astros 

National League East
Baseball Digest                       Bleacher Report               Vegas Odds
Nationals                                       Nationals                       Nationals
Braves                                            Braves                             Phillies
Phillies                                           Phillies                             Braves
Mets                                                Mets                                 Mets
Marlins                                          Marlins                            Marlins   

National League Central
Baseball Digest                         Bleacher Report               Vegas Odds
 Reds                                              Reds                                    Reds 
Cardinals                                      Cardinals                           Cardinals
Brewers                                         Brewers                             Pirates
Pirates                                           Pirates                                Brewers
Cubs                                               Cubs                                    Cubs
  National League West
Baseball Digest                          Bleacher Report                 Vegas Odds
Dodgers                                         Giants                                    Dodgers
Giants                                            Dodgers                                 Giants
Diamondbacks                           Diamondbacks                    Diamondbacks
Padres                                           Padres                                     Padres
Rockies                                          Rockies                                  Rockies

A few superficial thoughts of my own for the upcoming season:

--It's nice to see the leagues now balanced with the Astros making their AL debut. I have always been a fan of the American League and I'm looking forward to watching more games in Minute Maid Park--one of the most attractive venues in the majors. 

--I'm pleased to see the Blue Jays finally getting some respect. It's been a long road to contention for these guys. It's hard for me to view them as pennant contenders though. They've been also-rans for so long, it will take some getting used to.

--I feel vindicated that I am not alone in believing the 2012 Baltimore Orioles were an illusion created by the genius of manager Buck Showalter. I  just can't imagine them doing much of anything this year, though I could be wrong. 

--Overall, it's hard to disagree with most of the predictions listed above, but I've got a feeling that the Nationals, Braves and A's will do worse than predicted while the Phillies and Rangers will do much better. I have no solid evidence to back those statements, I'm just going with my "gut" on this. 

--On a final note (and I've been saying this for years), I think it would be fun if the World Series champs moved on to compete against top clubs from other countries in a round robin tournament. We already have a World Baseball Classic, why not a tournament of World Champions? I think it would be great for the sport. 


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