Predicting the 2015 MLB season

By Matt Verderame

On Sunday, the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will meet up on Opening Night of the Major League Baseball season. From this vantage point, it is a wonderful change from recent seasons which have seen the MLB calendar kicking off the campaign in Tokyo or Australia. Nothing against those fine destinations, but actually getting to see the true opening night without having to wake up at 4 a.m. is nice.

Regardless, the 2015 season has plenty of interesting storylines. For starters, we have the reigning champion in the San Francisco Giants. Bruce Bochy’s club has won three of the past five titles, establishing itself as a dynasty despite not recording any incredible regular seasons. After each of the previous two championships, the Giants failed to reach the playoffs. Can they break that trend?

Then there are the up-and-comers. The Miami Marlins, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres did not make the postseason last year, but are being picked by many to make an appearance this time around. Which will, and which won’t?

Finally, there are the Washington Nationals. Washington appears primed for a massive season with a starting rotation featuring Gio Gonzalez, Max Scherzer, Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg. If the Nationals don’t win 100 games and the World Series, it would almost be a stunning disappointment. Of course, baseball history is full of those.

So, here are some fun predictions for the 2015 season. Without question, some of these will pan out beautifully, and others will have me cringing by Memorial Day. In October/November, we can revisit these and mock me.

Division Winners

AL East: Boston Red Sox
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
AL West: Seattle Mariners

NL East: Washington Nationals
NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers

AL Wild Cards: Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians
NL Wild Cards: Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres

ALDS: Detroit over Oakland, 5 games
ALDS: Seattle over Boston, 4 games

NLDS: Washington over Miami, 4 games
NLDS: Los Angeles over St. Louis, 5 games

ALCS: Seattle over Detroit, 6 games
NLCS: Washington over Los Angeles, 6 games

World Series: Washington over Seattle, 5 games

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami

AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez, Seattle
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona, Cleveland
NL Manager of the Year: Mike Redmond, Miami

AL Rookie of the Year: Kendall Graveman, Oakland
NL Rookie of the Year: Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

AL Home Run champion: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
NL Home Run champion: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona