Make three predictions about the upcoming 2008 MLB Season.

The title says it all.

You don’t have to cite any reasons or give any rationales, though you can certainly present them if you so choose to show off your acumen, or your love or hatred for a particular team. Just make three (3) predictions about the 2008 MLB season before it begins, and then, after the season is over, we will see who got the most calls right.

To keep smart-alecs from padding their list with silly or trivial calls like “The Red Sox will win at least one game”, or “Derek Jeter will play most of his games at shortstop”, I’ll set these ground rules:

1 - Each prediction must be in one of the allowed categories below.
2 - Specifically for the 2008 regular season
3 - For predictions about an individual player, one that is presently on the 40-man roster of a major league team.

So, no predictions about the Yankees making another desperation signing of Roger Clemens (or Barry Bonds) in late May or something, fun though that would be to speculate about.

Categories of Predictions Allowed
[ul][li]The outcome of a specific team’s or division’s final standings[/li][li]The winner of a season series between two specific teams[/li][li]The outcome of a league statistical race (RBIs, HRs, SBs, Wins, Saves, ERA, etc.)[/li][li]The outcome of an MVP or Cy Young race[/li][li]An individual player reaching a career milestone or record[/li][li]An individual ballclub reaching a franchise milestone or record[/li][li]For a pitcher, a prediction about a specific season-ending statistic:[/li][list][li]Number of wins or losses, +/- 2[/li][li]Number of (blown) saves, +/- 2[/li][li]ERA, +/- 0.25[/li][li]BBs or K’s, +/- 10[/li][/ul]
[li]For a hitter, a prediction about a specific season-ending statistic:[/li][ul][li]Number of hits, +/- 5[/li][li]Number of HRs, +/- 2[/li][li]Batting average, +/- .010[/li][li]BBs or K’s, +/- 10[/li][li]SBs, +/- 2[/li][/ul]
[li]A player’s *season-ending * non-playing roster status (DL, retired, sent down, etc.)[/li][/list]

As far as predicting the outcome of a statistical race, you don’t have to necessarily call the winner, just give a prediction about a specific standing. For example, I might not want to predict who will lead the American League in HRs, nor name how many it would take to do so, but say that Miguel Cabrera will hit the third most HRs in the AL. Or that Johan Santana will come in second in the voting for the NL Cy Young award, without saying who it might be that would beat him out.

Alternatively, you can hedge a bit and predict that one of two teams or players will win a given race, but only if you also give parameters that dictate the verifiable conditions that will predict which of the two ultimately win. Which can be as arbitrary as you want: you could call it that either Albert Pujols or Ryan Howard will win the NL Home Run title, with the winner hitting more of his HRs in his home ballpark than the other – or, with the winner getting hit by pitches more than the other, or playing in fewer rainouts, whatever. If you could back it up with published season-ending statistics, you could even base it on the number of hot dogs they eat. And while saying something as mundane as “whichever one gets more ABs” would be kind of lame, it would be allowed.

Here are my own three predictions:

In his first year with the team, Johan Santana will set a Mets club record.
…for the most hits in a season by a pitcher. The club record is 21, set by Doc Gooden in 1985; Mike Hampton almost matched that with 20 in his only season with the Mets in 2000. Not that the margin matters for this prediction, but I’ll say, with a wild surmise, that Santana will get 23 hits.

The AL East will be decided by the head-to-head records of the Yankees and the Red Sox.
…but against the Tampa Bay (not-Devil) Rays, not each other. Well, of course they’ll play each other as many times as they each play Tampa Bay, since they’re all in the same division. But I predict that one of these two will win the AL East (Yankees or Red Sox), and whichever one it is, that team will have won more games against the Rays than the other.

The Chicago Cubs will finish second in the NL Central.
I don’t know what team will edge them out, but this will not be the Cubbies’ year. Again. Sorry. (And not that it matters for this prediction, but I also don’t think the NL Wild Card will be coming out of the Central Division. It just sucks too much.)

  1. The Atlanta Braves will win the NL East by at least seven games.

  2. The American League MVP will be Miguel Cabrera. He will also win the batting title.

  3. Scott Rolen and Frank Thomas will not hit 20 home runs between them.

  1. The LA Angels will win the AL West.

  2. The Oakland A’s will beat the Texas Rangers in their season series.

  3. The Oakland A’s will beat the Seattle Mariners in their season series.

I expect Seattle to be the 4th place team in the AL west.

  1. Angels by at least 10 games
  2. Oakland
  3. Texas
  4. Seattle

Re: #1 – I know you’re up in Ontario, and it’s still Winter, so I’m going to assume this prediction is the result of some deficiency due to lack of sunlight. Atlanta will be at least seven games BEHIND the eventual NL East winner. Probably more like 17. Bank on it.

Re: #2 – I think you’re right on the second part–Cabrera will win the batting title–but the very factors that will raise his average (spacious ballpark with wide open outfield but little foul territory) will be the same things that will keep him from getting the MVP. That’s an unwieldy way of saying he’ll hit for a high average, but the HR total will be fair to middling; some other player will match Cabrera on RBI and exceed his HR total, and will thus beat him out in the MVP vote.

I think you’re pretty right on for #3.

My own predictions (dissect as you please):

  1. Arizona will crater in the NL West. They’re going to be a trendy pick; the thinking will be that the addition of Haren to go with Webb will give them a one-two punch that will be tough to beat. But I saw Haren close up here these last couple of years, and he came up small in too many games for an All-Star starter. Webb will be Webb, but the putative #2 starter will not carry his weight. That plus their (still) anemic offense will sink them.

  2. The Dodgers will have the buyer’s remorse on Andrew Jones. He’ll still field well–he can do that in his sleep–but his offensive numbers will not rebound in Chavez Ravine. He’ll struggle, and his struggles will hold LA down in the standings (though he and the team may get it going in the second half and compete for the wild card–which they won’t win).

  3. There is no #3.

  1. The San Diego Padres will win the NL West

  2. Vlad Guerrero will hit his 400th home run in the first two weeks of September.

  3. The Baltimore Orioles will lose 105 games (finishing dead last in the AL East)

  1. Yankees will not win their division. They are ripe for implosion. Distraction is always big in NY but this year will be too much.
  2. Tigers will not win their division. It is a tough division with very good teams. It will require breaks and injuries will be the deciding factor.They could but…
  3. Red Sox in the American league.

Just a note: this technically does not meet the guidelines, as it does not say where you think the Yankees or Tigers will end up, just that they won’t be first. Will they be second? Or third?

And the same for #3, actually, if you’re saying the Red Sox will win the AL pennant and not just the AL East division. This is about predictions for the regular season, not the even farther out post-season. Making bets on a team not only making the playoffs, but the World Series, before the season even begins (or even Spring Training exhibition games) is historically a very low payoff percentage…

Where, then, will the D-backs actually come in?

And if you predict a disappointing year for Andruw, can you quantify that? In terms of BA, HRs, what? You need to call a season target stat (e.g., that Andruw will bat around .265 or around 22 HRs), even if it’s in terms of an “off from career averages/last season” target (“Andruw will have an OPS percentage 100 points lower than his career average through 2007”).

They are favored for 1st. It is a big deal. Tigers 2nd ,Yankees 3rd.

  1. C.C. Sabathia will only win 12 games in his final season w/ Cleveland.
  2. Detroit will win the AL Central
  3. Joe Torre’s Dodgers finish a bad 4th in the NL West.
  1. Jacoby Ellsbury will be AL Rookie of the Year.
  2. The Yankees will not make the playoffs.
  3. We will hear so much about it being 100 years since the Cubbies last won the Series that they will crumble under the pressure and make it 101+.
  1. Two predictions actually. The Red Sox will win the division, but lose the season series to the second place Yankees. (ETA: “series” meaning regular season series’, I don’t know if both will make the playoffs)

  2. Another double: Johan Santana will win the most games in the NL, but will not win the Cy Young (no idea on who will yet).

  3. For a season ending stat, you guessed it, another double: Schilling will actually start before the All-Star break (he’s not predicted back until after), but will not finish the season. Four wins, but I still love the guy.

Bonus: Seattle will win the AL West.

Third seems about right to me, maybe fourth. Not that far above any team below them.


What makes you think the Braves will be that low in the standings? I don’t know if they will win the division or not, but my prediction is that they will be two games above 2nd place, or two games under first place (which could mean they are in 3rd depending on the phillies and mets)

I also predict that Smoltz, Glavine, and Hudson will have 50 wins between then, give or take five.

I grant that Smoltz, Glavine and Hudson had decent years last year. But it’s not 2001 anymore. Smoltz still seems a viable top starter, but Hudson (don’t get me wrong; he was my favorite when he was here with the A’s) has been inconsistent since moving to Atlanta. Last year was OK, but I don’t think Tim can put that together again. As for Glavine, the Mets went so hard after Santana because they ultimately did not trust their pitching, particularly their starters–which included Glavine. (Don’t fall for any lines about they didn’t want to pay him the money to keep him from free agency; they’re a New York team–they’ll pay what is necessary for the top talent.) I don’t see Glavine having better than a .500 season, and probably not making 30 starts due to nagging injuries here and there.

Plus, 50 wins between the three of them would mean they’d need to average 16 wins each just to get close to that figure, and only Hudson won as many games last year. If any of the three wins less than 16, that means another of them will need to win 18, 19 or above to get to that stated 50 win prediction. In other words, one of them will have a Cy Young award caliber season. Not going to happen, not at this stage of their careers. Atlanta’s best hope is that they have a young arm or two in the system who will get an early call up and really wow everyone. Otherwise, I think they’re a below .500 team.

The Mets lost Glavine before Santana was even available, as for the money, Glavine had a player option with the Mets for '08, that paid $13 million. He decided not to excersize that option and went to the Braves for $8 million. He left the Mets, to go to the Braves knowing he wold make $5 million less then he could have. This move for once in baseball, had nothing to do with money.

Hudson, Smoltz, and Glavine were also in the top 5 in the NL last year in quality starts. The Braves have a great offense, scoring the 3rd most runs in the NL last year, with only the Rockies and Phillies scoring more runs, and most of that offense is still there, in fact they greatly increased it only last year at the trade deadline. As for defense, they are 5th in the NL for runs allowed, and that is with only Smoltz and Hudson having any consistency, and the only two with pitchers with over 200IP. The third highest was James with only 161.

The Braves are a better team then most people give them credit for.

Ben Sheets of the Brewers to pitch a no hitter.

For the first time since 1962 no-one will get 40 stolen bases in the AL.

Chase Utley of the Phillies will be hit by a pitch 35 times and will hit .350.

After a stellar start, Jim Edmonds will suffer a career-ending injury while playing for the San Diego Padres (probably before the All Star break).

The LA Angels will win the AL West.

The LA Angels will win the World Series.

  1. The Orioles will suck.

  2. The Orioles will suck.

  3. The Orioles will suck.


  1. The Cubs will once again fail to win the World Series.

  2. The Cubs will add to their record streak of years that a team hasn’t won the World Series.

  3. The MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards will not go to Cubs.

But I’m hopeful about the 101st year. :smiley: