15 predictions for the 2014 season
1. Miguel Cabrera wins the 2014 MVP award, but not the triple crown.
I figure I want to at least get one of my predictions right, and this seems like an okay bet, although with Mike Trout in the mix it is far from a sure thing. Miggy has less line-up protection, meaning he could draw more walks that take away from his HR/RBI totals. It will depend a lot on how well Victor Martinez can protect him in the line-up. However he will be moving to a less physically demanding position and will get the opportunity to DH much more often. I believe he will continue to put up similar numbers to his previous few seasons, and will take home the MVP award yet again.
2. Chris Davis will hit less than 35 home runs this year.
This one is somewhat bold, as Davis eclipsed 35 home runs very easily last season en route to a season high 54. However, I think pitchers have learned how to handle Davis, and even though his left-handed swing plays well at Camden Yards, I think he is due for a power regression.
3. Taijuan Walker wins the AL Rookie of the Year award.
Assuming he stays healthy, Walker has electrifying stuff, and a starting pitcher can always benefit from the friendly confines of Safeco Field. His closest competition will be Nick Castellanos and teammate James Paxton.
4. Robinson Cano suffers a home run drought, but still hits over .300
Another fairly easy one, as the transition from Yankee Stadium to Safeco will knock any left-handed hitters power numbers down. Cano possesses a line drive swing, however, so I think many of his potential home runs will instead turn into doubles or triples, not just fly outs. That may help maintain his batting average over 300.
5. Brian McCann hits over 30 home runs for the first time in his career.
See above regarding the little league park that is Yankee Stadium in right field.
6. Derek Jeter plays over 100 games this season, and hits over .280
This one is more hopeful, because I believe in the Captain and want to see him succeed, for baseball reasons.
7. CC Sabathia outpitches Mashahiro Tanaka this season.
More of a belief in CC to rebound from a tough season than in a lack of faith in Tanaka.
8. Justin Verlander rebounds from a poor 2013 season and wins the AL Cy Young award.
As a Tigers fan this one is hopeful, but let's not forget how dominant JV can be when he has everything going his way.
9. Eric Hosmer wins the AL batting title, with a .324 batting average.
Hey, got to throw a crazy one in there every once in a while right?
10. Matt Kemp wins comeback player of the year award, finishes top 5 in NL MVP voting.
Matt Kemp, when he's on and playing, is as good as it gets.
11. Yasiel Puig does not finish in the top 15 for MVP voting, begins his slow fade into obscurity.
Puig is going to get figured out by NL pitchers, it is only a matter of time.
12. Yankees, Tigers, Rangers win their respective divisions, Athletics and Red Sox play for the Wild card.
Not sure I see why everyone is so high on the Rays.
13. Nationals, Cardinals, Dodgers win their respective divisions. Padres and Braves play for the Wild Card.
Padres are my sleeper.
14. Tigers and Nationals play for the World Series.
15. Tigers win in game 6.
Brad Ausmus becomes a superstar manager.