The 2014 Major League Baseball season kicks off for real on Monday — no, random days where the Dodgers play someone and it’s the only game of the day don’t count — and so, as a baseball site, we are compelled to offer our staff’s predictions for the upcoming season. We are compelled because you like to read our staff predictions, even though they are terrible. And boy are they terrible.
Among last year’s gems were things like Aaron Hicks, American League Rookie of the Year. Aaron Hicks did not get a single vote by any one voter on a Rookie of the Year ballot last year. We also had the Angels and Blue Jays making the playoffs. Predicting baseball is silly. Everyone is terrible at it, including us. But as long as you know that going in, it’s still kind of a fun exercise.
Okay, so, on to the picks. AL first, and then we’ll do the NL this afternoon.
West: Oakland (19), Anaheim (8), Texas (4), Seattle (0), Houston (0)
Central: Detroit (21), Cleveland (8), Kansas City (2), Minnesota (0), Chicago (0)
East: Boston (16), Tampa Bay (12), Baltimore (2), New York (1), Toronto (0)
The staff basically just goes with the status quo, with all three division winners from last year expected to repeat again in 2014. More than the consensus pick, though, I find the spread of the selections interesting. The A’s are considered nearly as strong a favorite as the Tigers, at least by the number of people selecting them as AL West champions, even though the forecasts on our site call that race a toss-up. The East was the only division where four teams got votes, but interestingly, the Blue Jays were not one of those four teams; apparently one bad season has convinced everyone on staff that we were truly and utterly wrong about them last year.
Wild Card Winners
Note: Consensus division winners are excluded, and the non-consensus winners have had their division title selections added to their Wild Card selections, so for the teams listed below, their placement is based upon their combined number of total predicted playoff appearances, either through WC or Divisional victory.
Tampa Bay (12 WC, 12 DIV)
Anaheim (4 WC, 8 DIV)
Cleveland (3 WC, 8 DIV)
Texas (4 WC, 4 DIV)
New York (7 WC, 1 DIV)
Kansas City (4 WC, 2 DIV)
Baltimore (2 WC, 2 DIV)
Seattle (1 WC, 0 DIV)
Total Predicted Playoff Appearances
This is the number of all authors who voted for each team to make the postseason, either through the division or the wild card.
Tampa Bay: 24
New York: 8
Kansas City: 6
There’s pretty clearly a “big four”, in terms of the staff’s expectations of reaching the postseason. The Rays are easily seen as the best of the non-division winners, with the Angels, Indians, Rangers, and Yankees providing most of the competition for the second wild card spot. The Royals, Orioles, and Mariners aren’t considered hopeless, but are definitely not the favorites.
Mike Trout: 23
Miguel Cabrera: 2
Prince Fielder: 2
Evan Longoria: 2
Jason Kipnis: 2
Raise your hand if you expected Jason Kipnis to get two MVP votes from our staff. Me either. I like Kipnis, but I’ll take the under on him landing two first place votes in the final tally.
Yu Darvish: 9
Felix Hernandez: 6
Justin Verlander: 5
Chris Sale: 4
David Price: 4
Alex Cobb: 2
Max Scherzer: 1
The variety of pitchers you would expect, and Alex Cobb.
Rookie of the Year
Masahiro Tanaka: 12
Jose Abreu: 10
Xander Bogaerts: 7
Yordano Ventura: 2
We were very wrong about last year’s AL ROY, but I’ll be pretty surprised if one of these four doesn’t win the award. This seems like a very strong group of favorites.
For those interested, and for future mocking purposes, here is a table with each author’s selections.
|Author||West||Central||East||Wild Card||Wild Card||MVP||Young||Rookie|
|Bill Petti||Oakland||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||Anaheim||Trout||Darvish||Tanaka|
|Blake Murphy||Oakland||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Boston||Cleveland||Trout||Sale||Ventura|
|Brad Johnson||Anaheim||Kansas City||Boston||Oakland||Detroit||Trout||Price||Abreu|
|Brett Talley||Oakland||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Boston||Cleveland||Trout||Sale||Abreu|
|Carson Cistulli||Anaheim||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||Cleveland||Trout||Cobb||Bogaerts|
|Chris Cwik||Oakland||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Boston||Anaheim||Trout||Darvish||Abreu|
|Colin Zarzycki||Texas||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||New York||Trout||Verlander||Tanaka|
|Dave Cameron||Anaheim||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||New York||Trout||Hernandez||Tanaka|
|David G Temple||Oakland||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Boston||Anaheim||Longoria||Price||Bogaerts|
|David Laurila||Oakland||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Kansas City||Baltimore||Trout||Verlander||Bogaerts|
|David Wiers||Oakland||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||Texas||Trout||Hernandez||Abreu|
|Eno Sarris||Oakland||Cleveland||Tampa Bay||Boston||Kansas City||Kipnis||Price||Abreu|
|Howard Bender||Texas||Cleveland||New York||Boston||Kansas City||Trout||Darvish||Abreu|
|Jason Collette||Anaheim||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Boston||Oakland||Trout||Cobb||Abreu|
|Jeff Sullivan||Anaheim||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||Oakland||Trout||Darvish||Tanaka|
|Jeff Zimmerman||Anaheim||Detroit||Boston||Oakland||Kansas City||Cabrera||Verlander||Abreu|
|Jeremy Blachman||Oakland||Cleveland||Tampa Bay||Boston||Anaheim||Trout||Sale||Tanaka|
|John Paschal||Texas||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Boston||Oakland||Fielder||Darvish||Tanaka|
|Karl de Vries||Oakland||Cleveland||Tampa Bay||Boston||New York||Longoria||Darvish||Bogaerts|
|Marc Hulet||Oakland||Cleveland||Boston||New York||Detroit||Trout||Scherzer||Tanaka|
|Matt Klaassen||Oakland||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||New York||Fielder||Hernandez||Tanaka|
|Matt Yaspan||Texas||Cleveland||Baltimore||Tampa Bay||Oakland||Kipnis||Price||Tanaka|
|Max Weinstein||Oakland||Kansas City||Boston||Tampa Bay||Detroit||Trout||Darvish||Abreu|
|Michael Barr||Oakland||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||Seattle||Trout||Verlander||Tanaka|
|Mike Bates||Anaheim||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||Baltimore||Trout||Sale||Tanaka|
|Mike Petriello||Oakland||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Boston||Texas||Trout||Darvish||Abreu|
|Patrick Dubuque||Anaheim||Detroit||Tampa Bay||Boston||Oakland||Trout||Hernandez||Bogaerts|
|Wendy Thurm||Oakland||Cleveland||Boston||New York||Detroit||Trout||Hernandez||Ventura|
|Zach Sanders||Oakland||Detroit||Boston||Tampa Bay||New York||Trout||Darvish||Tanaka|
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