Will the Dodgers repeat as World Champs?
A couple of weeks back I released my preseason MLB power rankings, where I was high on the Dodgers, White Sox, Braves, Mets, and Padres. Any of those five teams could win the World Series. Players like Mike Trout, Aaron Judge, Ronald Acuña Jr, Fernando Tatis, Bryce Harper, and Juan Soto are all in the mix for the MVP award as they are poised to have fantastic seasons. With the season starting on Thursday, I will now make my season award and playoff predictions.
AL ROY: Randy Arozerana, OF Tampa Bay Rays (+350)
It would be ridiculous to predict anyone else to win this award after what we saw Arozerena do in the 2020 postseason, where he racked up an MLB record 27 hits. Its crazy to realize that Arozerena only played 23 games before the 2020 postseason started as he already looks like a bonafide star.
NL ROY: Ian Anderson, SP Atlanta Braves (+750)
Anderson was dominant from the moment he got called up last season. He had a 1.95 ERA in 6 starts to end the season and continued to look the part in the postseason. He has future Ace written all over him and Braves fans should be excited to see Anderson continue to grow this year.
AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole, SP New York Yankees (+310)
Cole had a shaky start to the shortened 2020 MLB season but started to look as dominant as ever during the second half of the season. He will pick up right where he left off, striking out a ton of guys and racking up a ton of wins being supported by one of the best lineups in the league. Cole’s ERA may take a hit in Yankee Stadium this year, but his strikeouts, wins, and quality starts should be able to win him the Cy Young award he deserved in 2019 when his then-teammate Justin Verlander stole it from him. Shane Bieber and Lucas Giolito could challenge also challenge Cole.
NL Cy Young: Jacob Degrom, SP New York Mets (+350)
Degrom is the best pitcher in the MLB. He has been the most consistent and the most dominant over the past four years. With his team’s lineup improving dramatically with the acquisition of Francisco Lindor, Degrom will finally get the wins he had previously been lacking. His ERA will be under 2.30 and he will also lead the national league in strikeouts. Guys that could challenge Degrom for this award are Jack Flaherty(who is poised to have a dominant year after a disappointing 2020 season), Walker Buehler, Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Blake Snell.
AL MVP: Mike Trout, OF Los Angeles Angels (+220)
Trout should really win this award every year. He is easily the best player in the game and every season he produces at a level no one else can. He will have Anthony Rendon and Shohei Ohtani to provide him a cushion in the lineup where he will see more pitches in the zone than ever before. I expect a 50 home run season for Trout with a little over .280 batting average. Challengers to Trout will be his own teammate Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, D.J. LeMahieu, Luis Robert, and Alex Bregman. Every year its Trout’s award to lose. If he stays healthy all signs point to him picking up his 4th MVP award.
NL MVP: Juan Soto, OF Washington Nationals (+680)
Soto is already the best hitter in the National League in my opinion. He was robbed of this award last season as he hit .351 with 13 homers and an OBP of .490 in the shortened 60 game schedule. His OBP, plate discipline, and batting average will rank at the top of the league again this year, while his home runs, runs, and rbi’s should rank toward the top of the league as well. I just get a feeling that Soto solidifies his place as the best hitter in the National League this year. Washington is also a sleeper to secure a wild card spot in arguably the best division top to bottom in baseball this year. If Washington ends up making the playoffs Soto will easily win this award. Obviously, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Ronald Acuña Jr., Fernando Tatis Jr., and Freddie Freeman all will be in the mix for the award as well, but I just think it’s Soto’s to lose this season.
MLB Final Standing Predictions:
- New York Yankees: 96-66
- Toronto Blue Jays: 89-73
- Tampa Bay Rays: 84-78
- Boston Red Sox: 80-82
- Baltimore Orioles: 62-100
- Chicago White Sox: 97-65
- Minnesota Twins: 91-71
- Cleveland Indians: 78- 84
- Kansas City Royals: 74-88
- Detroit Tigers: 66-94
- Oakland Athletics: 93-69
- Houston Astros: 88-74
- Los Angeles Angels: 84-78
- Seattle Mariners: 78-84
- Texas Rangers: 62-100
- Atlanta Braves: 98-64
- New York Mets: 94-68
- Philadelphia Phillies: 87-75
- Washington Nationals: 83-79
- Miami Marlins: 72-90
- St. Louis Cardinals: 86-76
- Milwaukee Brewers: 80-82
- Chicago Cubs: 78-84
- Cincinnati Reds: 76-86
- Pittsburgh Pirates: 58-104
- Los Angeles Dodgers: 104- 58
- San Diego Padres: 96-66
- San Francisco Giants: 78-84
- Arizona Diamondbacks: 72-90
- Colorado Rockies: 63-99
AL WILD CARD Series: 1. WC Minnesota Twins Vs. 2. WC Toronto Blue Jays
The Twins always find a way to choke in the playoffs, but this year, I see them winning this best of 3 series against the up-and-coming Blue Jays. The Twins still have an elite lineup and the Blue Jays still haven’t hid their stride as they have a bunch of young players still.
Result: Twins win series 2-1
NL WILD CARD Series: 1. WC Padres vs. 2. WC Mets
This will be one of the best matchups of the playoffs and whoever wins, unfortunately, has to play the Dodgers and this series is a toss-up. Degrom vs. Snell game 1, Stroman vs. Darvish game 2, and Carrasco Vs.Lamet game 3. Im going to take the Padres in this one though as their lineup and pitching staff are both arguably better than the Mets’ lineup and pitching staff.
American League Division Series’
Result: Padres win series 2-1
ALDS Matchup 1: 1. Chicago White Sox Vs. WC Minnesota Twins
The White Sox are going to win the division and come into this series ready to stomp on their division rival Twins. They will do so as this series will only go 3 games. White Sox have too much talent and are easily the best team, in the American League even without Eloy Jimenez(who by the way will most likely be back well before this series occurs).
Result: White Sox win series 3-0
ALDS Matchup 2: 2. New York Yankees vs. 3. Oakland Athletics
The Athletics are a regular-season team every year, as they typically fold during the playoffs. The Yankees are too good to even lose two games in series and maybe even one. I will give the A’s the benefit of the doubt and say the Yankees win this series in 4.
Result: Yankees win series 3-1
National League Division Series’
NLDS Matchup 1: 1. Los Angeles Dodgers vs. WC San Diego Padres
This will probably be the best series in the whole playoffs. The Dodgers are easily the best team in baseball, but the Padres have a chip on their shoulder so I think this series will go the distance. I actually like the Padres in this series. I think that Darvish will pitch game 5 and dominate the team that gave up on him after he pitched badly in game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Granted, the Astros were stealing signs and had all of Darvishs’s pitches so that’s probably why he pitched so bad. But still, the Padres may lose the NL West crown during the season,but even with how talented the Dodgers roster is, I think the Padres will be ready to beat them when it counts.
Result: Padres win series 3-2
NLDS Matchup 2: 2. Atlanta Braves vs. 3. St. Louis Cardinals
The Braves have an elite lineup, and rotation, while the Cardinals have neither. The redbirds have Nolan Arenado, Jack Flaherty, and Paul Goldschmidt, which will be enough to win the worst division in baseball. However, the Cardinals don’t have much else. The Braves are leaps and bounds better and will sweep the redbirds in this series.
Result: Braves win series 3-0
American League Championship Series: 1. Chicago White Sox Vs. 2. New York Yankees
For the Yankees its all about health. However, even healthy I don’t see the Yankees beating the White Sox. The White Sox’ lineup is elite top to bottom with Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez(who will be back by this point), Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, Andrew Vaughn, Nick Madrigal, and Adam Eaton. Both rotations aren’t fantastic after their aces Gerrit Cole and Lucas Giolito respectively. Both Lance Lynn and Luis Severino are great too but then too many question marks remain with the rest of each respective rotation. The Yankees lineup is also stacked with Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, D.J. LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, Clint Fraizer, Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks, and Gio Urshela. These games will come down to the bullpen and even though the Yankees have Chapman, Britton, and Green, the White Sox have a better and more dominant back end of the bullpen with Garrett Crochet, Michael Kopech, and Liam Hendriks. White Sox win in 7.
Result: White Sox win series 4-3
National League Championship Series: WC San Diego Padres Vs. 2. Atlanta Braves
This will be a great series as two of the best rotations in baseball go at it. The Padres have Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Chris Paddack, and Dinelson Lamet, while the Braves have Charlie Morton, Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and Mike Soroka. The Braves lineup is great led by Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Marcell Ozuna, but the Padres lineup is great too led by Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Tommy Pham, and Wil Myers. This will be a great series, but the Padres will be extremely confident after beating the defending champs Dodgers and that will have a huge impact on the momentum of this series. Both of these teams will go toe to toe, but the Padres will prevail and make their first World Series since 1998 where they lost to the Yankees.
2021 World Series: Chicago White Sox Vs. San Diego Padres
Everyone will expect the Dodgers to play the Yankees but instead, it will be the Wild Card team Padres Vs. the 1. seed Chicago White Sox. These teams matchup very well and will provide a 7 game series with tons of ups and downs. The fans will love this series as it will be one of the most exciting World Series we have ever seen. I like the White Sox’ bullpen as they will be almost unstoppable when leading late in the game. However, I think the Padres’ rotation is ten times better than the White Sox’ rotation which will be the deciding factor in the series. All four starters Blake Snell, Dinelson Lamet, Yu Darvish, and Chris Paddack will dominate in this series and even though Giolito and Lynn will be able to win a couple of games to go along with an elite lineup winning them a third game, the Padres will win in 7 games due to their two superstars on offense in Tatis and Machado and their elite rotation.
Result: Padres win series 4-3 and Padres (+770) become World Series Champs!
There you go. Those are my season predictions. I may get a lot of flack for choosing the Padres to win the WS instead of the Dodgers or Yankees, which are popular picks, but this is just how I see things playing out. We will see what happens and I am very excited for the MLB season to start tomorrow!