Sports are unpredictable and baseball is no different. The 2014 season approaching, these are a few of my predictions.
There will be few surprises this season when it comes to capturing the division. The Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers will win in the American League with the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers snapping them up in the National League.
In the American League, the Wild Cards will go to the Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland Athletics. The National League will have Wild Card winners from the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds.
The World Series will be a match between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Much to my dismay, the Cardinals will take it in six games as the Tigers will once again fail in the playoffs.
The American League MVP will finally be Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. After two seasons of finishing behind Miguel Cabrera, Trout will finally get his due. Cabrera will still have a stellar season, but Trout will have his best season yet and narrowly earn some extra votes to avoid the three-peat.
The National League MVP will be Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves. A breakthrough season in 2013, Freeman will continue to bolster his statistics in 2014. Freeman will have tough competition from some usual suspects (Andrew McCutchen, Paul Goldschmidt, etc.) and it will be the fact that the Braves make the playoffs to push him above the others.
Cy Young Awards
Finally with some offense to help him out, Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners will earn another Cy Young Award. Even with the team still performing poorly overall, Hernandez will steal a few extra victories. It also doesn’t hurt pitching so often against the Houston Astros.
Meanwhile in the National League, Clayton Kershaw falls short when division rival Madison Bumgartner has his best season ever. Kershaw is bound to have a more human-like season and I see it happening in 2014. Bumgartner is still on the rise and without much pressure on him he manages to get even better.
Aiding in his MVP run, Mike Trout will lead the American League in hits. However, the home run leader will be Miguel Cabrera who will also lead in RBIs. Cabrera will not win the Triple Crown though. The batting title will go to Joe Mauer who will have a chance to spend more time away from the catching position, drastically improving his hitting abilities.
Leading the league in hits for the National League will be the reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen. While I would like to see Matt Carpenter repeat, he will fall short to an even further improved McCutchen. The home run leader will be Paul Goldschmidt, reaching 40. MVP Freddie Freeman will have the most RBIs and the batting title will go to Allen Craig. Craig’s batting title will be slightly hollow as he will miss a significant part of the season, but not so much he falls short on the at-bats needed to qualify.