I didn't do so hot last year, but I'm here once again to try my 15 predictions for the 2015 season. Go easy on me. Many of these predictions, if they came true, would do wonders for my fantasy baseball team (who finished 6th out of 8 last year) so here's to hoping they work out, for my blog and my fantasy team (named BoSemien Rhapsody, by the way).
Here we go.
1. Oswaldo Arcia is the AL Home Run leader
Dude hit 20 last year in about a half season, and if he can cut down the K numbers and get some pitches to hit he should be able to come close to 40 this season. He will compete with Chris Carter and George Springer for the title.
2. Nelson Cruz hits less than 30 home runs
However, hitting 25-28 bombs while also hitting around .260 will be a huge, huge upgrade for Seattle at the DH position anyway.
3. Kris Bryant hits over 25 home runs after getting called up
I saw him play a lot against Gonzaga when he was in college, and that power is the real deal.
4. Jose Iglesias wins the AL SS Gold Glove award
If he stays healthy it won't even be a competition. Learning from Omar Vizquel is about as good as it gets.
5. James Paxton wins 15 games, records over 180 strikeouts
Highest average fastball velocity for Left-Handed starters last year, Paxton (if he stays healthy) will be able to rack up K's and wins with the revamped Mariners offense.
6. Albert Pujols passes Mike Schmidt (548) on the all-time home run list this season
He needs 28 to do so, which is exactly how many he hit last year. More time at DH and a good line-up around him should give him some pitches to hit hard this year.
7. The San Diego Padres finish below .500.
Their infield is a disaster and Matt Kemp and Wil Myers are pretty big question marks. Quentin/Gyorko/Barmes/Solarte/Middlebrooks is nothing to write home about, and an aging bullpen won't do them any favors either.
8. Mike Trout joins the 40-40 club.
This one is pretty ballsy, but if Trout can cut down on the strikeouts and get more pitches to hit, he can easily have 40 HR power. The steals should come as well.
9. Drew Smyly finishes in the top 10 for the AL Cy Young award.
He was absolutely lights out with Tampa last year. An early season injury doesn't look to keep him out long, and his stuff is nasty. A better defense behind him can't hurt either.
10. Brian Dozier hits more HR than every other second baseman in the league.
Robinson Cano's power is down, Dustin Pedroia looked to be aging last year, and many other 2B don't have the power Dozier does.
11. George Springer hits 35+ home runs.
His power looks legit, and a full season in the Majors with a lot more firepower around him should get him there.
12. AL play-off teams: Mariners, Royals, Red Sox, Angels, Tigers.
The Mariners are much improved, the Royals proved the bullpen is vital, and the firepower of the Red Sox, Angels and Tigers line-ups prove too much for the rest of the AL.
13. NL play-off teams: Dodgers, Pirates, Nationals, Cardinals, Brewers
The NL Central is a power division, and the Cubs are just on the outside looking in while their prospects continue to develop together.
14. Red Sox and Cardinals play for the World Series.
I hate, hate, hate myself for this prediction. God I hate myself for this prediction.
15. Red Sox in 7.
Better than if it were the Cardinals.
Wish me luck! (Except for on the last two, I would be happy to get those wrong).