Something came up last night, so I was unable to post my NL Central predictions. (Sorry, Dan. Hopefully this won’t ruin my chances to sing the National Anthem at UCB weekend.) So I thought I’d pull a doubleheader and post both my NL Central and NL West predictions tonight. So here we go:
2013 National League Central
1. Reds – I predict the Reds will finish first in the division again this year. If Joey Votto and and Todd Frazier have a good year, no one will be able to touch them.
2. Cardinals – Just like last year (and perhaps forever now), the Cards are without Chris Carpenter’s mighty arm. And just like last year, the Cards were plagued with injuries to starting players during spring training – Freese’s sore back, Beltran’s broken toe, and Motte’s arm injury. The backup players will have to hold down the fort until the injured players return. It was good that the Cards signed Wainwright to a long term contract.
3. Brewers – The Brewers signed Kyle Lohse, and we see how that worked out with Jeff Suppan. Ryan Braun’s steroids accusation may overshadow the Brewers. Nyger Morgan is not with the team anymore, however – he is far, far away in Japan.
4. Pirates – Andrew McCutcheon is a great centerfielder, but one player does not a team make, and the Pirates will once again not make the playoffs. The last couple of years, the Pirates have had a great first half of the season, but collapsed down the stretch.
5. Cubs – The Cubs are the perennial last place finisher. Even drawing Theo Epstein away from the BoSox didn’t help the Cubs last year. Ex-Cards pitcher Edwin Jackson should boost the starting rotation and young slugger Anthony Rizzo should help the offense, but once again, it’s not the Cubs’ year this year.
2013 National League West Predictions
1. Giants – They have won the 2 of the last World Series. When the Giants are healthy, they’re a potent team. They need Tim Lincecum to find his happy place and pitch like the Cy Young winner he is.
2. Dodgers – Magic Johnson now owns the Dodgers and he likes to win. Will our old friend Mark McGwire be an effective hitting coach for the Dodgers? Will Skip Schumacher finally find a home? We’ll find out the answers to those questions.
3. Diamondbacks – The D’backs could not repeat as division champions last year, and they won’t be in the playoffs this year, either. They did make some moves in the offseason, however.
4. Padres – The Padres play in a pitcher’s park and they have do have some good hurlers, but it won’t be enough to go to the playoffs.
5. Rockies – The Dodgers’ offseason acquisitions made the NL West a tough division, so there has to be a team at the bottom of the heap and that’s the Rockies. There are no players in the farm system to provide help.
NL Playoff Projections
Wild Cards – Cardinals, Braves
NLDS – Nationals v. Cardinals, Braves v. Giants
NLCS – Cardinals v. Giants
World Series – Angels v. Cardinals; Cardinals win World Series
I hope you have enjoyed my predictions. Who’s to say whether they come true or not? I’m just happy that the regular season is just a few days away and soon we’ll be able to watch baseball! Thanks for reading and see you next time!