The Superbus's Thoughtpad

The Bus’s 2015 Major League Baseball Preview

Posted by Chris Bowen on April 8, 2015

1280px-Major_League_Baseball.svgMy Facebook page (which you should all like because it’s awesome and you all love me very much) is yelling at me because I haven’t updated in 11 days. Facebook cares not that I was in the middle of moving apartments and bring 35 years worth of crap with me in the process. Noooooooo! Sure, you’re in the middle of moving into a new condo with the love of your life, whatever, pay attention to meeeee!

Alright, Facebook. I will provide you with something I can crap out in my sleep: my thoughts on the upcoming 2015 MLB Season. An asterisk next to a team indicates a projected Wild Card pick.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST



1. Baltimore Orioles
2. Toronto Blue Jays *
3. Boston Red Sox
4. New York Yankees
5. Tampa Bay Rays

I don’t think Baltimore losing Nelson Cruz is going to hurt too much. He’s a strong hitter, but they have others, and his output is likely to be replaced just by Chris Davis coming back to form not that his medication is approved. I think the division will be close between them, the Blue Jays and the Red Sox. No one can pitch, but Baltimore’s pitching is somewhat less shitty than Boston’s and Toronto’s (Boston’s ace is Clay Buchholz, and he is, for lack of a better term, spineless). Taking up the rear are the Yankees, who will be good for back page fodder if nothing else, and the Rays, who will almost surely trade Longoria and are looking at heading back into another swoon. I almost guarantee this team will find a way to move within five years, and will finish last because of Joe Girardi’s brilliance.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

1. Cleveland Indians
2. Chicago White Sox
3. Detroit Tigers
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Minnesota Twins

I’m not quite as high on the Indians as Sports Illustrated is – they picked the Indians to win the whole damn thing – but they’ll be good. They’ll beat out the vastly improved White Sox. I’m not buying Detroit this year; they’re old, they’re injured, and Miggy Cabrera can’t do it all himself. The Royals were a wonderful story last year, but I don’t think they can keep it up; a lot had to go right for them last year. Minnesota is going to be terrible, but that’s by design at this point. Enjoy the Torii Hunter retirement tour, and buy your Byron Buxton jerseys now.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

1. Seattle Mariners
2. Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim*
3. Oakland Athletics
4. Texas Rangers
5. Houston Astros

As a Mariners fan, I am positively giddy for this upcoming season. A good rotation, a decent offence, no weaknesses, Seattle’s finally going back to the postseason. The Nelson Cruz signing will be ugly at the end of that contract, but it works for now. 2nd and 3rd will be close, but in the end, the Angels have Mike Trout and the A’s don’t. Both Texas and Houston will be bad, but at least the Astros have light at the end of their tunnel; in three years, everything we’re saying about the Nationals, we’re going to say about the Astros. Texas is in trouble, with injury, age and contract issues abound, but at least there’s help on the farm. No matter what, this looks to be the most exciting division in either league.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

1. Washington Nationals
2. Miami Marlins *
3. New York Mets
4. Atlanta Braves
5. Philadelphia Phillies

Words are being thrown around to describe Washington – words such as “prohibitive favourite” and “162 game victory lap” – that will make anything short of a sweep in the World Series into an upset on par with Kentucky Basketball losing their chance at 40-0. The rest of the division is bad enough to make them at least winning the East a foregone conclusion. Miami has talent, as painful as that is to admit, as well as the best hitter in baseball and one of the best young pitchers. No one else in this division projects to be .500. The Mets will come close, but the Braves (who are already selling off players) and the Phillies will be atrocious; Philly looks to be the worst team in the majors.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. Pittsburgh Pirates*
3. Chicago Cubs

4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers

I want to put the Pirates at the top here, but the Cardinals are too good. Pittsburgh’s pitching isn’t as good as St. Louis’s, and the Cardinals have no discernible weaknesses. I think the division goes down to the wire, with the loser hosting the Wild Card game. The Cubs are going to be a fun team to watch, but they’re a year away from seriously contending for a wild card spot. I think the Reds hold off just long enough to prevent them from going into full rebuild mode because their stars are really good, which is better than I can say about the Brewers, who aren’t good and won’t be getting good any time soon; they have one of the worst farm systems in baseball.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. San Francisco Giants
3. San Diego Padres
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Dodgers will win this division almost by default; the Giants might be the defending world champions, but losing Sandoval really hurts a team that already don’t have much power in a spacious ballpark. That doesn’t mean I like the Dodgers, mind; Yasiel Puig will be fun to watch if only to see how the normally staid baseball world reacts to his antics, but they have the look of a 100 win team that folds in the NLDS to me. I think the Giants could make the Wild Card if the Marlins didn’t play so many games in the putrid NL East. The Padres made so many changes that I don’t know what to make of them; they have the smell of a .500 team, but I wouldn’t be surprised no matter what. They could finish in the wild card, they could lose 100 games. Both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks will be very, very bad, but at least Arizona will be entertaining to watch for people who like crooked numbers.

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

The playoffs themselves are a crapshoot, as the 116 win 2001 Mariners found out. Predicting how they’ll play out in April could be accomplished just as easily with a dart board and a trained monkey. Just for giggles, I’ll predict how the playoffs would play out if everything above happened, though it should be noted my official playoff predictions are the same now as they will be in October, when we know who makes it: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

AL WILD CARD: Angels (H) over Blue Jays
NL WILD CARD: Pirates (H) over Marlins

ALDS: Mariners over Indians, Blue Jays over Orioles
NLDS: Nationals over Pirates, Cardinals over Dodgers

ALCS: Mariners over Blue Jays
NLCS: Nationals over Cardinals

WORLD SERIES: Nationals 4, Mariners 1. Welcome to your first World Series, Seattle! Unfortunately, Washington has a Cy Young candidate as their fifth pitcher (Doug Fister). Seattle doesn’t have the bats for that lineup.