Half-Asian Sports Guy’s 2014 MLB Predictions!

Nationals

On Opening Day 2014, the total starting payrolls of all 30 MLB teams will add up to around $3.34 billion dollars.  That’s billion with a B, as in Big Money, Bang for your Buck and Bora$$, Scott: SuperAgent.  To put that in perspective, that is more than the GDPs of Djibouti and Belize COMBINED.  If the MLB players wanted to pool their checks and buy a small piece of East Africa to call their own, no would would stop them (especially if they’ve got Moscow’s backing.  Boom! Foreign Policy slam!).

Then again, the retro stadium binge hasn’t really taken of in the Sahel, so we’re stuck with the boys of summer sticking around stateside.  With all that money floating around, it continues to beg the question: How the hell does MLB keep raking it in?  Baseball games have begun to stretch into the Lord of the Rings sector of the Space/Time continuum.  The games are everyday, so missing one isn’t exactly going to ruin your season.  And the Sports Gods have yet to figure out the antidote to 4th Inning-itis, where every trip to a ball game, no matter May or October, San Diego sunshine or Toronto overcast, always induces a lull by the 4th inning where the pre-pitch beers are settling in and you’re too lazy to get another dog.

And yet regional sports networks are handing out TV deals as if they found the keys to the Social Security trust fund.  Well, almost all regional sports networks.  During the beginning of last year’s postseason, there was a lot of talk about how the little budget guys had kicked down the door to the Millionaires Franchise Club.  Oakland, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Cleveland all participated in some part of the playoffs, enticing the media/blogosphere to condemn the failure of big spending.  And then the ALCS/NCLS became a battle of 4 of the top 11 payrolls, with St. Louis’ taking the Uncle Scrooge status as a $111m club.  So much for 99%.

But all this doesn’t matter because money may buy you wins, but they also buy you a lot of Ryan Howards and Josh Hamiltons.  But I’ll argue, this is a good thing.  During the middle of the 2012 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were mired in the final stages of the McCourt Era, affectionately known in LA as The Killing Fields Part Deux.  As bankruptcy courts and commissioner office lawyers haggled away the future of a preeminent franchise, the product taking the diamond reflected the paralyzed decision/financial making apparatus of the organization.  Take a look at this Dodgers’ starting lineup from a late June game between LA and the Mets:

Dodgers Mets

Yes, the primary franchise in the nation’s 2nd biggest market was trotting out that AA Galore of a lineup.  Is that 35 year old Jerry Hairston Jr. in the 3 hole?  Why yes, yes it is.  And how could you not have past-past his prime Bobby Abreau cleaning up.  Whenever you can throw out Jamey Wright AND Aaron Harang?  I mean, you have to.  Who the f&*k is Elian Herrera?

That was the nadir.  People stopped showing up for games at Dodgers Stadium (yes, even the venerable Mexican Dodgers Fans, a top 5 “Fan” of any sport), partly because they knew the team was bad but mainly because they knew it had to do with an owner that kamikaze-ed his own franchise/life.  At that point, I didn’t care about wins, titles, or even the hot stove.  The team was built with an easy-bake at this point.  I wanted names.  Never again would I want to wander into the Team Store and have to debate between a Dee Gordon and James Loney tshirt.  And voila!  Within 2 years the new ownership had created a cavernous balance of trade deficit and imported more players than outfield positions.  Even Matt Kemp, once THE face of the team, was practically hidden on team promotional media.

So in 2014, a lot of attention is on big spending teams that were pretty busy in the offseason, Detroit and New York being the biggest headline grabbers.  And yes, money won’t guarantee a World Series appearance, let alone a title, but hey, it’s better than Elian Herrera experience.

Without further ado, and in non-ESPN/East Coast bias order, on to the predictions!

AL West

1. Texas Rangers – y

2. Los Angeles Angels

3. Oakland Athletics

4. Seattle Mariners

5. Houston Astros

This is the last chance for this Rangers team before the Angels and Mariners mature into legitimate contenders the next couple of years.  Fun Fact: Texas and Oakland were a combined 32-6 against Houston in 2013.

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers – z

2. Kansas City Royals – x

3. Cleveland Indians

4. Minnesota Twins

5. Chicago White Sox

The last time the Royals made the playoffs, this happened.  Then again, I was negative 1 years old.  Underrated Farewell Tour: Paul Konerko.  (Yes, I just retired him)

AL East

1. Tampa Bay Rays – y

2. Baltimore Orioles – x

3. Boston Red Sox

4. New York Yankees

5. Toronto Blue Jays

Bizarro 2007.  And yet, I think the Jays will be around .500.  This division is a slaughterhouse.

NL West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers – y

2. San Francisco Giants – x

3. Colorado Rockies

4. San Diego Padres

5. Arizona Diamondbacks

Put Colorado in the playoffs if CarGo and Tulo combine for 300+ games.

NL Central

1. St. Louis Cardinals – y

2.  Cincinnati Reds – x

3. Pittsburgh Pirates

4. Milwaukee Brewers

5. Chicago Cubs

Billy Hamilton is going to enter SportsCenter heaven.  And who thought the loss of AJ Burnett would ever be a factor.

NL East

1. Washington Nationals – z

2. Philadelphia Phillies

3. Atlanta Braves

4. Miami Marlins

5. New York Mets

This Braves rotation is falling faster than BJ Upton’s batting average.  Yes, that’s the Phillies at 80-82 in 2nd place.

Player Awards:

NL MVP: Joey Votto

AL MVP: Mike Trout

NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg

AL Cy Young: David Price

NL ROY: Billy Hamilton

AL ROY: Masahiro Tanaka

Playoffs

NLWC:

Cincinnati over San Francisco

ALWC:

Kansas City over Balitmore

NLDS:

Washington over Cincinnati

Los Angeles over St. Louis

ALDS:

Detroit over Kansas City

Tampa Bay over Texas

NLCS:

Washington over Los Angeles

ALCS:

Tampa Bay over Detroit

World Series:

Washington over Tampa Bay

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1 Comment

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One response to “Half-Asian Sports Guy’s 2014 MLB Predictions!

  1. Pingback: The 500’s MLB 2015 Predictions (aka “The Bet Against These” Preview) | The 500 Section

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