2015 Major League Baseball Predictions

A full week into the season, we’ve had a chance to see what everyone’s got, and so here are the benspn baseball predictions for 2015:

Regular Season

American League  (the cooler one)

AL East  (The toughest division in history with the best rivalries and fans in history)

  1. Boston Red Sox – This pick needs no explaining. The Red Sox are the dominant team in the AL East and with a rejuvenated lineup including free-agent acquisitions Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval and the steady Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, the Red Sox have arguably the best lineup in the league. Along with solid pitching, they are a dangerous opponent and title contender.
  2. Baltimore Orioles – This is a difficult pick because the Rays and Blue Jays could arguably make a run for second in the division, but the Orioles will ultimately prevail due to steady pitching and bating from all of their players and a very dangerous combination of Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Manny Machado right in the heart of their lineup. The O’s also have a strong but underrated bullpen with Zach Britton, Tommy Hunter, and Darren O’Day, who all know how to close out games if need be.
  3. Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  5. New York Yankees


AL Central  (Welcome to the home of good teams with no fans)

  1. Kansas City Royals – The Royals are coming off a strong 2014 when they reached the World Seriesand haven’t slowed down. They started the season 7-0 and with largely the same team from last year they are almost a lock for the playoffs and just have to beat out a less powerful but still dangerous Tigers team to make another run at a championship.
  2. Detroit Tigers – If the Royals beat out the Tigers for the division championship, Detroit will still easily secure second place because the AL Central is one of the worst divisions. But ultimately it won’t be enough to reach the wild-card round and they will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
  3. Cleveland Indians
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Minnesota Twins

AL West  (the division I, and probably you, could not care less about)

  1. Oakland Athletics – The Oakland A’s are always in the hunt and this year is no exception. With weakened competition in the AL West, the A’s will probably win the division and certainly make the playoffs.
  2. Houston Astros – The Astros are finally out of their dark ages and their talented prospects could put them in a close race for first in the division. The Astros will end up as the most dangerous wild card because they have the all the tools but not the needed experience. Even if the Astros don’t make the playoffs, this year is the start of a new dynasty rising in Texas. As the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait.” The Astros have waited long enough and are entering the first year of a baseball renaissance.
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Anaheim Angels
  5. Texas Rangers

National League  (the other one)

NL East  (the division where pitching wins, or, at least, it should)

  1. New York Mets – Finally! The Mets will finally make the playoffs with an insanely good pitching staff (Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler), which is too bad because I love teasing their fans. The only thing that could hold back the Mets is their lineup, which needs to step up,  I’m looking at you David Wright, or else all that great pitching may go to waste.
  2. Washington Nationals – I’m not going to talk about this one here. Just open any other baseball preview to read about “just how good” the Nationals are this year.
  3. Miami Marlins
  4. Atlanta Braves
  5. Philadelphia Phillies

NL Central (Welcome to some of the oldest teams in the history of baseball and an expansion team to make it seem fair)

  1. Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are on the rise with the team fully remade by brilliant GM Theo Epstein. The Cubs look dangerous with an offense led by baseball’s newest star prospect, Kris Bryant, and ace John Lester. The Cubs shouldn’t have much trouble winning this division and we should expect to see them in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
  2. *Team name here* – The second spot is up for grabs for all the other teams in the division (Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers). Each has their own strengths and weaknesses but it ultimately won’t matter, as the Central will only send one team to the playoffs.

NL West  (We always have at least one  great team)

  1. Colorado Rockies – The Rockies have one of the best offenses in the league and as long as Cargo and Tulo stay healthy, not even their bad pitching can stop them. Except for their bad pitching. OK, I lied.
  2. San Diego Padres – The Padres can’t afford to miss the playoffs this year after their GIGANTIC offseason. There is just so much to write about here. The Padres now have an amazing pitching staff led by James Shields and Andrew Cashner. The fifth pitcher in their rotation is Brandon Morrow, one of my favorites. The Padres also have a stacked bullpen where Joaquin Benoit, who usually closes, is actually the set-up man for the amazing Craig Kimbrel. Their lineup is also newly stacked with sluggers like Justin Upton and Matt Kemp. The Rockies and Padres are two of the best teams in baseball and it will be fun to watch them play.
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. San Francisco Giants
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks


Wild Card


Baltimore Orioles (4) over Houston Astros (5) – Baltimore will prevail due to their experience and the Astros’ lack of it.

San Diego Padres (5) over the Washington Nationals (4) – This may be the best wild card game in history but the Padres will ultimately prevail.

Divisional Round 


Boston (1) over Baltimore (4) in 4 – This series will not be close, with the Red Sox demonstrating the experience of a World Series-winning team along with better batting and pitching.

Kansas City (2) over Oakland (3) in 5 – This series is another close call but Kansas City’s run at another World Series appearance will continue.


Colorado (1) over San Diego (5) in 5 – The Padres have both hitting and pitching but nothing will stop the Colorado offense from advancing to the NLCS.

Mets (3) over the Cubs (2) in 3 – The Mets have what might be the best three-man rotation in baseball and they should dominate the Cubs.

League Championship


Boston (1) over Kansas City (2) in 5 – The Red Sox offense will knock around the Royals early and leave no room for a comeback in the series between the past two AL champions.


Colorado (1) over the Mets (3) in 7 – The Mets’ amazing three-man rotation will keep them in the series but their lack of offense and the excess of the Rockies’ offense will be the deciding factor.

World Series

Boston over Colorado in 6 – In a rematch of the 2007 World Series, the result will be the same: The Red Sox have a lineup on par with the Rockies and Colorado’s lack of pitching will do them in.

A New Competitor for the Subway Race

The MTA (for non-New Yorkers, that’s. . .the subway) ran the “Nostalgia Special,” a train first used in 1917, from Grand Central Station to Yankee Stadium on the uptown express Lexington track, this morning at 11:30 am for Opening Day at the ballpark. The Low-V (Low Voltage) train, which doesn’t draw its power from the electrified third rail but uses the rail to charge its batteries, ran as a “super express,” stopping at no other stations on its route. This is not the first time the MTA has run nostalgia trains as they often roll out both old trains and buses during the holiday season in NYC.

As of now there are unofficial reports that the train covered the route from Grand Central to Yankee Stadium faster than Masahiro Tanaka’s pitches covered the route from the pitcher’s mound to the batter’s box at today’s game.

The MTA may want to keep the “Nostalgia Special” running to the Bronx. It could distract fans from a probable losing season.

benspn also suggests that Yankee Stadium management add the Nostalgia Special as the fourth entry in the ballpark’s iconic train race during the fourth inning of home games. That’s one Yankee Stadium tradition we could all welcome.

The Annual Anti-Boston Issue #2 – The Red Sox’s Future (by Alex Hinton)

Foreword by Ben Drevitch

Alex Hinton will explain in his piece that he is a Mets fan so we should probably cut him some slack but he claims that the Red Sox have no future, which disagrees with almost every sports analyst today. (I felt I needed to say that).

Boston Red Sox fans have had some tough times, since the team traded away Babe Ruth, through the day first baseman Bill Buckner allowed a ball go threw his legs to let the Mets win the 1986 World Series, and all of their many painful defeats to the Yankees.

I have much respect for Red Sox fans, and recently things have looked better for them, with the team winning championships in 2004, 2007, and 2013. It’s been less than two years since Big Papi was last spraying Champagne.

At that moment, all over the team’s locker room and across Red Sox Nation, it seemed like Boston was unstoppable, baseball’s next dynasty. Fast forward a whole season and the Red Sox seem to be heading into another 80-plus-year slump. They finished 71-91 last year, dead last in the AL East, and 11th overall in the American League. They have now paid more than $60 million to sign Yoan Moncada, a 19-year-old who hasn’t had an at bat in a major league game. As our high school baseball coach and health teacher says, “He’s a bust.”

The Red Sox need to focus on where they need to improve instead of just signing players to big contracts. They have four players ( Dustin Pedroia , Pablo Sandoval , Hanley Ramirez , and Rusney Castillo ) signed to contracts worth more than $70 million each, and are paying two 39-year-olds ( Ortiz and Koji Uehara ) a combined $25 million this season.

The Red Sox can blame last season being a letdown due to a lack of clutch hitting, a poor bench, no one to hit leadoff (though Pedroia could possibly do it this year), and an awful pitching staff (once you take former ace Jon Lester out of the equation). It’s a lot to improve, I know. The Red Sox still have the bases to form a playoff team but do not seem to be heading that way. The team needs to play “moneyball” and add depth to their team. For God’s sake, they should be offering Billy Beane a $30 million signing bonus, not Moncada.

As a Mets fan I have felt a lot of pain from my team and I now am itching to pass the baton back to the Red Sox. Manager John Edward Farrell faces the challenge of bouncing back a team which has come back from a lot of adversity before.

This time, the Sox might have bit off more then they can chew.

-by Alex Hinton

The 500 Home Run Club

Albert Pujols hit his 499th and 500th home runs last night, putting him in the 500 home run club. Pujols is the only player to hit his 499th and 500th in the same game, and is the thirdyoungest player to hit 500. (A-Rod and Jimmie Foxx were younger.) Pujols now has the secondmost home runs among active players, behind only Mr. Steroids A-Rod. Adam Dunn (444 home runs), Jason Giambi (438 hrs), and David Ortiz (435 hrs) have the next most homers among active players. Dunn and Giambi, both far past their prime, will most likely never make the club, but Ortiz might. With maybe three years left in MLB, he could be the next inductee into the club. I believe that Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Cabrera will also both make it into the 500 home run club.

Home Run…Trot?

David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox took 33.39 seconds to round the bases on April 9th after hitting a home run against the Rangers. Sports Illustrated clocked his time at 32.91, but upon further review, the time was actually 33.39. According to tatertrottracker.com, that is the slowest home-run trot since they starting recording them in 2010.

It is really no surprise the (maybe) 230-pound designated hitter took so long. Maybe instead of calling him Big Papi, they should call him Big U-Haul.

MLB Down Under

The MLB two game series that took place at the Sydney Cricket Ground (converted to a baseball field), just finished up. The series between division rivals the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, was considered more like exhibition than real baseball. The Dodgers almost considered leaving their top two pitchers in America. Some MLB players even tried out cricket before games.

Many players had strong words though for MLB management for sending them to Australia. Zack Greinke, the Dodgers second starter, did not make the trip (injured calf), and criticized the league for making them go Down Under. He said, “I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it. There just isn’t any excitement to it. I can’t think of one reason to be excited for it.”

Even though the players weren’t excited for the game, the front-offices for the teams were very happy. The teams, now back in America (with the Dodgers winning both games), get tons of rest. The rest may let the Dodgers best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw (and arguably the best pitcher in the league), who got a $215 million, 7-year deal, (that’s about 31 million a year for all you guys doing much more work for much less pay), start three of the first seven games of the Dodgers’ season.