Last Friday, I gave you mine and my previous co-writers from Pepper Baseball predictions for the 2015 season, which were a bit standard and aligned with most media outlets picks. Today, we’re going to go out on a limb a bit with our picks and give you some other food for thought…
On the brink of playoffs AL & NL
CV: Toronto is a team to watch. Losing Marcus Stroman hurts for this year and a lot of key players are pretty young, including Norris and Sanchez but this is a team to watch for. In the NL, it’s tough picking one with the positive outlooks in both Florida and Chicago. I know a lot of people picked the Cubbies this year but I think they need another year of experience and probably another arm or two. But if you asked me to pick one roster for the next five years, Theo Epstein has it.
JD: Boston Red Sox & Miami Marlins
SK: I think Boston has a very good offense once they bench Shane Victorino and some very good young talent, but it all depends on how far their pitching takes them. Colorado is a sleeper for me every year as they have great offensive guys who always get hurt. This year, CarGo and Tulo still go down but pitching keeps them in the race
Unlikely MVP/Cy Young
CV: I don’t think Paul Goldschmidt (ARZ) is a sleeper at all, but he’s a beast and that’s who I’m going with. I don’t think he can win it this year because Arizona won’t be very good but he should be a top 5 candidate the next few years. For Cy Young, it’s Garrett Richards (LAA). If Anaheim makes the playoffs like I think they will, Richards will be a big reason. He has a heavy fastball and nasty offspeed to go with it and he didn’t miss time for anything having to do with his arm.
SK: Chris Davis (BAL), now that he can get back on adderall legally, watch him rake again. I like John’s pick of Sonny Gray (OAK), the guy has phenomenal stuff!
Most Disappointing Team AL& NL
CV: The teams I’m leaning towards are teams I picked to make the playoffs and I can’t do that. I’ll have to think on that one.
JD: New York Yankees & New York Mets
SK: Oddly enough, I picked the Mariners to make the World Series, but I could also see them crashing and burning with a lack of offense and an injury to one of their young pitchers. For the NL, I have to go with the Cubs. They have some amazing young talent, but that will take time to develop at the Major League level.
Most Disappointing Player AL & NL
CV: Victor Martinez (DET) but only if you compare him to his numbers from a year ago. Bryce Harper (WAS) – because I’ve seen him picked as the MVP winner in various places and he’s just not there yet. But don’t forget he’s only 22.
SK: Jeff Samardzzja will learn quickly that control issues and playing in a small ballpark in the American League don’t go well together. Yasiel Puig (LAD) is my most disappointing player in the NL as I’m just not sure now if he’s capable of putting all that talent together consistently
Best Waiver Wire Pickup in your fantasy league
JD: Francisco Lindor (CLE)
SK: Alex Rodriguez (NYY) – Call me crazy, but I think he hits 20 homers and stays healthy as a DH
Who won’t finish the season (health/otherwise)
CV: Troy Tulowitzki and yes I own him on both of my fantasy teams (reverse jinx please). And I know I’m not going out on a limb here but Masahiro Tanaka. It should be weeks, not months before he’s going under the knife.
JD: Yordano Ventura (KC)
SK: Without a doubt for me after hearing Pedro Martinez talk about Masahiro Tanaka, that I think he’ll be done by Memorial Day
Surprise rookie AL & NL
SK: Taijuan Walker (SEA) & Addison Russell (CHC)
Breakout player AL & NL
Now for the odd balls….
CV: Bryce Harper: One of the most exciting players in the game. The future is bright. I have seen him on lots of MVP lists. Maybe in 2 years, he’s still a young pup. Mike Trout doesn’t come around very often…
SK: Yasiel Puig, I love what he brings to the table as far as tools, but he just to prone to slumps to recognize his full potential
Non-Detroit player I’ll be keeping tabs on
CV: Matt Harvey. I think it’s going to be all or nothing with this kid and we’ll know within 2 years. Mark Prior or Roger Clemens (minus the steroid issue)?
SK: Kris Bryant, what I can I say, I’m a prospect junkie
Minor Leaguer I’m excited to see (not named Kris Bryant) & it may not be until September
CV: Byron Buxton, MIN
SK: Miguel Sano, MIN
Where will Cole Hamels go?
CV: Boston Red Sox. Don’t count out Detroit if JV is done…
If I was a GM and could pick one roster the next 5 years?
CV: Chicago Cubs
SK: Without a doubt, the Chicago Cubs
Geeking out, two relatively new sabermetrics stats I like to keep tabs on when evaluating pitchers
CV: Swing/Miss% and Strike Looking %.
SK: K per 9 and K to Walk ratio
– JD proves 2014 was no fluke
– David Price won’t be a Tiger in 2016. Enjoy him, but can’t offer the deal he deserves for a 30 yr old..
– Castellanos bandwagon gradually grows…
– Was already going to say Soria has a phenomenal year but now it looks like I’m cheating with the Nathan news… Those who know me have heard me touting him all winter.
– Victor has a “down year”
– Verlander’s ERA is over 4.00 again
– Cabrera bounces back in a big way
– James McCann will be your starting catcher after the All-Star break