With the season about to begin, here is the last piece of our predictions series (the rest can be seen here, here, and here): one bold prediction about each team. We did this last year and a little less than half of them turned out to be pretty good. Of course, some were utterly ridiculous but that’s the point. We posted an earlier version of this back at the mothership just as Spring Training was starting and for the most part our predictions haven’t changed (which would defeat the purpose of having predictions) but a couple that were based on what turned out to be faulty assumptions have been replaced.
Angels: Kendrys Morales stays healthy all year.
Astros: Bud Norris is top five in K/9 in the NL.
Yoenis Cespedes is their starting center fielder by Memorial Day. Despite losing most of their rotation, the staff will have a lower ERA than it did last year. Clearly the team had planned a different role for Cespedes than the one we had initially assumed. Due to his complete unknown status, that gets a mulligan.
Blue Jays: Brandon Morrow makes the jump to elite starting pitcher.
Braves: Julio Teheran has more wins than Tim Hudson.
Rickie Weeks leads the team in home runs. They score more runs than they did last year. The original prediction was made assuming Ryan Braun would be out for 50 games.
Cardinals: Carlos Beltran outproduces Albert Pujols from last year.
Cubs: Matt Garza isn’t their best pitcher.
Diamondbacks: Aaron Hill will be good again.
Dodgers: James Loney will be a top-three first baseman in the National League.
Giants: Madison Bumgarner is their best pitcher.
Indians: They’ll have the best pitching in the American League Central.
Mariners: Jesus Montero catches 100-plus games.
Marlins: Despite all their new acquisitions and the hype, they still finish fourth in the NL East.
Mets: Mike Pelfrey is the worst starter in the NL.
Nationals: Stephen Strasburg has a 17-strikeout game.
Orioles: Matt Wieters is the best catcher in the AL.
Padres: Luke Gregerson is a top-three closer in the NL.
Phillies: Cole Hamels is their best starter.
Pirates: Charlie Morton is their All-Star.
Rangers: Yu Darvish isn’t their best starter — but he’s still good.
Rays: James Shields will have no complete games.
Red Sox: No one hits 30 home runs.
Reds: Brandon Phillips is the best second baseman in the NL.
Rockies: Jamie Moyer will have the best HR/9 on the staff.
Royals: They reach .500.
Tigers: They score fewer runs than they did in 2011.
Twins: Joe Mauer hits 15 home runs.
White Sox: Robin Ventura gets ejected more times than Ozzie Guillen.
Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda leads the team in ERA.