Another year of baseball. Another year of hope.
That’s how it is for us Seattle Mariners fans. For the past two-plus decades, hope is all we ever had to look forward to as each Major League Baseball (MLB) season approached.
But, this year?
We still have hope.
Baseball is back today. Thankfully. Although there were off-field labor issues that threatened to derail the 2021 season, the powers that be came to their senses and we have baseball again.
Unless, of course, you happen to live in the Midwest – say, Minnesota, for instance – and baseball will have to wait another day. But, it is back.
So too is our “Predictions Doomed to Fail” topic.
See, I am terrible at predicting winners in sports with long seasons. Unless it’s the Premier League soccer season, in which case one of the big 4 usually wins it aka “a team with deep pockets”. I am pretty gold there, but baseball, American football? Give me a Kentucky Derby race and I’ve got a shot. Baseball? Not so much.
In previous years, I, being the Mariners fan that I am, would have loved to predict Seattle as the AL West champ. World Series champ is too far out of the question. I mean, did you see that 2001 team that…..sigh. I just…
Anyway, when approaching this MLB season, I come down to one team and then everyone else. I’m sure my partner, Jose Romero, will be pleased, but the question for me is – It’s the Los Angeles Dodgers and who else?
Already a solidly built team, they added a key component of the Atlanta Braves’ World Series run last season, Freddie Freeman. Granted, their pitching staff isn’t quite what it used to be, but if Clayton Kershaw is ¾ of what he used to be plus ace, Walker Buehler, they are still formidable. Oh, and then there’s that guy Mookie on the offensive side of things. As long as Betts is healthy, he will make that Dodger engine go.
Okay. Enough of the Dodgers. Who else is there?
Sure, the defending champ Braves are in the conversation. But, the rest of the NL is a crap-shoot, right? Does anyone really think the New York Mets or Milwaukee Brewers have what it takes to compete with the Dodgers or Braves? Is Max Scherzer the difference maker for the Mets with Jacob DeGrom nursing yet another injury?
Don’t even get me started on the American League. To start the season, there are at least three or four legitimate playoff contenders in each division. There are 15 teams in the league.
The AL East is going to be brutal. Consensus has the Toronto Blue Jays winning the division with the Tampa Bay Ray, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox contending, but it’s a long season. That Blue Jays lineup though, is going to be tough to deal with, series in and series out.
The AL Central? The Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox will battle it out for the top spot, but could the Detroit Tigers be a sleeper team? Or maybe the Cleveland Guardians or Kansas City Royals will sneak in there.
I did say, maybe, right?
My Mariners were on the brink of ending the playoff drought last season. It came down to the last day. And, while the cards didn’t fall in their favor, it gave many a Mariners fan what they always have in the off-season. Hope.
Now, I do not see my beloved M’s winning the division. In fact, they might not even finish in second. But, I do see them contending, right along with the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers. And, although history has shown that the Oakland Athletics always seem to sneak into contention when you least expect them to, they love nothing more than to play spoiler.
Okay, okay. Now for the reason you came here. Taking into account potential injuries, unforeseen circumstances, may I present my “Predictions Doomed To Fail: MLB Style”
- AL East: Toronto Blue Jays
- AL Central: Detroit Tigers
- AL West: Seattle Mariners
- AL Wild Card: Houston Astros
- AL Wild Card: New York Yankees
- AL Wild Card: Los Angeles Angels
AL Champ: Los Angeles Angels
- NL East: Atlanta Braves
- NL Central: St. Louis Cardinals
- NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
- NL Wild Card: New York Mets
- NL Wild Card: San Francisco Giants
- NL Wild Card: Milwaukee Brewers
NL Champ: Los Angeles Dodgers
In a battle of Los Angeles, who comes out on top?
World Series Champ: Los Angeles…..
Sorry, Jose. Take solace in knowing that my predictions are doomed to fail.
He can only “hope”.