Opening Day is here at last! That means I will once again force myself to make predictions for the Angel season. Why? I’m a glutton for punishment. Although, this is really more me punishing you because, if you have looked at any of my past predictions, you know how truly horrible I am at this. Granted, I don’t think anyone is very good at it, but I am just terrible.
Screw it. We’re doing it anyway. Here goes nothing!
- Mike Trout will win the AL MVP and it won’t even be close. Trout will be even better than ever, but also I think Miguel Cabrera will take a small step back. The BBWAA will try and screw it up, but even they aren’t that incompetent.
- Mike Trout will also win a Gold Glove. This will be the only Gold Glove the Angels win as they will otherwise be a middle of the road defensive squad.
- Kole Calhoun won’t make the All-Star team, but he will be in the Final Vote balloting. Sadly, the ginger voting block won’t be enough to push him into the game.
- The Angels will be heavily linked to Kendrys Morales after his draft pick compensation goes away in June, but will ultimately be outbid by the Rangers.
- The only trade the Angels will make at the trade deadline is acquiring Casey Janssen to provide insurance behind Ernesto Frieri who will have just gone through his annual two-week stretch in which he can’t keep the ball in the park.
- After finishing ninth in 2013, the Angels will finish in the top three of AL teams in stolen bases. I’ve been saying it for months, but I think Scioscia regrets being conservative on the basepaths last year and will work hard to rectify that in 2014.
- Jerry Dipoto will get a three-year contract extension by the end of October. More on this tomorrow.
- Jered Weaver‘s average fastball velocity will drop under 86 MPH. That’s not a good thing, no matter how much Weaver insists that we shouldn’t worry about it.
- The mantle of Most Hated Angels Player will be bestowed upon Kevin Jepsen, who has somehow managed to avoid getting the derision due him for so many years.
And, finally, my projections for the end-of-season standings and how the playoffs will play out.
Nationals – 92-70
Braves – 88-74 (WC)
Mets – 79-83
Phillies – 73-89
Marlins – 66-96
Cardinals – 92-70
Reds – 86-76
Pirates – 84-78
Brewers – 75-87
Cubs – 66-96
Dodgers – 94-68
Giants – 87-75 (WC)
Diamondbacks – 80-82
Padres – 77-85
Rockies – 73-89
Red Sox – 91-71
Rays – 88-74 (WC)
Yankees – 85-77
Orioles – 80-82
Blue Jays – 75-87
Tigers – 90-72
Royals – 85-77
Indians – 84-78
White Sox – 73-88
Twins – 68-94
Athletics – 91-71
Angels – 87-75 (WC)
Rangers – 84-78
Mariners – 77-85
Astros – 64-98
AL Wild Card: Rays over Angels
NL Wild Card: Braves over Giants
ALDS: Rays over Red Sox; A’s over Tigers
NLDS: Dodgers over Braves; Nationals over Cardinals
ALCS: Rays over A’s
NLCS: Nationals over Dodgers
World Series: Nationals over Rays
Honestly, I don’t even feel that good about the Angels winning 87 games and getting a Wild Card. The last few years, that wouldn’t be enough wins, but I just see enough of the good teams taking steps back this year that maybe 87 wins will just barely be good enough. Either way, I don’t think this team is cut out for post-season success.