American League Division Predictions

Time for my AL picks. Warning: this should look familiar.

West: Houston Astros
A full season of Justin Verlander will give them an even deeper rotation, led by Dallas “we’re not the Cubs” Keuchel. The question isn’t whether or not the Astros will win the west, it’s just a question of how early they can clinch. I think they’ll have a postseason berth secured by Labor Day (September 3rd).

Player to Watch: Gerrit Colecole
I still think that Cole is the biggest acquisition of the offseason. He’s won a total of 19 games since he went 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA in 2015, but Houston hopes to get his prime years (he’s just 27). Will having Justin Verlander around make an impact?

Central: Cleveland Indians
It would be so much fun if the Twins winning the Worst Offseason Ever actually paid off, but how could they top this Cleveland tribe? Nothing about the Indians is the best in the AL (including their logo), but they do everything well and are led by a great manager.

Edwin Encarnacion

Player to Watch: Edwin Encarnacion
I’m curious to see how Encarnacion regresses over the next few years. He’s good friends with David Ortiz, who found a way to rejuvenate his career at the end. Encarnacion is 35, and his numbers are strong, but trending in the wrong direction. The Indians have a tremendous lineup, but EE is the only hitter who can really put fear into the the opposing pitcher.

East: Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox didn’t win the offseason in the AL East, but they still have a strong core of players who all decided to have career low years in 2017. Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts will return to form, and it doesn’t hurt to add J.D Martinez to this deep lineup. Their starting rotation is primarily left-handed, led by Chris Sale.

Andrew Benintendi

Player to Watch: Andrew Benintendi
The buzz at the start of the spring was the size of Benintendi, who has bulked up. If it weren’t for Aaron Judge’s historic year, Benintendi would have received much more national attention for his 22 home runs and sweet swing. Speaking of, when was the last time a left-handed hitter didn’t have a sweet swing?

Yup…same teams again! All six 2017 division winners will repeat in 2018. Next week I’ll wrap up predictions with wild card winners, playoff picks, and award winners.

National League Division Predictions

The regular season is right around the corner, so I’m kicking off my 2018 predictions by examining the superior of the two leagues. Here are my picks for each division, and players to keep an eye on.

West: Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are the gold standard for throwing a bunch of money at a team and winning just enough without accomplishing anything. They still haven’t won a World Series since 1988 despite having the best starter and closer in the sport. Is it time for them to finally close the deal? Probably not.
Player to Watch: Matt Kemp
Kemp has become a journeyman, but a strong spring leaves optimism that he can make the Dodgers roster to begin the season. He has great upside and is a fan favorite, especially in LA where he finished second in MVP voting in 2011.

Central: Chicago Cubs
The aura of 2016 is alive and well, but this team fell short last year after hype of a potential dynasty. It’s easy to pick a team on the rise like the Brewers or Cardinals to overthrow the Cubs, but Chicago’s rotation and lineup are far superior.


Player to Watch: Yu Darvish
His World Series was historically bad with the Dodgers, starting two games and recording a total of 10 outs, with a 21.60 ERA. Chicago doesn’t need Darvish to win the division, but they will need him to beat the Dodgers in the 2018 postseason.

East: Washington Nationals
I mean, I think I’ve picked this team to reach the World Series every year since Bryce Harper was drafted, so this shouldn’t be a shocker that they can top of the other three teams in the division.


Player to Watch: Bryce Harper
It’s a historic contract year for Harper, both because the value of his new contract will be massive, but also because it may help dictate the direction of baseball free agency after the quiet 2017 winter. The Nationals needs Harper to spark their lineup and be a leader in a clubhouse that has grown accustomed to premature playoff exits.

Yup, same teams as last year. Why not? Next week I’ll have my American League predictions.


The Evil Empire Strikes Back

The Giancarlo Stanton trade appears to be done, as the slugger will be taking his talents out of South Beach in exchange for the Bronx. This is New York’s reward for shedding large contracts during their rebuild, as they take on the largest contract in the history of sports.

Stanton joins a lineup that already includes Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, creating a trio of unparalleled right-handed power hitters. After falling one win shy of reaching the World Series in an overachieving 2017, the Yankees are clear favorites to return to the ALCS again this season.


We have no idea how Aaron Boone will set his lineup, but the Yankees team will look something like this around the field:

C Gary Sanchez
1B Greg Bird
2B Gleyber Torres
3B Chase Headley
SS Didi Gregorius
LF Brett Gardner
CF Jacoby Ellsbury/Aaron Hicks
RF/DH Giancarlo Stanton
RF/DH Aaron Judge

Looking ahead as the Yankees transition from rebuilders to perennial contenders, keep an eye on Manny Machado, who hits free agency after 2018 along with Chase Headley.

The 30 greatest Taylor Swift songs

Here are my top 30 Taylor Swift songs with some of my favorite lyrics, because why not? In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for Reputation, which may be her best album.

30) Mine (Speak Now)
I was a flight risk with a fear of fallin’
Wondering why we bother with love if it never lasts

29) Ours (Speak Now)
So don’t you worry your pretty little mind,
People throw rocks at things that shine,
And life makes love look hard’

28) I Almost Do (Red)
I bet this time of night you’re still up.
I bet you’re tired from a long hard week.
I bet you’re sitting in your chair by the window looking out at the city.
And I hope sometimes you wonder about me

27) Call It What You Want (Reputation)
Starry eyes sparkin’ up my darkest night

26) Forever & Always (Fearless)
And it rains in your bedroom
Everything is wrong
It rains when you’re here and it rains when you’re gone

25) King of My Heart (Reputation)
Your love is a secret I’m hoping, dreaming, dying to keep

24) Everything Has Changed (Red)
All I know is a new found grace
All my days, I’ll know your face
All I know since yesterday is everything has changed

23) Style (1989)
Long drive, could end in burning flames or paradise

22) 22 (Red)
We’re happy free confused and lonely at the same time
It’s miserable and magical oh yeah

21) White Horse (Fearless)
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down

20) Red (Red)
Regretting him was like wishing you never found out that love could be that strong

19) Don’t Blame Me (Reputation)
I’ve been breaking hearts a long time
And toying with them older guys
Just playthings for me to use

18) Teardrops on My Guitar (Taylor Swift)
Drew looks at me
I fake a smile so he won’t see

17) Begin Again (Red)
And you throw your head back laughing like a little kid
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny ’cause he never did
I’ve been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a cafe I watched it begin again

16) Starlight (Red)
Don’t you dream impossible things?

15) Fifteen (Fearless)
Don’t forget to look before you fall

14) State of Grace (Red)
Just twin fire signs
Four blue eyes
So you were never a saint

And I’ve loved in shades of wrong
We learn to live with the pain
Mosaic broken hearts

13) Long Live (Speak Now)
Long live the walls we crashed through
I had the time of my life with you

12) Love Story (Fearless)
So I sneak out to the garden to see you
We keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew
So close your eyes, escape this town for a little while

11) …Ready For It? (Reputation)
Every love I’ve known in comparison is a failure

10) New Year’s Day (Reputation)
You and me forevermore

9) You Belong With Me (Fearless)
I’m the one who makes you laugh
When you know you’re about to cry

8) The Story of Us (Speak Now)
This is looking like a contest
Of who can act like they care less
But I liked it better when you were on my side

7) Delicate (Reputation)
Sometimes when I look into your eyes
I pretend you’re mine, all the damn time

6) Dress (Reputation)
There is an indentation
In the shape of you
Only bought this dress so you could take it off
You made your mark on me, golden tattoo

5) Sparks Fly (Speak Now)
And lead me up the staircase
Won’t you whisper soft and slow
And I’m captivated by you baby
Like a fireworks show
Drop everything now
Meet me in the pouring rain
Kiss me on the sidewalk
Take away the pain

4) Enchanted (Speak Now)
The lingering question kept me up
2 AM, who do you love?

3) Back to December (Speak Now)
You gave me all your love and all I gave you was goodbye

2) Getaway Car (Reputation)
The ties were black, the lies were white
In shades of gray in candlelight
I wanted to leave him
I needed a reason

1) All Too Well (Red)
So casually cruel in the name of being honest

Red Sox should trade for Stanton

It’s no secret that Boston was left out of the 2017 power surge that swept across MLB, including 59 home runs hit by the Marlins star slugger, Giancarlo Stanton. As Miami looks to move on from Stanton and his $325 million contract, what better home than Boston?

Stanton is a capable outfielder and possible DH, the true replacement for the presence David Ortiz brought to the Boston lineup for years. As a right-handed slugger, his signature power stroke could put on a show at Fenway Park (though Stanton will clearly mash anywhere).

On paper, the Red Sox farm system is thin, and they don’t have as many prospects as competitors. Ultimately though, moving Stanton’s contract is Derek Jeter’s first priority as he shops the slugger, and the Red Sox could part with another of their remaining top prospects like Jay Groome. Losing another prospect or two isn’t going to change how much Dave Dombrowski has destroyed the Sox farm system, so they might as well go all in.

MLB Postseason Picks (attempt 2)

The Yankees shocked me last night. The patient approach after the immediate 3-0 deficit was incredible. If Brett Gardner hadn’t drawn a walk to begin the bottom of the first, the Minnesota Twins might have won that baseball game. New York is a scary team because of their deep, effective bullpen, and I personally believe they match up well in any series going forward. Their victory drastically changes my predictions, so here is Attempt 2.

NL Wild Card Game: Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Colorado Rockies 3

ALDS: Boston Red Sox 3, Houston Astros 1
ALDS: New York Yankees 3, Cleveland Indians 2

NLDS: Washington Nationals 4, Chicago Cubs 2
NLDS: Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

ALCS: New York Yankees 4, Boston Red Sox 2
NLCS: Washington Nationals 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 1

World Series: Washington Nationals 4, New York Yankees 1

2017 MLB Postseason Picks

The playoffs are set! Here are my predictions as of 9/30. There will be updates when these are inevitably incorrect.

AL Wild Card Game: Minnesota Twins 6, New York Yankees 3
NL Wild Card Game: Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Colorado Rockies 3

ALDS: Boston Red Sox 3, Houston Astros 1
ALDS: Cleveland Indians 3, Minnesota Twins 1

NLDS: Washington Nationals 4, Chicago Cubs 2
NLDS: Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

ALCS: Boston Red Sox 4, Cleveland Indians 2
NLCS: Washington Nationals 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 1

World Series: Washington Nationals 4, Boston Red Sox 2