2013 staff predictions

Sure, the season may have (just barely) begun already, but that doesn’t invalidate these predictions from THT’s staff. This merry band of prognosticators took a stab at foretelling how the 2013 season will play out, a subject we’ll revisit for reward and ridicule at the end of the year. For now, see how our contributors’ picks compare to your own.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

                      1st    2nd    3rd    4th    5th
John Barten           TB     TOR    BAL    NYY    BOS
Mike Clark            TOR    NYY    TB     BAL    BOS
Joe Distelheim        TB     TOR    NYY    BOS    BAL
Matt Filippi          TOR    NYY    TB     BOS    BAL
Nick Fleder           TOR    TB     NYY    BOS    BAL
James Gentile         TB     TOR    NYY    BOS    BAL
Jeffrey Gross         TOR    TB     BAL    NYY    BOS
Sam Hendrickson       TB     TOR    NYY    BOS    BAL
Matt Hunter           TOR    TB     NYY    BOS    BAL
Chris Jaffe           TB     BOS    NYY    BAL    TOR
Brad Johnson          TOR    TB     BAL    NYY    BOS
Dan Lependorf         TB     TOR    NYY    BOS    BAL
Jason Linden          TOR    TB     BOS    BAL    NYY
Bruce Markusen        TOR    TB     NYY    BAL    BOS
Greg Simons           TB     TOR    BOS    NYY    BAL
Dave Studeman         TB     TOR    NYY    BOS    BAL
Paul Francis Sullivan TB     TOR    NYY    BAL    BOS
Shane Tourtellotte    TOR    TB     BOS    BAL    NYY
Steve Treder          TB     TOR    NYY    BOS    BAL
Doug Wachter          TOR    TB     BOS    NYY    BAL 
Jack Weiland          TOR    TB     BOS    NYY    BAL

Consensus             TOR    TB     NYY    BOS    BAL

By the narrowest of margins, 11-10, the Blue Jays are predicted to take the AL East over the Rays. The Yankees, perennial playoff participants, will have to hope they can snag the second Wild Card from third place. The Red Sox are expected to bounce back from last season’s cellar-dweller status all the way up to fourth place. Meanwhile, last year’s close-and-late darlings, the Orioles, don’t appear to have Lady Luck favoring them in 2013.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

                      1st    2nd    3rd    4th    5th
John Barten           DET    KC     CHW    CLE    MIN
Mike Clark            DET    KC     CHW    CLE    MIN
Joe Distelheim        DET    KC     CLE    CHW    MIN
Matt Filippi          DET    CLE    CHW    KC     MIN
Nick Fleder           CLE    DET    KC     CHW    MIN
James Gentile         DET    CHW    CLE    KC     MIN
Jeffrey Gross         DET    CLE    KC     CHW    MIN
Sam Hendrickson       DET    CHW    KC     MIN    CLE
Matt Hunter           DET    CLE    KC     CHW    MIN
Chris Jaffe           DET    KC     CHW    CLE    MIN
Brad Johnson          DET    CHW    CLE    KC     MIN
Dan Lependorf         DET    CHW    CLE    KC     MIN
Jason Linden          DET    CLE    CHW    KC     MIN
Bruce Markusen        KC     DET    CLE    CHW    MIN
Greg Simons           DET    CLE    CHW    KC     MIN
Dave Studeman         DET    CHW    CLE    KC     MIN
Paul Francis Sullivan DET    KC     CHW    CLE    MIN
Shane Tourtellotte    DET    CLE    KC     CHW    MIN
Steve Treder          DET    CHW    CLE    KC     MIN
Doug Wachter          DET    CLE    KC     CHW    MIN
Jack Weiland          DET    CLE    KC     CHW    MIN

Consensus             DET    CLE    KC     CHW    MIN

Receiving 19 of 21 votes first-place votes, the Tigers are clear favorites in the AL Central. After that, though, things get very, very muddy. The Indians, with their new manager and two pricey outfield signings, squeak into second place. The Royals edge the White Sox for third thanks to Kansas City receiving one first-place vote. (That crazy Bruce!) The Twins finishing anywhere other than last would be a stunner (unless you’re Sam), though we said the same thing about Baltimore last preseason.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST

                      1st    2nd    3rd    4th    5th
John Barten           TEX    LAA    SEA    OAK    HOU
Mike Clark            LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA    HOU
Joe Distelheim        LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA    HOU
Matt Filippi          LAA    TEX    OAK    SEA    HOU
Nick Fleder           LAA    SEA    OAK    TEX    HOU
James Gentile         LAA    TEX    OAK    SEA    HOU
Jeffrey Gross         LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA    HOU
Sam Hendrickson       OAK    LAA    TEX    SEA    HOU
Matt Hunter           LAA    TEX    OAK    SEA    HOU
Chris Jaffe           LAA    TEX    OAK    SEA    HOU
Brad Johnson          TEX    LAA    OAK    SEA    HOU
Dan Lependorf         TEX    OAK    LAA    SEA    HOU
Jason Linden          LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA    HOU
Bruce Markusen        LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA    HOU
Greg Simons           LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA    HOU
Dave Studeman         TEX    LAA    OAK    SEA    HOU
Paul Francis Sullivan LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA    HOU
Shane Tourtellotte    LAA    TEX    OAK    SEA    HOU
Steve Treder          LAA    OAK    TEX    SEA    HOU
Doug Wachter          LAA    TEX    OAK    SEA    HOU 
Jack Weiland          TEX    LAA    OAK    SEA    HOU

Consensus             LAA    TEX    OAK    SEA    HOU

The Angels are favored by nearly three-fourths of our staff members, with the Rangers taking all but one of the remaining first-place tallies. The A’s are not expected to relive last year’s surprise run to the AL West title (unless you’re Sam—again), picked to come in third. With one exception, the Mariners took all the fourth-place votes, and the AL’s newest squad, the Astros, are unanimously seen as a last-place team.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

                      1st    2nd    3rd    4th    5th
John Barten           WAS    ATL    NYM    PHI    MIA
Mike Clark            WAS    ATL    PHI    MIA    NYM
Joe Distelheim        WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Matt Filippi          WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Nick Fleder           WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
James Gentile         WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Jeffrey Gross         ATL    WAS    PHI    NYM    MIA
Sam Hendrickson       WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Matt Hunter           WAS    ATL    NYM    PHI    MIA
Chris Jaffe           WAS    ATL    PHI    MIA    NYM
Brad Johnson          WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Dan Lependorf         WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Jason Linden          WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Bruce Markusen        WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Greg Simons           WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Dave Studeman         ATL    WAS    PHI    NYM    MIA
Paul Francis Sullivan WAS    ATL    PHI    MIA    NYM
Shane Tourtellotte    WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Steve Treder          WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA
Doug Wachter          WAS    ATL    NYM    PHI    MIA 
Jack Weiland          WAS    ATL    PHI    MIA    NYM

Consensus             WAS    ATL    PHI    NYM    MIA

Matching Detroit with 19 first-place votes are the Nationals, while the Braves took the same number of second-place selections. The Phillies have been chosen to repeat their mediocrity, the Mets are picked to avoid the cellar, a position 17 voters designated for the dirt-cheap Marlins.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

                      1st    2nd    3rd    4th    5th
John Barten           STL    CIN    MIL    CHC    PIT
Mike Clark            CIN    STL    PIT    MIL    CHC
Joe Distelheim        CIN    STL    MIL    PIT    CHC
Matt Filippi          CIN    STL    MIL    PIT    CHC
Nick Fleder           CIN    PIT    STL    MIL    CHC
James Gentile         CIN    STL    PIT    MIL    CHC
Jeffrey Gross         STL    CIN    PIT    CHC    MIL
Sam Hendrickson       CIN    STL    PIT    MIL    CHC
Matt Hunter           CIN    STL    MIL    PIT    CHC
Chris Jaffe           STL    CIN    MIL    PIT    CHC
Brad Johnson          STL    CIN    MIL    CHC    PIT
Dan Lependorf         CIN    STL    PIT    MIL    CHC
Jason Linden          CIN    STL    MIL    PIT    CHC
Bruce Markusen        CIN    STL    PIT    MIL    CHC
Greg Simons           CIN    STL    PIT    MIL    CHC
Dave Studeman         STL    CIN    PIT    MIL    CHC
Paul Francis Sullivan STL    CIN    PIT    MIL    CHC
Shane Tourtellotte    CIN    STL    PIT    MIL    CHC
Steve Treder          STL    CIN    MIL    CHC    PIT
Doug Wachter          CIN    STL    MIL    CHC    PIT
Jack Weiland          CIN    STL    CHC    PIT    MIL

Consensus             CIN    STL    PIT    MIL    CHC

Two-thirds of THTers see the Reds as the NL Central champs, while the rest favor the Cardinals. In another tight vote in a Central division, the Pirates just edge the Brewers for third place. In something less than a landslide, the Cubs are chosen for the cellar.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

                      1st    2nd    3rd    4th    5th
John Barten           SF     ARI    LAD    SD     COL
Mike Clark            LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL
Joe Distelheim        ARI    LAD    SF     SD     COL
Matt Filippi          LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL
Nick Fleder           SF     LAD    ARI    SD     COL
James Gentile         LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL
Jeffrey Gross         LAD    ARI    SF     SD     COL
Sam Hendrickson       SF     ARI    LAD    SD     COL
Matt Hunter           LAD    ARI    SF     SD     COL
Chris Jaffe           LAD    SF     SD     ARI    COL
Brad Johnson          SF     ARI    LAD    SD     COL
Dan Lependorf         SF     LAD    ARI    SD     COL
Jason Linden          LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL
Bruce Markusen        LAD    SF     ARI    COL    SD
Greg Simons           LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL
Dave Studeman         LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL
Paul Francis Sullivan SF     LAD    SD     ARI    COL
Shane Tourtellotte    LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL
Steve Treder          SF     LAD    ARI    SD     COL
Doug Wachter          SF     LAD    ARI    SD     COL
Jack Weiland          LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL

Consensus             LAD    SF     ARI    SD     COL

The big-spending Dodgers look to be buying an NL West title, pushing last year’s world champion Giants to second. Arizona and its gaggle of outfielders are slated for third place. About the only nice thing to say about the Padres is that Bruce picked them for last, preventing the Rockies from sweeping that spot.

AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD CARDS/AWARDS

                      AL WC      AL MVP             AL Cy Young         AL ROY
John Barten           TOR/LAA    Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    Jurickson Profar
Mike Clark            NYY/OAK    Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    Jurickson Profar
Joe Distelheim        TOR/OAK    Yoenis Cespedes    Yu Darvish          Wil Myers
Matt Filippi          NYY/TEX    Robinson Cano      Felix Hernandez     Aaron Hicks
Nick Fleder           TB/LAA     Evan Longoria      Yu Darvish          Jackie Bradley Jr.
James Gentile         TOR/NYY    Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    Wil Myers
Jeffrey Gross         TB/OAK     Jose Bautista      Yu Darvish          Jurickson Profar
Sam Hendrickson       TOR/LAA    Jose Bautista      Felix Hernandez     Jackie Bradley Jr.
Matt Hunter           TB/TEX     Robinson Cano      David Price         Aaron Hicks
Chris Jaffe           BOS/TEX    Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    N/A
Brad Johnson          LAA/OAK    Albert Pujols      Justin Verlander    Jackie Bradley Jr.
Dan Lependorf         TOR/OAK    Mike Trout         Chris Sale          Wil Myers
Jason Linden          TB/BOS     Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    N/A
Bruce Markusen        TB/TEX     Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    Jackie Bradley Jr.
Greg Simons           TOR/OAK    Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    Wil Myers
Dave Studeman         TOR/LAA    Mike Trout         Yu Darvish          Wil Myers
Paul Francis Sullivan TOR/OAK    Evan Longoria      Jered Weaver        Chris Archer
Shane Tourtellotte    TB/LAA     Evan Longoria      Yu Darvish          Jackie Bradley Jr.
Steve Treder          TOR/OAK    Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    Wil Myers
Doug Wachter          TB/TEX     Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    Aaron Hicks
Jack Weiland          TB/LAA     Evan Longoria      Justin Verlander    Wil Myers

Consensus             TB/OAK     Mike Trout         Justin Verlander    Wil Myers

Among those teams not predicted to win their division, the Rays and A’s got the most Wild Card votes, eight apiece. Last year’s Rookie of the Year, Mike Trout, is forecast to be capture the MVP award many thought he should have had last season. Justin Verlander, baseball’s newest ultra-wealthy pitcher, looks set to recapture his Cy Young form, and the plurality of voters anointed Wil Myers as this campaign’s Rookie of the Year.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD CARDS/AWARDS

                      NL WC      NL MVP             NL Cy Young         NL ROY
John Barten           ATL/CIN    Matt Holliday      Stephen Strasburg   Zack Wheeler
Mike Clark            ATL/STL    Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   Oscar Taveras
Joe Distelheim        ATL/LAD    Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   Gerrit Cole
Matt Filippi          ATL/STL    Bryce Harper       Stephen Strasburg   Adam Eaton
Nick Fleder           ATL/LAD    Giancarlo Stanton  Stephen Strasburg   Julio Teheran 
James Gentile         WAS/CIN    Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   Oscar Taveras
Jeffrey Gross         WAS/ARI    Bryce Harper       Stephen Strasburg   Shelby Miller
Sam Hendrickson       ATL/STL    Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   Shelby Miller
Matt Hunter           ATL/STL    Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   Oscar Taveras
Chris Jaffe           ATL/SF     Joey Votto         Matt Cain           N/A 
Brad Johnson          ATL/PHI    Bryce Harper       Stephen Strasburg   Jedd Gyorko
Dan Lependorf         STL/LAD    Joey Votto         Gio Gonzalez        Julio Teheran
Jason Linden          ATL/STL    Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   N/A
Bruce Markusen        ATL/STL    Matt Kemp          Stephen Strasburg   Shelby Miller
Greg Simons           ATL/SF     Jason Heyward      Clayton Kershaw     Travis D'Arnaud
Dave Studeman         WAS/CIN    Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   Oscar Taveras
Paul Francis Sullivan ATL/CIN    Joey Votto         Clayton Kershaw     Oscar Taveras
Shane Tourtellotte    ATL/SF     Andrew McCutchen   Stephen Strasburg   Julio Teheran 
Steve Treder          ATL/CIN    Joey Votto         Matt Cain           Julio Teheran 
Doug Wachter          ATL/LAD    Andrew McCutchen   Gio Gonzalez        Shelby Miller 
Jack Weiland          ATL/SF     Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   Adam Eaton

Consensus             ATL/STL    Joey Votto         Stephen Strasburg   Oscar Taveras

The Braves are a clear first Wild Card, with the Cardinals slotting in to make another trip to Atlanta for the one-game showdown. A healthy Joey Votto means another MVP campaign, according to our voters. And a full, healthy season from Stephen Strasburg ought to be enough for him to earn his first Cy Young. In a much-divided vote, Oscar Taveras sneaks past Julio Teheran and Shelby Miller to earn the nod as ROY.

POSTSEASON, BABY!

John Barten             Rays      over Giants
Mike Clark              Nationals over Tigers
Joe Distelheim          Nationals over Tigers
Matt Filippi            Nationals over Angels
Nick Fleder             Rays      over Nationals
James Gentile           Nationals over Tigers
Jeffrey Gross           Braves    over Rays
Sam Hendrickson         Tigers    over Nationals
Matt Hunter             Angels    over Nationals
Chris Jaffe             Rays      over Braves
Brad Johnson            Nationals over Rangers
Dan Lependorf           Reds      over Tigers
Jason Linden            Reds      over Blue Jays
Bruce Markusen          Braves    over A's
Greg Simons             Nationals over Tigers
Dave Studeman           Nationals over Rays
Paul Francis Sullivan   Cardinals over Rays
Shane Tourtellotte      Tigers    over Nationals
Steve Treder            Nationals over Tigers
Doug Wachter            Nationals over Angels 
Jack Weiland            Reds      over Rays

Consensus               AL Champ: Tigers   NL Champ: Nationals   WS Champ: Nationals

Ladies and gentlemen, you read it here first. The Washington Nationals are going to defeat the Detroit Tigers to win the 2013 World Series title. Or not.

We can do our best to make these predictions, but few foresaw the Giants over Tigers last year. It’s possible that this season will work out just as we anticipate, but it’s much more likely that we’ll be stunned by numerous developments within the game. That’s why they play the games and why we love to follow along.

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Comments

  1. Greg Simons said...

    Mat Kovach was a bit late in getting his picks submitted, but I’ll post them here for the record.  My apologies for the formatting.

    (Sabertooth, Mat’s with you on the Dodgers.)

    1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th
    TOR TB   BAL NYY BOS
    CLE DET KC   CHW MIN
    OAK TEX SEA LAA HOU
    WAS ATL NYM PHI MIA
    STL CIN MIL CHC PIT
    SF   ARI SD   LAD COL

    AL WC: TB, DET
    AL awards: Trout, Verlander, Profar

    NL WC: ATL, CIN
    NL awards: Holliday, Strasburg, Wheeler

    WS: Indians over Reds

  2. Jim G. said...

    No one pick last year’s triple crown winner and reigning AL MVP as this year’s MVP. The choices aren’t bad, but it’s curious that no one went that way.

  3. Greg Simons said...

    Jim G., I thought about that at one point, too, though I’m one of those who picked Trout.

    If the Tigers do as well as we’re predicting, a repeat MVP would be reasonable.  I’m not sure if the writers would prefer that story over Trout leading the Angels to the postseason.  I think many of us expect Trout to get his due from the voters this year, but we certainly all could be wrong.

  4. Jack Weiland said...

    @Jim G: It is interesting. Speaking for myself, I feel like Longoria has an MVP level season in him somewhere, and if he’s healthy this could very well be the year. Also it seems somewhat of a rarity to have a back-to-back MVP winner, especially if the preseason crowd of candidates is pretty wide open. That’s no slight to Cabrera, who is obviously a fantastic player.

  5. Greg Simons said...

    I just realized something that isn’t clear is whether the MVPs listed are who voters think will be the MVP or who they think will win the vote.  Those certainly are not always the same player.

  6. Dylan B said...

    Looks liek Shane and Nick think the Angels are so good that they will take both the West as well as one of the wild card slots. Same with James in the NL with Washington.

    Putting together all with the late picks from Mat, it looks like Toronto, Tampa, Detroit and the Angels are locks in the AL with Texas and Oakland fighting for the last slot; while the NL has Wasington, Atlanta, Cincinnati locked in with St Louis figthing the loser of San Fran and the Dodgers for the last slot.

    Washington is the only team everybody picked to make the playoffs, followed by Toronto, and a 3 way tie between Atlanta, Detroit and Cincinnati.

  7. Greg Simons said...

    Dylan, whatever mistakes there are in the picks are likely my fault due to human error.  My apologies.

  8. Greg Simons said...

    Nick picked DET, not LAA, for a Wild Card.

    Shane picked TEX instead of LAA.

    James … well, he picked WAS for both the NL Central and a Wild Card.

    So, two of the three mistakes are mine.  (Sorry, James.)

  9. James Gentile said...

    I’m not sure how that happened, but I certainly can’t imagine anyone winning the NL East other than the Nationals. For the record, I’d bet on St. Louis taking the NL Wild Card (as much as i pains me to say that).

  10. James Gentile said...

    Either that or Bryce Harper will go rouge and split off from the main Nationals and win the Wild Card on his own.

    I’ll let the readers decide decide what I really meant.

  11. Caitlin said...

    Like I’m sure most people here, I read a lot of predictions. There is quite a bit of consensus on the Nationals winning it all this year. However, like you said, who knows at this point. Last year, I only saw one person predict Giants over Tigers before the season started and that was rapper and poet George Watsky.

  12. Greg Simons said...

    Caitlin, I don’t think there’s groupthink going on here (not that you said there was).  I just think that, as I’ve read elsewhere, the Nats stand out as the class of the NL and of baseball.

    We certainly can, and probably will, be wrong simply because there are 30 teams, 10 reach the playoffs, and short series can lead to unexpected outcomes, so identifying which one of those teams will emerge victorious is difficult.

    If, for example, the Royals knock off the Pirates to win the World Series, I’ll be surprised, but it will be a fun surprise.

  13. Todd said...

    Oakland finishes behind Texas in the AL West, but earns a WC spot while Texas doesn’t? I think your methodology is flawed…

  14. Greg Simons said...

    Thanks to several first-place votes, Texas’ overall average finish was 2.29, while Oakland’s was 2.52.

    However, Texas had a lot of third-place votes, too, so Oakland edged them in WC picks, 8-5.

    More of a quirk than a flaw.

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