So yes, the season hasn’t even started, but there’s nothing wrong with making some early predictions on who will make the postseason!
(I plan on updating this after the All Star Break, and will adjust my postseason predictions come October).
Before we go into the actual postseason predictions, let’s talk about who will take the Division crowns.
NL West– Giants
After a disappointing 2015 campaign, the San Francisco Giants will come out of the gate screaming for vengeance. With an improved pitching staff that adds Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto to a great rotation lead by Madison Bumgarner and supplemented with a formidable offense lead by Buster Posey (plus arguably the greatest clubhouse chemistry of all time), these Giants will take back the title of NL West kings with some competition from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
NL Central– Cubs
The Chicago Cubs followed their resilient 2015 campaign with one of the best offseasons in recent memory. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will have MVP caliber seasons backed by impressive pitching from Arrieta and Lackey. Don’t be surprised if the Cubbies win at least 95 games and take the number 1 seed in the National League.
NL East– Mets
The Mets came out of nowhere last season. Expect them to win a lot this season as well. Veterans David Wright, Curtis Granderson, and Cespedes will boost the offense, and pitchers Zach Wheeler and The Dark Knight himself Matt Harvey will lead a stellar pitching staff. Move over Yankees- the Mets are now the team of New York.
NL Wildcard Seeds
Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks may have had a disappointing 2015 season, however they made arguably the biggest free agent grab of the offseason- pitcher Zack Greinke. He will have a Cy Young worthy season. As mentioned, the Giants and the Diamondbacks will switch between 1st and 2nd place all year long. Don’t be surprised if this goes down to the very last day.
Nationals: Despite their flaws with team chemistry last season, new and improved skipper Dusty Baker will be able to lead the team back to the postseason. Expect Bryce Harper to follow up his 2015 MVP season with a potential repeat.
Nationals will win the Wildcard Game to advance to the NLDS
AL West– Astros
Lead by Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel and batting champion Jose Altuve, the Astros will start the season slow, but after the All Star Break will find a momentum that leads them to the top of the AL West.
AL Central– Indians
This is my one prediction that is out of left field (pun completely intended). With Terry Francona as the skipper, aces Danny Salazar and Corey Kluber leading the pitching staff, and an offense with unlimited potential, they are a gang of misfits. I will make the claim now that the Cleveland Indians will have a comeback season in 2016.
AL East– Blue Jays
Between Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson, this Blue Jays team will be handing out nightmares to nearly every pitching staff and defense in the Majors. Their great pitching staff will also only add insult to injury. They could be the only 100 plus win team.
AL Wildcard Seeds
Royals: Despite their momentum from the World Series championship, the Royals will start out strong in 2016 but falter after the All Star Break, barely clinching the Wild Card in the last couple weeks of September.
Angels: The Angels will struggle in the first half of the season but begin a resilient comeback around mid August to clinch a Wild Card seed in September.
Royals will win the AL Wildcard Game to advance to the ALDS.
Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the predictions for the 2016 MLB Postseason!
Cubs/Nationals- Cubs in 5
This will be an exciting NLDS to watch! Both teams have explosive offenses, and multiple potential MVP candidates. However, the Cubs pitching will hold up in the end, sending them to their second consecutive NLCS.
Giants/Mets- Giants in 4
Between the stellar starting rotation and deep bullpen, expect the Giants to have control over the Mets for nearly the entire duration of the series.
Blue Jays/Royals- Blue Jays in 3
The Blue Jays lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Royals in the 2015 ALCS. You can bet that this will only fuel them to sweep the Royals, closing out the series at Kauffman Stadium.
Indians/Astros- Astros in 4
In the matchup between two teams filled with Misfits, the Astros will lose one game (I’m going to guess Game 2) but besides that have complete control over the Indians at all times during the series.
Giants vs. Cubs- Giants in 6
The Cubs will give the Giants a good fight but ultimately run out of gas around Game 4 or 5 as the Giants power their way to the Fall Classic
Blue Jays vs. Astros- Blue Jays in 7
This series will go down as one of, if not the greatest ALCS of all time. Each game will be close, with both team never having a lead greater than three runs, but will ultimately end in Game 7 with the Blue Jays barely winning by one run.
World Series Predictions
Blue Jays vs. Giants- Giants in 6
The Giants pitching staff lead by Madison Bumgarner will prevent Toronto from lighting up. Offensive firepower will put runs on the board- effectively continuing the Giants trend of winning even year championships.
Potential Upset Predictions
Marlins for the Wild Card
With Don Mattingly as new manager, and Barry Bonds as new hitting coach, expect this offense to light up. Giancarlo Stanton will lead the majors in home runs, and could possibly beat Bryce Harper for the NL MVP.
Royals miss the postseason
There hasn’t been a repeat World Series champion since 2000… 16 years ago! Every World Series winner has a target on their back the moment they hold up the Commissioner’s Trophy. Every team wants to beat them. Don’t be surprised if the Royals get lit up multiple times throughout the season.
Red Sox clinch a Wild Card
With the acquisition of David Price, and the motivation to finish Big Papi’s last season strong, don’t count the Sox out!
Once again, these are merely my own personal predictions, and I will update them at multiple points throughout the season. I welcome different opinions- please challenge me on these predictions!
NL Seed List:
- Chicago Cubs
- New York Mets
- San Francisco Giants
- Washington Nationals
- Arizona Diamondbacks
AL Seed List:
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Houston Astros
- Cleveland Indians
- Kansas City Royals
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim