Coming off the craziness that was the 2020 season, we are set to embark on what hopefully is a much more normal season - whatever that is any more or going forward.
Yet, with that said, what has me tremendously excited about the baseball season is the amount of young talent in the game. If we're being truthful as we anticipate Opening Day as fans, there won't be much competition - at least on paper. With so many teams not being competitive, the elite teams are clear.
However, with those "rebuilding" teams comes the opportunity for so many breakout stars. The game needs the young representation as we move forward under a new banner and culture lead by Fernando Tatits Jr.
Nonetheless, here are my picks and predictions for the 2021 MLB Season:
Yankees - 95
Rays - 90
Blue Jays - 87
Red Sox - 81
Orioles - 61
Twins - 91
White Sox - 88
Indians - 72
Royals - 70
Tigers - 70
Astros - 96
Athletics - 82
Angels - 80
Rangers - 65
Marlins - 75
Phillies - 72
GOALS / AWARDS / LEADERS
AL Hitting Leaders
Batting Champion: Tim Anderson (.335)
Home Runs: Giancarlo Stanton (53)
RBIs: Nelson Cruz (134)
On-Base Percentage: Mike Trout (.421)
Slugging Percentage: Mike Trout (.613)
Stolen Bases: Kyle Lewis (26)
NL Hitting Leaders
Batting Champion: Juan Soto (.339)
Home Runs: Ronald Acuna Jr. (44)
RBIs: Marcell Azuna (121)
On-Base Percentage: Freddie Freeman (.463)
Slugging Percentage: Ronald Acuna Jr. (.590)
Stolen Bases: Fernando Tatis Jr. (38)
AL Pitching Leaders
ERA: Kenta Maeda (2.35)
Wins: Gerrit Cole (18)
Strikeouts: Gerrit Cole (210)
WHIP: Kenta Maeda (0.75)
Saves: Aroldis Chapman (33)
NL Pitching Leaders
ERA: Jacob deGrom (2.81)
Wins: Walker Beuhler (21)
Strikeouts: Jacob deGrom (212)
WHIP: Yu Darvish (0.91)
Saves: Josh Hader (39)
AL: Ryan Mountcastle (BAL)
AL: Jo Adell (LAA)
NL: Adbert Alzolay (CHC)
NL: Dylan Carlson (STL)
BIGGEST NAMES TO BE TRADED
AL: Joey Gallo
AL: James Paxton
AL: Jorge Soler
NL: Javier Baez
NL: Kris Bryant
NL: Trevor Story
10 RANDOM, WILD OR BOLD PREDICTIONS
- MLB will do something that is sooooo MLB as of late - Add the DH to both leagues for the second half of the season.
- Having to make a decision under social scrutiny, the All-Star Game set for Atlanta will be moved out of the state of Georgia.
- We will see another two-way player succeed not named Shohei Otani.
- No work stoppage happens following the season, but Theo Epstein becomes interim Commissioner of Baseball after Rob Manfred steps down.
- Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker from Vanderbilt University will go #1 and #2 in the 2021 MLB Draft.
- Having another down year, the New York Yankees acquire Javy Baez on the cheap.
- Albert Pujols closes his career with a season of 25+ home runs.
- Miguel Cabrera gets the 134 hits needed this season for his 3000th hit. He also gets the 13 home runs needed for his 500th home run. Finishes with 20+ HRs and 150+ hits.
- MLB adopts the "2nd base-extra-inning rule" permanently.
- Yoenis Cespedes finds a team to take a chance on him and is an impact player this season.
AL Rookie of the Year: Triston McKenzie (CLE)
NL Rookie of the Year: - Ke'Bryan Hayes (PIT)
AL Comeback Player of the Year: - Trey Mancini (BAL)
NL Comeback Player of the Year: - Mike Soroka (ATL)
AL Cy Young Winner: Gerrit Cole (NYY)
NL Cy Young Winner: Jacob deGrom (NYM)
AL MVP: Mike Trout (LAA)
NL MVP: Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)
PLAYOFFS / WORLD SERIES
AL Wildcard Game: White Sox d. Rays
NL Wildcard Game: Padres d. Nationals
ALDS: (1) Astros vs. (4) White Sox - Astros in 4
ALDS: (2) Yankees vs. (3) Twins - Yankees in 3
NLDS: (1) Dodgers vs. (4) Padres - Dodgers in 5
NLDS: (2) Braves vs. (3) Brewers - Braves in 5
ALCS: (1) Astros vs. (2) Yankees - Yankees in 6
NLCS: (1) Dodgers vs. (2) Braves - Dodgers in 5
World Series: (1) Dodgers vs. (2) Yankees - Dodgers in 6
World Series MVP: Cody Bellinger