Moller: Bold predictions after start of MLB Season
Nate Moller | Wednesday, April 14, 2021
While the season is 162 games long, that doesn’t mean it is too early to make some bold, early predictions for the rest of the season. Here are my bold predictions for the 2021 season after a week of baseball.
The Red Sox will be in contention for an AL East Title
After winning the World Series title in 2018, the Red Sox have failed to make the playoffs the past two seasons, and few expected much from the Red Sox again this year. After a week, though, the Yankees and Rays have struggled at times while the Red Sox have looked great since dropping their opening series of the season against the Orioles. J.D. Martinez has been phenomenal for the Sox so far with five home runs and a staggering 16 RBIs already this year. While this team is young, they could shape up to really be a surprising team this year.
Mike Trout and the Angels will finally make a playoff series and win
I can confidently say that most baseball fans want to see one of the most celebrated players in the history of the game be successful in the playoffs. The Angels have been the definition of mediocrity for years, but they have looked good so far this season. With the Athletics struggling early too, the door might be open for the Angels to win the American League West.
The Padres will keep the NL West race close
While I still fully expect the talented Dodgers to win the division, I expect the Padres to keep this one close after the first week of baseball. Despite losing Fernando Tatis Jr. to a shoulder injury, the Padres have a good combination of hitting and pitching that should pay dividends going forward.
Byron Buxton will win the AL MVP
There was a lot of hype surrounding Buxton in Minneapolis from the moment the Twins decided to draft him. Yes, his hitting has disappointed over his first several years in the majors. But there is no denying that Buxton’s fielding and speed on the bases are rivaled by few others — possibly even unrivaled. Through nine games, Buxton has five home runs and is batting .481. If Buxton can stay healthy (that’s a big if), and he continues to hit well, he has a great chance to be AL MVP considering his other strengths as a player.
The Indians will make the AL Central a three-team race
The Indians were written off by many this year. Most people expected the Twins or White Sox to be in competition for the American League Central crown. Don’t count the Indians out just yet, though. The team still has a great pitching staff, one of the best in baseball. In fact, through nine games, the Indians have only given up 26 runs (2.9 runs/game). Hitting is a concern, but with the addition of Eddie Rosario to a lineup that still includes Jose Ramirez and Franmil Reyes, there is still enough firepower to compete with the Twins and White Sox.
The Reds can push for an NL Central Title
Most expected the Reds to still be in a rebuilding year, but through 10 games, they have looked like a team that can compete with the Cardinals and Brewers in the National League Central. This roster doesn’t have a lot of big names on it. What it does have is a good combination of young and veteran talent that makes the Reds a serious contender in the National League Central.
The Dodgers will win over 110 games
This is a milestone that very few teams can accomplish. This Dodgers team, however, isn’t just any other team. Their starting rotation includes Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer and Walker Buehler. Because of that, I don’t see how the Dodgers go on any serious losing streak this year. And even if one of their pitchers has a bad game, the Dodgers should have plenty of run support from their star-filled batting lineup.