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Old 03-28-2021, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
9,766 posts, read 7,487,391 times
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Spring training wraps up this week, with the regular season opening on Thursday with once again all 30 teams scheduled, but looks like some weather may knock a few of those games off the schedule, like usual. The pitcher will go back to batting this year after a 1 year NL DH hiatus, and while I do actually like the pitcher batting because it involves more long-term strategy, coming off a 60 game season where the minor leagues were cancelled, for player safety I think the NL should go back to the DH once again. It'll probably be here in the new collective bargaining agreement anyways, so why not start a year early, and just let the pitchers focus on what they do best and are paid to do: pitching. So far, the playoffs will go back to 5 teams per league, but like last year when they announced the expanded playoffs a couple hours before the first pitch of the 2020 season that's not entirely set but looks to be the case. I believe relief pitchers will need to face at minimum 3 batters once again, and I'm not sure on the extra innings/double header rule. I want to say they go back to the 2019 version, but not entirely sure. I'll make predictions in the next post.
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Old 03-28-2021, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
9,766 posts, read 7,487,391 times
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This is assuming the 5 playoff teams per league (* designates Wildcard team):

AL West:
1) Astros
2) A's
3) Angels
4) Mariners
5) Rangers.
Astros will be without Cole and Verlander in the rotation this year and don't have Springer in the lineup, but they still have pieces on the offensive side of the ball with Correra, and Gurriel, and resigning Brantley which I think is enough to hold off the A's who lost a top of the order hitter in Marcus Semien and their lock down bullpen ace in Liam Hendricks. It's gotta be now or never for Mike Trout. Both the Astros and A's are severely vulnerable and here for the taking, if not now, then when??

AL Central:
1) Twins
2) Indians*
3) White Sox
4) Royals
5) Tigers.
Is this the year the Twins finally win a playoff game?? They may not win the division, but they should bank enough games against the Royals and Tigers in the division along with an atrocious NL Central in interleague so I think they manage at worst a Wildcard. I'll take a gamble and pick the Indians to finish above the White Sox and snag a Wildcard spot. Neither Jose Ramirez or Francisco Lindor were that great last year, so if Ramirez can get back his 2017-2019 numbers that will offset the loss of Lindor a little, the rotation is still very good, and if Tito ever gets back in the dugout, that's an advantage for the Indians as well. As for the White Sox I mentioned last month LaRussa's return is either going to turn out very well or go very badly I don't see a lot of middle ground, and I think it goes mostly badly. October 2011 was a very long time ago (the last time he took the field as a major league manager in game 7 of the 2011 World Series).

AL East:
1) Yankees
2) Jays*
3) Rays
4) Red Sox
5) Orioles.
Rays will compete with the Jays and Yankees, but this is still the Yankees and Blue Jays divisions to lose. I'll talk about the Jays and Yanks later.

NL East:
1) Braves
2) Mets
3) Nats
4) Phillies
5) Marlins.
Top to bottom, this is the most competitive division in baseball. Even my projected 5th place team (Marlins) won 2 playoff games last year bettered in that department only by my projected winner and 3 time reining division champion (Braves). These teams will all beat each other up enough, but also beat up the Central's and West's also rans that I see all teams 1-5 ending up anywhere between 80-93 wins, but because they'll beat each other up, they also might cannobolize each other for a potential Wildcard.

NL Central:
1) Cards
2) Brewers*
3) Cubs
4) Reds
5) Pirates.
Much like the NL East may be the best division top to bottom, the NL Central maybe competitive 1 through 5, but because all teams are severely flawed. I give the Cards the edge, 1 last hurrah with Yadi and Wainwright and if Arenado can hit outside of Coors he puts him over the edge over the Brewers and Cubs. Brewers get the benefit of 38 games against the Pirates and Reds (who very well may not even have Luis Castillo after July) which is why I'm giving them the edge over the 2nd East team in the Wildcard who will only have 12-14 games combined against those 3 games.

NL West:
1) Padres
2) Dodgers*
3) Giants
4) Diamondbacks
5) Rockies.
Yup, I went for it. I love what the Pads did in the winter, and they still left enough eggs in their minor league basket where if they have an injury (or just want to) and they have to pull off a trade or 2 in July they can still manage to. Dodgers finally got that elusive 30+ year wait for a championship off their back and coupled with the fact it seems in recent years teams who win championships start the next year slow, may not have as much fire in the regular season, I'll take the Padres in the division, but both teams should be playoff teams, and likely favorites to meet in the playoffs.

AL Wildcard:
Jays over Indians. Indians very well could and probably will have the better pitcher starting, but the Jays lineup will mash.

NL Wildcard:
Dodgers over the Brewers. They may not have the fire over a 162 game season which may lead the Pads to passing them in the division race who will be going all out from day 1, but once the playoffs start they'll get ramped back up looking to become the first back to back winners since the 98-00 Yankees.

AL Playoffs:
Yankees over Jays in 4.
Astros over Twins in 4.
Twins will lose the series, but I predict them to actually win a game, so that's a start at least!
Both the Jays and Yankees are built more for the regular season then the playoffs. Yankees have more depth so they are better equipped to ease through the regular season, but I really question that lineup in the postseason: High strikeout rate hitters rarely have success in October, and the Yankees have a bunch of them in the lineup. Jays won't have the pitching to take advantage of that swing and miss stuff (and really I don't think anyone in the AL does) and between the jays and Yankees, the Yanks bullpen is way better and they'll have the best pitcher that steps foot on the mound (Cole) so between the 2, that's the difference between 2 relatively evenly matched teams and I believe the regular season series will tell the story.
Yankees over Astros in 5.
Unlike in 2017 when the Astros were the favorites and the Yankees were the "just happy to be there" scrappy underdogs and in 2019 when the Astros threw two high end fastball, strikeout pitchers (Verlander & Cole) to counter the swing & miss Yankees, the Astros won't be able to throw a Verlander or Cole type pitcher this time around, and unlike Verlander and Cole, Greinke a pitch to contact pitcher won't have much if any success against the Yankees as 2019 showed. And not that they'll need it because I would predict them to win the series anyways, but home field this time around certainly won't hurt either.

NL playoffs:
Dodgers over Padres in 5.
Braves over Cardinals in 4.
Braves probably have the better team, so I'll give them 1 win against the Cards.
Dodgers/Padres would be a very fun series. Dodgers keep their hopes alive for back to back Series wins with a thrilling 5 game series.
Dodgers over Braves in 6.
A rematch of last year's NLCS, and I'll pick the same result, Dodgers win and advance to the second straight series.

World Series:
Dodgers in 6 over the Yankees.
This would be FOX heaven! New York vs. LA, Yankees vs. Dodgers, a potential ratings bonanza! A Dodgers team shooting for back to back titles, would be first time since the Yankees, while the Yankees are now in the Dodgers shoes: a team with rich championship history that is going through a title drought. Here's where I could see the Yankees high swing and miss rate be a problem with Walker Buehler and Trevor Beaur, and Clayton Kershaw doesn't have the high fastball stuff anymore, but is crafty left-hander that is able to get batters out otherwise. He wasn't terrible in the playoffs last year, and now with winning a championship how much pressure will he really have??
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Old 03-29-2021, 05:15 AM
 
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Dodger - Yankee WS ^^^^^

That would only be great if they got impersonators of Mel Allen and Red Barber to the broadcast. Suddennly it's 1950
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Old 03-29-2021, 11:50 AM
Status: "Let's replace the puppet show with actual leadership." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Suburban Dallas
52,706 posts, read 48,001,428 times
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Can't wait to get this new season going and get the COVID garbage behind us. Let's finally see some real baseball! What will be missing this week will be the two exhibition games that the 30 clubs usually play in select major-league parks; that's not happening this season. I'll make my prediction post soon and it will also be on my blog page.

In the meantime, former Astro and current Nat Will Harris has had a blood clot in his right arm, thus necessitating a procedure. Hope he pulls through from this and gets back soon.
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Old 03-29-2021, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
9,766 posts, read 7,487,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by case44 View Post
Can't wait to get this new season going and get the COVID garbage behind us. Let's finally see some real baseball! What will be missing this week will be the two exhibition games that the 30 clubs usually play in select major-league parks; that's not happening this season. I'll make my prediction post soon and it will also be on my blog page.
Some of them are still happening case. Brewers are playing 2 games in Arlington, Dodgers & Angels are each playing a game at Dodger Stadium and Anaheim, Indians are playing a game at Chase Field, but definitely a lot less then there usually are.
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Old 03-29-2021, 06:08 PM
Status: "Let's replace the puppet show with actual leadership." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Suburban Dallas
52,706 posts, read 48,001,428 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7express View Post
Some of them are still happening case. Brewers are playing 2 games in Arlington, Dodgers & Angels are each playing a game at Dodger Stadium and Anaheim, Indians are playing a game at Chase Field, but definitely a lot less then there usually are.
You're right, 7E. The Astros are one of the few teams that are going from their spring site directly to the Opening Day site. April 1 will be fast approaching.
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Old 03-30-2021, 08:41 AM
 
507 posts, read 277,927 times
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Can't wait for the new season starts.
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Old 04-02-2021, 04:54 PM
Status: "Let's replace the puppet show with actual leadership." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Suburban Dallas
52,706 posts, read 48,001,428 times
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Well, folks, it's that time again. And, for the first time in two years, it's time for the real games to get going when they're supposed to. All thirty clubs have their sets of expectations and the usual fan anticipation. Over the course of the season, there will gradually be fans coming back in to see real baseball in person and this fan is glad!

Here, now, are my picks for the 2021 season:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

AL East: New York Y (100-62), Tampa Bay (95-67)*, Toronto (85-77), Boston (77-85), Baltimore (68-94)

AL Central: Chicago WS (91-71), Minnesota (88-74)*, Kansas City (82-80), Cleveland (76-86), Detroit (58-104)

AL West: Houston (98-64), Los Angeles A (86-76), Oakland (79-83), Seattle (70-92), Texas (50-112)

NOTES: I like picking surprises, and I believe that Kansas City may actually surprise some folks this year, what with their good, young prospects while they wait for Bobby Witt, Jr to arrive. Cleveland just has no offense, or my predictions would have been different because they've got good starting pitching. Houston got a boost in spring training when Valdez will see his finger healing way faster than anyone had expected. Their offense will come out blazing, especially if Altuve plays like he did earlier in his career and Alvarez regains his '19 form. Toronto is going to eventually be a force, but it didn't help when Yates is now lost for the season as he is getting TJ. The New York Yankees have enough pitching to outdo Tampa in the East. Texas is just going to be awful as their rebuild begins. And Mike Trout will be missing the playoffs again. What's more: Oakland will not possess the same magic in their penchant for second-half surges, despite a very promising starting rotation. And in the playoffs, as good as the Yankees will be, Houston historically has had the Yanks' number, so it will make for some interesting ALCS noise.

NATIONAL LEAGUE


NL East: Atlanta (97-65), New York M (94-68)*, Washington (89-73), Philadelphia (72-90), Miami (67-95)

NL Central: St Louis (88-74), Milwaukee (83-79), Chicago C (79-83), Pittsburgh (71-91), Cincinnati (69-93)

NL West: Los Angeles D (103-59), San Diego (102-60)*, Arizona (84-78), San Francisco (70-92), Colorado (59-103)

NOTES: Two very competitive races, I believe, will grace the NL this year. Atlanta will be battling the New York Mets for the division crown, but the bigger race is the Los Angeles Dodgers and up-and-coming San Diego. And, as I've previously said about picking surprises, here's another: The Padres will upend the Dodgers in the NLCS as it goes to seven games. Elsewhere, Arenado will make a huge difference in St Louis' lineup and Arizona will make bigger strides than people think as Bumgarner will look like his old self again.

* Denotes Wild-Card Entry
All-Star Winner: National League
AL Pennant: Houston Astros
NL Pennant: San Diego Padres

2021 Champion: Houston Astros.

Dusty Baker can finally have his world title as a manager.

And there you are.
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Old 04-04-2021, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
9,766 posts, read 7,487,391 times
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Padres Fernando Tatis who's made 21 errors in 140 career games coming into this season already has 5 errors this year through the first weekend. That's.........not good.
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Old 04-12-2021, 03:40 PM
Status: "Let's replace the puppet show with actual leadership." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Suburban Dallas
52,706 posts, read 48,001,428 times
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I just now found out that there had been a no-hitter. It was in Arlington this past Friday, where the Padres got the franchise's first-ever no-hitter. San Diegan Joe Musgrove turned the trick against the Rangers. 3-0, the final.
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