Monday, April 13, 2015

MLB Predictions by APBA Friends

Shields will make an impact on at least one team.
Every year, I usually do my MLB Preview with an in-depth look at all of the teams. I decided to take it a little easy, do a brief preview with my picks.

Along with my predictions, I have asked some of my APBA brothers, their predictions for the 2015 MLB Season.

Along for the ride, we have...
  • My little brother Christopher Baier, who is a league owner in my Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League, managing the San Diego Heroes. Chris also made a good run with the 2006 Detroit Tigers at the recent Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament (GMABT) in Jackson, MI -- losing in the championship game to the 1937 Yankees.
  • John "Stray" Corrado - Commissioner of the Mid-West Baseball League (MWBL) & the Mid-West Winter League (MWWL). Finally had the privilege of meeting Stray, in Jackson. Stray, also is a member of the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League -- managing the Chicago Nine.
  • Kenneth Heard - A Northeast Arkansas bureau reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; He also heads an excellent blog "Love, Life and APBA Baseball" that helped inspire me in to creating this blog. Kenneth has done numerous APBA season replays & is currently replaying the 1950 MLB Season; Kenneth is a fan of the St.Louis Cardinals & Minnesota Twins.
  • Ken Schultz - Finally met Ken at the GMABT in Jackson. He will be heading his first APBA Baseball Tournament in Pittsburgh -- The Steel City APBA Baseball Tournament.
  • Doug Schuyler - One of my first friends through the APBA Baseball Facebook Group; co-created the Chicagoland APBA World Series Baseball Tournament with Jim Saska. The Tournament has a Summer & Winter edition & has helped inspire other tournaments, that are starting to spring up across the country.
  • Dan Velderrain - A team owner of the Saddleback Sharks in the SABL -- A cards league of about 15 owners in the Southern Calif/Orange County area -- where Dan is a Sheriff during his non-APBA time. Dan also has contributed a APBA fan favorite in his March Madness APBA Baseball Tournament, using all World Series winners, and happens to have an amazing collection of APBA cards.
Before I get to their picks, I'm going to do a quick over on my picks. In so many ways, I wanted to pick Baltimore Orioles to win their division, it's sad that no matter how much Baltimore has proved everyone and their mother wrong the last few years, when it comes to predictions time no one is a believer. Overall, I am a believer -- probably more than most people... but it seems like the Boston Red Sox every few years makes a serious run, and I believe it's that time again. By the way, people freaked out on the lack of moves Baltimore made this off-season, but you have to count in the fact that they are adding Manny Machado, Chris Davis & Matt Wieters -- three guys that they have had, but had no impact on their division title last year, a division they ran away with... plus they have one of the best managers in the game in Buck Showalter. Buck knows how to win, simple as that!

I'm picking the Detroit Tigers to win their division for the 5th year in a row; Sure, the Chicago White Sox made new improvements & the Cleveland Indians had the best pitching in the 2nd half of last season to indicate they might be ready to take the division away from Detroit. The Kansas City Royals, like Baltimore, is not getting any love in the preview issues -- they need to have their offensive players be more consistent, they can't afford a slow start, if they get off to a great start than they might be for real. Their rotation will hurt a bit without James Shields, but I think the staff has learned a lot from his brief time there... they have youth in Yordana Ventura & Danny Duffy.

The Seattle Mariners came so close to stealing that last wildcard spot away from a sliding Oakland Athletics last season, then made some big splashes in the off-season, one of them by acquiring free agent Nelson Cruz. I feel pretty confident that Seattle is going places this season.

The N.L. Central & N.L. West races will definitely be closer than in the East. You will see below that everyone & you will see that the magazines all have Washington Nationals winning their division -- but that's not to say that the Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins & New York Mets won't be interesting.

I think James Shields with San Diego will be great for both, and hopefully for me, since I have Shields on my fantasy team -- it'll also be interesting to see his absence from K.C. as well.

I have the Nationals going all the way over the Mariners, most critics are picking Washington due to that sick rotation that opponents will have to deal with.

Here are the picks from everyone below....

There seems to be many common themes, Felix Hernandez & Chris Sale seems to be the A.L. picks for American League Cy Young, while the N.L. Cy Young race has more variety. Andrew McCutchen gets 4 picks (out of 7) for National League MVP.

The Washington Nationals got the most love from us, with 3 picks for World Champs, the Los Angeles Dodgers were next with 2 titles, one WS loss -- The Angels get picked to go to the World Series from this group, but no one picked them to win it all.

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