2016 Staff Predictions

Sean Hogan

NL Division Winners

East: Nationals

Central: Cubs

West: Dodgers

WC1: Giants

WC2: Pirates

NL CHAMP: Giants

AL Division Winners

East: Red Sox

Central: Royals

West: Astros

WC1: Blue Jays

WC2: Indians

AL CHAMP: Red Sox

WORLD SERIES CHAMP: Giants (it’s an even numbered year, after all)

NL East Standings

  1. Nationals (92-70)
  2. Mets (88-74)
  3. Phillies (75-87)
  4. Marlins (74-88)
  5. Braves (65-97)

AWARDS:

NL MVP: Bryce Harper

NL ROY: Corey Seager

NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg

 

AL MVP: Mike Trout

AL ROY: Blake Snell

AL Cy Young: Chris Archer

 

Bold Predictions:

The new coaching staff will put the Nationals over the top.

Dusty Baker is personable and respected, and is the right person to manage the personalities in the Nationals’ clubhouse. His old-school methodologies are oft-maligned, but I’m not entirely worried about them; he didn’t kill his young pitchers in Cincinnati, and the Nationals’ roster construction is fairly Dusty-proof, with a non-awful leadoff option in Ben Revere and no low OBP/contact-only guy to shoehorn into the #2 slot (more than likely, it will be either Murphy, Rendon, or Werth, all of whom could be solid options). Baker brought highly-respected pitching coach Mike Maddux with him, and has already put an emphasis on fundamentals such as situational fielding and baserunning in Spring Training (aka things the Nats struggled with in 2015). New (and old) first base coach Davey Lopes is one of the best baserunning coaches in the business and new bench coach Chris Speier has served in pretty much every role besides pitching coach before.  I forsee the Nats being loose, having fun, and most importantly winning, like they did under Davey Johnson in 2012.

The Phillies will be surprisingly not that bad.

They’re not going to challenge the Nats and Mets for the NL East crown, but the Phillies should be halfway decent in 2016. Their rotation will feature solid youngsters Aaron Nola and Jerad Eickhoff, both of whom pitched well in their 2015 ML debuts. Charlie Morton and Jeremy Hellickson are not sexy names, but should give the Phillies solid innings with the upside to be league average middle rotation starters. I don’t see the Phils scoring a ton of runs, the likes of Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr (who will miss a significant part of the season with an injury) look to be solid long-term offensive pieces, and the addition of Peter Bourjos help them out defensively.

The Blue Jays will disappoint.

I really enjoy watching the Blue Jays, and will cheer for them to reach the World Series in 2016 from the AL side. That being said, I have a bad feeling about them this year, even with stud SP Marcus Stroman returning from injury. Beyond Stroman, Canada’s team will rely on an uninspiring group of options including Marco Estrada, R.A. Dickey, J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez, and Drew Hutchison to fill out the last four rotation spots. They have a core of four awesome hitters in Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Troy Tulowitzki, and Josh Donaldson, but they are 35, 33, 31, and 30 years old, respectively, and all but Donaldson have missed at least 30 games in a season due to injury in the last three years. The Blue Jays dealt away most of their top prospects to make a run in 2016, and if they get bitten by a few injuries, I don’t think they’ll have the depth to overcome it. If the Blue Jays stay relatively healthy and get decent production out of their rotation, they’ll be just fine; I’m betting that they don’t stay healthy enough to rule the AL East, and end up narrowly winning one of the WC spots.

David Huzzard

NL East Standings

  1. Nationals
  2. Mets
  3. Phillies
  4. Marlins
  5. Braves

Awards

MVP: Bryce Harper
Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager

Bold Predictions

  • Jayson Werth has an over .750 OPS
  • Nationals fans decide Strasburg is good in his walk year
  • Michael A. Taylor is starting CF by May and hits at least 25 bolts

TJ Landwermeyer

NL East Standings

  1. Nats: 93-69
  2. Mets 90-72
  3. Marlins 82-80
  4. Phillies 73-89
  5. Braves 71-91

Awards

MVP: Bryce Harper

Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg

ROY: Corey Seager

Bold Predictions

  • Bryce Harper steals 20+ bases.
  • Papelbon records 35+ saves.
  • Lucas Giolito makes his MLB debut before Memorial Day. 

James O’Hara

NL East Standings

  1. Nats: 94-68
  2. Mets: 93-69
  3. Marlins: 79-83
  4. Phillies: 65-97
  5. Braves: 64-98

Awards

MVP: Bryce Harper

Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner

Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager

Bold predictions

  • Bryce Harper wins the NL batting title
  • Lucas Giolito starts at least 10 games
  • Jayson Werth has the second highest wRC+ on the team (min. 250 PAs) (in a good way)

Alyssa Wolice

NL East Standings

  1. New York Mets
  2. Washington Nationals (clinch Wild Card spot)
  3. Miami Marlins
  4. Philadelphia Phillies
  5. Atlanta Braves

 Awards

MVP: Bryce Harper

Cy Young: Matt Harvey 

Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager

Bold predictions

  • Papelbon records double-digit blown saves.
  • Tanner Roark earns more wins than Gio Gonzalez.
  • Stephen Strasburg throws a no-hitter.

© 2016 Citizens of Natstown