I have the following prediction about our staff predictions: Some of them will be surprisingly accurate, and some of them will not.
What will be the final place standings in the AL Central?
Adam: Indians, Tigers, Royals, White Sox, Twins
Chris: Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago, Minnesota
Joe: Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago, Minnesota
Ryan M.: 1. Indians 2. Tigers 3. Royals 4. White Sox 5. Twins
Ryan P.: Detroit, Kansas City, Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota
Sam: 1) Detroit Tigers 2) Cleveland Indians 3) Kansas City Royals 4) Chicago White Sox 5) Minnesota Twins
Stephanie: I’m really torn on this question, because I feel as I do heading into last season – that both Kansas City and Cleveland have the ability to take this division if everything goes right for them. I think Detroit has a few more weaknesses than last season, but still am not sure that the Royals or Indians have quite enough to knock them off their perch. I think the division will end up very similar to last season – Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago, Minnesota.
Susan: Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Minnesota, Chicago
Vern: The Tigers will win the AL Central, followed by the Indians, the Royals, the White Sox, and Twins
What will the Indians final record be?
Chris: Call me crazy, but I think they finish with 92 wins again…
Ryan M.: 88-74
Ryan P.: 87-75
Will they make the playoffs (and how far will they advance)?
Adam: Yes, and they will open against the… Red Sox or Rays on the road
Chris: …and host the Wild Card against Boston. No idea how far, but let’s make sure we can get past the “play-in game” first.
Joe: AL: Boston (wins World Series), Tampa Bay (ALDS), Detroit (ALCS), Oakland (Wild Card), Texas (ALDS)
NL: St. Louis (WS), Washington (NLCS), Atlanta (Wild Card), Pittsburgh (NLDS), Los Angeles (NLDS)
Ryan M.: Yes. Losing in the Division Series to the Rangers.
Ryan P.: No, I think they will finish a couple games out of the second Wild Card spot
Sam: The Indians will once again take home the top spot in the AL Wild Card game, but win this time. They will then go on to face Boston in the ALDS, and lose the series.
Stephanie: I think they’ll contend for much of the season, but ultimately just miss out.
Susan: Yes, but they’ll lose in the divisional
Vern: They will make the playoffs, win the wild card game, then lose to the Red Sox in the first round.
Who, if anyone, will be voted onto the All-Star team? Who will be selected?
Adam: No one will be voted in the by the fans, but the Indians will send two out of Santana/Kipnis/Swisher/Cabrera (Dark horse rebound candidate!)
Chris: Kipnis will be voted, Masterson and Gomes selected by John Farrell.
Joe: Jason Kipnis, John Axford, Justin Masterson, Danny Salazar
Ryan M.: Kipnis and Gomes, both selected as reserves.
Ryan P.: Kipnis and Salazar will be voted onto the All-Star team via player voting. Masterson will be selected by John Farrell
Sam: Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson will be voted onto the team, with Carlos Santana and Danny Salazar chosen by the AL Manager.
Stephanie: I’m not sure anyone will win the fan voting, since the fan voting can be nuts – some years they vote for people that have spent the entire season on the DL. I think a few could end up as reserves (combo of player and manager votes) – Jason Kipnis, Justin Masterson, and possibly Michael Brantley have a high likelihood of that.
Susan: Kipnis voted in by players, Gomes selected by John Farrell
Vern: Voted onto the team: no one. Chosen by the AL manager: Kipnis, Axford.
Who will spend the most time on the DL this season?
Adam: Michael Bourn
Chris: No one hopefully, but if it’s gotta be somebody, I think Giambi is the clear answer.
Joe: Jason Kipnis, John Axford, Justin Masterson, Danny Salazar
Ryan M.: Giambi is probably a heavy favorite. Bourn is also a candidate.
Ryan P.: Giambi is the obvious response due to his age, but I have a bad feeling that Bourn will be spending more time on the DL than the Tribe is anticipating.
Sam: I think Michael Bourn will continue dealing with injuries throughout the year.
Stephanie: Michael Bourn. I mean, he’s already off to a head start.
Susan: Bourn, because Giambi will retire before he logs too much time on the DL
Any other random predictions?
Adam: Giambi has 2 walk off home runs and hits above the Mendoza line in <150 at bats (he had 186 last year).-Chisenhall carves out a strong role as a platoon DH/spot 3B and manages an OPS+ of 105, creating a lot of questions going into 2015. Salazar disappoints his lofty expectations, but has a solid year. ERA right about 4.00 with more than a strikeout per inning. The Tigers regret losing Doug Fister, Scherzer regresses a little bit, Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez show their age, and the Tigers limp to an 87-win season. Cabrera has a big bounce back season, but Lindor’s success in AAA (where he is promoted in May) let the Indians cash in on Cabrera’s value and bolster the rotation. Jason Kipnis finishes top-5 in MVP voting.
Chris: Masterson will be re-signed. Salazar will garner ROY consideration.
Joe: Carlos Santana (finally) has his breakout year. Lonnie Chisenhall becomes an above-average role/platoon player. Asdrubal Cabrera bounces back, leaves Cleveland, signs as Jeter’s replacement in the offseason.
Ryan M.: Francisco Lindor makes his debut before August 1.
Ryan P.: Carlos Carrasco will finish the season in the bullpen, and Josh Tomlin will end up having a significant impact on the starting rotation this season.
Sam: Francisco Lindor will be called up by the beginning of August, but not because Asdrubal Cabrera’s poor play. I think Asdrubal will have a bounceback year, but Chris Antonetti will capitalize on this fact. Asdrubal will be traded for some pitching help, with Francisco Lindor getting called up to take over SS.
Stephanie: I still think Shaun Marcum could have an impact on this team if his recovery goes as projected. I’m also worried about the health of some of the starters (namely Zach McAllister, Corey Kluber, and Danny Salazar) but I’m really hoping those fears are unfounded.
Susan: Jose Ramirez gets called up from Columbus and tears things up. Jason Giambi retires mid-season and joins the club as some sort of special assistant/coach. Albert Belle is voted into Indians Hall of Fame.
Vern: Asdrubal Cabrera will be traded during the season. Trevor Bauer will be called up at some point and will be ineffective. Giambi will retire after this season (I know I’m really going out on a limb with this one).