Each year, the writers of ItsPronouncedLajaway.com get together and list our predictions for the upcoming season. We have a couple of bold predictions (Trevor Bauer pitching himself into the Cy Young conversation? Losing the World Series to the Cubs?) and some not-so-bold (9 of us predict Michael Brantley as an All-Star). We have 162 games (or more, if all goes well) to see if we’re right. Play ball!
1. What will be the final standings in the AL Central?
Alex: Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota
Chris: Indians; Royals; Tigers; White Sox; Twins
Dave: Chicago, Cleveland, K.C., Detroit, Minnesota
Joe: Tigers, indians, White Sox, Royals, Twins
Mike: What will be the final standings of the AL Central? Detroit, Cleveland, Kansas City, Chicago, Minnesota (but I think all of the top four have a chance to win it or completely fall apart.
Rob: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Minnesota; Top 3 teams separated by 5 games.
Stan: Indians, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Twins
Stanford: Indians, Tigers, White Sox, Royals, Twins
Stephanie: Indians, Tigers, Royals, White Sox, Twins. The first four will be fairly closely clustered.
Susan: Indians, Tigers/Royals (tie), White Sox, Twins
Vern: Indians, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Twins
2. What will the Indians’ final record be?
Stephanie: 90-72 (But I keep changing my mind daily)
3. Will the Indians make the post-season and how far will they go?
Alex: Yes – ALCS loss to (sigh) Boston in six games
Chris: Yes. And they will win the World Series. Blame me for the “jixes.”
Dave: They host the wild-card game.
Joe: Yes, they will lose in the ALC
Mike: I think they get in as a Wild Card and make it to the ALCS
Rob: Yes, they will lose in the ALCS to Boston
Stan: Yes. They will win the ALCS
Stanford: Yes, ALCS
Stephanie: Yes, ALDS
Susan: They will lose in the ALCS
Vern: The Indians will win the AL pennant but will lose the World Series to the Chicago Cubs, 4 games to 2.
4. What Indians players will make the All-Star team (either voted in or named)?
Alex: Michael Brantley and Cody Allen (both named)
Chris: Brantley, Kluber, Gomes, Kipnis
Dave: Kipnis, Gomes and Brantley to All-Star game.
Joe: Kluber, Bauer, Gomes
Mike: Corey Kluber, Michael Brantley, and Yan Gomes
Rob: Yan Gomes, Brandon Moss, Corey Kluber
Stan: Kluber, Brantley, Gomes
Stanford: Kipnis, Brantley, Kluber
Stephanie: Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco
Susan: Cory Kluber and Michael Brantley
Vern: Kluber, Carrasco, Brantley
5. Who/what will be the biggest surprise?
Alex: Jose Ramirez. I think he will play so well at shortstop that it delays the invasion of “Lindormania”
Chris: Trevor Bauer will work himself into the Cy Young conversation.
Dave: Nick Swisher retires
Joe: Zach McAllister. I’ve been on his bandwagon for what seems like forever at this point. When the Indians acquired him from the Yankees, McAllister was 88-90 mph. I went to a game last season, right after he got shifted to the pen, and he was sitting 96-97.
Mike: It won’t be a surprise to Indians fans, but the rest of the country will learn how good Yan Gomes is.
Rob: Brandon Moss and the overall big increase in power numbers/HR total of the Indians’ lineup
Stan: Jose Ramirez (he’ll use his speed to raise his BA and lead the team in SB)
Stanford: Lonnie Chisenhall
Stephanie: Despite my initial concerns, Brandon Moss will be a big boost to the middle of the order
Susan: Jose Ramirez was a pleasant surprise last year; he impress even more this year.
Vern: Two of these three pitchers–Kluber, Carrasco, and Bauer–will pitch no-hit games.
6. Who/what will be the biggest disappointment?
Alex: Michael Bourn. Am I taking the easy way out with this one?
Chris: Swisher will remain a contractual albatross with his inability to stay healthy enough to play right field.
Dave: Starting pitching slumps badly
Joe: T.J. House. I just don’t think he’ll be able to replicate his modest success from last season.
Mike: Kluber will be terrific again, but not quite as good as last year, and those with unrealistic expectations will be disappointed. Also, I’m typically an Indians optimist, but I just can’t picture them meeting the predictions of some and winning the World Series. I know, I suck.
Rob: Nick Swisher and Bryan Shaw
Stan: Carlos Santana (although I hate to say it and am really counting on him this season)
Stanford: Trevor Bauer
Stephanie: Danny Salazar…he’s already disappointed me and it’s only the first week of April
Susan: Nick Swisher, who will be like Jason Giambi, circa 2013—a few great moments but will spend more time on the DL than off
Vern: Once he is reactivated, Nick Swisher will once again struggle at the plate before going back on the DL at the All-Star break.