Bold Predictions for the Remainder of the 2018 MLB Season

We are in the dog days of the MLB season, but to spice things up, it’s time to start looking at the playoff and awards races. And it’s time to get bold. People love predictions and making ones that don’t seem likely are always fun to read because they are fresh and unexpected. Obviously, there needs to some realism behind it so they don’t sound ridiculous.

Here are my bold predictions for the remainder of the MLB season. They aren’t going to be outlandish, but they’re what most people would not expect to happen”

The Milwaukee Brewers will win the NL Central

Just a game-and-a-half separates the Brewers from the first-place Chicago Cubs, so this doesn’t sound bold at all. But Cubs are and have been, viewed as the favorites in the division since 2016. They are the class of the division, and everyone else is supposed to follow.

No one expected the Brewers to contend for the NL Central this season, let alone have the second-best record in NL. But they are doing both, but people still fail to realize that they have just as good a chance as the Cubs to win the division.

Both teams have similar strengths of schedule remaining and they play each other eight more times this season. I’m going out on a limb and believe the Cubs will have to settle for a wild-card spot. But it wouldn’t be as surprising as…

The Oakland A’s will win the AL West

This one is going out on a huge limb, but it’s certainly possible. Currently, the A’s sit five games back of the Houston Astros, but have made up 6.5 games on them since June 24. The A’s are the hottest team in baseball, winning almost 75% of their last 45 games. They just keep winning and winning.

Oakland sat far behind the Mariners for the AL’s second wild-card spot, and overtook them, and are putting distance between them. They can definitely do it to an Astros team that is missing George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa. It would be the surprise of the season if it were to happen. It’s unlikely but never say never.

A pitcher will win the NL MVP

The National League MVP race is wide-open, just like the playoff race. There are tons of worthy candidates: Nolan Arenado, Freddie Freeman, Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, Matt Carpenter, etc. You can’t go wrong with anyone of them. But none have separated themselves from the pack either.

The NL WAR leaders are pitchers: Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. They are having ridiculously great seasons that cannot be ignored. You can argue that they are having better pitching seasons than any of the position players are having at the plate and in the field.

And we saw Clayton Kershaw win in 2014 when there wasn’t a top-tier of candidates, so why can’t it happen again? Voters obviously want to MVP to come from a playoff team which may hurt either of the two’s chances. The Mets are not making the playoffs this year, and the Nats are above .500 but are out of the playoff picture for now. But it shouldn’t be limited to just that, and last year, Giancarlo Stanton won the MVP on a 77-win team.

Their seasons are too good to overlook in the MVP picture and I believe because the race is so unpredictable, that the voters may decide to go with the most outstanding season overall, which would give these two a great chance to take home the hardware.

Jose Ramirez will win the AL MVP

Ramirez doesn’t get mentioned all that much, but he’s on the level of Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez with the bat. But unlike Martinez, he plays defense, and is good at it. Trout is always the favorite for the award, and deservedly so. He’s the game’s best player and leads all of MLB in WAR and OPS.

Betts is the other favorite, and because of these two, Ramirez gets lost in the fold. But Trout is battling a jammed wrist and has missed the last week and I think the Indians making the playoffs will help give Ramirez the slight edge over the center fielder, especially when both seasons are similar.

But it’s not like Ramirez doesn’t deserve consideration. He has 33 home runs (2nd most of all players), is second in WAR, and fourth in baseball in OPS.

The NL West will be decided during last week

The Dodgers have won the past five NL West titles relatively comfortably. The closest “race” was a four-game difference, but there was no stress or drama with that. Everyone knew they were going to win. But we finally have drama this year.

We have not had an exciting NL West race for almost a decade. It hasn’t been a thing, especially when the Dodgers started reigning supreme. This year looks like we may be treated to one, which would be unheard of. The top 3 teams are incredibly close record-wise with tons of games remaining to play each other.

 

Featured Image via Flickr/Erik Drost

Sports and food enthusiast. Love reading thriller and Comic books. Will talk almost any movie or tv show (more recent preferred), especially Westworld!

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