Philadelphia Phillies 87-75
Just two years ago the Phillies looked like a juggernaut with one of the best pitching staffs out together in years. Now there are questions all around as the Phillies look old and past their prime. One big worry in Spring Training has been ace Roy Halladay whose velocity is down. Meanwhile throughout their lineup they have players coming off injury plagued seasons. If everything falls right the Phillies can again be the team to beat in the National League, but rarely does all things go as planned, and the Phillies will fall just short of the postseason.
2013 MLB PREVIEW
EASTERN DIVISION
LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS
National League
Andrew McCutchen Pirates
Jay Bruce Reds          
Matt Kemp Dodgers
Dee Gordon Dodgers
Andrew McCutchen Pirates
Matt Kemp Dodgers
Matt Cain Giants
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
Stephen Strasburg Nationals
Pittsburgh Pirates
Arizona Diamondbacks
Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers
Tim Lincecum Giants
Freddie Freeman Braves
Matt Harvey Mets
Chase Utley Phillies
Adam Wainwright Cardinals
Justin & B.J. Upton Braves
Michael Young Phillies  
Rafael Soriano Nationals
Hyun-jin Ryu Dodgers
Clint Hurdle Pirates
Jay Bruce Reds
Matt Cain Giants
Matt Kemp Dodgers
Miami Marlins 61-101
No fans have been sold a bigger bag of goods than the Marlins, who again had a fire sale gutting the entire team during the off-season. The new ballpark's novelty has already worn off as Miami fans watch the NBA until June and the Dolphins in August will all but ignore this team, which likely will continue to trade away top talent as Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco will be shipped out by the deadline, leaving Marlins Park with more fish in the aquarium behind home plate than fans in the stands.
Atlanta Braves 90-72 (Wild Card)
Despite the departure of Chipper Jones, the Braves still boast one of the deepest lineups in the National League, as the addition of both Upton brothers B.J. and Justin gives them power at all the key positions. In addition I see a big season from Jason Heyward who after a poor first half came on in the second half. Their starting five could have issues with durability, but with a strong bullpen led by Closer Craig Kimbrel and this lineup the Braves should win around 90 games and grab a Wild Card spot.
Washington Nationals 96-66
The National arrival into October came a year ahead of schedule, as they still shutdown Stephen Strasburg after 160 innings. With the reins off Strasburg can now take his spot as one of the best pitchers in baseball. In DC he is not alone as the Nats also have one of the best staffs and now with the addition of a true closer in Rafael Soriano the sky is the limit. The only battle the Nationals have now is that of high expectations and that of being the hunted as the clear team to beat in the NL East.

St. Louis Cardinals 84-78
Doubting the Cardinals is a dangerous proposition as it always seems the Cardinals do the most with the talent they have, and when they lose a key player someone comes up and fills the slot and the redbirds don't miss a beat. This time it may be a bit tougher for the Cards, as Chris Carpenter and Rafael Furcal are likely gone for the season, while they failed to re-sign Kyle Lohse. Piecing things is fine here and there but that is harder to do over 162 games and it is hard to see them getting back to the playoffs this season.
Cincinnati Reds 94-68
The Reds are another team with limitless possibilities in the National League. They have a strong, rotation led by Johnny Cueto and great bullpen with two hard throwing pitchers who could each fill the closer role in Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman. In addition they have a strong power packed line up led by Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce.  Anything less than a division title will be a disappointment, the problem is how they match up in October. If they are to go far in October they will need their starting pitchers to pitch better in the big game.
Houston Astros 45-117
The Astros are moving from the National League to the American League, but they should be playing in the Texas League (That is the minors for those of you in Rio Linda). This team is awful no other way to put it, the team's entire payroll is less than Alex Rodriguez is making to sit on the disabled list. Even worse the Astros do not have much in terms of prospects on the way so this team which resembles an expansion team will take on the chin for the foreseeable future and in a sport where 50 wins is almost guaranteed, even that is a problem for Houston.
Chicago Cubs 61-101
If we are to believe Marty McFly, Cubs fans have two more years to wait before ending their long World Series drought. Riding in that Delorean the Cubs were a long shot to win the series so that means to bad seasons will lead up to their title run in 2015. The Cubs are a young team with many unproven players, so that mean growing pains and many loses in Wrigleyville this season, at least the Old Style and Budweiser will be cold so fans may not notice as much in the sun drenched stands.
Milwaukee Brewers 78-84
The Brewers are another team that if everything falls in the right spot can make some noise in the chase for a Wild Card. The Brewers need to find the diamonds in the rough to fill a largely mediocre pitching staff. However, things rarely do work out completely. The Ryan Braun PED saga continued as his name appeared on Dr. Anthony Bosch's client list. If MLB determines that to be enough proof and suspends Braun, the Brewers will be finished. Even with Ryan Braun having another big year the odds are stacked to high against them to make a serious playoff run.
Pittsburgh Pirates 87-75
The last two seasons the Pirates have teased their fans by playing winning baseball for the first half of the season, only to struggle down the stretch and finish under .500 extending the streak to a dubious record of 20 seasons. I see the Pirates being able to play in that same zone again this year, but this time they will get a few extra wins and post a winning record for the first time since 1992. They will be helped out as Andrew McCutchin post MVP numbers while Russell Martin will help the pitching staff through the dog days of August.
San Francisco Giants 93-69 (Wild Card)
Not many rivalries are as old as Dodgers-Giants as the two teams have battled since their days in New York. This year it promises to get real intense as both teams look to have the pieces for a playoff run. I expect both teams to be there in October as the Giants should continue to be one of the best teams in baseball as long as Buster Posey and their pitching staff stays healthy. The Dodgers and Giants will battle for the West and than in the NLCS for a trip to the World Series.
San Diego Padres 66-96
There is not much to say about the San Diego Padres as there is not much to like about this team as most of the team is made up of players not good enough to play elsewhere and unknown players in a city where fans never make much noise. I mean not many people give much thought to players like Carlos Quentin and Clayton Richard.  The pitching is mediocre the lineup is mediocre and the competition is stiff. This team will lose many games and be a non factor in the pennant race.
Los Angeles Dodgers 95-67
What a difference a year and a new owner make. Just a year ago the Dodgers were a complete mess after the McCourt divorce saga led to MLB taking over the team. Once sold the Dodgers new owners immediately made a commitment to winning. This team will spend anything to get anybody.  They already had stars in Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw, but with the addition of Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez the Dodgers looked loaded as the season ended. I expect them to reward their owner's commitment and make a serious run in October.
Arizona Diamondbacks 79-83
The Diamondbacks have a strong pitching staff, led by Ian Kennedy and Wade Miley. If all have a solid season could allow them to make a run at the division title. However, their offense leaves much to be desired as runs, a will be hard to come by, as the loss of Justin Upton puts extra pressure on Paul Goldschmidt. This typically leads to a snowball situation, with hard luck loses for their staff, which will make it hard for the D-Backs to even post a winning season, especially in a division with two superior teams.
Colorado Rockies 74-88
Can the Rockies stay healthy? The answer seems to be no as Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez seems to make at least one appearance on the disabled list every season. With them in the lineup the Rockies have trouble scoring, but when one or both is down the Rockies basically become a minor league team. The pitching staff has also been plagued by injuries, if this team stays healthy they can push towards .500, but that would be asking a lot as even if healthy they are the fourth best team in the West.
New York Yankees 87-75
The Yankees begin the season and it appears the sky may be falling in the Bronx as an already old team is beset by injuries. Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira will each at least miss a month and Derek Jeter's ankle is still not right after snapping during the ALCS. If they dig too deep of hole, not even the Yankees will be able to climb out. Still you have to think that muscle memory from 17 playoff appearances in 18 years will be enough to keep them in the race, but a rebuild will be needed come the off-season as they fall a few games short.
Boston Red Sox 77-85
Last season the Red Sox celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Fenway Park, but looked like the Titanic as their season was an epic disaster with Manager Bobby Valentine doing more damage to the franchise than an iceberg. Valentine is gone and the deck chairs have been reassembled, but the Sox will need more than a few seasons to rebuild after the disastrous 2012 season, as the team no longer boosts the star power it once had, and is looking to build the team around Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsburry who managed to survive the Valentine season massacre.
Baltimore Orioles 83-79
Can the birds do it again? Last year the Orioles picked to finish last by nearly everyone posted their first winning season and made the playoffs for the first time since 1997. Much of what the Orioles did was with mirrors as they had an incredible 29-9 record in one run games. It is impossible for them to repeat that feat, and in a tight division they almost have to if they want to return to October baseball. The bright spot is Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Manny Machado are talented young players who should keep the Orioles in the playoff picture most of the season.
Tampa Bay Rays 93-69 (Wild Card)
The Rays may have lost James Shields but they still have one of the best pitching staffs in the American League. David Price is coming off a season in which he won the Cy Young and Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore are only going to get better. The only worry in Tampa other than empty seats is who will provide the offense with the departure of B.J. Upton? If Evan Longoria does not stay healthy and have a big season the Rays could be in big trouble.  However, in the end their pitching should be good enough for a Wild Card spot.
Cleveland Indians 74-88
The Indians with new Manager Terry Francona are trying to piece together a team with proven players off good teams, signing Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher in the off-season. However, teams that just piece things together rarely go far and the foundation just is not there in Cleveland. While they should be pesky at times, the lineup is not deep enough and the pitching staff is thin beyond Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez. The Tribe will be better off if Bourn and Swisher can be turned into prospects at the deadline.
Detroit Tigers 91-71
After being swept in the Fall Classic, the Tigers mission is World Series or bust with the hopes of a better showing this time around. As long as they have Justin Verlander at the front of the rotation and Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the lineup you have to figure the Tigers will be in the picture come October. The return of Victor Martinez should make the lineup even stronger, but the big question is can the Tigers find someone to close games, after the Jose Valverde implosion in 2012? If they get a reliable closer they can wear the crown at the end of the year.
Chicago White Sox 79-83
The White Sox have lived a Helter Skelter existence with disappointing seasons when fans expected them to contend and solid seasons when fans expect them to stink. Last year the White Sox spent most of the season in first place before fading in September. This came after a year in which they struggled. If this trend continues it is going to be a long summer on the Southside and Paul Konerko is not getting any younger. It is difficult to expect him to continue to hit 30 homers and drive in 90 RBI at the age of 37.
Kansas City Royals 86-76
With addition of James Shields and Ervin Santana to the rotation the Royals believe they finally have the pieces to get into the playoff chase. Shields is the ace they have been waiting for in Kansas City as their young talented lineup begins to make some noise led by Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler. The Royals will ultimately fall short of the postseason, but at least their fans will have important games in September as the Royals will be in the race most of the season with a winning record.
Texas Rangers 86-76
That thud you heard in September was the Texas Rangers window of opportunity slamming shut. Not only did they suffer a stunning collapse to cost them the division title they lost Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli. No matter what the Rangers hope an aging Lance Berkman and Mike Napoli will not be able to replace the offense that has been lost. Yu Darvish should continue to lead a strong staff, but in the end the Rangers minuses are more than the plusses as they fall short in the hunt for October.
Seattle Mariners 79-83
The Mariners have secured the future by insuring Felix Hernandez will be in Seattle for years to come. Now they just need to start adding offense and other pitchers that can bring October back to the Pacific Northwest. The lineup already looks better thanks to the addition of Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, but in a division with three solid playoff contenders it will be hard for the Mariners to get into the playoff picture unless they get a breakout season from Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak. Nonetheless the Mariners should be able to inch towards .500, which is a step in the right direction.
Oakland Athletics 91-71 (Wild Card)
The big question in Oakland is if the Athletics can repeat what they did last year and make the playoffs. In many ways the A's are set up even better this year with the addition of Chris Young and Brett Anderson healthy and ready to be the ace at the front of the rotation. The Athletics can also expect big things from Yoenis Cespedes who looks to be the big star on the East Bay after a solid rookie season. Getting the division title again will be harder, but with a solid pitching staff, a good manager with talent and grittiness the Athletics should be able to slip into a Wild Card.
NLDS
ALDS
                                    Batting Crown
HR Leader 
RBI Leader 
SB Leader
Runs Leader
OPS
Win Leader
ERA Leader 
K Leader  
Surprise Team 

Disappointing Team
Comeback Hitter
Comeback Pitcher 
Breakout Hitter 
Breakout Pitcher 
Disappointing Hitter
Disappointing Pitcher
Best Acquisition
Worst Acquisition

Fireman
Rookie of The Year 

Manager of The Year
Hank Aaron Award

Cy Young
MVP
American League
Mike Trout Angels
Miguel Cabrera Tigers
Albert Pujols Angels
Coco Crisp Athletics
Mike Trout Angels
Mike Trout Angels

Justin Verlander Tigers
Jered Weaver Angels

Yu Darvish Rangers
Kansas City Royals
Baltimore Orioles
Victor Martinez Tigers
Mariano Rivera Yankees
Yoenis Cepedes Athletics
Matt Moore Rays
Nick Swisher Indians
Chris Sale White Sox
Josh Johnson Blue Jays
Jose Reyes Blue Jays

Fernando Rodney Rays
Wil Myers Rays
John Gibbons Blue Jays
Albert Pujols Angels
Justin Verlander Tigers
Mike Trout Angels
Managers to be Fired
Bud Black-Padres
Terry Collins-Mets

Ron Gardenhire-Twins
Ron Roenicke-Brewers
Jim Tracy-Rockies
Ron Washington-Rangers
 
 
 
2013 World Champs
Los Angeles Angels
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World Series
CENTRAL DIVISION
WESTERN DIVISION
EASTERN DIVISION
CENTRAL DIVISION
WESTERN DIVISION
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NLCS
ALCS
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3
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2
POSTSEASON
New York Mets 76-86
Things still look rather bleak in Flushing as the All-Star Game will be the only big game played at Citi Field this summer. However, upon the horizon there is some hope as the Mets are starting to develop some solid young players that will begin to fill the foundation of a contender. Matt Harvey, the first will quickly become the ace as Pitcher Zack Wheeler and Catcher Travis d'Arnaud will arrive shortly. The outfield is terrible, but the lineup has some pieces especially if Ike Davis can continue to develop into a reliable power hitter.
Toronto Blue Jays 94-68
No team rolled the dice this off-season more than the Toronto Blue Jays as they completely over hauled their team and picked up several big name stars including pitchers Josh Johnson, Mark Buhrle and NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey. Though personally I believe Jose Reyes will be a disaster on the turf at Rosgers Centre. If the rest of the Blues Jays are able stay healthy these pitchers along with a strong and balanced lineup led by Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion should be able to get the Blue Jays back into the playoffs for the first time in 20 years.
Minnesota Twins 64-98
A few years back Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer were the heart of a strong Twins team that every year seemed to be in the race to lead the American League Central Division. Now the two are the last holdovers on what essentially is a minor league team with an awful pitching staff.  Morneau has had trouble stay healthy in the past few seasons, but looked strong in the WBC. If he gets off to a good start the Twins should look to trade him, while hometown Mauer remains behind as the foundation as the Twins look to build for the future.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 97-65
The Angels are so good it is scary. Had the season lasted another two weeks last year they likely would have caught the Rangers for a spot as one of the two Wild Card spots. Their lineup last season was one of the best as Albert Pujols finished strong after struggling at the start of the season. Mike Trout is only going to get better after nearly winning both Rookie of the Year and MVP last season .Now the Halos have added Josh Hamilton and the expectations could not be higher. This is the year of the Angels and many great things will come in Anaheim come October.
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Predicions Made on 3/31/13 at 12:00 AM ET.
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