Philadelphia Phillies 64-98
The only hope in Philadelphia is that the Phillies hit rock bottom last year losing 99 games. That may in fact be true, but the climb is going to take several years as the farm system was left barren by former General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Fans in Philadelphia even took derisively calling him ruin tomorrow as he was unable to draft well and dealt whatever promising players they had trying to hold together the glory days which now seem like ages ago when the Phillies won 100 games in 2011.  Almost all the core from the team that went to two straight World Series and won five straight division titles is gone. Ryan Howard is left and occasionally shows flashes, but ever since his Achilles injury in the 2011 NLDS he has been a shell of his former self. It's going to be another long season in the City of Brotherly Love.
2016 MLB PREVIEW
EASTERN DIVISION
LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS
National League
Bryce Harper Nationals
Nolan Arenado Rockies
Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
Billy Hamilton Reds
Curtis Granderson Mets
Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
Madison Bumgarner Giants
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers

Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Dodgers
Hunter Pence Giants
Patrick Corbin Diamondbacks
Michael Conforto Mets
Noah Syndegaard Mets

Daniel Murphy Nationals
Jake Arrieta Cubs
Johnny Cueto Giants
Aaron Hill Brewers
Jeurys Familia Mets
Steven Matz Mets
Chip Hale Diamondbacks
Nolan Arenado Rockies
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
Miami Marlins 81-81
With two contenders above them and two second division clubs below them the Marlins are clearly fulcrum of the National League East. Health is the big key in Miami as the Marlins will only go as far as Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez could carry them. As long as both are healthy the Marlins should be a solid team, but if anyone or both miss long stretches the Marlins will be down there next to the Phillies and Braves. While Jose Fernandez should be one of the best pitchers in the National League in his second year after Tommy John surgery the Marlins lack of another reliable starter is their biggest weakness. Stanton in the lineup at least has some company with Dee Gordon at the top and Justin Bour in the middle. In addition the Marlins bullpen needs someone to emerge if they are to make any run at all.
Atlanta Braves 57-105
It's hard to believe that Turner Field is in its final season. After just 20 years the Braves are moving to the burbs with SunTrust Park opening in Cobb County next season. The Braves plan is simple open the ballpark next year and start contending again sometime later. The Braves hope that with the number of young talented players they have accumulated the Braves will be back swinging the tomahawk at the top sooner rather than later. However, most of these players they expect to be the core of a team to challenge for the playoffs are at least a year away. The rest of the team other than Freddie Freeman are reserves at best.  The Braves were the lowest scoring team in the majors last year and their pitching was one of the worst. None of those improved and a combination like that means one thing, 100 losses easily. 
Washington Nationals 89-73*
Last year's disappointment in Washington will not be repeated as Dusty Baker taking over the managerial reigns is a much needed upgrade. The National League East is a top heavy division with two of the league's best and two of the league's worst. The Nationals like the Mets should be able to feast all season on the Phillies and Braves. Expect big years from Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg at the front of the rotation, while Bryce Harper will be in the running for another MVP award.  Depth and defense could be a concern as Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman could just as easily cost the Nats games with their gloves as they can win with their bats. Jonathan Papelbon may be volatile but if Washington stays in the playoff picture he should be good enough to close games and get the Nationals into the playoffs as Wild Card.
St. Louis Cardinals 88-74
If you were to buy long term stock in any team it would be the St. Louis Cardinals. Over the years they have lost stars only to replace them with in and remain one of the top teams in the National League. This time around they are forced to replace Jason Heyward which should be easier than Albert Pujols, but other problems could undermine the Red Birds quest at making into the playoffs for the sixth straight year. Injuries for one are a concern already as they will be without Jhonny Peralta for the first two months. Meanwhile starter Adam Wainwright needs to prove he can bounce from an Achilles injury. There is only so many holes the Cardinals can plug at one time.  If everything comes up in the right direction the Cardinals will again be atop the Central, but with the Cubs improving this time the Cards will be ace short in the deck.
Cincinnati Reds 66-96
The Reds are coming off a fire sale in the off-season and they are not finished. Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Joey Votto are all likely to at least be part of trade rumors all season as the Reds look to rebuild for the future. The only reason that Phillips stayed in Cincinnati and not joined Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman on the express to somewhere else was his inability to work out a deal with the Nationals. Expect at least two of the three to be gone by the trade deadline. The pitching staff is as a bad as it gets, with Anthony DeSclafani  adding to the woes with an oblique injury. Homer Bailey could return at some point following Tommy John surgery, but with Reds being in such rough shape it would behoove them to take it slow and concentrate on 2017 and beyond.

Houston Astros 87-75
There is no doubt that the Astros are a team on the rise. Last year they made the playoff well ahead of schedule and had the eventual World Champion Royals on the ropes in the ALDS. That has led to them becoming the trendy favorite to win the World Series. The Astros no doubt are that good, but I still think they are at least a year away. The Astros won't catch anyone by surprise this year, in addition their bullpen remains a weak spot. It was that bullpen that cost them a chance to beat the Royals.  Dallas Keuchel is an outstanding ace lefty, but the Astros rotation beyond is ordinary. The heart of the lineup is strong led by Carlos Correa who will be an absolute star for years to come and could by a MVP contender in what is really his first full season, but I feel they need another piece.
Chicago Cubs 95-67
As the Cubs get ready for their second century in Wrigley Field, there is something unique in Wrigleyville, confidence and optimism. Despite being swept in the NLCS last year, the Cubs are loaded again and considered the favorites to end both their 70-year World Series drought and 107-year Championship drought. No doubt the Cubs have the bats to win it all as they have the best lineup in the National League, one that is even better than last year with the additions of Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist. However, in the playoffs it is pitching that wins championships, and that is the Cubs problem. It is hard to imagine Jake Arrieta repeating his inhuman second half, and the rest of the staff must step up. Still the Cubs should be around in October, and if they get the pitching they need maybe this will finally be the year the suffering ends for Cubs Nation.
Milwaukee Brewers 61-101
There will be a tear in the beer in Milwaukee this year, as the Brewers are in for another long season. The pitching rotation is one of the worst in the National League and the lineup other than Ryan Braun is inconsistent at best.  Aaron Hill acquired for Jean Segara is well past his prime, while Chris Carter is all or nothing at best. The starting five are full of pitchers that would have trouble being the fifth starter on a contender and the bullpen is not much better. Willy Peralta is their top pitcher, but has never won with any consistency. Demonstrating just how bad things in Milwaukee are, Will Smith who was slated to be the closer was injured at the end of Spring Training taking off his shoes. The only thing the Brewers can do is to hope Ryan Braun draw interest at the deadline that could begin the climb back.
Pittsburgh Pirates 94-68*
Captain Jack Sparrow must have been a Black Jack dealer, because the Pirates have become experts in the Wild Card. The Pirates after 20 straight losing seasons have now made the Wild Card game three straight years. The last two years they have lost the Wild Card Game at PNC Park getting handcuffed by outstanding ace pitchers. Such is the misfortune of a one game playoff. The Pirates look to be on target once again for the Wild Card as there lineup led by Andrew McCutchin is strong but can't match what the Cubs can do. The Pirates may have an edge on the mound, as Pitching Coach Ray Serage is good at reclamation projects. The latest is Jon Niese who was the odd man out with the Mets star studded staff. The Pirates are also good at managing the pen, which will be key to their success once again. 
San Francisco Giants 92-70
The best news in San Francisco is that 2016 ends in a six, an even number. This means if the trend continues there will be another victory parade at the end of the World Series. Last season the Giants had a respectable season despite being besieged by injuries, if Hunter Pence can bounce back the Giants have already won half the battle, as Buster Posey continues to be one of baseball's best clutch hitters. The key to all three Giants World Championships has been pitching and the Giants made two big additions, signing Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzja to back up ace Madison Bumgarner.  If the Giants can get either Jake Peavy or Matt Cain to bounce back from injuries they will no doubt have one of the best rotations in the National League, add Chris Heston and the Giants looked armed for another deep October run.
San Diego Padres 73-89
Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooring. No team in all of Major League Baseball is more boring in more ways than the San Diego Padres. They have added some color with a splash of mustard yellow but their interlocking blue and white SD logo on their uniform is the dullest look in all of baseball.  The only relief is the military appreciation days and the throwback games to the days the Padres wore brown and distinguished themselves from the dozens of blue wearing baseball teams. The only real excitement at Petco Park will be this year's All-Star festivities. The team is just as boring as the loss of Justin Upton and Craig Kimbrel will certainly hurt. Matt Kemp is a solid hitter but it's doubtful he will ever be what he was five years ago when he flirted with the Triple Crown, while James Shields is a decent starter but his best days are done as well.
Los Angeles Dodgers 85-77
The Dodgers believe they can overcome the departure of Zack Greinke and continue to reign on top of the National League West. Sure they have Clayton Kershaw who will again be one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. However, at the end of last season and in the playoffs the Dodgers were Clay and Zack and pray for an offensive attack, because the last three spots in the rotation were unreliable. The Dodgers are optimistic Hyun-jin Ryu can bounce back from shoulder surgery, but more often than not a torn labrum ends up diminishing a pitcher's career more than Tommy John surgery on the elbow. The Dodgers did sign Scott Kazmir and he will be solid, but he will not be Zack Greinke. Add to this a lineup that is extremely streaky and you have a Dodgers team that could be in for a very disappointing season. 
Arizona Diamondbacks 88-74
Don't look now but the Diamondbacks are back in the playoff picture after upgrading their starting rotation by adding both Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. The D-Backs pitching had been a major weakness in recent years as Paul Goldschmidt's monster offensive season have been nearly anonymous in Arizona. The Diamondbacks have also made upgrades to the lineup adding Jean Segura to an impressive young lineup built around the 40 home run potential of Paul Goldschmidt. It will be difficult for Greinke to match the numbers he put up in Los Angeles last year in the more home friendly Chase Field. However, he is guaranteed to get at least 15 wins.  In addition Patrick Corbin in his first full season after Tommy John could win near 15 as well. The only concern for Arizona is their bullpen where Tyler Clippard or Brad Ziegler must emerge as a shutdown closer to get a Wild Card spot. 
Colorado Rockies 75-87
If only the Rockies could find a little bit of pitching to match their power packed lineup. Coors Field has been used as crutch and a curse as their hitters don't get the respect they deserve and their pitching gets a built in excuse. However, Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez would have monster numbers anywhere they play, while their pitching staff will get clobbered just as easily in cavernous Petco Park with the heavy sea air in San Diego as they do in the thin air of Denver. The lineup is even better this season with the addition of Gerardo Parra giving them a chance to bash their way to at least a few extra wins. Though the Rockies will continue to lose much more than they win unless Jorge De La Rosa is able to get some help from one of the Rockies other four starters.
New York Yankees 90-72
The American League East might be the tightest division top to bottom in all of baseball as anyone can win it. The Yankees represent the old guard as their veteran laden lineup needs to stay healthy. Alex Rodriguez now north of 40 needs to flirt with 30 home runs again and Mark Teixeria must remain healthy. Though the addition of Starlin Castro should help as he has the perfect Yankee Stadium swing. The Yankees will need at least one starter to emerge as an inning eater and streak stopper. Their remains concern about Masahiro Tanka's elbow, but if health he will be fine as will Luis Severino who has the best stuff. It's the bullpen where the Yankees will dominate as Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances could be the best threesome since the Nasty Boys. With the Yankees being able to shorten games that could be a big weapon in the fall. 
Boston Red Sox 89-73*
Despite finishing in last place in 2015, the Red Sox finished with plenty of momentum thanks to an infusion of youth. Add David Price at the front of the rotation and Craig Kimbrel at the end of games as the Red Sox should be back in the playoff picture. Mookie Betts is on the verge of stardom and Jackie Bradley Jr. is also developing into a solid 20-20 type five tool player. The Sox have learned from the mistakes of last season and Handley Ramirez will be playing 1B while Pablo Sandoval will add extra pressure to the wood on the benches at Fenway as the Red Sox hope someone with an appetite even larger than Kung Fu Panda will be willing to swallow his contract. Price of course is a nice addition, but if the Boston is to reach October they will need Clay Buccholz or Rick Porcello to bounce back after disappointing seasons.
Baltimore Orioles 75-87
The Baltimore Orioles are a team that can go either way. If everything falls in place they can win the American League East, if things don't the Orioles will have a tough time competing in baseball's toughest division top to bottom. The lineup should be fine as Manny Machado appears to have gotten the injury problems past him. Playing a full 162-game schedule in 2015, Machado hit 35 home runs with 86 RBI, while Chris Davis led the league with 47 homers and 117 RBI. The Orioles could have an even better lineup with the addition of Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez both of whom are expected to put up big numbers at Camden Yards. The same can't be said for the rotation led by Chris Tillman, Yovani Gallardo and Ubaldo Jimenez. The bullpen is solid with Zach Britton and Darren O'Day, but if the O's don't get the lead they can't hold the lead.
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Tampa Bay Rays 82-80
While the Blue Jays bash the ball the Tampa Bay Rays win with pitching. With Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore and Drew Smyly the Rays have the best rotation in the American League. The only problem is can they score enough runs. Last year the Rays certainly did not back their starters up, as Archer posted a record of 12-13 despite a 3.23 ERA and 252 strikeouts. The Rays spent the off-season looking to add as many bats as they could, adding Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison and Brandon Miller. However, they need to get more out of James Loney and Steven Souza Jr. as Evan Longoria was their only player to hit 20 home runs in 2015.  Longoria still remains the key if he is able to have a big season Tampa could make a run, if not they will be looking up at three teams who are able to score. 
Cleveland Indians 86-76
The Indians could make a lot of noise this year as they have a talented young rotation that is primed to breakout. Of course the key to the Cleveland pitching staff is Corey Kluber who after winning the Cy Young in 2014 had a subpar year last season. If the Indians are to contend they are going to need Corey Kluber to be closer to his Cy Young numbers. The Indians will also need to find some offense. Last season Carlos Santana led the team with 19 home runs and 85 RBI, the Tribe will need more from Santana and other players to carry the load. One player who could give them a boost is Francisco Lindor who was Rookie of the Month in September. The Indians added some veteran depth and power, picking up Marlon Byrd, Mike Napoli and Juan Uribe. However, the Indians will need another bat if they are to reach the postseason.
Detroit Tigers 87-75
The Tigers got off to a great start last year but quickly fell apart as they we besieged by injuries losing  to a calf strain Miguel Cabrera for six weeks in the heart of the season. When Cabrera returned his power were down but once again won the batting title. Knowing to cut their losses the Tigers were aggressive sellers at the trade deadline with an eye towards 2016 as they landed in last place. Hoping to jump back to the top of the Central Division, the Tigers addressed their bullpen by signing Francisco Rodriguez, who despite the mileage on his arm remains a reliable closer. The Tigers also added Jordan Zimmermann to the rotation giving themselves again three reliable starters. They also upgraded the lineup by signing Justin Upton, all they need now is Cabrera to stay healthy and they should be in all the way until the end of the season. 
Chicago White Sox 69-93
Not sure about what is going on in Denmark, but things appear to be rotten on the Southside of Chicago. The controversy over Adam LaRoche and his son appears to have ripped the White Sox apart. LaRoche who had a disappointing 2015 season retired after his son was banned from the White Sox clubhouse, some players especially Chris Sale have expressed their displeasure while reports that players complained about the young LaRoche's presence. The White Sox did a lot to improve their lineup adding Todd Frazier, Austin Jackson and Brett Lawrie. However, the starting rotation beyond Sale is a big question mark. If the White Sox get off to a slow start, things could quickly fall apart as Manager Robin Ventura and GM Kenny Williams are both sitting firmly on the hot seat. Expect a tumultuous year in Chicago as the White Sox in the Cubs shadow.
Kansas City Royals 91-71
A quick glance at the Kansas City Royals and they are not terribly impressive. There is no true superstar on this team. The lineup, rotation and bullpen don't have a big star. However, underestimating the Royals comes with great peril as they are the defending World Champions and have been to two straight Fall Classics. What the Royals do to win is play a brand of team baseball, fundamentally sound baseball and hustle that should be a blueprint on how to play the game the right way. The Royals beat the Mets in the World Series with hustle as their ability to know when to take the extra base was key in the last two games. A big concern must be the pitching staff as they lack go to ace, but it did not prevent them from winning last year and they should at least see October again this year.

Texas Rangers 92-70
Last year the Rangers had a big bounce back season winning the American League West thanks to a strong finish. Keying the Rangers title run was Cole Hamels who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Phillies. A full season of Hamels alone should keep them in contention, add the return of Yu Darvish in the second half as the Rangers could be around for a long time this fall. Comebacks are bigger in Texas as Prince Fielder coming back from neck surgery again was an All-Star in 2015. Don't be shocked if you see Josh Hamilton have a big year in his first full season back in Texas. The Rangers already had one of the best offensive teams in the American League, adding Ian Desmond should give them some extra depth. If their starting staff remains healthy they may be the most complete team in the Junior Circuit.
Seattle Mariners 70-92
In 2001 the Mariners won a record 116 games, but failed to reach the World Series. A year later they missed the playoffs and watched Manager Lou Piniella walk away they have not made the playoffs since and now hold the longest postseason drought in MLB. There is not much hope of that drought ending this year as the Mariners don't have the tools to compete against the Texas twosome. Their lineup is full of holes, as Nelson Cruz is the only player guaranteed to have a big season is Nelson Cruz. Robinson Cano is capable of having a big season, but often his desire is not what it should be. The pitching rotation is led by Felix Hernandez who is one of the top hurlers in baseball, though he was somewhat prone to the long ball in 2015, and Hisashi Iwakuma is a good number two, but it just is not enough.
Oakland Athletics 65-97
There only so much you can do when you play in a crumbling aging stadium with no prospects of a new park coming soon and feeling of being trapped without a way to move forward. Such is the fate of the Oakland A's. For the last 15 years Billy Bean has made the best of a bad situation picking up players who always seemed to fit just right and help the Athletics compete. However, the last two years he had more swings and misses, like the disastrous deal that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox for Jon Lester leading to a lackluster second half in 2014. Than he traded 2015 MVP Josh Donaldson for Brett Lawrie. Lawrie and Lester are both gone and the A's may have a tough time avoiding 100 losses let along compete as they will be playing most the season in an empty Oakland Coliseum.

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

Reliever Award
Rookie of The Year 

Manager of The Year
Hank Aaron Award

Cy Young
MVP
American League
Miguel Cabrera Tigers
Jose Bautista Blue Jays
Prince Fielder Rangers
Lorenzo Cain Royals
Josh Donaldson Blue Jays
Miguel Cabrera Tigers
Cole Hamels Rangers
Chris Archer Rays
Chris Archer Rays

Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros
Josh Hamilton Rangers
Marcus Stroman Blue Jays
Delino DeShields Jr. Rangers
Luis Severino Yankees
Todd Frazier White Sox
Chris Sale White Sox
Starlin Castro Yankees
Doug Fister Astros
Craig Kimbrel Red Sox
Byron Buxton Twins
Joe Girardi Yankees
Jose Bautista Blue Jays

Chris Archer Rays
Jose Bautista Blue Jays
Managers to be Fired
Freddi Gonzalez-Braves
Bob Melvin-Athletics
Bryan Price-Reds
Robin Ventura-White Sox
Walt Weiss-Rockies
 
 
 
2016 World Champions
New York Mets
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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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POSTSEASON
New York Mets 97-65
What is there not to like about the Mets? A pitching staff that is young and hard throwing that may get even better in July when Zach Wheeler returns from Tommy John surgery, a well-balanced lineup with Yoenis Cespedes in the middle and the flexibility to make an addition or two at the trade deadline. The Mets bullpen may be the only weakness, but they have at least two reliable arms in closer Jerruys Familia and Addison Reed in the setup role. The Mets even have some depth with Alexjando De Aza providing speed and Wilmer Flores providing some punch on the bench. In his second year back from Tommy John, Matt Harvey is poised to have a big year and he may not be the Mets best arm with Noah Syndegaard entering his first full season. Only injuries can stop the Mets from another deep October run.
Toronto Blue Jays 88-74*
The Blue Jays will once again be one the most exciting teams as their power packed lineup will continue to light up the scoreboard at Rogers Centre. With Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion in the middle of the lineup, any opposing pitcher is likely to wake up in a cold sweat the day before he faces them. The Jays averaged nearly a run per game more than any other team in baseball as they scored more runs than any team in a decade with 891. Expect more of the same as Troy Tulowitzki in Toronto for a full season will add to the run fest. Pitching though remains a concern, unable to re-sign David Price and Mark Buehrle retiring leaves a hole for Toronto. Marcus Stroman who stunned everyone by returning from a torn ACL is on the verge of stardom, must have a big year if Toronto is to play in October.  
Minnesota Twins 74-88
Last season the Twins were one of the biggest surprises in baseball as they got off to a solid start and were in the Wild Card hunt up until the end of the season. The Twins will be hard pressed to repeat that success as one of the key players from last season Torii Hunter retired at the end of the season. The Twins pitching staff is not very deep, and their lineup has some questions, but if things fall just right the Twins could be in the race again. One player the Twins are hoping to make noise is Byung Ho Park, a Korean League star who could develop into a power hitter. In 2014, Park hit 52 home runs in the KBO. If Byung Ho Park can adjust fast to Major League pitching the Twins have a star in the making. The Twins also expect big things from Rookie leadoff hitter Byron Buxton.
Los Angeles Angels 79-83
Mike Trout is without doubt the biggest star in MLB after winning the All-Star MVP two straight seasons as he has finished first or second in his first four seasons. The problem is the supporting cast is not star worthy. Albert Pujols is still good for 25 home runs but he is not the hitter he was in his last year in St. Louis. The Angels upgraded the infield defense adding gold glove Shortstop Andrelton Simmons who is also a solid hitter, but beyond that the Halos lineup have too many holes. The pitching staff is also lacking in Anaheim as Jered Weaver has lost his velocity and the rotation beyond that is not much better. Garrett Richardson will get them wins, and Hector Santiago has solid stuff, but none of them are front of the rotation type pitchers that are needed to take a team to the postseason.
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Predicions Made on 4/3/16 at 12:00 PM ET.

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