Philadelphia Phillies 69-93
Success is fleeting; no greater example of this is the Philadelphia Phillies who just three years ago had a rotation that was the envy of baseball. They had two trips to the Fall Classic, five straight division titles and a Championship, when suddenly it fell apart. Roy Halladay's arm gave out and he is now retired, along with Roy Oswalt. Their lineup has broken down and their team now just looks old. This is a team that could begin to break it apart and begin the process of rebuilding which means players like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Cliff Lee could all be on the move, as General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr has become the target of Phillies fans scorn. 
.
2014 MLB PREVIEW
EASTERN DIVISION
LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS
National League
Andrew McCutchen Pirates
Giancarlo Stanton Marlins    
Buster Posey Giants

Jean Segura Brewers
Matt Carpenter Cardinals
Freddy Freeman Braves
Stephen Strasburg Nationals
Stephen Strasburg Nationals

Jeff Samardzija Cubs

New York Mets
Cincinnati Reds
Matt Kemp Dodgers
Matt Cain Giants
Freddie Freeman Braves
Zack Wheeler Mets
Yasiel Puig Dodgers
Homer Bailey Reds
Doug Fister Nationals
A.J. Burnett Phillies  
Craig Kimbrel Braves
Kolten Wong Cardinals
Terry Collins Mets
Giancarlo Stanton Marlins
Stephen Strasburg Nationals
Bryce Harper Nationals

Miami Marlins 73-89
The Marlins are one year removed from their latest mass selloff and if they want to keep fans and avoid angering the fans further they must lock up Giancarlo Stanton to a long term deal, otherwise the slugger will again be besieged by trade rumors. Stanton is obviously the foundation of the lineup, while 2013 Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez is the key to the rotation. The rest of the team is a bunch of fillers, with many players like SS Rafael Furcal likely auditioning for the pennant race as the Marlins will again struggle to win games, in their eyesore by the shore.
Atlanta Braves 85-77
The Braves are the reigning National League Eastern Division Champions, but the team has taken a number of big body blows, starting with the loss of Catcher Brian McCann. One would expect B.J, Upton to rebound off a terrible first season in Atlanta, but suddenly the Braves pitching staff is a major area of concern, as they have lost ace Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy for the season to Tommy John surgery. Any team that loses two top line starting pitchers in spring training is facing an u hill climb, and with the stress that has been placed on the bullpen over the last few years it will be difficult to see the Braves being able to return to the playoffs.  
Washington Nationals 94-68
Before last season, the Nationals were a trendy pick to win the World Series. However, they spent most of the season struggling to find their grove. They did make a late run but came up short of the playoffs. Part of the problem was the uncertainty of Manager Davey Johnson who retired at the end of the season. Their new Manager Matt Williams does not have any managerial experience but has served as 3B Coach in Arizona for several years. He is intense and should be able to get the most out of the Nationals roster. The Nationals have perhaps the most talented and I believe this is the year Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper take a step forward which could lead Washington to the Fall Classic.
.
St. Louis Cardinals 97-65
No team is more rock steady in the National League than the St. Louis Cardinals, who once again will be the team to beat in the Central Division. The Cardinals did lose a key bat in Carlos Beltran, but replaced him with better defense in Peter Borgues. Meanwhile, the lineup will get a boost on the infield with the addition of Shortstop Jhonny Peralta. The Cardinals also boast a strong rotation led by Adam Wainright and Michael Wacha. They may even rival the Dodgers for the best staff in the NL, if Jaime Garcia can return to form. They Cardinals also always seem to find the right formula to have a solid bullpen as it will be another Red October in the gateway city.
.
Cincinnati Reds 78-84
The Reds have had the talent to go far for a number of seasons but failure down the stretch and in October led to Manager Dusty Baker being fired and replaced by Bryan Price. The Reds have already suffered a major blow in Spring Training with Closer Aroldis Chapman being struck in the face by a liner back to the mound. There is no timetable for Chapman's return and when he gets back will he have trouble regaining his form after such a traumatic injury. Dusty Baker has always been able to get the most of his teams, and the Reds have talent but they don't also have flaws as their pitching staff led by Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey is often inconsistent.
.
Houston Astros 60-102
There is no place to go for the Astros but up, losing 100 games in each of the last three season, the Astros ended last year on a 15 game losing streak as they became the first team to lose 105 or more games in three straight seasons in nearly 50 years. The Astros enter the year hoping they can avoid another 100 loss season, when your goal is simply to avoid 100 losses you are already in a hole and while the farm system is starting to stack up talent it is more than a year away. In the meantime it's another century mark in the loss column for Houston.
Chicago Cubs 66-96
Rome was not built in a day and the Cubs are looking at a long term overhaul rather that a quick fix as they begin the third year of the Theo Epstein regime. Last year they topped 90 losses and finished dead last and they will do the same this year as little was done to improve the team. What makes things even more frustrating is that it does not seem any big prospect is on the horizon either. In fact the biggest addition the Cubs made in the off-season was a new mascot. Unless Clark the Cub comes into pitch and wins 20 games and hits 30 homers the Cubs will not be going anywhere. 
.
Milwaukee Brewers 74-88
Around the majors Ryan Braun will likely be one of the most scorned players in baseball after his involvement in the biogenesis probe. He may even have to work hard to win back fans in Milwaukee. However, if he is able to put up his usual numbers that will be the easy part, while getting the Brewers back into playoff contention will be a much more difficult task. The Brewers have a pitching staff that is among the weakest in the National League, as they will need to rely on two pitchers well past their prime years in Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza, and the bullpen is not much better with the worn down Francisco Rodriguez leading the way. 
Pittsburgh Pirates 87-75 (Wild Card)
The Pirates ended 20 years of futility last year in a big way, reaching the NLDS as they won the Wild Card game against division rival Cincinnati. The Pirates will have a tough time returning the postseason as they suffered some losses to the rotation with the departure of A.J. Burnett. Other than reigning MVP Andre McCutchen, the Pirates lineup is not too deep. It will also be tough for Francisco Liriano to equal his numbers from last season. Still the Pirates should remain in the playoff picture, though they will come up just short of the Wild Card.
San Francisco Giants 88-74 (Wild Card)
Last year was a year of frustration for the Giants as they suffered a 76-86 season and were out of the pennant race by the All-Star break after winning their second World Series in three years. One has to expect a bounce back by the bay as their pitching is simply too good to suffer another poor season. Tim Lincecum's fastball continued to be missing in action, but Madison Bumgarner has emerged as a front line pitcher along with Matt Cain, while newly acquired Tim Hudson gives the Giants rotation a veteran presence. The Giants have also added some much needed power with the acquisition of Mike Morse.
San Diego Padres 73-89
Trying to piece things together money ball style is the theme of the San Diego Padres. A team of rejects and rethreads, the hope is they can find the right mix and make a run at a playoff spot. On paper there is not much to like and with Josh Johnson already sidelined the Padres plan is already going off the rails. Unless Carlso Quentin and Chase Headley have career years the Padres will struggle to score and the rotation is not strong enough to carry a mediocre lineup so the Padres again will struggle to avoid 90 losses.
.
Los Angeles Dodgers 93-69
There is no question that if all the pieces come together the Dodgers can win the World Series. They have top notch pitching and a solid lineup with several superstars. They even have an early jump with two wins in Australia. However, some worry spots are developing as Clayton Kershaw has not been healthy with a lingering back issue, and Yasiel Puig's antics are getting old fast and he is already the manager's doghouse. This team has rather volatile mix that can bust just as much as it can burst and perhaps a big question remains with Manager Don Mattingly who was on the verge of getting fired last year before their turnaround and still has yet to win over everyone in the organization.
Arizona Diamondbacks 77-85
Before the season started the Diamondbacks suffered a big blow losing ace Patrick Corbin for the season to Tommy John surgery. Already 0-2 after a pair of losses to the Dodgers in Australia, the D-Backs who did not have that much margin for error has to hope newly the acquired Bronson Arroyo can fill the shoes of Corbin. The lineup should be improved with the addition of Mark Trumbo, but overall it may be too reliant on the long ball without a proven leadoff hitter and table setters. However, with a very questionable bullpen the Diamondbacks will have a hard time keeping their heads above water in the National League West. 
Colorado Rockies 67-95
The Rockies chances are as thin as the mountain air in which they play their games. The Rockies have two stars in Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki who never seem to be able to stay healthy. If both cannot play more than 90% of the Rockies games they are doomed for another long season, and both could be on the trading block any way. Longtime 1B Todd Helton has retired and been replaced by Justin Morneau another player who has trouble staying on the field and the pitching staff is not much better. The Rockies are even entrusting the ageless LaTroy Hawkins with the closer role. Hawkins had a solid year with the Mets in pitcher friendly Citi Field but at his advanced age it will difficult.
.
New York Yankees 91-71 (Wild Card)
The Yankees after a catastrophic season full of injuries have completely re-tooled in the hopes of making one last run to the World Series with their Captain Derek Jeter. Jeter turns 40 in June and will retire at season's end needs to be healthy if the Yankees are to make a run at the postseason. Brian McCann will help add some toughness and offense and Carlos Beltran will bring the clutch hits. However the pen will miss Mariano Rivera as nobody could replace him, but David Roberston should be good enough. The Yankees will also need Mashrio Tanaka to be the real deal, if all comes together the Yankees could win their 28th Championship, but that is too many factors to fall just right but they should at least get a Wild Card Sport.
Boston Red Sox 87-75
Coming off their worst season in nearly 50 years the Red Sox rebounded right back to the top and won their third World Championship in ten years. The Red Sox had everything go right last year and had several players have career years. To repeat they will need to equal these performances. It is highly unlikely that everything will fall into place two years in a row. A big part of their run last year was the sudden emergence of Koji Uehara in the closer role. He was nearly unhittable in the second half and in the postseason. It is impossible to imagine Uehara doing that again this year, as he will likely be closer to his average numbers which may not be good enough to get the Red Sox back to the playoffs. 
.
Baltimore Orioles 80-82
The Orioles are going to attempt to win games by playing Home Run Derby as they added Nelson Cruz to an already power packed lineup. It is not impossible to see as many as three or four Orioles in the top ten in home runs in the American League. The problem is relying too much on the long ball often comes at a team's peril. The Orioles pitching staff is paper thin, as they are taking a chance on several pitchers that are reclamation projects like Ubaldo Jimenez and Johan Santana. The bullpen is not much better, in a strong division like the American League East it will be an effort just to keep their heads above water.  
Tampa Bay Rays 93-69
It has now been six years since the Rays went from laughingstock to perennial contender. However, they still have just one trip to the World Series and have yet to reach the Promised Land despite a deep farm system and one of the best pitching staffs in baseball year in and year out. The Rays have lost several key players but continue to win near 90 games a year thanks to their player development and solid pitching. They are likely to lose David Price after the season, but before he goes for the big money I see him being part of one last run in Tampa, that could bring another Fall Classic to Tropicana Field.
Cleveland Indians 79-83
Manager Terry Francona has always been good at getting the best out of his team, but the Indians are not much better than a .500 team at best. They have many players that could be the last cog for a championship team, but no foundation and no true leader to build around. There is hope by moving Carlos Santana to Designated Hitter from behind home plate, could help Santana develop into that player to build around, but I don't see him being much better than a 25 home run hitter. The pitching staff is much the same with Justin Masterson being the ace, but compared to other contenders he is a third man at best.
Detroit Tigers 91-71
Manager Jim Leyland may have retired, but the Tigers should continue to road in the American League Central. The Tigers have the best player in baseball in two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera who even with an abdominal injury last year was the scariest hitter in baseball. Cabrera should be helped by a return to first base after the trade of Prince Fielder. While the loss of Fielder takes away some power Ian Kinsler should give the Tigers better defense up the middle and speed on the bases. The pitching staff will be strong again, and the addition of Joe Nathan will certainly help the bullpen for new Manager Brad Ausmus.
Chicago White Sox 70-92
Last year it all fell apart on the Southside as the White Sox barely avoided losing 100 games. The team was so bad that even never say die announcer Ken Harrelson hated them. Other than Cuban import Jose Abreu they did not make many improvements in the off-season. Paul Konerko who is likely in his final season is not even expected to be a starter any more as Adam Dunn s feast or famine with his 30 pus homers and sub .200 average. The pitching should be slightly better as John Danks will have a bounce back season, but in the end they will have a hard time avoiding last place again. 
.
Kansas City Royals 85-77
No team has gone longer without a trip to the postseason than the Royals, who have not been back to the playoffs since 1985. Last year's winning record has fans in Kansas City salivating that this could be the year the Royals return to October. However, there are still too many holes in the lineup and in the rotation to take them seriously as a playoff team. The Royals have several good young talented players like Eric Hosmer, and some good front line pitchers with James Shields leading the way but they need another bat and another arm at least before they can take that next step.
Texas Rangers 92-70
Like the Tigers and Rays, the Texas Rangers have been hanging around the top of the American League for a few seasons now but yet to have captured a World Series. The Rangers came within one out three years ago but have not been able to get that last out. The Rangers lineup is even stronger now with the addition of Prince Fielder as they may boast 1-9 the best lineup in baseball. Their pitching is also solid with Yu Darvish being among the best in the American League, while Neftali Feliz should benefit from a return to the closer role. No doubt they will make it to October, but getting to the Fall Classic may be a steeper hill to climb.
Seattle Mariners 76-86
The first year of a big contract is often the most difficult especially if the player is on a new team. Robinson Cano did something that was once thought impossible, priced himself off the New York Yankees as he signed a ten year deal worth $240 million. Robinson Cano benefited from the Yankees lineup and the friendly confines in the Bronx. Cano has never been a hustler, and could be the type that tries to coast with a big contract, plus Safeco Field is not hitter friendly, I see Cano struggling early and having a very disappointing first season in the Pacific Northwest as the Mariners continue to struggle to score runs for Felix Hernandez and have another losing season.
Oakland Athletics 83-79
I honestly don't know how the Athletics do it. A look at their roster and you can't get real excited, but the last two years they have won the American League West. However, with the departure of Bartolo Colon who was a solid innings eater and the injury of ace Jarrod Parker, the A's will have an even steeper hill to climb. There is hope that Scott Kazmir could be a solid contributor in the middle of the rotation, but I just can't see a team that has Sonny Gray at the front of the rotation going very far as they struggle just to stay above .500.
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
Miguel Cabrera Tigers

Elvis Andrus Rangers
Mike Trout Angels
Mike Trout Angels

Matt Moore Rays
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees
Yu Darvish Rangers
Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics
Albert Pjuols Angels
Michael Pineda Yankees
Yoenis Cepedes Athletics
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees
Robinson Cano Mariners
Kojo Uehara Red Sox
Brian McCann Yankees
Phil Hughes Twins
Joe Nathan Tigers
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees
Mike Scocia Angels
Miguel Cabrera Tigers
Yu Darvish Rangers
Mike Trout Angels
Managers to be Fired
Bud Black-Padres
Ron Gardenhire-Twins
John Gibbons-Blue Jays
Ron Roenicke-Brewers
Robin Ventura-White Sox
 
 
 
2014 World Champions
Tampa Bay Rays
3
1
3
World Series
CENTRAL DIVISION
WESTERN DIVISION
EASTERN DIVISION
CENTRAL DIVISION
WESTERN DIVISION
3
NLCS
ALCS
3
2
2
POSTSEASON
New York Mets 84-78
Mets management received a number of laughs when they said this team could win 90 games, and on paper they will be lucky to win 80 games without Matt Harvey. However, Harvey is not the only young arm that could soon have the Mets pitching staff being the class of MLB. Zack Wheeler is already in the rotation and Noah Syndegaard and Jesus Montero are on the way. If the pitching comes together and remains healthy the Mets can make a run late in the season. The lineup still has major holes especially at shortstop where Ruben Tejada might just be the worst infielder in the history of baseball. However, this team has some talent and can finish strong and setup a return to relevance in 2015.
Toronto Blue Jays 77-85
One year removed from their off-season spending spree blowing up before Victoria Day, the Blue Jays are back and once again hopelessly trapped at the bottom of the American League East. Injuries ravaged their pitching staff last year and it is impossible to think they can all bounce back together. It will be a slow process in Toronto and they will be wise to begin to unload some of their bad contracts and veteran players like Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle for prospects. While the teams ahead of them are getting older, the Jays are at least two years away from being where they believed they were at the start of last season.
Minnesota Twins 73-89
The Twins who have been terrible the last three years are hoping an off-season spending spree can begin to turn things around. They are also hoping that Joe Mauer can find more power by moving from catcher to first base. The move will assure that Mauer stays healthy and will allow him to have a good season, but the Twins still are banking on big years from players that are mediocre at best. Phil Hughes a big addition to the rotation could not win with the Yankees, and the money he got from the Twins may be the worst contract of the off-season, as he will be lucky not to lose more than 15 games.
.
Los Angeles Angels 88-74 (Wild Card)
The Angels were one of the biggest disappointments in baseball last season as Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols both struggled with injuries and the pressure of a big contract. The best thing going for the Angels is that expectations have been subdued. While, Pujols may never reach the numbers he had in St. Louis, I think he is for a big season and the same is true for Hamilton. The Halos also have Mike Trout who is already one of the best players in baseball and in year three he is on the verge of being one of MLB's biggest stars. The Angels need to keep their pitching healthy as it is not that deep past Jered Weaver. However, I like them slipping in as a Wild Card.
2
Tweet
Predicions Made on 3/30/14 at 3:00 PM ET.

Visit our Sponsors
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties
4
2
2
4
2
4