The crack of the bat, the fresh green grass, the melodious chirps of peanuts vendors… that stuff is all inconsequential. What matters, what really matters, is someone in my position as a universally respected sportswriter making tough, chutzpah-filled predictions. If you’ve got some money burning a hole in your pocket, take it to Vegas and bet on what I’m about to tell you. I’m only doing this because I consider you a close friend, you know. This is better than insider information, it’s heavy on balls and BS-free. If this were a type of pasta it wouldn’t be your designer brand gluten free fusilli–this is the kind of thing that would shut a celiac’s throat. But more important than that, these picks will all come true. I’m prepared to wager my entire reputation on it.Here are my A.L. picks for how the season will play out–the NL picks will come at a later time.
The Houston Astros have an extremely young and extremely talented outfield, with three guys who are going to make some noise this coming season. But by far the jewel of the bunch is an unassuming man by the name of L.J. Hoes, a Washingtonian who, at 24, is still a bit wet behind the ears. But not for long! If we look at his MLB career, he has only been caught stealing ONCE. If that number remains and he steals a lot more bases, he’ll be a very successful baserunner. Look out, Rickey Henderson! In fact, at Hoes’ age we can predict all of his stats to increase exponentially. His one home run and ten RBIs will easily become 40 and 160, respectively. Remember, you heard it here first!
|Pictured: Hoes. All the Hoes you’ll ever need.|
THE CY YOUNG
We all know the stereotype for a Cy Young winner: A sturdy, dominant starting pitcher who strikes out a lot of batters and wins a bunch of games. But Major League Baseball has always been a progressive entity, which is why this is the year where the status quo is challenged. For that reason, my bold prediction for the AL Cy Young goes to Chad Qualls. When is the last time a 35-year-old journeyman middle reliever with mediocre career numbers won this particular award? According to our friends at Bocceball Reference, their internet is down so we don’t know. But probably never. Which is why 2014 is the perfect year to expect the unexpected.
|Pictured: A Chad Quall.|
THE WORLD CHAMPION
I know you like great stories. Like when that guy wasn’t expected to do that thing but did that thing then the fans went crazy and were really happy for a bit? That was awesome. In that line of thinking, nobody thinks the Astros will win it all this year. They lost 111 times last year–if they simply reversed their win and loss totals from last year they’d be one of the best teams of this generation! They’ve got Hoes and they’ve got Qualls, plus an Altuve who’s larger than life, Mike Trout’s aquatic relative Anthony Bass, and Brad Peacock in all his resplendent plumage. If this isn’t the team of destiny then I DON’T BELIEVE IN DESTINY. Move over Dodgers, Rays, Red Sox, and Cardinals–there’s a new team that will live up to their name and be OUT OF THIS WORLD. And if my thorough analysis didn’t convince you to wager your whole retirement fund on the team of destiny, then MAYBE ALL THESE CAPITALIZED LETTERS WILL. THE HOUSTON ASTROS WILL BE THE 2014 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS. YOU CAN COUNT ON IT.
|Pictured: Jarred Cosart (bottom) and friends, saying NOW IS OUR TIME.|