We are less than two weeks away from the start of the 2016 MLB season. It's not quite time yet to release official predictions, so therefore it is a good time to release a round of “bold predictions”, meaning these could happen. Not saying they won't or will, but they could happen.
Nobody in the American League East will win 85 games. The American League East will be baseball's most competitive division in 2016. You could literally make a case for all five teams to win it, even the Rays, and you could also make an argument as to why all five teams could finish last. Bottom line, there is no team in this division that really stands out. The difference between first and last place in this division could be less than 10 games, yes that close this division will be competitive, but competitively mediocre because of it.
The Twins will trade for an ace. The Minnesota Twins are two pieces away from being able to go with anyone- a better bullpen, and an ace. The better bullpen will come, as the organization has a bunch of young pitching prospects who are considered to be good bullpen types that could make their way to the Twins pen by the end of the summer. You can't just call someone up and declare them an ace though. They might have an ace's arm, but it takes time to turn into one, kind of like an All-Pro quarterback in football. Unlike football though, you can easily trade for an ace in baseball. If the Twins are in contention this summer, look for them to use their excess of young position player talent, specifically at the corner outfield/first base/designated hitter position, as bait to go fishing for someone's ace.
Eight teams in the National League could win 90 games. The National League in 2016 is literally split right down the middle. The Giants, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates, Mets, and Nationals will all be really good. They could all be really good to the point where they all win over 90 games in 2016. Not all of them will make the postseason, so that means that three of these teams will be watching from home in October. But which three will it be? There is a potential downside to all of these teams winning 90 games though, which is my next bold prediction.
Seven teams could lose 95 games. For as good as the eight teams above are at the moment, the other seven, the Rockies, Padres, Reds, Brewers, Marlins, Braves, and Phillies are all that bad. All seven of them could be staring at records of 67-95 or worse at the end of the season if the above prediction comes true. But which one is truly the worst? Out of common decency, and since it isn't nearly as fun as debating who will finish first, we will let that one go for now.
Chris Sale will be in a different uniform by the end of the trade deadline. The Chicago White Sox have talked about moving Chris Sale for quite a while now, on and off, depending on what they think of their teams chances that day. Well after the White Sox find themselves in last place in July, Sale will be put up for sale, literally. No, he will not be in Minnesota as stated above in the Twins search for an ace. He could though, be on his way to a contender, possibly headed into the heart of Texas. Hint hint.