Friday, April 1, 2016

Brewers Will Finish 2016 With One of the Worst Records in MLB | Baseball Win-Loss Record By Team

2016 Baseball MLB
We are just days away from the start of the 2016 baseball season. At long last, here is my preview of the entire MLB season, beginning with the American League. Who will win, and who will lose? If you are a Brewers fan, you might not like what I have to say.

AL East
1. Baltimore Orioles (85-75) - Let's face it. The American League East will be baseball's most competitive, yet mediocre division, top to bottom, in 2016. Baltimore will win the East thanks in part to their loaded offense. The pitching will do just enough to make a difference.

2. New York Yankees (82-80) - The Yankees are going to try the Royals approach, and attempt to win with an elite bullpen. There are several things wrong with this idea. First and foremost, the Royals bullpen was a lot fresher and younger than the Yankees is now. Second of all, the entire Royals team is a lot younger and fresher than the Yankees are now. That age will eventually get the best of this team as the season drags along.

3. Toronto Blue Jays (79-83) - The Blue Jays lost David Price in free agency and are trying to figure out what to do with Jose Bautista. They will finish third in a mediocre AL East.

4. Boston Red Sox (77-85) - I'm sorry, but an ace and a closer are not the difference between last place and the World Series for this bunch. They have a long way to go.

5. Tampa Bay Rays (75-87) - The Rays have the best rotation in the division, but their lack of offense will get the best of them, and they may even finally decide to move Evan Longoria at the deadline.

AL Central
1. Kansas City Royals (94-68) - Still the team to beat in the division, and maybe the entire league for that matter. They are 90 feet away from being the two time defending World Series champions at the moment.

2. Minnesota Twins (88-74) - Five years of rebuilding, and now the Twins are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is a mega-talented young team that is only getting better and better. They are an "ace and more" bullpen depth away from being able to go with anyone. Those bullpen pieces will arrive as the season goes along from the minor leagues and they might flip one of their mega-talented young position players for ace at the deadline. I simply don't understand the low preseason rankings for this team.

3. Detroit Tigers (83-79) - The Tigers spent a ton of money this offseason. Too bad they overpaid for average players. This is a team that needs to let it go, and rebuild, not keep going on and maintaining mediocrity, just because the owner is old, and wants to win before he dies.

4. Cleveland Indians (75-87) - Another season, another fourth place finish for Cleveland.

5. Chicago White Sox (71-91) - The White Sox are in the same boat as the Tigers. Fortunately for the rest of baseball, the White Sox hand will be forced and they will sell at the deadline.

AL West
1. Houston Astros (97-65) - At long last, after five years of rebuilding, much like the Twins, the Astros are coming into their own. In my opinion, this is the best team in the American League. But are they the best in baseball?

2. Texas Rangers (86-76) - The Rangers are counting on a healthy Yu Darvish to go along with Cole Hamels at the top of the rotation. They are in desperate need of a catcher, and will be linked to Jonathan Lucroy every day until he is moved to the Rangers, or wherever it may be.

3. Los Angeles Angels (84-78) - After splurging for years in free agency on players like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson with nothing to show for it, the Angels are trying to rein it in and get back to their roots of small ball.

4. Seattle Mariners (73-89) - The Mariners thought they had a plan, spend some money to go along with prized prospects coming through the system. The problem is we have never seen a situation unfold like this where all of a team's prized prospects end up being busts. The Mariners will finish fourth, and Felix Hernandez may finally want out of Seattle as a result.

5. Oakland Athletics (68-94) - The Athletics will be the worst team in the American League in 2016.

AL Playoffs
Wild Card Game: Rangers @ Twins- By this point in time, the Twins will have a legitimate ace going in this game against either Darvish or Hamels. The Twins will win late when Trevor Plouffe yanks a double down the left field line in the bottom of the 8th inning to plate Mauer and a pinch runner for Sano as the Twins take a 5-3 lead, hanging on to win by that score.

ALDS
Twins vs. Royals - The Twins made massive improvements in 2016. But they are not ready to compete with the Royals; soon they will be, but NOT YET. The Royals win in five games.
Orioles vs. Astros- This should be rather easy for the Astros as they win in four, and it's not really much of a contest in the Astros three solid wins.

ALCS
Royals vs. Astros- A rematch of the ALCS from a year ago, this time Houston takes it in six games.

AL Awards
Comeback player of the year: Yu Darvish/SP/Rangers- Darvish will return from Tommy John, and help anchor a pitching staff with Cole Hamels that will lead the Rangers to the wild card game.

Manager: Paul Molitor/Twins- A case could have been made a year ago for Molitor. He will win it this year after the Twins win 88 games and advance to the ALDS

Rookie of the year: Jose Berrios/SP/Twins- A large part of the improvement of the Twins rotation in addition to trading for an ace will be the emergence of their young arm Jose Berrios.

Cy Young: Dallas Kuechel/SP/Astros- Through all of the noise, Dallas Kuechel has emerged as the Astros ace. A crafty lefty who relies on off-speed and location, Kuechel will win his second straight Cy Young award.

MVP: Adam Jones/CF/Orioles- Let's be very clear, Baltimore will win the American League East based on their offense, not their pitching, and Jones will lead the way, having his best season to date.

National League
The National League will not be as balanced as the American League, and the divide between the top and the bottom will be that much more significant.

NL East
1. New York Mets (94-68) - The Mets are for real. This might be the best rotation we have seen in DECADES.

2. Washington Nationals (90-72) - The Nationals have a great roster, and a bunch of bad blood between the players. Dusty Baker, who is one of baseball's greatest diplomats ever, was brought in to ease the tension between the players.

3. Miami Marlins (69-93) - The Marlins are forever stuck in third place, as their owner refuses to budge one way or the other. The league may need to step in and force a sale like they did with Frank McCourt and the Dodgers. Before you scream personal right, remember, this is Major League Baseball, not some local business. They can do whatever they want. Normal rules don't apply to our major sports leagues.

4. Atlanta Braves (67-95) - The Braves are in full blown rebuild, and I don't quite understand how exactly John Hart is going about this.

5. Philadelphia Phillies(65-97)- Once the most dominant team in the game, the Phillies will finally close the book on the previous era this summer when they trade away first baseman Ryan Howard, the last remaining piece to the previous run.

NL Central
1. Chicago Cubs (100-62) - I don't think the hype train could get any more real for this bunch. It is for good reason though. This is the best team in the National League.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates (95-67) - The poor Pirates, they would be three time defending champions in most divisions, but they are stuck in the ultra-tough NL Central.

3. St. Louis Cardinals(92-70)- The Cardinals, who are aging fast, will finish third, and for the first time in a long time, the Cardinals will be sitting at home watching in October. The question becomes, how long before the Cardinals start trading some of their older players to reload?

4. Cincinnati Reds (62-100) - The Reds are bad, really bad. They are only 4th in this division though.

5. Milwaukee Brewers (58-104) - This is the worst team in the game heading into 2016. I am not saying that in a bad tone though. I like what David Stearns is doing. The Brewers finally have a direction, and it needed to be done. But, they won't be easy to watch at times this year. The only thing the fans ask is that the players play hard right now.

NL West
1. San Francisco Giants (98-64) - The Giants spent a ton of money this offseason, and I mean a TON. They will win what has quickly become a very tough NL West.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks (94-68) - The Diamondbacks also spent a ton of money this offseason. Question is, after a third place finish last season in which they really weren't close, can they create instant championship?

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (90-72) - The Dodgers went backwards in the offseason. Now they go backwards on the field, and will be watching from home in October as well.

4. San Diego Padres (68-94) - The Padres tried to do the instant championship thing a year ago, and it blew up in their face. Now they are right back where they were five years ago, with nothing to show for it.

5. Colorado Rockies (63-99) - The Rockies are a mess right now. Thing is, they are just a little more talented than the Brewers at the moment.

NL Playoffs
Wild Card Game: Diamondbacks @ Pirates- The Pirates finally get the job done in the wild card game after back to back years of heartbreak when Andrew McCutchen hits a walk off home run to win the game 4-3.

NLDS
Pirates vs. Giants- The Pirates come into this game with confidence after the McCutchen walk off. The problem is that they run into the 800 pound gorilla known as the San Francisco Giants, who win this series in five tough games.

Mets vs. Cubs- A rematch of the 2015 NLCS, The Cubs this time get the best of the Mets in five hard fought games.

NLCS
Giants vs. Cubs- Every other year, right? Well, not this year. The Cubs finally get rid of this every other year business and knock the Giants out in seven games. This hard fought NLCS will wear them out a little come the World Series though, so stay tuned.

NL Awards
Comeback player of the year: Adam Wainwright/SP/Cardinals- There isn't much to choose from in the National League for this award this season, so we give it to the returning Wainwright, who is coming back from Tommy John.

Manager: Joe Maddon/Cubs- This will be an easy decision after winning 100 games and the fact that there will be no surprises in the National League this year.

Rookie of the year: Tyler Glasnow/SP/Pirates- The big, powerful right-hander from Newhall, California will be called up sometime early in the season and will quickly make his mark in the Pirates rotation.

Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner/SP/Giants- This really isn't fair. You have about 100 good preseason candidates for this award in the National League. Still, I say Bumgarner puts together his best regular season to date, and walks away with the Cy Young award.

MVP: Paul Goldschmidt/1B/Diamondbacks- After being locked out of the race the last two seasons because the Diamondbacks weren't good enough, Goldy finally gets his due, and wins his first NL MVP award after the Diamondbacks make the playoffs.

World Series
Astros vs. Cubs- The Astros will be somewhat rested. The Cubs will be tired after a 12 round fight in the National League playoffs just to get here. The Astros have the better bullpen. The Astros win the 2016 World Series in seven games and with that, all of those people who criticized the Astros rebuild can go shove it somewhere for good. I am a fan of the way they did it, which is the same way the Cubs did it, the same way the Twins did it, and the same way the Mets did it. There is no “well let's see what happens”. I hate that. All you do by taking that approach is shoot for mediocrity and you end up watering down the product for everyone else. You are coming or going, one or the other, you can't do both.

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