By Tim Birkmeyer
2021 MLB Season Predictions!
Stop me if you have heard this before: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. But now, it actually is the most wonderful time of the year because Baseball is Back! While the 2020 season was fun, there will now be a full 162-game season and I believe most teams will be hosting fans. I cannot wait for my first game in Oriole Park (I would have loved for Opening Day but I will be traveling out of town). The best part about being an Orioles fan is that we are not going to be competitive for another year or two, so I can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the best sport ever. With that being said, it’s time to make predictions and be 100% right when we look back here in October. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for the 2021 MLB Season:
- New York Yankees (98-64)
- Tampa Bay Rays (95-67)
- Toronto Blue Jays (90-72)
- Baltimore Orioles (71-91)
- Boston Red Sox (69-93)
The AL East is one of the best and most competitive divisions in all of baseball and I could really see any of the top three teams winning the division, but the Yankees are the favorite to win the AL and could easily take on the Dodgers in the World Series. I’m actually surprised how many people and baseball experts think the Rays are going to fall off after trading Blake Snell. This is what they do, and they have the #1 prospect, Wander Franco, ready to go whenever they want to call him to the big leagues. The Blue Jays are going to be a fun yet interesting team to watch. They had the pieces to be the 8-seed in the playoffs last year, the young core has some more experience, and they brought in key free agents like George Springer and Robbie Ray and they believe they have a window to win in the next few seasons, so they are going for it. I would not be surprised if this team overtakes the Rays and gets the first Wild Card slot in the AL. As for the Orioles, well, I just want 70+ wins. That’s it. The Red Sox are in a bad bad spot right now. The rotation is abysmal, they lost some key players, and have no path this season.
- Minnesota Twins (96-66)
- Chicago White Sox (91-71)
- Cleveland Indians (84-78)
- Kansas City Royals (79-83)
- Detroit Tigers (65-97)
The AL Central is a middle of the pack division. They have two great teams with the Twins and White Sox, an average team with the Indians, and two up and coming teams with the Royals and Tigers. Although the White Sox are the flashy pick to win the division, I’m still going with the Twins. The Twins always seems to sneakily get 95 wins the last few seasons and not much has changed with their core in the lineup, their rotation, and their bullpen has 3 or 4 guys that could be the closer. The White Sox lost a key piece last week with Eloy, but the team is still good enough to make the playoffs. The Indians have some work to do and their front office does not want to spend money, but they still have the pieces to win some ball games. The Royals could surprise some people this season, but I am not buying into the hype. And the Tigers are bad but waiting for some top picks to arrive and perform.
- Los Angeles Angels (90-72)
- Oakland Athletics (88-74)
- Houston Astros (81-81)
- Seattle Mariners (78-84)
- Texas Rangers (72-90)
I am buying in the hype of the Angels this season and I am praying to the baseball gods that Mike Trout gets to the playoffs again. He’s been once and got swept, but baseball needs him and the Angels to make the playoffs more consistently. The have the lineup, they have a decent rotation, and they have the manager. The Athletics are a poor-man’s Tampa Bay Rays. They have a low payroll but somehow manage to be a competitive team and win some games, but playing other divisions will hurt them this season. Do NOT forget, the Astros will be playing everyone this season, and we remember. The Mariners and Rangers have some nice young talent, but are a few years away from winning.
(4) Tampa Bay Rays defeat (5) Chicago White Sox, 5-2
- New York Yankees defeat (4) Tampa Bay Rays in 5 games
- Minnesota Twins defeat (3) Los Angeles Angels in 4 games
- New York Yankees defeat (2) Minnesota Twins in 4 games
AL CHAMPION: NEW YORK YANKEES
- Atlanta Braves (96-66)
- Philadelphia Phillies (89-73)
- Washington Nationals (87-75)
- New York Mets (79-83)
- Miami Marlins (75-87)
The NL East gives the AL East a run for their money in terms of competitiveness. In fact, I could really make the case for any 5 of the test teams pulling out the division. But the Braves are one of the best teams in baseball and was one Atlanta Sports Curse away from being in the World Series. The Phillies’ bullpen should not be the worst in baseball again, so that will help them into 2nd place and the Nationals have the next Mike Trout in Juan Soto but still need that one piece to get over the hump. The Mets have so much hype, but it’s the Mets, they are going to underperform like no other and I am here for watching Mets Twitter. With a full slate of games, I don’t see the Marlins pulling the magic that they did last season.
- St. Louis Cardinals (93-62)
- Milwaukee Brewers (90-72)
- Cincinnati Reds (85-77)
- Chicago Cubs (81-81)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (55-107)
The NL Central will come down to the Cardinals and the Brewers, and the Cardinals traded for Nolan Arenado and the Brewers signed South Carolina Gamecock Legend Jackie Bradley Jr., so the Cardinals had a more successful offseason and ready to make the jump from the 5-seed in the NL to the 3-seed and having some home field advantage in the NLDS. The Reds and Cubs are pretty average baseball teams but fortunately the Pirates are so bad, beating them a dozen times will get them to a winning record.
- Los Angeles Dodgers (110-52)
- San Diego Padres (96-66)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (83-79)
- San Francisco Giants (75-87)
- Colorado Rockies (69-93)
The NL West is the easiest division to predict. The defending World Series champion Dodgers are the best team in baseball AND signed NL Cy Young Trevor Bauer, this team will definitely win 100+ games. The Padres are probably the 2nd best team in the NL and it’s unfortunate for them that the Dodgers are in the same division. The Diamondbacks and Giants are just there, and the Rockies are pretty bad and rebuilding. Easy!
(4) San Diego Padres defeat (5) Milwaukee Brewers, 7-1
- Los Angeles Dodgers defeat (4) San Diego Padres in 5 games
- Atlanta Braves defeat (3) St. Louis Cardinals in 4 games
- Los Angeles Dodgers defeat (2) Atlanta Braves in 5 games
NL CHAMPION: LOS ANGELES DODGERS
WORLD SERIES: DODGERS OVER YANKEES IN 6 GAMES
MVP – Mike Trout (AL) and Juan Soto (NL)
Cy Young – Tyler Glasnow (AL) and Yu Darvish (NL)
ROY – Nick Madrigal (AL) and Ke’Bryan Hayes (NL)