Comparing My Preseason Predictions at the AS Break! Plus HR Derby Picks, and Updated Awards Picks!

The All-Star break is upon us, as today the best home run hitters in the league will square off in the Home Run Derby, and tomorrow night, the best of the best will play in the All-Star Game. Since this is the halfway point of a rollercoaster season, to say the least, I will be comparing my pre-season predictions, to what I think will happen the rest of the way, along with updated awards picks, and my Home Run Derby winner. (Click here to read my pre-season predictions.)

A.L. East

Photo: Michael Dwyer / AP


I was dead wrong about this division. Here is what I originally had as standings:

  • 1. Yankees - 100-62 (#1 Seed)

  • 2. Rays - 90-72

  • 3. Blue Jays - 87-75

  • 4. Red Sox - 80-82

  • 5. Orioles - 75-87

Yeah… That is not going to happen. The Blue Jays have faltered due to inconsistent pitching. The Yankees have struggled with their bats, and overall are having a down year. The Rays are battling without Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, and their ace Tyler Glasnow. The Red Sox have shown everyone they’re here to stay, and Chris Sale hasn’t returned yet, either! Last, and least, the hapless Orioles are what everyone thought they would be, cellar dwellers. Here are the updated standings:

  1. Red Sox - 96-66 (#1 Seed)

  2. Rays - 94-68 (#1 WC)

  3. Blue Jays - 85-77

  4. Yankees - 84-78

  5. Orioles - 62-100

A.L. Central

Photo: Duane Burleson / Getty Images


What happened to the Twins??? Here are my original standings:


  • 1. White Sox - 96-66 (#2 seed)

  • 2. Twins - 95-67 (#1 WC)

  • 3. Indians - 79-83

  • 4. Royals - 70-92

  • 5. Tigers - 62-100

Another division that I was very wrong on. The Chi Sox are going to win the division, as the Twins have fallen to the bottom, and have a huge hole to get out of. The Indians don’t have the firepower to contend with the big guns. The Tigers have impressed, but once again, they are the Tigers. The Royals have fallen after their torrid start, and will fight Detroit for the 4th spot in the division. Here are my updated standings:

  1. White Sox - 95-67 (#2 Seed)

  2. Indians - 81-81

  3. Twins - 80-82

  4. Tigers - 75-87

  5. Royals - 70-92

A.L. West

Photo: Elsa / Getty Images


The Mariners have surprised everyone this year, and have a winning record! Here is what I thought would happen:


  • 1. A’s - 95-67 (#3 seed)

  • 2. Astros - 91-71 (#2 WC)

  • 3. Angels - 89-73

  • 4. Mariners - 77-85

  • 5. Rangers- 76-86

This division is pretty close to what I thought it would be, except the M’s being a .500 team. They have done really well this season. The Astros have stayed at the top, despite losing Justin Verlander last season, and with no Roberto Osuna. The A’s have done well, too even without Marcus Semian, who is with the Blue Jays. The Angels have underperformed, but Mike Trout has been hurt for a while, so Shohei Ohtani has blossomed. The Rangers have fallen out of playoff contention, and will be sellers at the trade deadline. Here is what I think will happen to close out the year:

  1. Astros - 94-68 (#3 Seed)

  2. A’s - 91-71 (#2 WC)

  3. Mariners - 86-76

  4. Angles - 79-83

  5. Rangers - 72-90

N.L. East

Photo: Al Bello / Getty Images


Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. has torn his ACL. Here is what I had predicted earlier:

  • 1. Braves - 98-64 (#2 seed)

  • 2. Mets - 92-70 (#2 WC)

  • 3. Nationals - 81-81

  • 4. Phillies - 80-82

  • 5. Marlins - 79-83

With Acuna out for the rest of the season, the Mets have a chance to break away from the rest of the pack. The Braves won’t do anything without Acuna, and Marcell Ouzua, who may not play ever again, because of a horrible domestic violence case. The Nationals have a chance, but Sluggin’ Kyle Schuwarber is out for a month due to injury. The Phillies have a chance too, but have a leaky pen. The Marlins will most likely sell at this year's deadline, as they are out of it. Here is what could happen:

  1. Mets - 93-69 (#2 Seed)

  2. Nationals - 83-79

  3. Braves - 81-81

  4. Phillies - 81-81

  5. Marlins - 69-93

N.L. Central

Photo: Jeff Hanisch / USA TODAY Sports


Even with Nolan Arenado, the Cardinals have struggled. Here is what I thought would play out, at the beginning of the year:


  • 1. Cardinals - 95-67 (#3 seed)

  • 2. Cubs - 89-73

  • 3. Brewers - 87-75

  • 4. Reds - 84-78

  • 5. Pirates - 59-103

The Brewers are gaining ground, and right now, they lead the Central by 5 games. Even with no Trevor Bauer, the Reds are in second, thanks to All-Star OF’s, Nick Castellanos, and Jesse Winker. The Cards have no pitching behind Jack Flaherty, and are in 4th place, tied with the Cubs, who have been falling, and may trade their 2016 championship stars. The Pirates are the Orioles of the N.L. and have a tough road ahead. Here is how I think the N.L. Central will finish:

  1. Brewers - 92-70 (#3 Seed)

  2. Cardinals - 87-75

  3. Reds - 84-78

  4. Cubs - 81-81

  5. Pirates - 63-99

N.L. West

Photo: Kelly L Cox / USA TODAY Sports


Will the Giants continue to be a threat to LA and San Diego? Here are my pre-season standing predictions for the N.L. West:

  • 1. Dodgers - 105-57 (#1 seed)

  • 2. Padres - 100-62 (#1 WC)

  • 3. Giants - 77-85

  • 4. Diamondbacks - 72-90

  • 5. Rockies - 60-102

The Giants have been the surprise of the year, as they lead the N.L. West right now. The Dodgers are in trouble, as Clayton Kershaw went on the IL recently,Trevor Bauer isn’t pitching due to sexual assault allegations, and Dustin May is shelved due to Tommy John. The Padres have done well, even with Blake Snell not pitching like an ace, due to depth in the rotation. The Rockies aren’t in last place! So I guess that's good… But the D-Backs are!

  1. Giants - 101-61 (#1 Seed)

  2. Padres - 99-63 (#1 WC)

  3. Dodgers - 98-64 (#2 WC)

  4. Rockies - 71-91

  5. D-Backs - 61-101

Postseason

A.L. Wild-Card: Rays over A’s (1-0)

ALDS: Red Sox over Rays (3-1) - White Sox over Astros (3-2)

ALCS: Red Sox over White Sox (4-2)


N.L. Wild-Card: Dodgers over Padres (1-0)

NLDS: Giants over Dodgers (3-2) - Mets over Brewers (3-0)

NLCS: Mets over Giants (4-1)


World Series: Red Sox over Mets (4-3)


Photo: David J Phillip/AP/Rex/Shutterstock


Call me biased. But I do think the way the A.L. is shaping up, the Red Sox have a good chance to win it. The White Sox are banged up, and their pen is shaky, though the starters have been excellent this year. The Rays have lost Tyler Glasnow for the season. The Astros are inconsistent. And the Red Sox have beaten the A’s pretty well. Chaim Bloom should make some deadline acquisitions, and Chris Sale could return any day now. The Sox are in a good position.


The Mets are a risky pick as well. Noah Syndergaard hasn’t pitched yet this year, nor has Carlos Carrasco. The offense has sputtered at times, and Edwin Diaz is Edwin Diaz. But the pen has done well, and Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and Taijuan Walker have kept the rotation stable. The way I see it, the Dodgers will beat the Padres, because of Walker Buehler being a beast in the postseason (note: I write it in a reality where Bauer doesn’t come back this year). The Giants use their magic to beat LA, and advance. The Mets beat a weaker Brewers team, because of their great starters. New York also beats San Fran because of deGrom, Syndergaard, Carrasco, and Stroman.


In the Fall Classic, the Red Sox are able to shut down the Mets weakish bats, and score just enough runs vs. the Mets staff, while Boston’s bullpen does their job to hold small leads. I see this series going down to the wire, and Boston winning because of their great resilience, and ability to win close games.

Awards

Photo: Gary A. Vazquez / USA TODAY Sports


A.L. MVP - Shohei Othani, P/DH, Angels (Preseason: Mike Trout, OF, Angels)


Ohtani is a special player. Personally, I think this award should go to Vlad Guererro, Jr. but because Shohei hits and pitches, this will go to him, even though his batting average is .279 compared to Vladito’s .332.


A.L. Cy Young - Lance Lynn, SP, White Sox (Preseason: Kenta Maeda, SP, Twins)


Lynn was acquired via trade, from the Rangers, and hasn’t disappointed. As of now he has the best ERA in the A.L. and is the ace of the White Sox staff, even with Carlos Rodon doing very well, and the presence of Lucas Giolito.


A.L. ROTY - Garrett Whitlock, RP, Red Sox (Preseason: Jarred Kelniec, OF, Mariners)


Whitlock has impressed in his rookie year. The former starter, who didn’t pitch at all last year, and hasn’t pitched in Triple-A at all, has a 1.44 ERA, with a 3-1 record, and one save. He has dominated batters with an electric fastball, a filthy changeup, and an improving slider.


Photo: Denis Poroy / Getty Images


N.L. MVP - Frenando Tatis, Jr. SS, Padres (Preseason: Tatis)


Tatis leads the N.L. with 28 home runs, despite missing time with injuries. His average has been steadily climbing, and right now sits at .286 with 60 ribbies. He has a rocket arm, and crazy athleticism, and can do it all.


N.L. CY Young - Jacob deGrom, SP, Mets (Preseason: deGrom)


deGrom’s ERA has ballooned in recent starts… to 1.08! He is finally over 1 for an ERA, and is 7-2. Even though he has missed time due to some minor injuries, if he pitches in the second half, he should win the Cy Young for a 3rd time in 4 years.


N.L. ROTY - Trevor Rogers, SP, Marlins (Preseason: Ian Anderson, SP, Braves)


While many people are fixated on Gavin Lux, Ian Anderson, and Jazz Chisholm, Marlins rookie Trevor Rogers has impressed. He has a 7-6 record with a 2.31 ERA, and 122 K’s. If he keeps improving, he should be an ace in the future.

Home Run Derby


The Home Run Derby is always the best part of the All-Star Break, so here is what I think will happen for it:

Screenshot from MLB.com's Derby Challange


Let me explain: Ohtani is a beast, and has hit 33 home runs, so he should crush Soto. Pete Alonso is a beast at this competition, as he is the defending champ, so he should win vs. Salvy. Gallo is a longball machine, and is competing in his first derby, vs. Story, who hopes to win it in front of the home fans. I believe Gallo will win this matchup. The closest first-round matchup should be Olson-Mancini. Both can hit homers, and for average, so it will be interesting to see who wins. I see Olson as more of a power hitter, so I have him winning. For round 2 I have Ohtani-Alonso, Gallo-Olson. I have Alonso winning the epic battle, the way he beat Vladimir Guererro, Jr. in 2019. In the second matchup, I have Gallo winning on moonshot after moonshot. For the final I have Alonso-Gallo. The winner is…:

Screenshot from MLB.com's Derby Challange


Alonso defends his title, and edges out Gallo to win his second straight Home Run Derby.

This is how I think the rest of the MLB season, the postseason, awards, and Home Run Derby will play out!

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