62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

Somehow, some way, it’s baseball season again. Yes, already.

Last year’s abbreviated run saw the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in six games to win their first World Series title in 32 years, something that Ben Gibbard predicted in our 2020 preview. As you can imagine, Dodgers fans — especially the ones below — are in great spirits heading into the 2021 season.

So what does that mean about this year? Absolutely nothing.

As COVID restrictions start to loosen and with more fans allowed back into stadiums, excitement is beginning to buzz, especially with our group of experts. Like last time, many are hopeful that this will be their team’s year. We searched far and wide to get predictions for the upcoming Major League Baseball season, creating a proper barometer of what these superfans think is on the horizon.

Will it be weird? Probably. But aren’t they all?

Here are your favorite musicians predicting the 2021 MLB season. Batter up.

Julian Casablancas, The Strokes
New York Mets

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? With Lindor, it seems like they’re absolutely loading if not for that pesky bullpen…
In my opinion, the bullpen is the most important thing actually, if I ran a team that would be where I would start. trust is the hugest part of any type of “team” situation. Good baseball teams always seem to have a symbiotic understanding between pitchers and hitters … a team might understand a certain pitcher tends to give up five runs but the hitters will score six or seven – or if an ace is on the mound the team knows they only need two or three runs etc… but regardless of what the situation is, maybe the most important psychological edge is TRUST that the work they do will be protected. So not focusing on a bullpen is unwise in my opinion, but maybe they’ll be good! Who knows.

Ding dong the Wilpons are gone, but it seems like the bad juju remains. Will the Mets ever get out of their own way?
Yeah, THANK GOD. Sorry. But yeah. However, I’m still weary of all remnants of Wilpon era… so perhaps after full regime change things will be in the clear. the problems were mainly with employees from the past as I understand, I don’t think there are any problems with any new staff…and not to say all old staff is no good! I’m sure there’s a lot of great people, but hopefully, they can get rid of any bad apples if any remain.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Uhh wow. I mean – none? my dream is that Harold Reynolds would consider being the coach, but that seems unlikely at the moment. deGrom and Syndergaard throwing back-to-back no-hitters? Way quicker replay? Robo-challenges for balls and strikes?

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I really have no idea, seems like a weird time of flux, they could start strong and be not so great, or start badly and grow chemistry… seems like a building time. Figure out the lay of the land after 50 games and then assess even.

Who is your player to watch this year?
I wish Cespedes was back, him and Syndergaard. Freaks. Lords of the seventh realm. Hulking warrior men of the sports arena… entertaining and clutch. (and cool style.) They’re the kind of players that make it fun to watch, and sports is entertainment after all…

Will they make the playoffs?
My guess is heLL no, but I hope I’m wrong. would be a nice shock. Good for the manager.

What’s your record prediction?
Hmm, not good? 86-76 something like that? (watch them be No. 1 ha). I don’t know, the Mets have a certain character – a scrappy, underdog, lovable bad news bears, fun-loving, swashbuckling thing… an attitude and an edge. Typically Yankees are the clean-cut almost Nazi-like overlords. High school jock bullies future cops… that “we’re No. 1 – we’re the best” condescending vibe. (It’s OK for me to say that ’cause they’ve won 700 championships and all my friends are Yankee fans, they’re fine.) And the Mets are supposed to be the rebellion… to me at least. But I’m not sure if they quite have that vibe at the moment yet. Once they find that, then I think they’ll be good

What’s your World Series matchup?
Angels – Dodgers would be fun. but maybe cause I’m a bi-coastal elitist. Fun storylines make sports a fun analogy for how we process life sometimes, so that’s all I’d hope for baseball, a fun and interesting storyline that draws you in… I haven’t been fully drawn in for a while

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Sure!

 

Tom DeLonge, Angels & Airwaves
San Diego Padres

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I think baseball is coming back in a very large way right now, as we start to leave the pandemic behind, people are so excited to see sports again.

Baseball offers something that goes on throughout the entirety of summer, allowing friends and families to be social while watching the greatest game invented. We call it America’s favorite pastime for this reason, it’s a social event as well as a sporting event.

The Padres had a huge offseason, but will it be enough to dethrone the Dodgers?
The Dodgers have many issues this year. They have been (unfortunately) forced to come to terms and deal with their being sex addicts. And again, this has gotten in the way of their skill. They need therapy, and I wish them the willpower they will need amongst each other. Go Padres.

Thoughts on Tatis? That’s a monster contract for a guy for one season of work.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an athlete or anyone for that matter get such a large contract at such a young age. It blows my mind. But honestly, he’s not only extremely talented, but he’s bringing flair and youth to the game in the same way that NBA basketball players do. He’s got swagger, confidence, and honestly- he’s more of a rockstar but in the land of baseball.

But, are you happy with Darvish and the other moves the team has made?
I am so excited, as is everyone in San Diego. Our team has spent many years building an incredible farm system, which gave us leverage and capital to go out and get people like Darvish. This is so exciting that we now have a ball club that will be on par with the great clubs.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
My hope is that we see the Dodgers in the postseason, and that will be the real World Series. Two rivals, and having the underdogs conquer. That’s my hope.

Who is your player to watch this year? Why?
I think people need to watch CJ Abrams and MacKenzie Gore. CJ is a top 10 prospect that just started his debut in spring training, and he crushed it. There’s a very good chance he will be as good as Tatis. Gore is a No. 1 draft pick and possibly the greatest pitcher to show up to baseball since that one guy who shall not be named on the Dodgers.

Will they make the playoffs?
That’s a nasty and hurtful question.

What’s your record prediction?
My prediction is the postseason will be the Padres and the Dodgers. That’s the real World Series.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Padres and the White Sox. Don’t know why, but it seems like they have done similar moves as we have.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
I have season tickets! I’m going to as many games as possible. That’s my goal at least! And I just learned a few days ago that I am allowed to go to every single game. They are starting with 20% capacity and moving up every month to more and expect full stadiums by July.

 

Mike McCready, Pearl Jam
Seattle Mariners

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Any hopes for them at all this year?
This is a really hard season to predict with any certainty. The rebuild process that GM Jerry DiPoto started several years ago is finally starting to show signs of a youth movement. Young guys like Kyle Lewis, Evan White and JP Crawford have already made an impact at the big-league level. And future stars like Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez could debut with the Mariners sometime this season. The team should take a step forward over the past couple of seasons, but I think they’re still a year away from being a legitimate playoff contender.

Does anyone on the team excite you? Kelenic?
Absolutely Jarred Kelenic. Not only does he have all the tools, he brings a swagger Seattle hasn’t seen since Griffey Jr. He lives and breathes baseball. I’m also excited to see what Julio Rodriguez does in the coming seasons. Both are potential perennial All-Stars.

Sheffield? Some of the other young guys?
Sure, Justus Sheffield, along with Justin Dunn are exciting young pitchers that I’m looking forward to seeing develop into quality big league starters.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
If the young guys develop as everyone here in Seattle hoops, it’s not unreasonable to think they could flirt with contending for a Wild-Card spot. But more reasonably, I think 78-82 wins is possible.

Who is your player to watch this year?
I’m eager to see how 2020 AL ROY Kyle Lewis progresses as a major leaguer. I see a great career out of him. Also excited to see the debut of Kelenic, whenever that may be.

Will they make the playoffs?
Don’t think the playoffs are in their future this year. But I expect them to be a contender for several years starting in 2022. But then again, anything is possible!

What’s your World Series matchup?
I really like what the Padres did this off-season. They committed a ton of money, but are primed to take over the Dodgers as favorites in the NL. I also expect good things from the White Sox this year. So I guess Padres over White Sox is my prediction!

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Everyone in Seattle is very excited that fans will be allowed at games this year at T-Mobile Park. Seems like they’ve taken all the measures to keep both fans and staff safe. I’ll probably see how it goes before committing to attending any games, but it’s nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel!

 

Alice Cooper
Detroit Tigers

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Any hopes for the team?
Anybody that’s going to go to the World Series has to have two great starting pitchers. That just has to be there, and I don’t know if Detroit has those two pitchers. Pitching wins World Series.

How will Cabrera do?
Cabrera, there’s a guy that’s got all kinds of potential. You never know what you’re going to get and there’s a guy that could light it up.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
I don’t think they built the team enough to hope to win this year. But it would be great. Every once in a while a team jumps up and doesn’t have a bunch of superstars on it. They just play well together. And if that’s the situation with Detroit, then you’re not going to stop that team. If a team plays well together, they’re going to beat you.

Will they make the playoffs?
I don’t know if they’ll make the playoffs. If they’re if they start clicking with each other, I think that’s really the main thing. If If a team clicks and they start winning games, and they get into the habit of winning games — I think Detroit has had the habit of losing close games. So you have to get into the habit of winning those games playing all nine innings.

What’s your record prediction?
The Tigers finish third in their division.

What’s your World Series matchup?
It’s so early in the season, you never know who’s gonna be hot. Every once in a while a team that you’re not expecting, something like the Baltimore Orioles will step up and all of a sudden just be unbeatable. Or the Minnesota Twins or somebody like that. I’m hoping it’s the Tigers and it can happen.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
I would definitely go to a game. I’ve already had two shots and I’ve already had COVID so I’m so full of antibodies. I would go to anything right now, I’d go to the opening of an envelope.

 

Patrick Carney, The Black Keys
Cleveland Indians

 

Patrick Carney

 

What’s your prognosis for the season?
As a Cleveland sports fan, you learn to have faith. Blind faith sometimes. I hope we make the playoffs.

Is the team’s window completely shut with Lindor gone?
I don’t think so. Teams like Cleveland have to have great farm systems because they know they can’t afford the talent once the rookie contract is up. It’s the part of baseball I hate the most, losing players that feel like they are the team.

Do you have confidence in the team building moving forward? Also, what are your thoughts on the team changing its name?
I’m perpetually optimistic for Cleveland. I was a fan in the late ’80s so I believe I’ve been through the worst era as a fan and watched them turn it around a few times. I’m always rooting for the underdog.

I am cool with the name change. I hope they don’t pick the Cleveland rockers or something like that. I think the Cleveland Fellers would be a cool name…

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
My hope is 90 wins and a Wild Card slot.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Triston McKenzie.

Will they make the playoffs?
Hopefully!

What’s your World Series matchup?
Anyone but the Dodgers and Yankees is cool with me.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Yes!

Kim Thayil, Soundgarden
Seattle Mariners

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Any hopes for them at all this year?
I don’t think it will bear fruit in terms of a championship or playoff appearance, maybe they have an outside chance at getting a Wild Card. I think it will bear fruit in showcasing some brilliant young talent. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

Does anyone on the team excite you? Kelenic? Sheffield? Some of the other young guys?
Well, more than that. We’ve got two standing Gold Glove winners with JP Crawford at short and Evan White at first, and those guys are young! And Kyle Lewis, we got the reigning Rookie of the Year. That’s three young guys, who in their first (I know it was a truncated season), the three of them really, really performed well knowing that knowing that this year, at some point, that Kelenic would be coming up. Then next year, Julio Rodriguez. We got Mitch Haniger. Back, which this is a great problem to have. We’re pretty loaded in in the outfield, though I think Haniger will be traded by August. Plus we got Taylor Trammell in left field. By next year, we’re gonna have five guys in the outfield with speed and power. So what are we going to do?

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Last year, there are the pace to win about 73 games and that was without Haniger. And now we have some young talent coming up. We got Haniger back and we got Paxton back but I don’t know if he’s going to last the whole season. But the pitching staff, I feel good about that with Marco Gonzalez being the ace and Paxton.

Who is your player to watch this year? Why?

Will they make the playoffs?
Don’t see it. Maybe they’re on the outside they can get into the get a second wild card.

What’s your record prediction?
77 and 85, that’s improvement. I think, because of the talent, I expect them maybe to be 500. But because of the inexperience, I don’t expect that they’ll be competitive collectively. If they were .500, that’d be spectacular. I think the youth and team building, in terms of team identity and morale that might take another season or two to coalesce and gel.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Yankees and Dodgers. The Dodgers are loaded. From top to bottom their lineup is great and then they have guys in the bench who can come out and hit 20 home runs. It’s incredible and almost not fair. It’s the kind of complaint that you generally have about the Yankees, the best team money can buy. The Dodgers have great scouting, great development. I’d love to see the Dodgers and Blue Jays but think more realistically because of the experience

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Yeah, totally. I mean, I was willing to go to Opening Day (I know someone with season tickets) but apparently, they’re not honoring season ticket for the first month because they’ve spaced out the seats for social distancing for the first month. I’m just gonna wait and see how things play out and how the Mariners and T-Mobile [Park] do with that. I feel like I’ll definitely to a few games and will be a little bit more comfortable once I see how how they manage that program.

 

Steve Sladkowski, PUP
Toronto Blue Jays

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Seems like the Jays are trending up!
I think the Jays are gonna be really fun to watch in the twisted reality of this ongoing Dystopian Hellscape!!

How will Springer do? Seems like the new management is putting their stamp on the team.
All acknowledgment of the ugly state of the world aside, I think the addition of George Springer is really going to have an impact on both sides of the diamond. He’s a proven talent and will bring the kind of veteran leadership that the young core — my many handsome baseball sons — will need moving forward.

Despite the tough division, do you think the Jays have the talent to compete?
Absolutely! The Red Sox and Orioles are trash and I am contractually obligated to slander the Yankees so as to annoy my friend John DeDomenici (of Death Rosenstock). And the best Tampa teams currently in the city are from Toronto anyway (don’t look that up). So of course the Jays are going to compete. Win the division? Why not!?

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
I think reasonable hope is a return to the playoffs. Ideally, that comes with a division crown but the rotation still feels a little shaky in the back end.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Obviously, the addition of George Springer is huge here; but for me, I’m really excited to see how Teoscar Hernández builds off of his Silver Slugger 2020.

Will they make the playoffs?
I think so!

What’s your record prediction?
88-74. I think they could lose some winnable games due to inconsistent pitching and will be right around where they need to be for the playoff cutoff. Hopefully, that’s on the right side of it!

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers-Yankees. Lame but probable!

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year? (are they playing in Buffalo again?)
I would love to see the Jays if they’re playing in Toronto. I hold no hope for that because the thing that matters ahead of any baseball is a just rollout of vaccines and a reckoning with capitalist countries’ response to a pandemic that has further-exposed the fundamental inequality upon which these societies, and the sports we enjoy, are based. Until then, I am not thinking too much about where the Jays are playing.

 

Greg Dulli, Afghan Whigs
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? The long-overdue championship has arrived, but does it feel cheap since it was only 60 games?
It was the opposite of cheap. Last year was the most important baseball season I’ve experienced. It brought a sense of comfort and familiarity to a culture imprisoned by a pandemic. I watched every game the Dodgers played and probably 30 Reds games. It kept me sane. It was a monumental season, the most dramatic of our time.

Thoughts on Bauer? Seems like an un-Dodgers signing and seems like…a personality. Will that help or hurt the team?
The Padres raised the stakes, so I was psyched they got him. He’s a beast and wants to win. The Dodgers are defending champs. I imagine Mookie Betts and Justin Turner run that clubhouse well and can keep dude in check.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
It’s hard to repeat, bottom line. But I would not bet against the Dodgers this year. Ceiling, they win it all. Floor, they come in second.

Who is your player to watch this year? Why?
It’s Gavin Lux time. Tons of promise and time to show it.

Will they make the playoffs?
Signs point to yes.

What’s your record prediction? Why?
109-53. They play the Padres 19 times otherwise they’d make a run at the Mariners’ record.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs. White Sox.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Absolutely.

 

Steve Earle
New York Yankees

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Will the World Series-less streak end?
I’m the wrong guy to ask. I’m always like – Hey, we’re going to the series. We’re gonna win. Every year. That’s just who I am as a fan. I’m not the heckle-your-own-player armchair manager type. Maybe it’s because I’m not a jock. Never played above sandlot level. It’s all magic to me.

Last year was pretty wacky, but do you think the pre-2020 expectations will snap into place? Yankees seem pretty loaded…
It’s all about the rotation. If everybody we have stays healthy – it’s ring 28.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ring 28. Told ya. Wrong guy.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Clint Frazier.

What’s your record prediction?
We’ll win 97, 98.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs. Yanks. Yanks in 7.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Absofuckinglutely.

 

Dicky Barrett, Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Boston Red Sox

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? What happened to the mighty Sox?
Not good. Apparently, management decided they wanted to go in a different direction than fielding a winning team.

Will they be able to recapture the success of the past two decades?
Do you have hope that despite dumping their best players, that someone can step up? No.

Is Chris Sale done?
No, I’m quite sure he will pitch efficiently until he goes on the IL.

What are your reasonable hopes?
To not get embroiled in a cheating scandal.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is what I’m looking up at as I drink to mask the pain of the Sox failure and the floor is where I end up sleeping.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Mookie Betts. Because I’m a sadist.

Will they make the playoffs?
As I see it, no!

What’s your record prediction?
They will lose more games than they win and they will score fewer runs than the opposing teams more times than the opposite.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
I’ve been going to Fenway Park since the 1970s the absence of safety has always been my favorite part.

 

Greg Graffin, Bad Religion
Milwaukee Brewers

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? So much hope last year, but can they bounce back with a more “normal” season?
If you believe Brewers’ play-by-play announcer Brian Anderson, we can expect 99% certainty that Ryan Braun will not play baseball with the Brewers any longer. If you listen to the radio, however, WTMJ stalwart Bob Uecker, as I do, you will notice a lack of prognostication and a more light-hearted approach to the current roster. I’ll miss Brauny, but more hopeful about the return of Lorenzo Cain who was missed last season. If Yelich remembers how to hit again, that would be great. Keston Hiura might live up to his hype of two years ago. That would be great. Basically, with their excellent pitching on tap, they need to recapture their hitting of two and three years ago which instilled fear into all opponents. Then they will win the pennant. Isn’t that a simple plan?

Do you think they can fix the kinks that derailed them last year?
Hitting order 1 – 5 all have to be threats as potential long-ballers and high “OPS” averages. That’s really the only thing that lacked last year. And it showed in their low win percentage.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Reasonable: win the pennant (define reason). Floor: same as last year, just double the pain (longer season).

Who is your player to watch this year?
Lo Lo Cain – did sitting out the season last year help his game or put him beyond hope of regaining his former greatness? Yelly – just make contact again (yes, I realize they will pitch junk, but make them pay for it!).

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
Let’s say 96 wins, just like in 2018 when they were firing on all cylinders.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Brew Crew and the Yankees, just for kicks.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Of course, I’d go if it was safe. But hopefully, that would mean it’s safe for concerts too!

 

Brian Baker, Bad Religion
New York Mets

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? With Lindor, it seems like they’re absolutely loading if not for that pesky bullpen…
And Blevins is back! I love that guy. Go Jerry!

Ding dong the Wilpons are gone, but it seems like the bad juju remains. Will the Mets ever get out of their own way?
I am certainly aware of the Mets’ tendency to self-immolate but I disagree with your juju assessment. I’m only seeing positive moves and intelligent problem-solving from the front office, and I think Rojas is doing a great job. Morale is high, people. #LFGM

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Barring multiple injuries or unforeseeable “Mets gonna Met” setbacks, I say playoffs. Absolutely .500 ball at the minimum.

Who is your player to watch this year?
I love Dom Smith. He’s just getting better and better. I’m also very into Guillorme – he excels at every task he’s given. Plus they are both funny, which is important.

What’s your record prediction?
The Mets will win 90 games because I am a positive person with a positive attitude and believe it to be so.

 

Buzz Osborne, The Melvins
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Dodgers will win their division. They have a strong team with possible injuries being the only thing standing in their way. It’s a long season and injuries are always a factor for every team.

The long-overdue championship has arrived, but does it feel cheap since it was only 60 games?
COVID cheapened everything for everyone however the shorter season actually made every team stronger. They could all go for it full tilt almost from the beginning. I’d say a World Series win with only 60 games is a pretty strong accomplishment. It’s especially sweet after they got screwed out of winning the Series by the cheating Astros.

Thoughts on Bauer? Seems like an un-Dodgers signing and seems like…a personality. Will that help or hurt the team?
Bauer is a monster. This Dodger pitching lineup should be terrifying to any team in the league. Good pitching beats good hitting every time. You can pitch around good hitting but you can’t hit around good pitching. Bauer can only help the Dodgers.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
I expect another World Series win, in fact, I DEMAND it. I think they can have over 100 wins easily. Like I said the only thing in their way could be injuries.

Who is your player to watch this year?
I like Walker Buehler, Dustin May and Julio Urias for pitching and Mookie Betts and Corey Seager in the field. Those pitchers are the future of the franchise and I always love big-hitting second base and shortstops. Big-hitting second basemen are as rare as the Dodo bird.

Will they make the playoffs?
Of course they will.

What’s your record prediction? Why?
Over 100 wins easy. They’re a great team. The only weakness could be the closer Jansen but none of that will matter with big enough leads. I’d rather win by five runs than worry about fucking saves. I hate saves.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I want a Dodgers-Yankees series.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Yes. If things are safe.

 

Murs
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? The long-overdue championship has arrived, but does it feel cheap since it was only 60 games?
I believe we can go back-to-back. And no way last season is an asterisk or whatever. We were robbed by the Astros. Karma. If we’re gonna talk about exceptions. It’s only right they take the asterisk. The only thing that felt wrong was not being able to celebrate with my Dodger family.

Thoughts on Bauer? Seems like an un-Dodgers signing and seems like…a personality. Will that help or hurt the team?
I think he’s just what we need to liven up the clubhouse.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Reasonable is another pennant. Floor is getting sent out of the playoffs by the Padres on a fluke.

Who is your player to watch this year? Why?
Walker Buehler. He’s HOF material. He has A LOT more to do.

Will they make the playoffs?
No question.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Without a doubt. It’s one of the top 3 things about living in Los Angeles. Disneyland, Dodger Games and Fatburger.

 

Aidan Devaney, Nation of Language/Aidan Noell
Kansas City Royals

 

Nations of Language

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Any hopes for the young talent to develop into the next great Royals team?
There is a lot to look forward to this season! New ownership (including Kansas City hero and icon Patrick Mahomes) is very motivated to put a great team on the field. Great young talent including Adalberto Mondesi, Bobby Witt Jr. and Brady Singer mixed in with great experienced players like Salvador Perez, Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier, to name a few. Royals are on the up and up and people should be getting excited for them.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Player to watch is Adalberto Mondesi. Primarily because he is so extremely fast. 30.3 feet per second is his max sprinting speed. Superhuman!

What’s your record prediction?
A safe guess on record…. 88 wins and 74 losses. I might flip those (74 wins 88 losses), it’s a toss-up, but anything less than 70 wins would be a disappointment. They may squeak in as a wild card (fingers crossed!) but I’d say they’re not likely to win the central division. (After this year’s Super Bowl, I’m tempering all hopes as a KC sports fan).

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
If it was safe and I was in Kansas City, I would consider going to a game. I miss those nachos, god how I miss them… and there’s something so special about watching the players run around the field, looking ant-sized, from those deep outfield seats surrounded by your loved ones.

 

George Thorogood
New York Mets

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? With Lindor, it seems like they’re absolutely loading if not for that pesky bullpen.
My prognosis? If the Mets stay healthy, they’ll do well.

Ding dong the Wilpons are gone, but it seems like the bad juju remains. Will the Mets ever get out of their own way?
Probably not.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
My reasonable hope is that we will actually have a season. A season in the ballpark. I think everyone is ready.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Jake! Jacob deGrom…he’s the best!

Will they make the playoffs?
Oh man, the second Wild Card was made for them.

What’s your record prediction??
The next Thorogood record should be a smash hit [Laughs.]

What’s your World Series matchup?
Mets and the Yankees

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Yes, but it really depends on if I can get IN the game itself! Put me in!

 

Riley Breckenridge, Thrice
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? The lineup should be killer again…but the pitching?
Same story as last year, really. They’ve done very little (or, at most, middling work) to improve a rotation that has been a glaring weak spot for years. I’m not sure how adding Alex Cobb and Jose Quintana makes them much better, aside from buying them mostly average innings from starting pitchers. In all honesty, I think they’re pretty content with being mediocre again this season, using the payroll flexibility they’ll have next offseason to “improve” and see what happens then. But with a looming work stoppage, that plan will probably end poorly.

Thoughts on the ownership? Do you think they have what it takes to rebuild the minor league system and get the Angels back to where they were a decade or so ago?
I’ve essentially written them off and ceased my fandom for all intents and purposes. Arte Moreno was supporting Trump at political rallies last year, the organization was one of the first to start shitcanning jobs once COVID took hold, and they hired a pitching coach who’s widely regarded to be a creep towards women and they’ve done nothing to fix any of that. Some people can look past all that and just root for laundry. I can’t. Go Padres.

On the system building tip, I don’t think laying off a bunch of your scouts bodes very well for that. They don’t draft or develop talent particularly well, and 2002 was pretty flukey. I wouldn’t get my hopes up if I were a Halos stan.

Are they wasting Mike Trout (who may, somehow, be underpaid still)?
In a word, yes.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Maybe they’ll sneak into a wild card spot, but the AL East is stacked, the Central is revitalized, and the A’s and Astros will always find a way to be better than them. The ceiling is a Wild Card spot. The floor is … I dunno, injuries to key players and finishing fourth in the West?

Who is your player to watch this year? Why?
I’d love to see Griffin Canning bloom into the solid middle of the rotation or (on this team) ace starter he could be. It’d also be great to see Jo Adell figure stuff out and be an everyday player at the big league level. I’m not gonna hold my breath though.

Will they make the playoffs?
No.

What’s your record prediction?
81-81, because that’s their goal apparently, and by God, they’ve lived that for the better part of a decade.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers and Yankees. They’re both beyond stacked.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Eh. I dunno. Maybe a Padres game? I think I’m done going to Angels games unless I luck into free tickets because, I don’t want to support something that doesn’t sit well with me, and beyond that, the safety risks aren’t something I can really wrap my head around at this point in time. We’ll have to see where we’re at with COVID in late-summer.

 

Joey Santiago, Pixies
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Twopeat.

The long-overdue championship has arrived, but does it feel cheap since it was only 60 games?
Everyone else played 60 games. The postseason was expanded therefore more demanding than the regular format. 16 teams were in the postseason as opposed to 10 teams. Now, would I have said it was a cheap win had another team won. Yes.

Thoughts on Bauer?
I think he should wear an eyepatch.

Seems like an un-Dodgers signing and seems like…a personality. Will that help or hurt the team?
A Cy Young-winner and pitches with one eye closed. I don’t see a problem with that. Blindfolded will be subject to scrutiny.

What are your reasonable hopes?
It’s safe to say they will win the pennant.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Best case scenario World Champions. Worst case, losing the championship in Game 6.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Aside from Bauer, it would have to be Mookie. I guess I named two.

Why?
Mookie! Happens to be the name of my kitten. I was a Mets fan too but between my son loving the Dodgers and living in L.A. for more than half my life, I became a Dodgers fan. Mookie is named after Betts and Wilson. What I’m saying is that I’ve turned into the person I never thought I’d be. A cat lover. Meow.

Will they make the playoffs?
How else are they going to win the World Series?

What’s your record prediction?
They’ll win close to 70% of their games. I’d say 111 games.

Why?
They have the best arms and bats.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs. who cares.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Absolutely. One of the best sports to watch live.

 

Rhett Miller, Old 97s
Texas Rangers

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season?
We all know that this will be a rebuilding year. But it’s going to be exciting to see how the team comes together.

Any hopes for the team?
I am hoping the Rangers might surprise some people. Chris Woodward is such a great dude and seems to be a fantastic manager. And bringing in Chris Young as the GM is a wonderful move. I feel like the Rangers are an organization on their way up. How quickly they will become good is the biggest question.

Does it seem like the end of an era for them? Can Gallo bring them back?
I prefer to think of it as the beginning of a new era – young leadership and a young team. And I’m holding out hope that Gallo turns into the superstar we’ve all been waiting for.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
The floor is about as low as it can be. We may be looking at a last place team. But I don’t think they’re going into full-on blow-it-up mode. So I think we will see a team that will go through stretches of being pretty competitive.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Kyle Gibson.

Why?
He added a cutter to his arsenal. I’m holding out hope for a decent Rangers rotation!

Will they make the playoffs?
Maaaaaaybe?

What’s your record prediction?
77-85. Outside of maybe three positions, I have no idea what the opening day roster is even going to look like. I’m trying to keep my expectations low so that I don’t get a broken heart. But hope springs eternal.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Minnesota Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
I’m dying to see the new Globe Life Field. And IF it’s safe I’ll definitely see a game this year.

 

Kevin Morby
Kansas City Royals

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Any hopes for the young talent to develop into the next great Royals team?
My prognosis is that Kansas City goes all the way. World Series Baby. 2014/15 all over again. (But if I had to put money on who I actually think will win the WS this year it’s the Padres who I love and have been following ever since Hosmer left us for them a few years back. Once a Royal, always a Royal).

2015 seems like forever ago, what’s there to look forward to?
I think the lesson to be learned from the ’14/’15 season is that in baseball the underdog can always prevail – one run at a time. So there’s always the element of surprise with the Royals, and in all of baseball, to look forward to. Also our new pitcher Brady Singer. He’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
My somewhat reasonable hope is we make the playoffs. Just want to get to the playoffs. Nothing is better than the playoffs, and if we can get there, I truly believe we can pull off some magic. With Gordon gone, we’ve lost almost all of our championship team but we still got Salvy baby. Salvy can light the way for his young team.

Who is your player to watch this year?
On the Royals – Brady Singer. Last year he held a no-hitter against the Indians into the eighth inning and I think 2021 will be his first year to pitch a shutout. So I’m looking forward to watching him pitch. He’s young, handsome and stoic – and I think getting some fans in the audience will help him be on his way to being a true force for Kansas City. Beyond that – I’m excited about Tatis. I love Tatis. I can’t believe what a Padres fan I’ve become.

Will they make the playoffs?
The Royals? Duh.

What’s your record prediction?
Well, right now the Royals have a projected 1% chance of winning their division but I believe in miracles. I think they’ll surprise us all, come up big in a wildcard game, and it’ll be just like the good old days. I’m saying 84-78.

What’s your World Series matchup?
If I were living in a fairy tale my world series matchup would be Royals vs. Diamondbacks and Salvy would hit a two-run walk-off in Game 7 bottom of the ninth off of Bumgarner to win the championship and gain sweet, sweet revenge. But my actual hope is that it ends up being the A’s vs. Padres. The great underdogs of California going head to head. But very likely it will be Yankees vs. Dodgers, which I’m totally down for. As long as the Dodgers win. Love me some Dodgers. Hate me some Yankees.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
I already went to see Dodgers vs. White Sox at spring training, so, yes!

 

Lydia Loveless
Chicago Cubs

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What are your reasonable hopes?
Honestly, I just enjoy watching. It’s not fun to see anyone get stomped, but I will be happy to be out and about with my family—if it’s possible—or chilling on the couch with my cat and taking my mind off things with a game.

Will they make the playoffs?
Doubtful, in my mind, but I truly believe anything can happen.

What’s your World Series matchup?
The pipedream in this household is Cubs vs. Orioles.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Yes. It’s one of the things I’ve been looking forward to the most, going to some places I’ve never been to to watch a game.

 

Tim McIlrath, Rise Against
Chicago White Sox

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? It seems like the Sox are trending in the right direction?
Last year was an exciting year to be a Sox fan. Watching this team and all its hard work come to fruition is pretty special. I felt really bad that one of the best years the team has had in over a decade took place under such dire conditions. Lucas Giolito pitching a no-hitter should have been a party. Jose Abreu’s MVP year needed to be seen. The Sox put in the work and they deserved the screaming crowds that were absent last summer because of the pandemic. They deserved all the merch sales and beer money that go with it too! I actually stopped by the empty park in the middle of last summer to buy a shirt from the street-side store. I just felt like I needed to be there.

After years of running to a standstill, the Sox have a solid young core in place. Are you excited about them actually making noise?
Absolutely! This team reminds me of a band in its prime. When things are firing on all pistons, good things happen. There seems to be a lot of good, positive vibes and harmony happening. In my experience, that is the most important recipe for success. Those guys look like they are having fun and enjoying the game and being around each other.

It’s been great to see these guys speak out about politics and issues of the day also. I’m no fan of the “shut up and play” mentality in music and I feel the same way about sports. I’m excited to see players creating much-needed friction and it’s great to see the organization stand behind them when they do. Athletes are humans with opinions and they don’t have to check them at the door, no matter who gets their feathers all ruffled.

Tony LaRussa? What year is this?
When I saw that news, I thought maybe it was a joke! I was as shocked as the rest of the world. Tony La Russa was the first MLB coach on my radar as a kid. Growing up in Chicago, La Russa coached the Sox from 1979-1986, or up until I was about eight years old. I remember having his 1986 Topps baseball card. Being around that long comes with a lot of experience that can be helpful for a team primed for a big season. The Sox front office is smart and the players seem to really back the move, so I guess that’s all that matters.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Last year was our first winning season since 2012 and our first visit to the playoffs since 2008. Getting shut down by the A’s was pretty heartbreaking. But this team is even better now, so we’re going back to the playoffs and we’re going to make it past the first round this time. I think the only thing stopping us would be injuries.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Tim Anderson is the most fun to watch, he seems to balance the pressure really well. Lance Lynn is an exciting addition. Yoan Moncada making music videos is keeping me entertained I also keep wondering if Kopech will step out one of these days and show us what he’s got? We’ve proven that we can win without him, but his firepower is something I’m sure we can benefit from.

Will they make the playoffs?
Absolutely. This team is a product of a lot of homegrown talent and there’s no reason they shouldn’t be a World Series contender.

What’s your record prediction?
84-78 is my prediction. We were over .500 last year (the shortened season) for the first time in a long time. I think we’re going to do it again.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Like every Chicagoan, I’d love to be alive to see the Sox and the Cubs go head to head and last year was one of the closer times we came to that reality. The Cubs won the NL Central last year, maybe they can hang on to their glory for another run.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
I’ve gone to a Sox game almost every year of my life. I’ve sung the National Anthem on opening day and they are still the only team I’ve sung for. If it’s safe and I’m already vaccinated, I’ll be there with a mask on doing what I always do: searching for which stand has the veggie dogs.

 

DJ Bonebrake, X
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? The long-overdue championship has arrived, but does it feel cheap since it was only 60 games?
It will be a full season. Winning the World Series during a pandemic, even with a truncated schedule, doesn’t cheapen it. All the teams played by the same rules. Considering the hardships the players faced, isolation, fear of COVID, no live fans (maybe no fans was a relief!), etc., the achievement was more praiseworthy.

Thoughts on Bauer? Seems like an un-Dodgers signing and seems like…a personality. Will that help or hurt the team?
Bauer is an eccentric. He’s a good pitcher. He could be a real asset to the Dodgers if he gets along with other players. If he doesn’t the Dodgers are good at making players disappear.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
My reasonable hope is to be entertained, eat some hot dogs and drink some beer. If we make it to World Series, all the better!

Who is your player to watch this year?
Watching some of the pre-season games, I liked what I saw from Garrett Cleavinger. He’s one of our new relief pitchers. I also think Corey Seager is going to have a stellar season.

Will they make the playoffs?
Playoffs? Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
102 wins. 60 losses. I may be under-shooting. They won 106 games in 2019.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs. Yankees. They’re both good teams. I picked the Yankees because my friend Ara, from New Jersey, is a Yankee fan and it would make him happy. That’s my logic. Don’t bet money on a team because I said they would win!

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
I probably would. I got my first vaccination this week. I would still wear a mask for now.

 

Serengeti
Chicago White Sox

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? It seems like the Sox are trending in the right direction?
Absolutely the right direction. The most up incoming team of 2020 will be the most exciting team of 2021. Still have the best uniform in baseball, aesthetics matter. Good teams need a good look.

After years of running to a standstill, the Sox have a solid young core in place. Are you excited about them actually making noise?
They made noise last year, and only improved for 2021. The sox have top 15 level players at nearly every position.

Tony La Russa?! Really?! What year is this?
2021. La Russa learns to embrace the youth. Listens to Bad Bunny all day. Gets a neck tattoo between a doubleheader. Celebrity bench coaches to keep the team loose. Goes live on IG during games causing MLB to try to reign him in.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling: World Series champs in 4 games. Floor: World Series champs in 5 games.

Who is your player to watch this year?
The only player any person should ever watch is Luis Robert. He is like if Bo Jackson, Roman Reigns and RoboCop collabed to be a superhuman. Frank Thomas said he is a 6 tool player. What is the 6th tool? Nobody knows. It doesn’t matter. Luis Robert is great.

Will they make the playoffs?
No doubt. Barring terrible injuries, the Sox will be in the playoffs.

What’s your record prediction?
91 wins. The 2021 Sox are the 1991 Bulls. Central time is a 30-year flat circle.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Chicago vs. L.A. Like the 1991 Bulls. Pippen throws out every opening pitch. Tim Anderson wins MVP.

If things are safe, would you go to a game in-person this year?
Yes. Plan on being in the stands, in the dugout, and on the field.

 

Dave Hause
Philadelphia Phillies

 

62 Musicians Predict the 2021 Baseball Season

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Can the endless rebuild ever end? Will the bullpen actually improve from the worst thing ever to below average?
You hit the nail on the head, that’s the big question. If the bullpen is even halfway good, we could go on a run and contend with the best teams in the league.

Thoughts on Bryce Harper? Is he worth the money or will he be forever a disappointment?
There’s no salary cap in baseball, so I don’t care what he costs and frankly, in