109 Musicians Predict the 2022 Baseball Season

Batter up!
Baseball

The powers-that-be did their best to prevent this year’s Major League Baseball season from happening, but, alas, we’re back. By we, I mean the annual SPIN baseball preview.

As usual, everyone (or almost everyone) is optimistic about their team’s chances in 2022.

In 2021, a good chunk of the season was played with minimal fans in attendance, but things should be mostly back to normal this year.

As I said last year about the season: Will it be weird? Probably. But aren’t they all? If it wasn’t a weird season with bizarre injuries, what kind of season would it be? Not baseball, Suzyn.

Somehow, we almost doubled the number of participants from 62 to 108. Maybe we go for a cool 162 next year? If nothing else, we know that musicians love America’s Pastime (even if many feel that it doesn’t love them back).

Last year, no one guessed the World Series matchup and number of games correctly (though a few came pretty close), so, let’s get rolling with our predictions list. Leading off is the only person who accurately predicted the World Series matchup and the number of games in the history of this project (and is the reigning champ/person I’d take to Vegas with me).

Ben Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie
Seattle Mariners

 

(Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

What’s your prognosis for this year?
In order to kind of talk about 2022, we have to talk about 2021. I think I had that team pegged for 77-78 wins. Obviously, it was a thrill to have the season go down to the wire like that. But the entire time, it’s becoming very apparent that this is a very fluky 2021 in the same way that 2007 or 2009 were where the team won in the high 80 games with negative run differential and they had an impossibly good record in one-run games and extra-inning games. This is not a sustainable thing. Their bullpen was lights out, but a bullpen is bound to regress. The offense obviously underperformed. I can’t look at last season as anything other than kind of like a flukey thing, a fun fluke, but a fluke a season nonetheless.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I hate to be such a pessimist but I still don’t see this as a playoff team. I feel like so much of this season so much in every baseball season is riding upon the card percentage of things that if they “break right.” It seems like for the Mariners you’re hoping for continued improvements for J.P. Crawford, Ty France to continue hitting, and Kyle Lewis to come back at some point be some semblance of an effective major league player after his injury.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I like the Winker trade. I feel like Eugenio Suarez is kind of like a lateral move from Kyle Seager. The Robbie Ray signing is exciting.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I think the ceiling is 89 wins and sneaking into that last playoff spot. I think the floor is like a 72 win season, and just everything just goes to shit.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Julio Rodriguez. I’m over the moon about him. I just love him so much as a person. He seems like he’s gonna be so much fun to watch, but we don’t know what we’re going to get with him. I saw him in single-A last year in Everett, Everett, Washington. H went three for four with two homers. He’s just ready.

What’s your record prediction?
I can’t say with any certainty, I think that probably this is like an 84 or 85 win team.

Will they make the playoffs?
I think they’re an 84 win team and they just miss the playoffs again.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I think it’s going to be Red Sox-Dodgers. And I think the Dodgers are going to win in 5.

Jack White
Detroit Tigers

 

Jack White
(Credit; Leon Halip/Getty Images)

What’s your prognosis for this year?
I think the team is going to be incredible. It’s gonna be the best team in about seven years when we had Kinsler, Cabrera, Verlander, Price, and Scherzer. All those great pitchers…and we gave them all away. But what’s happening is we’re finally seeing the fruits of all of those prospects that they were traded for. This year is finally going to be the year where they get comfortable. I think this year’s gonna be really impressive because the prospects that came up last year are going to show off their talent.

Can you believe Cabrera is still around and what do you think about picking up Javier Baez?
Pretty badass just to see those two veterans like that on the field together. I can’t believe Cabrera is still playing and last year when he got that home on the snow…this guy is magical! He danced a waltz with my mom in my living room once. And if you think that that’s not one of the greatest moments of my life, you are wrong! [Laughs.] But God almighty, you just danced with a future Hall of Famer and then Verlander danced with her next. Two Hall of Famers she danced with back to back! But yes, it’s going to be badass.

What are your reasonable hopes for the team this year?
I would bet that the Tigers get into the playoffs, but I don’t think they win the pennant. At the worst, it’s a repeat of last year where it feels really good and then we just can’t catch hold of a good streak.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
They’re gonna win 90 games.

What’s your World Series prediction?
Angels over the Dodgers in 6 games in a Freeway Series.

Chuck D, Public Enemy

 

Chuck D
(Credit: Michelly Rall/Getty Images)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
My prognosis is that the season will be long [Laughs]. Personally, I think the MLB seasons are too long. And there should be a lot more day games with 140 games as the max with playoffs in September and the World Series in mid-October. I’m a purist about the sport. Money rules everybody but money is not great for everything.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I make no predictions on sports.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I think the players move around a little bit too much in baseball.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Shohei Ohtani. He is just like Babe Ruth, personified. There hasn’t been a player like him since Babe Ruth. He’s the player to watch.

Will they make the playoffs?
I’m just hoping that The Mets make the playoffs.

What’s your record prediction?
I would like to see great major league games in classic parks that are still standing or maybe even major league games in great minor league parks. The Dodgers in the LA Coliseum, Toronto at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, Astros at the Astrodome, Washington Nationals or the Orioles at RFK Stadium before they tear it down.

(Chuck went through what he called “the Rolodex in his mind” of baseball teams and fields – geographically – to come up with this answer, visualizing each team and stadium history one by one)

What’s your World Series matchup?
The Mets vs Yankees. Always.

Julian Casablancas, The Strokes
New York Mets

 

Julian Casablancas
(Credit: Courtesy of Julian Casablancas)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Just glad they reached a deal! got worried for a minute that labor disputes would ironically take away our distraction from politics. Also I think baseball should modernize to compete with other sports with robo zones (to reward amazing pitches and great batter eyes) and pitcher clocks (to make games not drag on forever) — so I’m happy they’re trying that stuff in the minors and in the Low-A Southeast League.

What are your reasonable hopes?
That the Mets have bought a championship.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Very Yankees-like… I don’t like that style, personally. similar to the Lakers in basketball, they lose their homegrown people and heart and soul for studly mercenaries… but hey, if they win it will be hard not to root and be happy… And like Tony Kornheiser said about when they got Scherzer, ‘they just got a guy whose last official quote was “my arm is dead.” Haha, he’s funny. But we’ll see…I like the coach they hired tho, so maybe he can make magic.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Floor is prob a solid .500 team (good coach and all that talent) but that might not have the ju-ju to beat actuaL teams with chemistry. The ceiling is way high now with all the money they spent, championship or bust for the Mets cause they got to the WS in 2015 and lost painfully, and I think that’s still a recent memory for most Mets fans. but official prediction: Mets in the playoffs losing to either the Dodgers, Brewers or Padres.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
My fave player on the Mets is Miguel Castro, I feel he was underrated, (also has coolest style and vibe, not to mention throws 101 mph) could maybe even be a closer or setup man, hoping he stays with Mets and maybe Buck Showalter recognizes his potential…[Editor’s note: Castro has since been traded to the Yankees and lost his cool style.]

Will they make the playoffs?
Prob, mainly due to how weak the division is (no offense to all the amazing professional stud athletes on those teams! ha) and cause the Braves gave away Freddie Freeman…

What’s your record prediction?
85-77.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Angels beat either the Brewers, Padres or Dodgers.

Mike McCready, Pearl Jam
Seattle Mariners

 

(Credit: Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m more optimistic going into this season than I’ve been in many years! And not because I expect the M’s to be a serious World Series contender (although it’s not out of the question), but more optimistic they finally end this playoff drought that’s been going on for more than two decades! I’m also optimistic that this revamped lineup will score more runs! #SeaUsRise

What are your reasonable hopes?
It’s reasonable to hope (and think) the Mariners will have a better run differential than in 2021. In theory, this should lead to more wins! But because the M’s were one of the most ‘clutch’ (ie, lucky) teams in league history last season, we’ll likely see some sort of regression in that category. So I expect to see the M’s win games the more traditional way by scoring more runs more often than getting walk-off wins.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I really like what Jerry DiPoto has done with the entire rebuild, and the new acquisitions this offseason! Outside of Cy Young winner Robbie Ray (which is amazing!), the M’s didn’t really sign or trade for the biggest names out there. But the moves DiPoto made were clever and calculated, and improved the offense. I really like the idea of Adam Frazier hitting near the top of the order, alongside J.P. Crawford. The table should be set more for guys like Ty France, and the newly acquired Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez. Those guys have some pop, and on paper, the Mariners’ lineup is immensely better than 2021.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I think there is a wide range between the M’s ceiling and floor. It’s possible the M’s regress a bit based on what I said earlier about being lucky/clutch, so floating back down to .500 would be disappointing, but wouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise. But if all the young players progress, both with the bat, and on the mound, and the new guys match (or at least come close to) their career highs, I could see this team winning 95 games and being a legitimate contender!

Who’s your player to watch this year?
There are really two pitchers and two position players I’m eager to watch. On the mound, I’m keeping a close eye on prospects Matt Brash, and George Kirby. Matt Brash has an electric arm with an unhittable slider. And George Kirby had been known as a pitcher with great command, but he’s added some zip to his fastball, so I expect him to pitch well in the bigs once he gets called up. With the bat, I’m excited to see if Jarred Kelenic can pick up where he left off at the end of 2021. If he does, he could flirt with a .280 35 HR, 90 RBI type season! And the hype around Julio Rodriguez is REAL! He’s a once-in-a-lifetime, five-tool type talent that is proving in Spring Training he’s ready for the bigs. Not only do I expect him to be a Rookie of the Year candidate, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s mentioned in the MVP chatter at some point this season. And he’s never even played in a big league game!

Will they make the playoffs?
I think the playoffs are a real possibility. The only reason I hesitate is the AL seems to be stacked at the top with the Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox all primed. Not to mention the White Sox and Astros are still favorites in their divisions. The wild card expansion will enhance their chances, but one of the teams I mentioned, along with the M’s, will miss out.

What’s your record prediction?
I predict 92-70.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Mariners over Mets (a guy can dream, right?)

Patrick Carney, The Black Keys
Cleveland Guardians

 

Patrick Carney
(Credit: Courtesy of Patrick Carney)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m always optimistic as a fan of Cleveland sports. You have to be.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I want to see some more money being spent on the team. Keeping Ramirez would be something I’d like to see happen.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I’m excited to watch Mike Clevinger make his return after his 2020 Tommy John surgery. I wish he was still playing for Cleveland.

Will they make the playoffs?
I hope so!

What’s your record prediction?
89-73.

What’s your World Series matchup?
As long as it’s not Yankees vs. Dodgers I’m good.

Joan Jett
Baltimore Orioles

 

Joan Jett
(Credit: Mark S. Goldman/WireImage)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Baltimore wins 85-90 games.
What are your reasonable hopes?
O’s finish above 500.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Lots of great players in the farm system double and triple-A ball. Deep at every position to back the starters.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is making the playoffs and possible WS. Floor would be four place in the eastern division of the American League.

Who’s your player to watch this year? Why?
Adley Rushtman – catcher #1 draft choice in the country. Tyler Wells-starting pitcher/bullpen.

Will they make the playoffs?
I can dream, can’t I? Yes, they will make the playoffs. Belief is important, so I must believe yes, we will make the playoffs.

What’s your record prediction?
90-72.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Boston-Chicago Cubs.
Houston-St. Louis.
Baltimore Orioles-New York Mets.

Kim Thayil, Soundgarden
Seattle Mariners

 

What’s your prognosis for the season? Any hopes for them at all this year?
With their offseason acquisitions, coming off of a 90-win season, The Mariners are super strong contenders to make the playoffs this year. This should break their 20-year streak of failing to make the postseason. The M’s signed the reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray, as well as recent All-Star position players, Adam Frazier, Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez. Frazier and Winker can hit, and Winker and Suárez both provide power. On top of all this, it was just announced that our top outfield prospect (MLB’s third overall), Julio Rodriguez, made the Opening Day roster. These additions load our lineup offensively and strengthen our starting rotation.

Does anyone on the team excite you?
Yeah, Rodriguez added to the M’s on-field youth movement adds to the excitement, hope and promise for their future. They are loaded in the outfield! Mitch Haniger is probably my favorite player on the team, but I’m really curious to see an outfield with Rodriguez, Jarred Kelenic and Kyle Lewis from left to right. This would put the team’s 2020 Rookie of the Year on the field with our ’21 and ’22 top prospects. These are all five-tool players! When you also have Haniger and add All-Star Winker, you have talent to spare in the outfield… probably too much, which is right by me.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
I see us winning at least 95 games. Barring serious injuries, I expect to see big numbers from this lineup. The potential is exciting to anticipate. I hope we can stay healthy and get strong seasons from Kyle Lewis and Mitch Haniger, as well as a successful and healthy return for Evan White, 2020’s Gold Glove first baseman.

Who is your player to watch this year?
Besides the outstanding outfield situation, I think J.P. Crawford and Ty France are both players to watch this year. France hinted at his potential as a hitter for both average and power last year. Crawford is a Gold Glove contender and it’s exciting to watch his enthusiasm and leadership on the field. The starting rotation looks incredibly promising with Logan Gilbert and rookie Matt Brash both being able to benefit from the veteran success of Robbie Ray and Marco Gonzales.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your World Series matchup?
The Dodgers are still the most talent-stuffed team in baseball. It’s ridiculous to imagine them not winning with all the superstars they have. The Toronto Blue Jays are loaded with young and veteran talent, and have that swaggering confidence that should carry them to the pennant. I expect to see Los Angeles winning it all.

Scott Ian, Anthrax
New York Yankees

 

Scott Ian
(Credit: Andy Buchanan)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
According to my optimistic crystal ball, they’ll finish 104-58.

What are your reasonable hopes?
It’s not unreasonable to hope/expect them to win the World Series.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I think Rizzo is going to be a good fit at first base. I’m hoping he’s going to take advantage of the short porch in right.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Gerrit Cole. It all hinges on pitching and he needs to step it up this season. Anything less than a 20-game win season would be a disappointment.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
104-58.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Yankees vs Dodgers.

Alice Cooper
Detroit Tigers

 

Alice Cooper
(Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Every year, somebody pokes their head in that you don’t think is going to get in. And you go, ‘Oh, well, I kind of want to see them.’ I think there’s a certain sect of people that are going ‘oh’ please, not the Dodgers or the Yankees again.’ There’s something about those perennial winners that you start revolting against.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I’m always hopeful for the Tigers. I am a Detroit fan forever. The great teams that are full of hot rods are on the bottom of the list. You just never know.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yeah… and they’ll be ice skating in hell. No, I’m gonna give them every advantage and say, I would love to see the Tigers make the playoffs. Last year they played even ball, 50-50 which was pretty good. I don’t mind that. I’d like them to play 80-20 but we’ll see if that happens.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I’m gonna say Boston and San Francisco. That just came to me. If that happens, then maybe I am psychic. Well, they know I’m psychotic, but possibly even psychic or just the best guesser at random than anybody on the planet.

Ben Bridwell, Band of Horses
Atlanta Braves

 

Ben Bridwell
(Credit: Courtesy of Ben Bridwell)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Braves may be limping into this season a bit with the face of the franchise (Freddie Freeman) being traded right before spring training. You gotta figure if it was such a shock to the fans, imagine the vibe in the clubhouse.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I think another World Series championship is reasonable and I hope for that of course. Currently being champs, why not believe we can do it again.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I thought it was wise of our GM to pick up Matt Olson ahead of knowing Freddie was leaving. To get Kenley Jansen from The Dodgers is interesting to add to an experienced bullpen. Sucks that Jorge Soler left for Miami but I’m glad we got Eddie Rosario for two years to come.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling being 100 wins, floor being behind Miami in the standings ever.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Ronald Acuña is gonna light it up this year after having to sit with an injury during most of last season. He’s got a bone to pick!

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes, absolutely! If they don’t I’m blaming Freddie’s agent.

What’s your record prediction?
96-66.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Braves vs. Yankees.

Kay Hanley, Letters to Cleo
Boston Red Sox

 

Kay Hanley
(Credit: Courtesy of Kay Hanley)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The unexpected durability of the Red Sox well into the playoffs last season pulled the covers off of some incredible chemistry within the roster and provided some insight into what the next few years could look like. Alex Cora is really f%$ing great at his job and if he continues to inspire leadership from his elder statesmen like Xander Bogaerts, harness the raw talents of Verdugo, Kiké, Dalbec, and whatever voodoo he worked on J.D. Martinez last year, we will be in great shape in ’22.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Personally, I hope to catch a game or two at Fenway, a place I haven’t been since 2019. On-field, I hope Chris Sale returns from the DL to starting rotation in tip-top shape and just dazzles us from the mound all the way to the playoffs. We hope this every season.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The recent addition of Trevor Story to our infield is SICK.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Same as it ever was. I’m a Red Sox fan. There is no floor.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Jackie Bradley Jr. Everyone loves a comeback kid.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yup!

What’s your record prediction?
95-67.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Blue Jays vs. Dodgers.

Steve Sladkowski, PUP
Toronto Blue Jays

 

Steve Sladkowski
(Credit: Courtesy of Steve Sladkowski)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Those of us who have been paying attention know that baseball is run by greedy scumbags who hate the game and its labor force. I hope we don’t lose sight of how important it is – in a basic understanding of labor relations – to realize that owners are bad and players are good as we head into what should be a very exciting 2022 season.

What are your reasonable hopes?
My totally reasonable hopes are that the Blue Jays win the fuckin’ World Series. It feels possible! And I’m not just saying that when I know it’s not true like a Mets fan would!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I love ‘em! I think Matt Chapman is a perfect addition for the team’s already- elite vibes and Kikuchi should only improve in the fifth-starter role as the season carries on. It also feels like the Jays are in a great position to make moves at the deadline should the roster call for it. Very exciting!

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The floor is a playoff appearance and the ceiling is the third Commissioner’s Trophy in franchise history. This team is slowly learning what it takes to win in important stretches of the regular season and playoffs and I’m so excited to see how they come back even better and more locked-in this year.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
It’s gotta be Vlad. I cannot wait to see how he follows up that MVP-caliber season. It’s going to be electric and I can’t wait to follow along from the road and also in-person whenever I can!

Will they make the playoffs?
Hell yes they will.

What’s your record prediction?
98-64 let’s goooooo babyyyyy.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Blue Jays vs. Dodgers.

Charlie Benante, Anthrax
Chicago Cubs

 

Charlie Benante
(Credit: Courtesy of Charlie Benante)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
A season under .500.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Hoping for competitive baseball and that the young guys continue to develop. Trading away the nucleus from the World Series year in 2016 was tough but necessary. Hoping that it’s a short rebuild.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is a .500 season. Floor is potentially finishing last in the division.

Who’s your player to watch this year? Why?
Patrick Wisdom – had a very solid year last year with 28 homers so interested to see if he can take his play to another level.

Will they make the playoffs?
Won’t make the playoffs.

What’s your record prediction?
74-88.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Yankees vs. Dodgers.

Will you be attending games this year?
Hope to attend some games when the Chicago weather finally warms up. 😎⚾

Joey Santiago, Pixies
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Joey Santiago Dodgers
(Credit: Courtesy of Joey Santiago)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Pitching is the best as it’s ever been. Batting-wise, Cody was heating up at the end of the season and will be back in top form.

What are your reasonable hopes?
They will be up for the pennant. Not sure after that.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
World Series win. Lose pennant race as a Wild Card.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I am curious what the Dodgers will do with Trevor Bauer for the sheer controversy surrounding it.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
Over 100 wins again.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs Astros.

Big K.R.I.T.
Atlanta Braves

 

Big K.R.I.T.
(Credit: Prince Williams / ATLpics.Net)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
It’s hard to say with all the doubleheaders and rule changes. Having a DH is going to make a huge difference in lineups and pitching rotations.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I’m just excited to see that the season is in full swing.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I’m sure everyone was hoping that the Braves would be able to have the same squad as last year. Although Freeman was traded, I think the Braves are in a great position to repeat. Matt Olson is a great addition to the team and hopefully, Ronald Acuña Jr. will be back healthy.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Definitely waiting on Ronald Acuña Jr. to come back. The amount of power he has at the plate is game-changing.

Will they make the playoffs?
Atlanta Braves are definitely making the playoffs. I think it would be super exciting to see the Braves play L.A. in the playoffs. Considering that Freddie Freeman left, and that the Braves are the reigning champs.

What’s your record prediction?
Having a winning record throughout the season is incredible. Although at the end of the day winning your Division and the Championship is what matters.

What’s your World Series matchup?
The World Series matchup between the Braves and Houston was epic. It would be crazy to see that kind of rivalry and energy again.

Steve Earle
New York Yankees

 

(Credit: Courtesy of Steve Earle)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Same as always: Yanks are going to the series- gonna win it.

What are your reasonable hopes?
See above.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I think it was time for Sanchez to go. The Yankees infield has traditionally been built around a great defensive catcher. We’ll see who steps up.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
It’s always about a ring for the Yanks. Fans/press expect a championship. If Severino and Tallion are both healthy, the sky’s the limit.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Kiner-Falefa. We’ve been hurting for a shortstop since we traded Didi. I think he’s excited to be here.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
We’ll win 101 games.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Yanks-Dodgers. Old School.

Greg Graffin, Bad Religion

Milwaukee Brewers

 

Greg Graffin
(Credit: Brian B)

With 95 wins last year the Brewers took their division. There’s no reason they can’t do it again since they have one of the best if not the best pitching roster in baseball led by their Cy Young award winner from last year, Corbin Burns. A reasonable hope is to not only make the playoffs like last year, but even a slight improvement in the abysmal hitting could bring them deeper, and shake off their pathetic post-season last year. The pitching was exceptional and should be again. Yelich continued his slump for the entire season and playoffs last year, so it’s a reasonable hope that he could turn that around this year. The Brewers have good hitters up and down their entire roster. They’ve proven they can underperform like last year. Maybe the addition of the designated hitter will add one more bat to the lineup. Although teams like the Brewers who had good hitting pitchers actually, and sluggers all around, won’t benefit from the new rule as much as other teams, it gives them one more lineup spot to produce some offense. New additions include veterans Hunter Renfroe and Andrew McCutchen who, as outfielders, will likely see significant playing time. Other than the loss of fan-favorite catcher Manny Pina, signed as a free agent to Atlanta, the roster remains pretty much intact from last year. As mentioned earlier, a modest improvement in offense and this team is world series bound, probably to face Manny Pina’s new team for the pennant just before moving on to play Hunter Renfroe’s former team, the Boston Red Sox, for the World Series.

Riley Breckenridge, Thrice
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

 

Riley Breckenridge
(Credit: Courtesy of Riley Breckenridge)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m a recovering Angels fan now. Forty-plus years in, I’ve finally cut the cord. Gone are the days of living and dying with every pitch, obsessing over prospects in the system, and making it a point to get out to the Big A every other homestand or so. I’ve learned my lesson. Expecting anything but mediocrity out of this organization is a waste of time and energy. I watched more Dodgers and Padres games than Angels games last season and it was honestly the most fun I’ve had watching baseball in years.

That said, I am excited to watch two of my favorite baseball players of all-time (Trout and Ohtani) like I’d watch any other out-of-market superstar — without any allegiance to laundry.

What are your reasonable hopes?
What is “hope” if you’re an Angels fan? That everyone stays healthy? That a soggy rotation that has needed help (via free agency or trade) for literal decades gets better somehow? That Joe Maddon doesn’t Galaxy Brain his improved bullpen into rubble by the All-Star break?

If I’m being totally honest here, my reasonable hope is that Arte Moreno sells the team.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The bullpen is better. Adding Loup, and Tepera, and Bradley, and re-signing Iglesias were all solid moves. The flier they took on Syndergaard was awfully pricey for a guy coming off TJ surgery, but if he’s anywhere near his old self, he’s the best No. 2 starter they’ve had in years. Too bad there are four other spots in the rotation.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is that the Astros really feel the loss of Correa and stumble a bit, the Mariners lose the bit of magic they had last season, the Rangers realize they can’t win with half a lineup and a worse rotation than the Angels, and the A’s latest garbage fire doesn’t pull an A’s and inexplicably find a way to win 90 games, and somehow the Angels manage to stay healthy and sneak away with the division.

The floor is that someone crucial gets injured, the starting pitching is as bad or worse than it was last season, and they finish 10-15 games under .500.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Ohtani for obvious reasons. Last season was literally UNREAL. I can’t wait to see what he does for an encore. I’m also interested in seeing how post-injury Trout transitions to the second half of his career. It’s insane that we’ve been robbed of like 250 games worth of Mike Trout’s prime thanks to COVID and that damn calf injury.

Will they make the playoffs?
Thanks to the new expanded playoff fields, probably. They’re a charity case.

What’s your record prediction?
81-81. It’s the safest bet in pro sports. Their all-time W-L record is 4812-4838. .49865% Forever mediocre.

What’s your World Series matchup?
It’s not risky, and it’ll definitely be wrong (because some juggernauts like the White Sox and Mets will end up hot at the right time and make the series instead), but I have to go with Jays and Dodgers.

Caroline Spence
Cincinnati Reds

 

Caroline Spence
(Credit: Courtesy of Caroline Spence)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
If you asked me earlier I would have felt differently but, after Gray, Suarez, and Winker got traded, we are seriously thinking of skipping opening day for the first time in five years. It’s hard to wrap our heads around this season now.

What are your reasonable hopes?
That the Skyline cheesy coneys at Great American Ballpark will taste the same even with my tears in them, that Votto will be there, and that my fiancé, who is a lifelong Reds fan and who reenergized my love of baseball, will get excited about games again once they announce the giveaways.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
We are in mourning over all of our immense losses so can’t yet get excited about the new dudes. Sixteen of the 40 guys that went to the playoffs in 2020 are left. So much change.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is .500 if we are lucky – win as many as they lose…don’t want to think about the floor.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Jonathan India. Won the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year award. He’s been my favorite since his debut on opening day and that was before I knew about his love of flowers. We also have promising youngster Hunter Greene and I’m curious to see if they’ll put on him on the mound after the Sonny Gray trade.

Will they make the playoffs?
Not if they keep trading off all of our sluggers.

What’s your record prediction?
80 wins will be a successful season.

What’s your World Series matchup?
After this last trade with the Reds, I’m thinking the Mariners might be up to something smart so maybe them and the Dodgers.

George Thorogood
New York Mets

 

(Credit: Steve Jennings)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
There are changes being made, but it won’t stop the game of baseball. It’s still going to be a great season.

What are your reasonable hopes?
As they always are…now that they’ve added a third Wild Card the Mets have an even better shot!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
They acquired Max Scherzer, which is great. The Mets outdid themselves on that one.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
It’s obvious what the best-case scenario is…to get to the World Series. The worst-case scenario is the Mets could finish behind Philadelphia in the standings.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
My player to watch this year is Max. He’s never pitched in New York before and he was on a World Series team. That’s good to have for the club.

Will they make the playoffs?
There are so many categories of the playoffs, they have an excellent shot.

What’s your record prediction?
My record prediction is, this coming year, the Major Leagues will break all attendance records.

What’s your World Series matchup?
The Mets against any team in the American League.

Al Jourgensen, Minstry
Chicago White Sox

 

Al Jourgensen
(Credit: Derick Smith)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I think the baseball season is going to wind up like the NCAA basketball tournament this year where there’s a lot of upsets, a lot of weird teams that are suddenly good, but at the end of the day it’s the ones we always suspected will be in the World Series. You have no problem believing the White Sox will come out of the American League and you have no problem believing the Dodgers will come out of the playoffs in the National League, but I do think there will be some surprise teams in the year kind of like that basketball tournament, where they come out of nowhere and make it as far as they can go. But I think at the end of the day the cream rises to the top, the Dodgers have a solid lineup and the White Sox, if they can stay away from the injury bug, are built to last in the playoffs this year. I think they will come out of the AL and the Dodgers will come out of the NL.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Nothing, I didn’t have much hope considering how much the players union hates the owners and the contract negotiations but now that we have a full season, I am stoked and think this will be a great season.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Well I think they’re playing the long game. I think they will make it to the World Series this year but I don’t think they’ll win it. I think the Dodgers – I’m already predicting the Dodgers will win the World Series this year. Again, barring injuries, and it’s the same thing with the White Sox, so many teams that loaded up and the White Sox didn’t load up that well. But I think all they need is for people to stay healthy and they’re the next best team outside the Dodgers. But it all depends on health. So all this prognostication preseason is kind of stupid because injuries will play a key role in teams going down and teams going up in the standings.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I’m just happy to have baseball – there’s no floor, only ceiling. I’m super excited. I know a few of my baseball friends, fans, fanatics are super stoked about this year. It almost seems like it’s the first full year in a couple years that’s going to be normal, fingers crossed.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Luis Robert from the Chicago White Sox, the centerfielder. He’s a 24-year-old Cuban that’s ready to explode on the scene. He has all the tools to be the next Roberto Clemente let alone Mike Trout. I think he’s phenomenal, I love watching that guy play.

What’s your record prediction?
I don’t even see the Dodgers as a runaway team. All the winners of the divisions will be in between 95-100 games. I don’t think there’s going to be… maybe one team over 100. I think it’s going to be tighter than people think.

What’s your World Series matchup?
White Sox–Dodgers. Go Sox!

Jim Lindberg, Pennywise
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Jim Lindberg
(Credit: Courtesy of Jim Lindberg)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I think the Dodgers win the World Series.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
We just got Freddie Freeman back from Atlanta – with a universal DH we should dominate at the plate this year!

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Another title and 100-plus win season or bust.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Freddie Freeman is back in his home state. He’ll be out here having fun in the warm California Sun – where he belongs.

Will they make the playoffs?
‘Natch.

What’s your record prediction?
110-52.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers-Astros and we win in a sweep. Payback.

Kevin Morby
Kansas City Royals

 

Kevin Morby
(Credit: Courtesy of Kevin Morby)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
World Series against the Giants bottom of the ninth, game seven, two outs, down by one, man on third…Salvy hits a walk-off. Justice for the pop-foul we saw in ’14 against Bumgarner.

What are your reasonable hopes?
That this is the last year before the robot/alien Elon Grimes takeover, thus the last season of human/non-holographic simulation baseball and the Royals will forever be remembered as the last human team to win the World Series inside the Baseball Museum. I don’t hope for the inevitable takeover, but when it does come, I hope we go down as champions.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Greinke!!!!! Very excited to have him back.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Conventional / Hardwood.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I’m going to love watching Brady Singer and Zack Greinke as teammates. Let the wise old blonde bestow his wisdom upon the also blonde young buck!

Will they make the playoffs?
I believe in miracles.

What’s your record prediction?
It’s too hard to tell on Pitchfork these days. Wouldn’t be surprised by a 6-something pan, a middle-of-the-road decent 7-something, or a curve low 8’s BNM. Could be anything, really. I’m gonna say a confident 4/5 stars in the Guardian, 9/10 MOJO and UNCUT, and a 79/80 overall on Metacritic. Have to make space for the inevitable slam by some publication no ones ever heard of or reads like “The Skinny” or “Drowned In Sound” though which could really ding my score. As for SPIN…well, you tell me!

What’s your World Series matchup?
Royals and Cardinals. A real I-70 series!

Pete Yorn
New York Yankees

 

Pete Yorn
(Credit: Courtesy of Pete Yorn)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Dodgers are dangerous!! Haven’t seen a lineup like this in a long time. It’s almost unfair…however.. let’s go YANKS.

What are your reasonable hopes?
My hopes are that the Yankees pitching delivers and we can hang around.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
We didn’t make a lot of moves but I have to trust Cashman. Also-I like Donaldson.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Win it all…or we can come in second or third in our own division. Toronto is loaded.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
As always, Judge is the guy to watch. He is due to have the year of years.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
We can win 90 games.

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

Buzz Osborne
Los Angeles Dodgers*

 

Buzz Osborne
(Credit: Derick Smith)

* denotes he’s wearing a White Sox jersey even though he’s a Dodgers fan

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m not excited about the DH invading the National League. I think it’s crazy and I can’t wrap my head around it which leaves the whole thing a little sour for me.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I’d like to see the Dodgers do well. I like a lot of the guys on the team and I hope Bellinger gets it together and hit 50 home runs.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I like Freddie Freeman a great deal and I’m happy to see they just brought in All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel from the White Sox!

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Who knows?

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Two Dodgers for me to watch. Walker Buehler and Julio Urias. I think Buehler is one of the best pitchers in baseball and Urias is the future of the franchise. The Dodgers are lucky to have them.

Will they make the playoffs?
I think so. I love Dave Roberts as the coach. I think he’s arguably one of the best the Dodgers have had.

What’s your record prediction?
100-plus games.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I was talking to Al from Ministry last night and he thinks it could be a White Sox-Dodgers series. I’d love to see that.

Dale Crover, Melvins
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Dale Crover
(Credit: Courtesy of Dale Crover)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Dodgers lineup is still really solid. I think they’ll do really well this year and will be fun to watch.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Reasonable hopes are that they’ll once again be contenders for the World Series.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Landing Freddie Freeman is big! Another great hitter to stack the deck. I’m happy that Clayton Kershaw is back. He should forever be a Dodger. Sad to see Kenley Jansen go.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is obviously the World Series. The floor is everyone getting hurt and their season falling apart.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Walker Buehler. Look for him to have a Cy Young-winning season.

Will they make the playoffs?
Easily! Especially since the playoffs have been expanded to 12 teams.

What’s your record prediction?
Dodgers will break 100 wins again this year. I’ll say a record of 104- 58.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers-Yankees. It’s the classic World Series matchup!

DJ Bonebrake, X
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

X
(Credit: Courtesy of X)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
It’s going to be a great season for the Dodgers. They have more stars on the team than the cast of the 1962 movie How the West Was Won.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I hope there are very few injuries this season and I hope the entertainment value of watching the games outweighs the guilt of turning into a couch potato.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I’m excited about acquiring Freddie Freeman but sad about losing Max Scherzer.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is the World Series. The floor would be the team doing so poorly that the players would take up music as a career.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Andre Jackson. An up-and-coming pitcher. He pitched a few games last year and looked real good. If not this year then next.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
105-57.

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

Jim Suptic, The Get Up Kids
Kansas City Royals

 

(Credit: Courtesy of Jim Suptic)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
We have young pitching and some exciting young players moving up the ranks. I expect the season to be uneven. A lot of winning and losing streaks. I think it will be an interesting rollercoaster ride but at the end of the day, I don’t see this team going far.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Each season all I hope for is that the team will just be competitive. I don’t need them to make the playoffs every year, but at least be in the hunt come September. I have lived through too many seasons that are over before the 4th of July.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I love that Zack Greinke is back on the team! He was a bright spot in the mid-2000s after years of mediocrity. I remember going to games just to watch him pitch. I know he left on not the best terms with the fans, but I think most fans are really happy to have him back.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I think the ceiling for this team is .500 baseball. I don’t see us as a playoff team, but we have some young talent that I am excited to watch. The floor? This is small market baseball. It can always get worse.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Bobby Witt Jr. of course. He looks like everything he has been promised to be. Unfortunately, we all know he won’t be here in six years so we should enjoy his rise while we have him. That’s just how MLB works sadly. Small market teams just can’t compete moneywise.

Will they make the playoffs?
No. Did I mention I loved being proven wrong?!

What’s your record prediction?
81-81.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Yankees-Dodgers. Yankees in 6.

John Nolan, Taking Back Sunday
New York Mets

 

John Nolan TBS
(Credit: Courtesy of John Nolan)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m cautiously optimistic about the Mets this season. On paper, they’re one of the best teams in baseball and they have the potential to be dominant. I am cautious though because last year they were one of the best teams on paper and what was on paper didn’t translate to what was on the field.

What are your reasonable hopes?
My reasonable hope is that they win their division. I think they have the potential to go much further than that, but I feel like it’s reasonable to hope they win the division.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Max Scherzer is obviously a huge addition and I can’t wait to watch him pitch. I’m excited to see what Buck Showalter does as manager. They’ve added a lot of depth overall as well, which is great. I would’ve liked to see them add another big bat and strengthen the bullpen some more, but I guess you can’t have everything.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Paul Simon once sang that one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor and I think that’s true. Based on the potential this team has, the ceiling is winning the World Series and the floor is coming in second in their division.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Jacob deGrom. When he’s healthy he’s the best pitcher in baseball and he’s incredibly fun to watch. It’s also great to hear the Mets announcers spend two hours every week trying to find new ways to describe how amazing he is. But the question of whether or not he’s going to stay healthy this year is going to make every outing very tense. I’m going to be watching closely for the slightest wince whenever he’s on the mound.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
160 wins and 2 losses. It’d be crazy to expect them to undefeated, but they’ll be close.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Mets vs Yankees.

Justin Foley, Killswitch Engage
New York Yankees

 

Justin Foley Yankees
(Credit: Courtesy of Justin Foley)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Well, it seems like the Yankees don’t actually care about winning anymore. How else can you justify retaining a manager that has twice lost to Boston in the playoffs? It seems like the organization’s main focus these days is trying to prove that they are smarter than everyone else, and that’s not going well. I have no expectations for this year’s team.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I hope they fire Boone. I hope they let Stanton play in the field. I hope Severino is fully healed. I hope they trade Chapman. I hope they sign Freeman. I hope I see more Voit highlights from the majors than rehab stints in the minors [Editor’s note: Voit has been traded to San Diego]. I also hope they fire Boone.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
They just traded Gary [Sanchez] and Gio [Urshela] yesterday, and the addition of Donaldson just made the “list of guys on the team I don’t like” one player larger. If they sign that trash can Correa, I’m not watching anymore.

What’s their ceiling/floor?
I suppose a ceiling would be a win total in the low 90s. A floor would be losing to Boston in the playoffs again and then giving Boone a contract extension. Again.

Who’s your player to watch this year? Why?
Gleyber [Torres]. If the move back to 2nd doesn’t result in him remembering how to hit then they’re really in trouble.

Will they make the playoffs?
Well, since everyone makes the “playoffs” now, they better! But they’ll probably finish no higher than 3rd in their division.

What’s your record prediction?
91-71.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Toronto vs anyone except the Dodgers, but it’ll probably be the Dodgers. I hope someone else can make it, maybe the Brewers can finally get over the hump.

Paul Delsile, Smash Mouth
San Francisco Giants

 

Smash Mouth

What’s your prognosis for the season?
This season should mirror last season for the Giants. No Buster Posey but Buster only played part-time last season so it prob shouldn’t affect us much.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Get back in the playoffs and advance past the first round.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The Giants have been focusing on pitching and that’s fine with us. Just picked up lefty Carlos Rondon.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is getting to the World Series and the floor would be not getting into the playoffs.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Two players, the continued emergence of Lamonte Wade Jr and Joey Bart who should be taking over the reins behind the dish. Joey has a stick but we have to see how he handles pitchers etc on the defensive side.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes they will make the playoffs. The team hasn’t changed much and the pitching staff has improved. We really like Gabe Kapler and how he handles players.

What’s your record prediction?
100-62.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Giants vs Astros.

Evan Westfall, CAAMP
Cleveland Guardians

 

Evan Westfall
(Credit: Courtesy of Evan Westfall)

What’s your prognosis for the team this season?
They’ve been going through a bit of a rebuilding phase. I’m expecting a 500 season. But I don’t think they’re gonna push for the playoffs.

What do you think of the new team name?
I’m whatever with it. You know, I still have my tribe here. If it makes people happy, I’m glad. And they’re still a baseball team in Cleveland so it’s all good to me.

Who is your player to watch?
I’m a big Roberto Perez fan, and Shane Bieber, love Biebs.

What are your reasonable hopes for them?
.500.

Will they make the playoffs?
I hope they do, but I’m sticking with a .500 record. There’s a couple of teams in that division — Twins and White Sox — that are better than them.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Reds and White Sox. Reds win in 5.

Jesse and Justin Bivona, The Interrupters
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Jesse and Justin Bivona Interrupters
(Credit: Courtesy of Jesse and Justin Bivona)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Dodgers are going to win the World Series.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Very reasonable that the Dodgers are going to win the World Series.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Really excited to see Freddie Freeman’s contributions to the team, but we could’ve used some help in the bullpen.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is winning the World Series. The floor is getting plagued by injuries and not even winning the division.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Can’t pick just one. The Dodgers’ roster is stacked. Stoked to see what Freddie Freeman will bring to the team, excited for a healthy Cody Bellinger, and it’s always fun watching Kershaw pitch.

Will they make the playoffs?
Most definitely.

What’s your record prediction?
Dodgers will win at least 100 games.

What’s your World Series matchup?
The Dodgers will win against any team. Period.

Ketch Secor, Old Crow Medicine Show
Oakland A’s

 

Ketch Secor
(Credit: Courtesy of Ketch Secor)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Baseball kinda balked this spring with the whole walk-out thing and I think it’s a reminder that we’re still living in the age of Moneyball, which depresses me. Hopefully, an exciting season can turn our attention back to the game, like it did in ’95.

Nashville keeps hinting they’re the next MLB expansion, which I’ve got to say as a proud Nashvillian, STOP. Don’t mess with my Sounds baseball. I need thirsty Thursdays.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I’m hoping for better choices in soy-based hot dogs. I’m a vegetarian and that means I basically can only drink at the ballpark (don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about THAT) but c’mon gimme a good tofu dog, kraut, and onions. And put a little mustard on it.

Another reasonable hope is that the Atlanta Braves will CHANGE THEIR NAME. The Guardians really led the way on the inevitable end of Native American defaming franchises but ATL keeps holding up the endorsement of the Eastern Band of Cherokees who “permit” them to use the name when literally dozens of other, larger tribes and scores of American Indian activists demand an end. I’m a southerner from the land of the forced Indian removal act (Trail of Tears) and I’ll stand on Ted Turner’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and shout ’til I’m hoarse institutional racism is banned from baseball. Shame on you, Atlanta.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
A’s fan here. I’m still pretty butthurt we let Matt Olson go, he was a rock. But I watched the team formerly known as The Atlanta Braves closely in the series and they’re great, especially Cristian Pache, who, when you stick him next to TK, is gonna make our outfield the best it’s been since 1972.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Nosebleed: A’s.
Basement: All others.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
JT Ginn. I watched him at Mississippi State and he slays.

Will they make the playoffs?
All the way baby.

What’s your record prediction?
What’s your World Series matchup? A’s vs. team formerly known as the Atlanta Braves. A’s sweep. When it’s all done Oakland will agree to build the Athletics the field of our dreams. And Las Vegas can keep crying in their White Claw, and rooting for The Aviators.

Kevin Whelan, Aeon Station/The Wrens
New York Yankees

 

Kevin Whelan
(Credit: Courtesy of Kevin Whelan)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
As a lifelong Yankees fan who grew up in South Jersey, it was expected that I had to be a Phillies fan. As much I loved Pete Rose, Steve Carlton and still like the Philly Phanatic, I just couldn’t do it. But as a Yankees fan, 2022 will continue to be a massive bright light, money pit, and the Phillies probably won’t do any better.

What are your reasonable hopes?
The Yankees haven’t won a world series in over 10 years, and it has been that long for the Phillies to even make the playoffs. All this really means is a bunch more disgruntled fans driving up and down the New Jersey Parkway and Pennsylvania Turnpike, as they visit the Jersey Shore for their summer fun.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Meh.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Shohei Ohtani. He is a force to reckon with. Excited to see what more he can do compared to last year’s MVP season.

Will they make the playoffs?
Maybe the new MLB postseason format will help the Yankees make the playoffs.

What’s your record prediction?
100 wins.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Yankees and Dodgers would make for a great World Series.

Jerry MacDonald, Aeon Station/The Wrens
Philadelphia Phillies

 

(Credit: Erica Bruce/ Between Love and Like)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Phillies will lead the league in runs scored and errors. They’ll make it to the NLCS

What are your reasonable hopes?
Can’t-miss TV every night with our offense!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I love Castellanos and Schwarber. They will be great fits for the team and the city!

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling: They’ll get into NLCS. Floor: They’ll miss the playoffs…a few injuries could get us there quickly

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Castellanos. He’s an offensive juggernaut that will take advantage of a very hitter-friendly ballpark!

Will they make the playoffs?
YES!

What’s your record prediction?
89 wins (tough division).

What’s your World Series matchup?
Blue Jays vs. Dodgers.

Dave Hidalgo, Social Distortion
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Dave Hidalgo
(Credit: Kenneth Zuniga)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m so happy baseball is back! I will definitely enjoy this season. That’s my prognosis. Haha!

What are your reasonable hopes?
The Dodgers will stay healthy enough to take the West back and make a few midseason trades for pitching help and go deep into the playoffs again.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Freddie Freeman!!!! Enough said!

What’s the ceiling/floor?
World Series champs / Not making the playoffs.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Cody Bellinger. Interested to see if he can get his swing working and have a good season.

Will they make the playoffs?
With that lineup? If they don’t, it’s a failed season.

What’s your record prediction?
102-60 first in the West.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs Red Sox, 2018 rematch. Dodgers in 5.

Benny Horowitz, The Gaslight Anthem
New York Yankees

 

Benny Horowitz
(Credit: Courtesy of Benny Horowitz)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
In a stacked division and a pitching staff without any track record, it’s gonna be a battle. Still have an ace, solid relief and on paper one of the scariest lineups in baseball. They were 46-27 after last year’s All-Star break with the bulk of that core remaining, so… the ceiling is very high.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Rizzo/Gallo/Judge/Donaldson/Stanton are capable of hitting. 175-plus home runs on their own. Mixing LaMahieu and Kiner-
Falefa, both excellent at putting the ball in play and moving things around could make it potent. With less pressure and no more SS duties, I expect a bounce-back from Gleyber. The catcher position will leave a lot of runs on the field but upgraded defensively.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Kiner-Falefa instantly becomes the full-time SS and only real baserunning threat, big shoes, his performance is large variable for the season outcome. Donaldson is a sure thing at the plate and good for 35 homers and 75-plus walks with a full season of ABs, albeit a potential locker room wrench. At some point, Tim Locastro’s speed will give us an exciting, Dave Roberts-style moment. I don’t mind not making a big splash and running back this core, enough money on the books as is.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
It’s the Yankees, ceiling is No. 28, always. Floor is being nudged out of the playoffs with the AL East playing out as the best division in baseball.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I think this is the year the Bronx falls in love with Anthony Rizzo. Historical precedence for Yankees fans being infatuated with a slick-fielding, big personality first baseman (Mark Teixeira, Tino Martinez) Time and again those two saved errors from their infield counterparts with solid scoops and coverage, I expect the same from Rizzo with this group.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
94-68.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Hard to bet against the Dodgers coming out of the National League. I think they face the Chicago White Sox in the World Series and lose. Looking at you, George Wendt.

Matt Kallman, Real Estate
San Francisco Giants

 

Matt Kallman
(Credit: Otis Morehouse)

What’s your prognosis for the season? / What are your reasonable hopes?
I know you’re only asking for my opinion, but the 2021 season has made a question like this near impossible to answer. Is hoping for 100 wins “reasonable?” No! Could it happen? Yes! Asking for a repeat of last year wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the baseball world, so let’s just peg my reasonable hopes at making the playoffs (which is ultimately my prognosis)

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The Giants land squarely in the “lack thereof” camp, here. BUT, going into the offseason, I really wanted Rodon and Suzuki – so call me happy-sad. In the end, as a completely brainwashed Farhan zombie, I’m OK with the decision to not spend money that isn’t mine in the first place.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
See above: anything between 60 and 110 wins wouldn’t surprise me. Which is a psychotic thing to say, and why baseball is number one.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Darin Ruf. I know it’s weird to pick a guy that turns 36 this year as someone to watch, but with the DH here for good, and an extension signed, I think he hits 30-plus dongs.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
91-71.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Blue Jays in 6 over the Brewers.

Kenny Hensley
The Head and the Heart

 

Kenny Hensley
(Credit: Courtesy of Kenny Hensley)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Dodgers take the WS over the Chicago White Sox.

What are your reasonable hopes?
World Series champs!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Almost feel bad adding Freddie Freeman to our offense because it was already so stellar but losing Max Sherzer and Kenley Jansen leaves a hole for sure. Love Corey Seager but we’ve got Trae Turner to easily fill that spot. The Dodgers need another pitcher and a closer to complete the team. Unless Kershaw can stay healthy and pitch like he was a few years back.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling would be winning the World Series against Houston and floor would be to lose to them in the World Series. That would sting much more than not making it at all. Especially if against the Astros.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I wanna see if Bellinger can make some strides back to MVP form. A lot of players to watch this year but most curious how hell perform.

Will they make the playoffs?
Indeed.

What’s your record prediction?
For kicks. 117-45 but probably closer to the high 90s/low 100s somewhere.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I’d love the Dodgers to get 2017 revenge and beat Houston in the WS more than anything but am calling Dodgers over White Sox in 6.

Jon Snodgrass
Colorado Rockies

 

Jon Snodgrass
(Credit: Courtesy of Jon Snodgrass)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Well, last year was better than most people expected. and I hope even more this year.

What are your reasonable hopes?
When I started watching NL games, I loved pitchers hitting! But, the right DH at Coors could put us over 500, IMO. seriously, it could have a big impact. We’ve had plenty of heartbreakers that just needed a bonus hit.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The Kris Bryant signing is exciting! My intention was to report we did zero moves. But, my phone blew up just today with many pals congratulating us!!

I already was, because it’s what I do, but I’m gonna give Bill Schmidt a chance!

I’m very excited!!!
What’s the ceiling/floor?
2nd place NL WEST
4th place NL WEST

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Thanks to the “Blake Street Banter” podcast, I’m actually following a minor league pitcher named Dugan Darnell. I wrote a song for him and everything!! I NEED to get a shirt.

Will they make the playoffs?
YES!!

What’s your record prediction?
82! or whatever I said last year.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I’d like to see Brewers or White Sox in there. Them and the Twins are still my No. 2s. A, B and C. In no order.

I like the Rays too, though! and I’ll be in Florida in October.

So, Brewers and Rays. that seems like a possibility.

Jenny Owens Young
Boston Red Sox

 

Jenny Owens Young
(Credit: Courtesy of Jenny Owens Young)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Sox had an unexpectedly great season in 2021, and I hope they’re able to carry that momentum into 2022. If they can get into a good pitching groove, which might be a challenge for them this season, paired with their great offense, I think they could have an amazing year.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I hope Chris Sale can stay off the injured list for as much of the season as possible, although that might not actually be that reasonable of a hope.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I’m so pumped that Jackie Bradley Jr is back! JBJ always brings a lot of professionalism to the field, and I missed having him on the team. (Still waiting for Mookie…)

Who’s your player to watch this year?
For me, it’s all about Kiké Hernández. He was an exciting player to watch in the 2021 season, and really had some incredible moments during the playoffs. He’s also my player crush. I can’t wait to see what he gets up to this year.

Will they make the playoffs?
I do think so, but I think they’ll really have to bring their A-game to do it because the AL East is super beefed up this year.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I’d love to see Red Sox v Dodgers.

Emily Armstrong, Dead Sara
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Emily Armstrong
(Credit: Courtesy of Emily Armstrong)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Well, there’s going to be a season so that’s a good prognosis… and I’m looking forward to this budding rivalry we got going with our obnoxiously good neighbors.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I think it’s reasonable for the Dodgers to make it/win the world series. Reasonable.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Freddie fricken Freeman!!! What this guy does to our lineup is scary. His stat line from last year: .300 HR 31 RBI 83 adding that consistency to an already potent line-up is horrifying if you’re an opposing pitcher and salivating if you’re a fan like me.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
What ceiling? I’m looking at blue sky with this team! But the floor ain’t that bad either. The sand’s nice and warm.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Bellinger. If Bellinger is in MVP form again this year, have mercy on opposing bullpens.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes (we’re not talking about the Angels here). rolling eye emoji

What’s your record prediction?
I think I went big last year and said they’d set the wins record, and they were off to a great start, but this year I’ll be more conservative and say they have a shot at breaking the 116 mark, and they would if it wasn’t for our annoying neighbors up north. I’m saying 110.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers v Angels….kidding. Dodgers v Yankees. I route for this matchup every year. PLEASE. We need some good news these days and nothing would make me happier than beating the Yankees for our eighth title. LFG!!

Jim Ward, Sparta
Detroit Tigers

 

Jim Ward
(Credit: Courtesy of Jim Ward)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Improvement. Next year will be better, but they are on their way.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Win 83 games.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Adding Eduardo Rodriguez brings in some needed help in the pitching lineup, Javier Baez should bring in some big moments as well.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Third place/Sixth place.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Javier Baez- expect him to hit .250, 25+ homers and some national sports show highlights.

Will they make the playoffs?
No – but close, maybe if things go exceedingly well.

What’s your record prediction?
83 wins – playoffs in 2023

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers v. Rays.

Sam Kless, Just Friends
Oakland A’s

 

Just Friends
(Credit: Courtesy of Just Friends)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
It’s gonna be rough to say the least. But hopefully we finally can lock in a new stadium and they will stay in Oakland forever!!!

What are your reasonable hopes?
That we can finish above .500.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I’m happy Matt Ols0n went to his at least going to his hometown team. But that and Bassitt in like the same day? That hurt. Who knows where Chappy is gonna end up

What’s the ceiling/floor?
We have one of those runs like 2018 wherewith the lowest payroll, we hit like 97 wins or something. Floor we hit dead last and the whole team gets traded.

Who’s your player to watch this year? Why?
Honestly our coach Mark Kotsay. A former Oakland A’s player. Always loved the way he played growing up. Excited to see what he does with the team! And shouts out Stephen Piscotty always because he’s from my hometown!

Will they make the playoffs?
Honestly I don’t have high hopes.

What’s your record prediction?
I’m hoping for .500 honestly.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I think I’m rocking Dodgers vs. White Sox. Dodgers on top.

Pokey LaFarge
Chicago Cubs

 

(Credit: Courtesy of Pokey LaFarge)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Just gonna shoot ya straight on this stuff…Baseball needs help. From the perspective on the game, it’s boring. So many pitching changes. It’s slower than ever. Strikeout, homer, fly ball. It needs more small ball. Some people like Theo Epstein realize that, but it’s years away.

Then there is the lack of integrity in the game. The lingering effects of the dishonesty and hypocrisy from the owners all the way down to the players during the steroid era bubble back to the stop when things like sticky stuff that they ‘allowed’ pitchers to use is happening. The bitter dealings between owners and the players during this last lockout was the last straw for some people and I don’t blame them.

I ask, somewhat rhetorically, where is the game going?

What are your reasonable hopes?
For the Cubs, they find a core to build around. Pitching!!! For baseball, that it will somehow be exciting again.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Not sure what to think. I understand you should build from within and develop a core and then you can spend money on top of that, (it got us the series in ‘16), but you argue that the Ricketts have been cheap. They said the culture was changed but would the Yankees ever allow a 90 loss team?

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling for the Cubs is 80 wins. Floor is 100 losses.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
For the Cubs, Brennan Davis. He reminds me of Derrickk Lee with more power. I wanna say Andruw Jones because he’s a center fielder, but he strikes out too much. For the game, I’m excited to see Justin Verlander back. Guys like Verlander, Scherzer, Greinke, Kershaw, and more. Those old pitchers we may never see that type again. Will there be another starter from the new generation that will reach 200 wins?

I’m hoping for a full year of Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies.

Will they make the playoffs?
Cubs will not make the playoffs.

What’s your record prediction?
75-87.

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

Josh Eppard, Coheed and Cambria
New York Mets

 

Josh Eppard
(Credit: Courtesy of Josh Eppard)

 

What’s your prognosis for the season?
My prediction for the 2022 baseball season is not unlike any other year really, as I’m an undying optimist EVEN as a Mets fan! Clearly there are reasons for NYM fans to be ultra excited. A wealth of starting pitching and a revamped lineup brings with it an eagerness to start the season.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Mets are all in. My expectations are to go deep into the playoffs. Like with all teams, health is the deciding factor and Mets fans are no strangers to having a season derailed because a few key guys went down. I’d say the Mets front office has provided some much-needed depth and just… fingers crossed.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Scherzer, Marte, Bassitt, Escobar, and Canha are all worthy additions. Rounded out by some good old competition for some spots and we have us a pretty good squad here. Nobody is F’n with the Dodgers lineup but if our guys perform to their career norms then… we got something cooking here.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling for this team is… I mean, if they stay healthy the sky’s the limit. 100-plus wins isn’t off the table. Now sure, I may have also thought that when Eric Campbell was their cleanup hitter but… what do you want? I’m a fucking fan lol.

The floor??? Sheesh… couple big injuries and some underperformance and you can’t say it’s impossible to have another 70-75 win season. But I’m not trying to hear that noise in March!

Who’s your player to watch this year? Why?
Player to watch for me is Jeff McNeil. Jeff was a hits machine with top-of-the-class contact ability but seemed to have lost his way a bit last year. His passion for the game is on clear display whenever he doesn’t get a knock and he screams curse words into his helmet and… I like that. I like that he gives a shit. I give a shit too Jeff. I’m cursing into the air when you ground out to second or pop up to second. Believe me. But I see his desire to be good and I believe the real Jeff McNeil is the guy we saw in 2019. LGJ.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. The NY Mets will make the playoffs in 2022. They better… I’m getting fucking old. I always think about the geriatric die-hard who is running out of time and just wants to see his team take the whole damn thing… I don’t wanna be that guy. I was five when they won in ’86. It’s time.

What’s your record prediction?
100-62.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Mets vs Yanks. Mets finally get some cold cold cold revenge for 2k haha. Nah, IDK. Mets Vs Orioles! Baltimore finds a 13-year-old kid who due to an arm break throws 109 mph and they sign him and he leads em to the WS! Idk enough about American League ball to say… as long as the Mets get there… I don’t care who it is. Bring ‘em on! As long as it’s not the 2015 Royals.

James Bowman, Against Me!
Tampa Bay Rays

 

James Bowman
(Credit: Courtesy of James Bowman)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Coming off back-to-back Division titles, I think The Rays are poised to make another run at it again this year. I think their early exit from the playoffs last year was partly to blame on the ill-timed talks of splitting seasons between Tampa Bay and Montreal. Hard to stay focused or even care about what is ahead when that is weighing on you. All in all, the core players are returning, the pitching core is a little dinged up but there are plenty of guys to step up. Should be a strong year.

What are your reasonable hopes? What’s the ceiling/floor?
Again, It depends on the health of their Pitching Staff. Having Glasnow and Chirinos shelved for the start of the season (next few months) they’re going to have to lean on a rotation of, (my opinion) McClanahan, Kluber, Yarbrough, Rasmussen, and Patiño. Which is strong on paper, but leaves little room if there are any more injuries. The bullpen has already taken a few hits as well, but should be up for eating innings and closing out games. Just need to keep driving in runs like last season to support strong pitching. Keep the one-run game losses to minimum, should be another great year!

Who is your player to watch this year?
Wander Franco. He has it all! power, speed, defensive ability. Having a full season of Franco slotted in a SS is going to be great for Rays baseball.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. Going to be a very tough year again in the AL East. Blue Jays look to be stronger than ever. Yankees are always in the mix as well as the Red Sox. All teaming with fresh faces and big names. But I’ll stick with my small market Rays to edge them all out in the long run.

What’s your record prediction?
92-70. They have their core Offensive players returning and a bullpen full of nasty stuff (Again!). I’ll give them one less win than I predicted last season. But I still have them atop the AL East at the end of the regular season .

What’s your World Series matchup?
Rays vs. Mets. Why? I have no clue. But sounds fun! Rays win in 6!

Tommy Putnam, Moon Taxi
Atlanta Braves

 

Tommy Putnam Moon Taxi
(Credit: Courtesy of Tommy Putnam)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
First of all, I’m just happy that we’re getting on with the season. Maybe not as planned, but it’s happening at least. Glad that’s all over with. As for the season, I think we’re going to see a TON of home runs and a TON of strikeouts across the board. The home run numbers have trended upwards for years and with that follows more strikeouts. Both of those aspects of the game deal some excitement, so I expect some new fans to come into the fold.

What are your reasonable hopes?
World Series at least for me. Maybe not the W, but we have Ronald Acuña Jr. coming back before long and some seriously proven postseason pitchers in our rotation as well. With these guys all locked in for a few years. The Braves are positioned to really make a deep run for years to come.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Matt Olson was a big positive move and the most logical replacement for Freddie Freeman. Even still, everyone in Braves country will miss Freddie. Kenley Jansen is a nice add to bolster the bullpen. Losing Soler and Pederson hurts for sure, but I think we still have the special sauce.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is nothing short of a World Series championship. My lowest expectation would be to win the division, but get bounced in the wild card round.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Ronald Acuna Jr. without question. Before his ACL tear, he was arguably the most electrifying player to watch in baseball. If he returns to form, we’ll see the home run hitter with SPEED and his unquestionable love for the game. He absolutely loves to play and it shows.

Will they make the playoffs?
Anything short of that would be a disappointment. If they don’t make the playoffs it would likely be due to a windfall of injuries.

What’s your record prediction?
95-67.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Braves-Yankees. But bring on whoever wants to get let down.

Ronnica, Mint Green
Boston Red Sox

 

Mint Green
(Credit: Courtesy of Mint Green)

 

What’s your prognosis for the season?
It’ll be our year.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Becoming 10-time World Series champs!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Signing Matt Strahm, was random. he only played in six games in 2021 because of a knee injury. He doesn’t seem like he’ll offer much.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Hopefully over 100 wins, like 110 would be great! & no more than 60 losses.

Who’s your player to watch this year? Why?
The x-man! Xander Bogaerts because he’s relentless.

Will they make the playoffs?
Of course!

What’s your record prediction?
102-60.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Red Sox vs Yankees. A classic rival game haha.

Matt Muse
Chicago White Sox

 

Matt Muse
(Credit: Courtesy of Matt Muse)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I think this season will be a little tougher than last because both the Tigers and Twins made some nice off-season upgrades. The AL Central will be a bit more competitive. With the way they played against the Astros in the playoffs I’m a little nervous, but they have the talent to go far for sure.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I hope they make it to the ALCS this season. It’s very possible with consistency at the plate throughout the season.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I like Josh Harrison at 2B. I wasn’t a fan of how Caesar Hernandez played down the stretch last year. Hopefully Josh is an upgrade. The Sox have a number of great young players, but I wish they would’ve got a RF. Adding a good outfield bat to the lineup was imperative in my opinion after the way the playoffs went, and they didn’t do that. But they have faith in who they have so I’ll keep my faith as well….oh wait, they just traded Craig Kimbrel for AJ Polluck! I am very content with this trade and this makes me happy with their acquisitions. They got someone who plays good defense and can give you decent consistency at the plate, good move.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is best record in the AL. They have the talent to do it, offensive consistency is their only problem. To me, it makes sense that this will be the year they take the big leap, especially if Luis Robert can play a full season. Floor is a disappointing season where they miss a Wild Card spot altogether or lose in one of those win or go home games that start the playoffs, that would really suck. This won’t happen though.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Luis Robert. He got hurt last year so we were robbed of a full year of him. He’s so talented on offense and defense. I think he’s gonna make a case for AL MVP and hit 40-plus home runs. I watched him improve at the plate from 2020 to 2021, so this year he’ll be even better, which is very scary given how much better his approach was in ‘21 vs. ‘20.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. They’ll either win the division or have a very high Wild Card record.

What’s your record prediction?
97-65

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

Sid Johnson, Heart to Gold
Minnesota Twins

 

Heart Is Gold
(Credit: Courtesy of Sid Johnson)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The front office moves make it seem like the Twins are going to be competitive this season. I wouldn’t go so far as to say we’ll be good, but we’re definitely not in rebuild mode.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Competing for a wild card spot. The division is the White Sox to lose, and given our terrible 2021 season, we probably shouldn’t expect to be division champs.

What do you think of new acquisitions or lack thereof?
Hard to say right now because another big move is presumably on the way. We traded last year’s first-round pick for a frontline starter in Sonny Gray, then we essentially dumped Josh Donaldson’s salary in exchange for a worse catcher and third baseman. I gotta believe that was opening the door for a big free agent signing or trade. Hopefully Trevor Story or one of the A’s starters. If we can turn these trades into something valuable, I think this offseason is a plus.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Last season was full of injuries and terrible pitching. If that happens again, we could easily land in last place in our division again. If everything comes together, I wouldn’t be shocked to see us land in second in the AL Central and grab a wild card spot.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
We just signed Byron Buxton to a long-term deal as the face of the franchise. If he can stay healthy, and that’s a big if, he’s an MVP candidate. Also, shoutout to Luis Arraez, our underappreciated on-base king.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes, we’ll sneak into a Wild Card spot, lose immediately, and extend the longest playoff game losing streak in the history of American sports.

What’s your record prediction?
80-90 wins. I am prepared for disappointment.

What’s your world series matchup?
The Dodgers and the Mets are the big spenders in the National League. I’ll say the Mets because their billionaire owner seems crazier. In the American League, the Blue Jays seem like they’re putting together a really good team. Jays in 7.

Serengeti
Chicago White Sox

 

(Credit: Courtesy of Serengeti)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
A healthy 2022 White Sox will go back to back as AL Central champs and win the World Series. Tim Anderson leads the AL in batting average, Abreu and Robert finish top 10 in MVP voting, and Tony La Russa wins manager of the year nearly 40 years after he first did it with the Sox.

What are your reasonable hopes?
The reasonable expectations for this team can’t be anything less than a trip to the World Series. The White Sox are in that all too rare window of win now, worry about the future later. No future prospect should be off the table, chips all in, bet big, win big or lose big, no even stevens.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Sadly the biggest offseason move the White Sox made this offseason was dumping Goose Island brewing for Miller Lite. I don’t understand that move, I don’t understand why bottled hot dog water for hydration and nutrition is still not offered at stadiums, and I don’t know how the White Sox have the eighth-highest payroll in the league and 31 million invested in relief pitchers alone. If this season doesn’t go well, Rick Hahn will have a lot of explaining to do.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is a World Series win at home with a walk-off title-winning home run from Tim Anderson who flips his bat so far it miraculously soars across Lake Michigan bringing hope to the masses and world peace. The floor is all of the above without the world peace.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
The only player anyone should ever watch in any sport is Luis Robert. Luis Robert is a six-tool player who is equal parts Mike Trout, Scott Hall, and Roy DeMeo. Survey says he will be the most feared bat in MLB.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
94 wins in honor of the ’94 White Sox, a team that had its certain World Series win ruined by a strike.

What’s your World Series matchup?
White Sox vs Brewers. It gets us closer to my hope of combining Chicago and Milwaukee into a super City State. A move that gets us back to the second largest city ahead of L.A. Sox in 5 in the first-ever Chicagi (Chicago + Milwaukee) classic.

The White Buffalo
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

The White Buffalo
(Credit: Courtesy of The White Buffalo)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Dodgers to win the NL West. I can’t imagine the Giants repeating a 107 game win season.

What are your reasonable hopes?
More than a reasonable chance to go deep in the playoffs with a likely and high hopes of making and winning the World Series.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The signing of Freddie Freeman adds arguably the best and most consistent first basemen in the game. With the addition of Freeman we now boast one of the greatest 1-9 lineups in history of the sport. Love that we resigned Clayton Kershaw who hopefully will finish his career in Dodger blue. The loss of Seager is tough but it opens up shortstop for Trea Turner to return to his natural position. Gonna miss “Mariachi” Joe Kelly. Unpredictable but always entertaining.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is a World Series win. If we stay healthy and our pitching is able to keep opponents at bay we have the best team on paper. That being said baseball is a fickle game where any team can beat any team on any given day. The floor is anything short of a championship.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Cody Bellinger. With his last two years being underwhelming I expect him to shorten up his swing a bit and return to form. After becoming a father during the offseason he’ll have a new sense of power, focus, and maturity. With this newfound dad strength, I predict he hits 40 homers and gets his average up to a productive level. Baseball is such a mental game and belief is nearly as powerful as skill. With renewed purpose, he’s too good of an athlete to have his MVP season and earlier success be a fluke.

Will they make the playoffs?
If they don’t win their division and make it to the playoffs it would be a real disappointment.

What’s your record prediction?
105-57.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs. Astros. Still looking for redemption for the 2017 scandal.

Eddie Spaghetti
Seattle Mariners

 

Eddie Spaghetti
(Credit: Colver Remetch)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Mighty Mariners take it all! All the way to the super bowl with these guys!!

What are your reasonable hopes?
Just make the postseason. For crying out loud, it’s been 21 years already. Ugh.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
It’s a little disappointing to see them not really even be in the hunt for any of the big names available, but they never really are. And even when they did land a Cano or a Cruz, it never really changed much. I like the homegrown talent and I feel like this is a team on the verge.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Well, like I said, the ceiling is to slip in and take the whole thing the floor is another sub .500 season and another boring September with no meaningful games. (Last season was a rare treat in that regard)

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Julio Rodríguez. The No. 3 prospect in all of baseball. The kid can hit!

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes, I expect this will be the year they get in. Of course, they will probably be eliminated in the Wild Card round, but dare to dream, right?

What’s your record prediction?
I think they go 98-66. Good enough to squeeze into the playoffs!

What’s your World Series matchup?
Oh, it’ll probably be the stupid Astros and the Dodgers again, right? Fuck those guys.

David Cook
Kansas City Royals

 

(Credit: Bill Althaus/The Examiner)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m optimistic about the team improving from last season. Some of that will depend on how the pitching staff shapes out. I like the addition of Greinke to the staff, if for no other reason than he can impart some wisdom on an otherwise young starting rotation.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I think anything around .500 ball would be a reasonable hope, which is around an 8-win improvement from last year. We’ve got some huge potential talent on the cusp of making some noise with the MLB squad in Witt Jr., Pratto, Melendez, and others. And with some improvement from existing bats (Dozier, Santana, etc.), I think that’s attainable. But there are some “ifs” there, for sure.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Love the Greinke signing, for reasons mentioned above. Also really like the Amir Garrett trade, assuming last season’s numbers with CIN are more of an outlier than a feature.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The AL Central looks to be tough this year, so I’ll say ceiling – 84 wins third-place finish in the division, floor – 70 wins, last place in the division.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
If anyone is saying a player other than Bobby Witt Jr, they’re lying to themselves. He is the most exciting prospect KC has had since Alex Gordon, in my opinion.

Will they make the playoffs?
I don’t see it this season, but I like the direction the team is going in.

What’s your record prediction?
I’ll say 78-86, somewhere between my ceiling/floor projections.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I went with the Braves and Blue Jays last year and was half right. This season I’ll go with Blue Jays and Mets (shoutout to my buddy and Mets fan, Justin Colombo).

Mike Warne, PKEW PKEW PKEW
Toronto Blue Jays

 

PKEW PKEW PKEW
(Credit: Courtesy of PKEW PKEW PKEW)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Already set out a blanket on Yonge Street for the parade, baby! A million beers.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I am serious; I think the Jays can win it all. Look at that lineup. Springer, Bo, Vladdy, Teoscar batting clean-up … the trade for Matt Chapman is a huge addition. But the real strength is pitching. Kevin Gausman, Berrios who I love, Manoah, Ryu at four and the new guy from Seattle.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Chapman is going to be a star. But getting an ace like Gausman changes the complexion of the staff. Pete Walker can do anything. Beers for Pete Walker.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
World Series. Floor – playoffs. Isn’t everyone in the playoffs now?

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Matt Chapman. He was under-appreciated in Oakland. He’s a star.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. Go Birds.

What’s your record prediction?
92-70.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Blue Jays and Dodgers.

Dave Bruzza, Greensky Bluegrass
Chicago Cubs

 

Dave Bruzza Greensky Bluegrass
(Credit: Courtesy of Dave Bruzza)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Just looking forward to the season really. I’m thinking the Cubs will be a solid team. Growing up a fan, I’ve learned how to love and lose at the same time. The past eight years have been really exciting, but I’m just looking forward to seeing them play.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I’m hoping for a .500 season.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Marcus Stroman. A solid pitching acquisition.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Nico Hoerner I think is ready to be a big leaguer. He’s shown so much promise so far, but I feel he’s now got the experience and is going to keep hustling and really contribute this season.

Will they make the playoffs?
I don’t see them getting to the postseason this year. I hope they prove me wrong, but again I’m used to it, you know?

What’s your record prediction?
I’m thinking they could win 80 games this year. Hopefully more!

What’s your World Series matchup?
I’m gonna pick White Sox vs Mets World Series.

Trey Miller, Cherie Amour
Baltimore Orioles

 

Cherie Amour
(Credit: Courtesy of Cherie Amour)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
My prognosis for 2022, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball as well as the inaugural season for the Cleveland Guardians so off the bat (pun intended) this should be an exciting season! I think the lockout brought an unusual amount of attention to the game and in an odd way could actually draw some new fans.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Being an Orioles fan (and somewhat, a Pirates fan) there isn’t much to talk about in the way of hope but I hope we get to see Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez in the Majors sooner rather than later. Also, I hope that Cedric Mullins continues his dominance and my boy Ryan Mountcastle gets some love – he was straight-up robbed of AL Rookie of the Year in ’21.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
As I’m writing this, there isn’t much to speak of when it comes to offseason acquisitions in Baltimore. I just want Robinson Chirinos to be a solid mentor for Adley, show him what it means to be a big leaguer and all that.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling: All the minor league call-ups hit the ground running and Camden Yards is alive again. Floor: 2022 looks no different than the last few seasons and Mike Elias tells us all to be patient with the rebuild… again.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
This is a tough one! You could always keep an eye on Shohei Ohtani but I’m actually really interested in seeing Wander Franco play a full season in the majors. He came in mid-season last year and beasted out. With that big contract he signed this offseason, it’ll be interesting to see if he lives up to the pressure.

Will they make the playoffs?
HAHAHA, no. I mean… we’re still talking about the O’s, right?

What’s your record prediction?
61-101.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I really would like to see the Padres put a full season together and the White Sox look to be loading up again, signing Josh Harrison and Joe Kelly this offseason. I think both teams improve upon their 2021 seasons and represent their respective leagues in the World Series.

Shane Told, Silverstein
Toronto Blue Jays

 

Shane Told
(Credit: Courtesy of Shane Told)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I was getting VERY nervous for a minute there with this labor dispute. I thought at a minimum we were going to get a bunch of the season canceled and potentially the whole thing. BUT, it worked out and now I get to waste my entire summer watching all 162 Blue Jays games. I am so excited for this season!

What are your reasonable hopes?
You heard it here first people, the Blue Jays are going to not just be good, they’re going to win it all. Last year they had 91 wins, and missed the playoffs by one game, but they played most of their season in Florida and Buffalo in non-MLB facilities, not in front of their fans. They would have surely made the playoffs last year in a normal season, and who knows what kind of damage they could have done.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
What they lost in Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray they more than made up for with Kevin Gausman, Matt Chapman and Yusei Kikuchi. But the biggest thing is going to be the young core of Vladdy, Bo, Lourdes and Cavan having another year under their belts. The destruction Vladdy is doing to the baseball is insane. There is no better offensive player in the game right now.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I think this team will win the AL East and has a very good chance to win it all IF they can stay healthy and IF their bullpen does what it’s capable of doing. Bullpens are always sketchy and for me that’s the question mark. If they have major injuries it’s possible they could be a sub .500 team but that is highly unlikely.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He was the best offensive player last year and only didn’t win MVP because of Ohtani’s historic season on both sides of the ball. This is his fourth season and he’s still only 23! I also think George Springer is very important to this team. He missed a ton of time hurt last year but he’s capable of putting up MVP numbers with Gold Glove defense along with it.

Will they make the playoffs?
As long as injuries don’t derail this team, I think they are absolutely in. Of course, they also play in the toughest division in baseball (minus the lowly Orioles) so it’s not going to be easy! They need to win those series against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays.

What’s your record prediction?
96-66.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Blue Jays and Dodgers. Blue Jays win in dramatic fashion with Vladdy hitting a Game 6 walk-off home run, as Joe Carter watches from the stands…. 29 years later.

Aidan Noell, Nation of Language
Kansas City Royals

 

Nations of Language
(Credit: Courtesy of Aidan Noell)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Similar to last year, mayyybe slightly better. Hopefully our younger talent takes a step forward.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Reasonable hopes: to be competitive in our division. Hopefully squeak into the playoffs as a wild card and do some damage.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Hard to say. It’ll be interesting to see if Zack Greinke can come in and be a dominant ace pitcher. Really excited for Bobby Witt Jr!

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling: the team is cohesive and puts a run together to make the playoffs. Floor: Mike Matheny isn’t able to bring the team together and they fall apart.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I have a couple. We need to see more out of Adalberto Mondesi, hopefully he can stay healthy. Second is Bobby Witt Jr. He has the tools to be the next Royals MVP.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. I think they’ll squeak into the playoffs as a strong Wild Card.

What’s your record prediction?
78 wins, 84 losses.

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

Jacob Bryant
Atlanta Braves

 

Jacob Bryant
(Credit: Courtesy of Jacob Bryant)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m thinking since the lockout is over it will be business as usual, minus the slight delay in spring training for some. Overall, I’m optimistic and excited to see some ball!

What are your reasonable hopes?
My hopes are that my Braves stay healthy this year. Last year. losing Acuña was a huge kick in the gut to the camp, but thank god they pulled it off come hell or high water. I’m glad he will be back and can’t wait to see him shine, he’s a special kind of player that guy!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Well, we all know the drama around the blogs/forums about Matt Olson replacing Freddie and to be honest I’m not necessarily that worried. Matt is a badass and I think he will fit just fine in that roll and be a huge player in the playoff run this year.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Another World Series baby! And there is no floor – can’t be talking any bad juju lol.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I’d say Acuña, again. He’s young, hungry and has a lot to prove after spending a season watching from the bench. I’d say 36-38 home runs easy.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. I’d bet my house on it.

What’s your record prediction?
96-66.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I say Braves vs Yankees – that would be such an epic clash!

David Knudson, Minus the Bear
Seattle Mariners

 

David Knudson
(Credit: Courtesy of David Knudson)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Last season was really fun. There’s a lot of great young talent on the team and we went to a bunch of games. The final homestead where the playoffs were right in front of us was unlike anything I’ve seen in the city for decades. Seattle can be a great baseball town and last season proved it. Sold-out games into September and the energy in the city with the playoffs on the line was incredible.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I’m hopeful this group of young guys can pick up where we left off last season. It was pretty incredible to be playing meaningful baseball all the way to the end of the season last year. Normally by June or July, they’re out of it and the city is looking forward to the Seahawks’ upcoming season. With Russell Wilson gone and the football team in rebuild mode, I’m hoping the Mariners can reboot the city into baseball mode and we keep playing into the playoffs for the first time in decades.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Sad to see Seager retire—he was a core player for so long. I think the trade for Abraham Toro last season will work out well this year although at the time getting rid of Graveman was a total letdown. I would’ve loved to see more action in free agency but in the past that’s also led to things like the bad Cano contract. Our farm system is strong and I trust our homegrown guys are gonna come up and play an important role.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Barring injuries I think the floor is a .500 season. If things play out and our pitchers develop the way everyone says they will a Wild Card spot would be fantastic.

Who’s your player to watch this year? 
Kyle Lewis. He was injured last year but is primed to make a splash. Along with J.P. Crawford and Mitch Haniger, we have a bunch of guys about to break out with awesome seasons.

Will they make the playoffs?
I’m writing this in March and hell yeah I’m saying they’ll make the playoffs! It’s time to dethrone the Astros in the AL West. Get those cheaters outta here. The Angels will be better this season and with Shohei Ohtani they’ll be tough to beat. Last season we saw him hit a homer to a place in T-Mobile Park that has never been touched by a baseball before. Truly remarkable power. I’m hoping we come out on top in the division but might need a wildcard spot to squeak into the postseason.

What’s your record prediction?
90 wins last season almost got us there so I’m going to say 92-70. Our division is tough but I’m hopeful we’ll have just enough to get over the hump.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Kinda flukey that the Braves won it all last year—I don’t see how anyone can stop the L.A. Dodgers in the NL. So I’ll say L.A. vs SEA in the World Series. Sodo Mojo as we used to say 20-plus years ago!

Donovan Woods
Toronto Blue Jays

 

Donovan Woods
(Credit: Courtesy of Donovan Woods)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Brewers look good, San Diego still looks good. I think that Toronto will have a big season. Marlins may be a sleeper.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Blue Jays AT LEAST in the post-season – hopefully, an American League title. But the Postseason, you know, who knows. They could run into some team-of-destiny.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I mean, what’s not to like? Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Matt Chapman. It’s anyone’s guess how they’ll adjust to the move, but I feel like we’ve got a fairly good-time clubhouse. Vladdy obviously very funny. I think baseball analytics should include a ‘comedy and camaraderie’ statistic. It always seems like the teams in the World Series really like each other. But I guess it’s easy when you’re winning.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is they might win the World Series for god’s sake. The floor is they all get injured, and Ryu doesn’t turn it around.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Bo Bichette, pure hitter, surprising in the field. He’s an All-Star. And I try to shave my beard like his and I’m growing my hair out.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. I believe in my heart they will.

What’s your record prediction?
100-62. Which is only nine more wins than last year. The AL East is insane, who knows.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Blue Jays vs. Dodgers (I like Justin Turner a lot).

Trever Keith, Face to Face
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Trever Keith
(Credit: Courtesy of Trever Keith)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Glad the season is still on even with the delay, a lot of teams made big deals for free agents this offseason, hoping for maybe more of a mix up this season than previous years, Dodgers still best in the west

What are your reasonable hopes?
Dodgers defeating the Giants and Padres again this season!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Glad to have Clayton Kershaw and Chris Taylor re-sign with the team, both great players to have in the clubhouse, hoping the Dodgers can get another big star in the lineup, looking like Freddie Freeman might be next!

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Mookie Betts! Another .300-plus BA this season with at least 75 RBIs is the ceiling. Floor probably .275 BA with at least 50 RBIs

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Urias or Buehler! Expecting a lot of wins from both, Urias had 20 wins last season, Buehler had 16 as starting pitchers both with ERAs below 3.00.

Will they make the playoffs?
Absolutely! I think this season they’ll make the playoffs for the 10th season in a row (pretty sure they’ve been in the playoffs every year since 2013).

What’s your record prediction?
Dodgers 100-plus wins this season.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs Blue Jays or White Sox. Both teams made huge moves and are predicted to do very well this season.

Eric Owen, Black Pistol Fire
Toronto Blue Jays

 

Eric Owen
(Credit: Courtesy of Eric Owen)

What’s your prognosis this season?
I think we’re gonna make the playoffs. All the young guys are now finally coming into their own. You’ve got Bo and you’ve got Vladdy and they’re no longer rookies and are some of the best players in the league. I think we’re gonna make the playoffs. And I think we could win it all.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Reasonable? We should make the playoffs. There’s no reason we shouldn’t make a Wild Card.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is obviously winning it all. The floor is that they’re in the toughest division in baseball there they play the Red Sox and the Yankees and Tampa Bay is fucking insane. So they could get squeezed out again. I mean, it’s possible…

Who is your player to watch?
I guess Teoscar Hernández but he’s not really one to watch because he’s an All-Star. But he just goes under the radar because he’s not one of the sons.

Will they make the playoffs?
Fuck yeah.

What’s your record prediction?
90-72.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Jays vs Cardinals. Jays in 6.

 

Reece Young
New York Yankees

 

Reece Young
(Credit: Courtesy of Reece Young)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Honesty I am not too thrilled with the roster put together by GM Brian Cashman. He seems to be content with putting out an aging group of guys. Modern day teams in the league are gonna roll us over. Terrified of the Blue Jays for example. Very young and electric all over the field and up and down the lineup.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I think we make a Wild Card spot especially with the playoffs being expanded this year. Could definitely see four teams in the AL East making it. That’s how good the division is.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Was REALLY hoping we’d go out and get some much-needed pitching help. As of right now, that hasn’t been done yet. Also going to miss Gio Urshela more than probably any other Yankee fan. Loved that guy he did everything. Very glad Gary Sanchez is gone. What a liability behind the plate that guy was. Was not worth the occasional home run.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The best I see us performing is a wild card spot. Worst case scenario we win like 85 games. Keeping my expectations low so I don’t get disappointed.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Nestor Cortes. He is the most fun player to watch in the league. He always looks like he’s having the time of his life out there. AND he’s a good player.

Will they make the playoffs?
Nothing better than a Wild Card spot. If they get that far then who knows.

What’s your record prediction?
90-72.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers-Rays. Both teams are too good.

 

Raul Pacheco, Ozomatli
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Ozomatli
(Credit: Courtesy of Raul Pacheco)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Dodgers will at least make the playoffs…duh…They can still win their league.

What are your reasonable hopes?
The Dodgers have a lot of big bats, the new universal DH might be a little more helpful for them than other teams. Keep the hot DH batter in and if he cools off, throw in the next guy.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
They should sign Freddie Freeman, it would make all other acquisitions take a notch up! [Editor’s note: that they did]

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Always comes does to injuries…how does a team of older athletes stay healthy.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Their young players need to step up like Diego Cartaya! A new hot young player adds a force on the field and relieves some pressure on the dugout, can also be very inspiring!

Will they make the playoffs?
Of course!

What’s your record prediction?
Close to 100 game winning season!

What’s your World Series matchup?
Because I’m a Dodgers fan – Dodgers vs White Sox.

Steve Gorman
Baltimore Orioles

 

Steve Gorman
(Credit: Courtesy of Steve Gorman)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
If by “the season,” you mean the 1983 season….well, then I feel pretty fantastic.

What are your reasonable hopes?
This is the Baltimore Orioles we’re talking about. Reasonable hopes haven’t factored into this equation for years now.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The McCartney gig at Camden Yards in June is easily the greatest pickup of the offseason.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is a .500 record. We know the floor all too well after finishing last season 55-110. Can’t get worse, can it? I probably shouldn’t have asked that question.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Dean Kremer. Rock solid mullet game going these days.

Will they make the playoffs?
Please. Stop.

What’s your record prediction?
63-99, and that may or may not have anything to do with a +/- 62.5 wager that I may or may not have placed.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I feel pretty confident about a team from both The American League AND The National League making it. Beyond that, I just can’t say yet.

Dave Hause
Philadelphia Phillies

 

(Credit: Courtesy of Dave Hause)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Prognosis is super high. The signings of Castellanos and Schwarber have been huge.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Hopes are the playoffs and trip to the NLCS. Citizens Bank Park is a hitter’s park. We have surrounded Harper with guys who can bash — let’s do this. My other reasonable hope is to get to sing the National Anthem at one of the playoff games. I got to sing it at a regular season game last season. C’mon, Phillies. Let’s do this.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The acquisitions have been great. Would have been happy with one guy, we got both.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is a World Series title. I think we will add some pitching at the trade deadline and probably one more bat. Floor is missing the playoffs, but if we stay healthy we are playoffs-bound.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Nick Castellanos. From what I can tell, Philly will love his work ethic and win-at-any-cost attitude. Philly gets a bad rap. We are actually fine with a team losing if they try. It’s entitled bums like Carson Wentz and Ben Simmons that end up drawing the city’s ire.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes

What’s your record prediction?
92-70

What’s your World Series matchup?
Phillies vs Yankees. The Phillies will win because there still is a world where a working class city triumphs.

Del Water Gap
New York Yankees

 

Del Water Gap
(Credit: Phoenix Johnson)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Yankees are going to win. Like they always win. Smash it out of the park.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I think I’d have to say Aaron Judge. I saw him one time at a steak restaurant. I was eating some pasta and I saw him across the restaurant and he was just he was he’s a powerful looking guy.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
93 wins.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Yankees and Diamondbacks because the Diamondbacks were my second favorite team. They were the first major league game that I saw. So I think I’d really like to see them play each other…but the Yankees will win.

Jason Black, Hot Water Music
Atlanta Braves

 

Jason Black Hot Water Music
(Credit: Neltie Black)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I feel like the Braves are in a great spot to take the division again.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I do think they have a very reasonable chance of getting back to the Series. Considering they took it all last year without Acuña, I can’t wait to see how they do with him back for the full season.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Very stoked on the acquisitions so far. I do love how the Braves seem to always be able to make moves in silence. Adding Matt Olson was an absolute necessity with Freeman leaving.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is 100% a repeat championship. The floor I would say is something around third place in the division. The season is long, anything can happen.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Acuña, because he’s the best and he has fun.

Will they make the playoffs?
95% chance on yes.

What’s your record prediction?
90-72.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Braves-Blue Jays.

Parker Gispert, The Whigs
Atlanta Braves

 

Parker Gispert
(Credit: Courtesy of Parker Gispert)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Last season I predicted the Braves would get hot at the right time, upset the Dodgers in the NLCS and win the World Series in six games (all of which came true) so my prognosis for this year is the Atlanta Braves will defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in an epic seven-game NLCS and become the first team since the 2000 Yankees to repeat as World Series champions.

What are your reasonable hopes?
My reasonable hope is we play like the World Champion Atlanta Braves we already are and don’t try to do too much or be anything except for ourselves. The National Champion UGA Bulldog football team and Braves of 2021 have ushered in a new era in Georgia sports and we find ourselves in the unfamiliar position of defending the crown which means that for 162 games our opponent will be gearing up to take on the World Champs with a little extra adrenaline in their system.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
If we learned anything about the Braves from last season it’s that in addition to being a great bass player, Alex Anthopoulos is the best GM in the business. After Ronald Acuña’s injury last year he quickly pivoted and re-assembled our entire outfield by acquiring World Series MVP Jorge Soler, NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario, NL RBI leader Adam Duvall, and the mojo of Joc Pederson before the trade deadline. I have total faith that his decision to let Freddie Freeman go and install Atlanta native Matt Olson as our 1B of the future will work out gloriously and I’m delighted to have strengthened our bullpen by acquiring Kenley Jansen from L.A. and resigning the left-handed bat of Eddie Rosario.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
This is a stronger team on paper than 2021’s World Series championship squad so I’d be remiss to predict anything other than us winning a second straight title as our ceiling. That being said, the floor has come up a little bit so anything less than a trip to the NLCS would feel like a failure.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Ronald Acuña Jr. is the player to watch this year and I’m predicting this will be the first MVP season of his career if he can stay healthy and the time he misses early in the season doesn’t work against him in the voting. It’s a big “if” regarding him staying healthy as he also spent time on the DL in 2020 but it will be interesting to watch him come back slowly as a DH before returning to the OF where he tore his ACL in a season-ending injury last year.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes the Braves will certainly make the playoffs.

What’s your record prediction?
98-64 which is about 10 games better than last year’s team. The Braves have their work cut out for them in the NL East with the Mets, Phillies, Marlins, and Nationals, but I feel like the 2022 Braves will be wearing the swagger of winning the big one and the added confidence will propel them to winning more close games during the regular season.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I predict a rematch of the 1992 World Series between the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays however this time Joe Carter and Ed Sprague will be watching from a safe distance and the Braves will be victorious in five games. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., George Springer, and newly acquired Matt Chapman make this a formidable Blue Jays lineup but their lack of experience on the big stage will stall their title hopes and catapult Atlanta to their second title in as many years.

Devon Allman
St. Louis Cardinals

 

Devon Allman
(Credit: Chris Brush)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Should be an exciting one! Really pulling for the Cardinals to get deep into the playoffs and make a serious run for the WS.

What are your reasonable hopes?
That everyone stays healthy, that our bullpen comes up big! And that Molina continues to crush!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Stoked to check out the new pitchers. I think the team we had last year was really starting to gel in the late summer, so hopefully they can pick up where they left off. Glad to see Flaherty locked in and awaiting Bader and O’Neil.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
This club had a lot of confidence in the final part of the season. If they can keep that momentum going the sky’s the limit.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Both Wainwright and Molina because this is our last year with them. They are local legends and the epitome of pro. I hope they finish with a WS win as a ride off into the sunset.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes!!

What’s your record prediction?
100-62.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Cardinals vs Red Sox.

Ryan Hater, White Reaper
Cincinnati Reds

 

(Credit: Courtesy of Ryan Hater)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
It feels like there’s a lot of mystery around the Reds this season. I think realistically we’re looking at another solid middle of the road season from the good old Reds.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Hopefully we see a lot of rookies excel and find their stride in the league and amongst the Reds roster.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Feels like we really sold the farm this off-season. It’s sad to see Suarez go, but I’m hopeful for the young talent they’ve brought in. Overall it feels like a mixed bag, but I do think the bullpen will be better overall this season.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
In my opinion, the ceiling is that they win the World Series and the floor is they lose every game.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I’m excited to see Jonathan India play. I think he’s very cool and handsome.

Will they make the playoffs?
I could see the possibility of a wild card berth but you never know. Stranger things have happened (season 4 coming soon).

What’s your record prediction?
They will win exactly as many games as they will lose.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I think the World Series matchup this year will be the Mondo Burger ass super team the Dodgers just playing against themselves.

Jaime Preciado, Pierce the Veil
San Diego Padres

 

Jaime Preciado
(Credit: Fearless Records)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Welp… with Tatis being out for three months, the Padres just need to tread water for the time being. Hopefully, stay right around .500. We just can’t be out of it when he comes back. But when he does, they gotta get hot, baby! Hopefully [we] win like 87-to-90 games. Fingers crossed.

What are your reasonable hopes?
To stay as close to the Dodgers as possible. They literally have an All-Star at every position, and that makes me sooooo mad. I’d love to get back the slam in Slam Diego and to have the pitching get back to 2021 season opening/beginning of 2021.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Wanted to see more moves this season, maybe getting more hitters then we can use during the final stretch. Pitching looks fine. Getting Clevenger back is a plus and not to mention, he’s an All-Star. I like Voit, he was solid in the COVID 2020 season, led the league in HR, so that feels good to have him on the roster.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Floor would be doing what we did last year, being 27 games back from the Dodgers!!! I loathe the Dodgers, as any Padre fan should. Ceiling would be to beat the Dodgers more than they beat us. Also to make a deep playoff run, show the world that the Padres deserve to be in the playoffs.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I love Ha-seong Kim! He’s such a fun player to watch. Taking over Tatis while he’s out so he’s got big shoes to fill. Great defender though and he’s definitely a fan favorite. Also excited to watch Clevenger come back and see his stuff, he’s due for a great season and we need it.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes! There’s one more playoff spot available this year since they expanded the playoffs. Plus, our division is stacked so you have to assume the Dodgers are going, too. Did I mention that I dislike the Dodgers?

What’s your record prediction?
I’ll be aggressive here. 90-72 would blow my mind but 87 wins, at the minimum, is a must.

What’s your World Series matchup?
The Blue Jays are looking really good right now so it’s hard not to put them in the conversation. From a baseball fan perspective, I think Mets vs. The Yankees would be wild. I would be bummed if the Dodgers were in there even though they’re favorites. The Padres vs. The Yankees would be the dream. It would be sweet payback from the World Series from 1998 but this time the Padres sweep! I would die a happy man.

JB Brubaker, August Burns Red
Philadelphia Phillies

 

JB Brubaker
(Credit: Courtesy of JB Brubaker)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m expecting to be disappointed as per usual. It’s been a long stretch of mediocrity from the Phils and while they have a lot of talent on the roster they just haven’t been able to put it all together for an entire season. I think a finish around .500, hopefully a few games over, and squeak into the playoffs.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Reasonably I’d like to see the Phillies finish 10 games over .500 and either squeak out an NL East championship, or at least a Wild Card spot.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I’m pleased that they went out and got a bunch of new faces for the bullpen. That has been a very sore spot for many years now. I’d love to see Corey Knebel be a lockdown closer for the team. I’m also pretty stoked on the Kyle Schwarber signing, although he will be yet another defensive liability.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I feel like the ceiling is high if they can play defense and keep runs off the board. I don’t see the Phillies winning the NL Pennant, but if everything goes their way I suppose they could be playing in the NLCS. The floor? Zack Wheeler’s arm falls off and Bryce Harper misses two months with an oblique strain. The Phillies lose 90-plus games and finish last in the NL East. I don’t think it will get that grim, but it’s possible.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I am going to watch Aaron Nola closely. He looked like a bonafide ace coming into 2021, but had a disappointing season, although I believe he got small-balled to death and had really terrible luck. I think Nola’s luck will balance out this season and he will bounce back in a big way. I’m also very excited about a full season of Ranger Suarez in the rotation. He’s not a name everyone knows yet, but I think he could break out this season.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes, I think they’ll slip in as one of the last seeds but get bounced quickly.

What’s your record prediction?
83-79.

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

 

Jon Darbey, The Flatliners
Toronto Blue Jays

 

Jon Darbey
(Credit: Courtesy of Jon Darbey)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I think the Blue Jays will do relatively well. Vegas seems to think so (sounds of coins clankin ’round). The young position players on the team have developed well and I can’t wait to see what they can accomplish. If they qualify, I believe they could most likely do some major harm come October. That is if they can stay healthy though.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Obviously, a postseason would be nice. With this group this year though I would just like to see everyone playing hard, working on their weaknesses and continue to grow. The team’s core is young, way talented and still, over the previous years, have been progressing every year so as long as they’re continuing down the path they’re on I’m stoked. I see big things coming their way at some point. Perhaps not this year, but sometime soon I believe their window will open for some true success in the game.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Mostly excited and curious to see how Chapman fits into the group. The infield the Jays have is wickedly stellar so hopefully it works out for them. Time will tell.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling … Walking away with that Commissioner’s Trophy baby! Floor, well that would be an injury-riddled season or if we can’t figure out this relief pitching part of the game once again. Stoked they brought in Kevin Gausman, though I don’t think starting pitching is exactly the problem they needed to address, they look like a good addition for sure and hopefully they work out well with the team. With the talent on this roster, I’d think the Jays’ “floor” would still look like a respectable season from most teams. We have nothing but positives, so we’ll just watch and see.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
With the Jays I don’t think this question is fair. There’s more than one. I’ll stick to three though. Vladdy! Because I mean, c’mon, it’s Vladdy. This kid is way too good and is quite fun to watch. Rips dingers like no tomorrow. About 45 of ‘em in 160 games in 2021 so myself, my band and I’d imagine the entire city of Toronto are damn stoked to see what can be accomplished this season ahead. There’s Bo Bichette. Kid’s consistently been hitting over .300 since arriving and I don’t predict a drop-off anytime soon. Thirdly, José Berríos. Quite the pitcher and if that RS/9 can continue to stay down in those threes and low fours, which has been the story throughout their career, they’ll make a fun game to watch when starting.

Will they make the playoffs?
I’m going to say I think they have a legitimate chance of making it. Our division is usually quite brutal most years and the season is long, but I’ll predict that they do make it this go around, yes. If not though, no worries, just enjoying watching the process of building a true competitor.

What’s your record prediction?
Hmm… 94-68. A little better than 2021. In 2021 with 91 wins they didn’t even make the Wildcard so I’m stubbornly and somewhat embarrassingly hoping for a better result this year, ha. (91 wins and I’m here wanting more…)

What’s your World Series matchup?
Well, I did pick ‘em to make the playoffs so why not go on a run eh? Dodgers vs Jays.

Jesse Dayton
Houston Astros

 

Jesse Dayton
(Credit: Courtesy of Jesse Dayton)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The overall health of baseball is in decline. Spring training slowed, threat of losing regular season games, attendance is down, and fans are rightfully angry at the owners from the players locked in CBA negotiations. That being said, our Astros almost took it all again last season.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Eight of the nine main position players are returning for 2022. Our pitching lineup is undeniable and we have hitters galore. We could go all the way.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Bummer losing Carlos but we still have Verlander and we just picked up 12 free agents to develop out of Cuba and the DR.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
After last season there is no ceiling, we are poised for greatness. But we have to continue to find our rhythm of great pitching, getting on baseand winning games.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Verlander of course, Pedro Leon and Korey Lee are all on my spring training watch list. Verlander for consistency, Leon and Lee how they integrate into the rhythm of a winning team.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes they’ll make the playoffs.

What’s your record prediction?
Record prediction: Hopefully record wins for home and away games.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Wouldn’t mind seeing the Stros beat the Dodgers again so we can shut down the “trash can” BS once and for all.

Ira George, Movements
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

 

Ira George Movements
(Credit: Courtesy of Ira George)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
For the league as a whole, More base stealing and even more home runs. For the Angels, high hopes with low expectations.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Being an Angels fan has never left me with really any hope. Although I will say that this year I do have some nice optimism. We have one of the better offensive lineups in baseball, with the most prolific hitter in my lifetime in Mike Trout and a two-way star in Ohtani. At the very least we will be exciting to watch.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
We’ve made one big move signing Syndergaard. He’s an ace but it’s really going to come down to health for him and If he goes down we are screwed when it comes to pitching depth. Overall we have not made enough moves to better our chances at making a run this year.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is massive for the Angels. We could easily be one of the top 5 most potent offenses in baseball. The fact that we potentially have Ohtani, Trout, Rendon and Walsh batting one after another is just insane. It all comes down to health and if the Angels are willing to spend more on pitching to make this an all-around team and not solely focused on the offensive end. The floor is horrible for us. Could easily be a bottom feeder in the league as well. All exciting stuff.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Jo Adell. He had a horrible stint last year with the Angels but his minor league numbers are unbelievable and could easily be a 30-20 guy for us in the future, maybe even this year. I love him.

Will they make the playoffs?
I wish I could say a for sure, yes but our division is insanely talented. I think if our stars stay healthy we make the playoffs easily and maybe even more beyond that….

What’s your record prediction?
Wild Card team, 90-72.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I will not say the Dodgers because I want them to crash and burn and I’m not going to say my team because I’m not jinxing anything so I’ll say my NL team and an all-around amazing AL team who both have the potential to go all the way this year.

Phillies vs White Sox.

Ryan Kirby, Fit For a King
Texas Rangers

 

Ryan Kirby
(Credit: Courtesy of Solid State Records)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Overall, I think the season will be pretty unpredictable, which for me, is a reason I like baseball so much. Even with teams spending so much money, they can still be taken out by teams with way smaller payrolls.

What are your reasonable hopes?
For the Rangers, I think they can be a darkhorse difficult playoff team.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Definitely pumped on Seager and Semien. If Seager can stay healthy, it’ll be really fun to watch. Same goes for Garver; that is a really good under-the-radar pick up.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Floor is third place in the West; the ceiling is [being] the Wild Card team that can get hot, and who knows what happens after that.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
It’s hard to not want to watch Fernando Tatis Jr. Hopefully their team can perform up to the talent they have.

Will they make the playoffs?
I think they will sneak into the Wild Card.

What’s your record prediction?
86-76.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Braves vs Astros.

Steve Poltz
San Diego Padres

 

Steve Poltz
(Credit: Courtesy of Steve Poltz)

They’re gonna break my heart. But it’ll be a blast.

Right now I’m filled with all the hopes and dreams I can mustard. Hopefully they’ll ketchup to The Dodgers. I relish the thought of a hot dog like Tatis be able to bun the candle at both ends and drilling homer after homer and stealing many bases.

Breaking news! Fernando Tatis Jr. has fractured his left wrist. The season hasn’t even started. Motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic. I swear to bratwurst I’m Jinxy The Cat. If you want a certain team to be cursed then just to ask me to root for them.

That’s OK. We got Ha-Seong Kim as his backup. He’s from South Korea. I love this team. We’re like the United Nations. Go Pads!

Luke Olson, The Walters
Milwaukee Brewers

 

Luke Olson
(Credit: Courtesy of Luke Olson)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
The Brewers are coming off a great 2021 season. last year, we had the best record in the league and fell just short of the World Series. I believe we’ve retained enough pieces to have a shot at winning it all.

What are your reasonable hopes?
My hope is for a winning season and another run in the playoffs so the people of Wisconsin can enjoy getting together for some cold beverages and fun.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
We picked up a solid veteran in Andrew McCutchen. he’s always been a favorite of mine from his days playing for the Pirates. I’m excited to see what his bat will do for the lineup.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is winning a World Series for the first time in a very long time. the floor is regressing and not even making the playoffs, that would be a bummer.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
My player to watch is Christian Yelich. he’s our highest-paid player and most talented but he’s been plagued by injuries the last couple of years. if he gets back to being healthy then we’re in good shape.

Will they make the playoffs?
They will definitely make the playoffs this year.

What’s your record prediction?
Last year we had 95 wins and 65 losses… so how about 100 wins and 60 losses.

What’s your World Series matchup?
The Milwaukee Brewers vs. Boston Red Sox.

Austin Gee, SixForty1
St. Louis Cardinals

 

Austin Gee
(Credit: Courtesy of Austin Gee)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I have high hopes for the upcoming season. The Cardinals are always at the forefront of the national league standings every year but just can’t quite seem to get it done. But with a healthy roster, I believe they have a real shot at bringing a championship back home to St. Louis.

What are your reasonable hopes?
A National League pennant would be fine too. Even if they don’t go all the way, at least they’ll be the best team to come out of the National League so that still gives us fans something to brag about.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Losing a future Hall of Famer in Jon Lester to retirement will be some big shoes to fill moving forward. But I think signing Zach McAllister and Nick Wittgren were smart pickups to replace him. They both show some big potential in the coming years in my opinion.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
We definitely have all the pieces together to win the World Series this season. If everyone stays healthy when it matters, there’s no reason we can’t make a run!

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Jack Flaherty is the guy on my watchlist this season. He’s coming off a 9-2 pitching record from last season so I’m anxious to see if he can keep improving. Although he’s working through a shoulder injury right now, I know he can be in the National League Cy Young Award conversation if he gets healthy and stays healthy.

Will they make the playoffs?
It’d be unlike the Cardinals if they didn’t make the playoffs. We’ve been on top for a while and coming up short this season wouldn’t be the best feeling for us fans

What’s your record prediction?
I think we’ll finish out the regular season with a 115-67 record and get into the postseason

What’s your World Series matchup?
I’m going to have to go with my St. Louis Cardinals vs. the Houston Astros. They were in the World Series last year and haven’t had any major changes in their roster so they have a good shot at getting back. But the Cardinals will come out on top. I’m calling it now.

Joel Jerome
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Joel Jerome
(Credit: Courtesy of Joel Jerome)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
It’s funny you use the word “prognosis” as its usually used to predict the likely course of a disease or ailment and being that I’m a hardcore Lakers fan this season absolutely feels like a sickness that is out of control…but anyhoooo, while The Dodgers are the ones usually breaking my heart, the signing of Frederick Charles Freeman from the world champion Atlanta Braves have things looking a whole lot better! Everything I’m reading says the lineup has a chance to be one of the greatest offensive teams ever, all we have to do is solidify our pitching (same old story) and we should be a big threat to bring the trophy home. But like I said, going into the season the Lakers were projected to be heavy favorites and a super team and they have been anything but.

What are your reasonable hopes?
They will be in the hunt, most of our important players came back, same coach, familiarity with each other, in other words stability. The addition of Freddie will put them right there as favorites, I see them winning their division and going to the World Series.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Losing Corey definitely hurt but the Dodgers have always been good at plugging the holes on the team with either aggressive trades, their great farm system, or their ability to turn a middling player into an important piece. The Freddie Freeman pickup was great because even though he struggled badly during the first few games of the NLCS, he showed resilience and tremendous clutch in the rest of the games to help boot us from the playoffs. It’s going to be great to add a clutch player who’s not afraid and who’s won on the biggest stage. And he’s from LA so there’s hometown pride and hopefully he shows out.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is a World Series sweep and the floor is not getting out of the first round. I expect them to make the playoffs.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Supremely excited to see Freddie of course but I got my eye on a late-season acquisition from last year, Trea Turner, who won the MLB batting title but struggled mightily in the NLDS and NLCS. He’s one of the fastest guys in the league, has the most hits the past couple of years and now is back to his natural position at shortstop. He’ll now have his first full season with the Dodgers and I see Trae being a big part of our success.

Will they make the playoffs?
Don’t like to jinx it but MOST DEFINITELY.

What’s your record prediction?
I don’t have a solid number, but I see them winning 100-plus games again.

What’s your World Series matchup?
We need payback with the Asstros but I’d also like to see L.A. vs NY, battle of the big cities. L.A. ALL DAY.

Stephen Beebout, Cough Drop Acid
San Francisco Giants

 

Stephen Beebout
(Credit: Vladi Turkov)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Well, the Giants won’t win 107 again. That’s for sure. That kind of season only comes by every so often. Farhan Zaidi did show us that we can kill it without top-of-the-line superstars in the lineup, though. Props to him. Where will we land? …second place? Wild Card? Yeah.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I hope I get to see a drunk fan running around the field and getting tackled by security. That happened during a game I went to last year, and I feel it’s totally reasonable to hope for that again. But for real? I just hope they continue to be a fun team to watch. I get hooked when a different player is stepping up every night and last year provided that. It keeps things interesting when it’s a real team effort.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The Giants pitching staff? Yep. The bullpen? Yep. Overall, they’ve stayed away from multi-year contracts with aging superstars. I think that’s been a great move because they are letting the younger players come in and bring new life to the team. 107 wins running it like that. Bring up Heliot Ramos from the minors, please.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is always a world series championship. The floor? You’ll only get a .500 record out of me.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
We got a new pitcher from the White Sox, Carlos Rodon. I’m watching this guy strictly because he’s left-handed. My mom is left-handed. I put my mouse on the left-hand side of the keyboard. It just makes sense.

Will they make the playoffs?
They’ll absolutely squeak in. I feel like most people have the Padres winning ahead of the Giants, but they’ll choke like they always do. Side note, I really enjoy being in San Diego. It’s a great place.

What’s your record prediction?
87-92 wins.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Giants vs. Red Sox. Best in the West. Best in the East.

Isaac Gibson, 49 Winchester
Atlanta Braves

 

Isaac Gibson 49 Winchester
(Credit: Kandee Wallace)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Despite losing Freddie, Atlanta still has a lot of great bats, a good starting rotation, the best bullpen in baseball, and the best PLAYER in baseball in Ronald Acuña Jr. If Matt Olson can make another leap forward or at least not regress, the Bravos could be very dangerous again.

What are your reasonable hopes?
First step is winning the division, so an NL East title is a start. I don’t think an NLCS run or a WS run are out of the question at all, especially if they can avoid the injury bug.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The big one that everyone is talking about is Freddie leaving, and Matt Olson taking his place, and I don’t think ATL could have found a better fit. Local guy, Georgia boy, big bat, still hasn’t reached his prime (theoretically as a 27-year-old). He had a great season last year, hit for power and still batted .271, so I think this offseason was a success. The front office knocked last year’s late-season acquisitions out of the park and they did well this offseason too.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The floor is going to be if the injury bug sets in. And although Acuña is the one on people’s minds, I hope our arms can stay durable and not regress. I’m confident in the lineup. The ceiling is 100 wins and another World Series. The pieces are there, at the plate and on the mound, and if this young core keeps blossoming, Atlanta will be hard to stop.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Gotta say Ronald. He was on pace for a gargantuan season last year when he went down, and he is the most exciting player in baseball in my opinion. So seeing his recovery once he is back in the lineup as a DH, and eventually on the field, will be interesting.

Will they make the playoffs?
Barring an injury-filled season, I think they will definitely make the playoffs. I think we can win the NL East outright and punch our own ticket.

What’s your record prediction?
95-67.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Braves v. Winner of the AL East, which is absolutely stacked.

Jake Scott
Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Jake Scott
(Credit: Courtesy of Jake Scott)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I’m hopeful the Dodgers will have a good season with Muncy back and having managed to get Chris Taylor to stay on the roster as well. It’s sad to see Seager go, but we still got Trea Turner who can kill it as shortstop.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Dodgers World Champions, DUH. But actually, I feel like the Mets could also have a great season; they’ve acquired some really heavy hitters.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I’m glad we got Kershaw for another year and really hoping we’ll get Freeman as well, especially now that it seems that the Yankees are out of the conversation.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
As always, if our bats are consistent, we shouldn’t have much of a problem. Our defense is so strong it just hinges on our approach at the plate.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I’m a big Justin Turner fan! I love the way he plays the game and he’s just so consistent, especially in the postseason.

Will they make the playoffs?
Absolutely!!

What’s your record prediction?
Hard to guess!

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs Astros, with Dodgers winning to make up for 2017.

Nuno Pereira, A Wilhelm Scream
Boston Red Sox

 

Nun Pereria
(Credit: Courtesy of Nuno Pereira)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Now that the Players Union and MLB have come to agreeable terms, I see this season playing out just fine. There was a lot of talk about cancellations, and honestly, I didn’t think we’d see any games until June! Thankfully it looks like there’s only a one-week delay for the Sox/Yankees season opener.

What are your reasonable hopes?
For starters, I hope the Sox destroy NY. Haha. But again, now that the black cloud of Lockout has passed, and with the addition of DHs in the National League (among other rule changes), we should be in for some exciting baseball.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Bringing JBJ back was a solid move, in my opinion. Hunter Renfroe had a career year but was probably not worth the 7 or 8 million he was asking, so moving him in that deal made sense. I think the team did what they could with their bullpen signings but I don’t know that they have a stud middle-relief guy yet. There’s rumors that the Sox might go after Freddy Freeman…oooooh that would be so dope. That dude can flat-out HIT.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I think this Red Sox team can make another deep playoff run if the starters stay healthy (I’m looking at you Chris Sale). Defense looks solid and even though they fell asleep in the ALCS, the bats were cooking until Game 3.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I can’t get enough of Rafael Devers. That dude is just electric but I feel like that’s too easy a choice. So, I’m gonna go with Bobby Dalbec. His rookie numbers were pretty awesome; he struck out a lot but he managed a .240 batting average with 25 dingers and a respectable OBP. He could break out this year. Keep an eye out.

Will they make the playoffs?
I don’t like speaking in superlatives but ABSOLUTELY! The Yankees are still the odds-on favorite to come outta the East, but lucky for me I don’t buy into odds-makers BS.

What’s your record prediction?
I think that a 90-95 win season is not outta the realm of possibility.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I gotta go full homer on this one. Sorry, not sorry. Boston Red Sox Vs. LA Dodgers. Miss ya Mookie!

…Honorable Mention Yankees, Rays, Giants, and Brewers.

Jared Hart, Mercy Union
New York Yankees

 

Jared Hart
(Credit: David Patiño:

What’s your prognosis for the season?
That I’ll be ingesting a lot of Tums™ this year.

What are your reasonable hopes?
My reasonable hopes are that they’re not done adding some pieces to the puzzle, and that they’ll stay healthy enough to be competitive in a really tough division.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
It’s hard to not be a little disappointed at the moment. When you’ve got names like Freeman, Olson, Story and Scherzer flying around you expect the Yankees to make a run at one of them. Watching Gio go was a bummer. Rizzo definitely isn’t the worst option to lock in at first. I’m very curious about how the middle of the infield is going to be managed day-to-day, and also, do they back up the Brink’s truck for Judge?

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I think the ceiling is making the playoffs cleanly and going on a deep run. I don’t think this lineup is anywhere close to a guarantee at the moment, but if they can somehow get there and keep the momentum going, anything could happen. The floor would probably be the team ending up as injury-prone as they have over the last few seasons and they don’t even scrape into the Wild Card.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
There’s a couple for me. Gleyber needs to bounce back in a big way. His lack of power last year was hard to understand and I’m hoping he can settle back in to where he was. I’m also hoping DJ returns to deadly form. Severino might be my most anticipated, though. I was at Spring Training in ’19 when he was injured and his absence has had a pretty big impact on that team. I’m hoping he becomes the reliable number two behind Cole in an already curious rotation.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. Positive visualization.

What’s your record prediction?
I’m going to say 90-72.

What’s your World Series matchup?
I’m going Yanks and Dodgers. Give me the bookend series, bright lights, and palm trees.

Swami John Reis, PLOSIVS, Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu
San Diego Padres

 

Swami John Reis
(Credit: Courtesy of Swami John Reis)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I will continue to enjoy baseball although the powers that be continue to disrespect the game and cater to a population that will most likely never find the sport entertaining. NOT happy about that fucking stupid runner on second in extras. Stoked about ditching fucking lame seven-inning double-headers. I don’t think games need to be shorter. They are expensive and I want my fucking money’s worth. This year we will see starting pitchers continue to go shorter and matchups and analytics will permeate. The deepest rosters will dominate the competition. Padres have potential. Potential to be great. Potential to be something else, too.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I hope the Padres will figure out a way to not run out of gas before the season’s end. That is the biggest hurdle. Sustain a high level of competition until the end. The Wild Card is a very reasonable hope (although I hope for more).

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Yay, we get a Yankee. I dunno much about Luke Voit. I hate the Yankees. Hopefully he stays healthy and hits 80 home runs by the All-Star break. The lineup needs more pop against lefties so maybe he will fit nicely. Seems like the Padres make moves that exacerbate pre-existing lineup dilemmas. I wasn’t really expecting them to do much this off-season in terms of player acquisitions. I wouldn’t be surprised by a quality bullpen addition. The team is really good on paper. I do appreciate that this Padres organization is playing to win, which is kind of a new concept in San Diego. New manager Bob Melvin seems like a valuable piece to whatever success the team has. I’m really excited to see how he handles this team.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is the World Series. Lotsa things have to happen in order to get there. Bounce back seasons for Darvish and Snell. Clevinger returning to his old form after TJ surgery. The pitching could end up being quite formidable. As for offense, we need more people to contribute other than Machado and Tatis. The floor is something I don’t even want to imagine, especially before the season even starts. Now is a time for hope and the prospect for greatness.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
If you are unfamiliar with the Padres look at 2B Jake Cronenworth. I expect him to have a great season. He’s scrappy and plays hard. Also, Grisham is really fun to watch in CF. I hope he can have better AB’s in 2022.

Will they make the playoffs?
Fuck yeah they will.

What’s your record prediction?
92-70.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs. Dodgers. They can jack themselves off.

Dylan Bauld, flor
Chicago Cubs

 

Dylan Bauld
(Credit: Courtesy of Dylan Bauld)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I think it will be a mediocre season and they’ll fall right in the middle of the NL Central. This year will be more about player development and seeing which young guys are ready to compete at the big league level every day.

What are your reasonable hopes?
If they can finish the season above .500, I’ll be happy.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
It’s really disappointing that they didn’t bring back Javy, Bryant or Rizzo. That said, the signing of Marcus Stroman was really exciting, and I’m also excited to see what Seiya Suzuki can do in here in the U.S. after so much success in Japan. I think he was a great signing. Now I just hope they extended Willson Contreras…

What’s the ceiling/floor?
I don’t think it’s impossible for them to catch some fire and put together a decent season. I have a hard time seeing them make the playoffs, even as a wild card, but the division isn’t as strong as it has been in previous years so anything could happen. As for a floor, I don’t see them finishing below third in the division.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Brennen Davis. He’ll be starting the season in the minors, but if and when he’s called up, I think he could be our next big star and impact player. There’s so much potential with him.

Will they make the playoffs?
Unfortunately, they will not.

What’s your record prediction?
82-80.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Dodgers vs Blue Jays. Dodgers win it.

Luke McNeill, The Copyrights
St. Louis Cardinals

 

Luke MacNeill
(Credit: Courtesy of Luke MacNeill)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Like always I think the Cardinals are gonna win it all! Growing up in Southern Illinois (and really all around that region) the Cards are the only constant hopeful in sports. Tickets to Busch were the only economical “big time” sporting event for a lot of people including myself, and we were spoiled with an awesome baseball team in a super small market for most of my life. I’ll always be a delusional fan.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Reasonable hopes are probably losing to the Dodgers in the NLCS.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Since the division has gotten weaker I’m not super bummed about the lack of offseason moves but I still wish we could get Albert [Pujols] back for the first NL DH season. [Editor’s Note: That they did.]

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is hanging another banner, floor is Wild Card!

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I think Dylan Carlson will become a star this year.

Will they make the playoffs?
Book it.

What’s your record prediction?
99-63.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Cardinals and White Sox MIDWEST IS BEST.

Matt the Electrician
San Francisco Giants

 

Matt the Electrician
(Credit: Kathie Sever)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
I look forward to 162 games, played well, with the fewest number of injuries and losses, and an appropriately corresponding number of wins.

What are your reasonable hopes?
My hopes are always unreasonable and fantastical, but I cling to them well into the month of October despite whatever statistical realities may or may not exist.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Despite his previous Dodger-ness, I happily welcome Joc Pederson, as he grew up a Bay Area kid, and therefore clearly belongs with the Giants, plus, you gotta love the pearls.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
As the great Paul Simon said, one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor. He also said, I can call you Betty, and Betty when you call me you can call me Al, so who can really say?

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I love watching “Late-Night” LaMonte Wade, Jr. hit, and hope that this season features more of that. And although I’m not always sure I trust him, I’m a sucker for sidearm relievers, so can’t help but pull for Tyler Rogers on the mound in the mid-to-late innings.

Will they make the playoffs?
This feels like a trap. You are aware of all the superstitions in baseball, right? Oh jeez, I’ve already said too much…

What’s your record prediction?
I predict that while vinyl will continue to be delayed, my pressing should be done by the All-Star break.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Giants vs Blue Jays, so if we don’t win, at least Canada wins.

Jarret Nathan, PEARS
New York Yankees

 

Jarret Nathan
(Credit: Courtesy of Jarret Nathan)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
This season is built up to be a heck of a doozy if you know what I’m saying. I fully expect to pay as much attention to baseball as I’m going to in the first three weeks of the season, almost entirely lose interest for the next few months, and then get back into it in September as the playoffs slog closer. It’d be nice if Aaron Judge stayed healthy enough to be in the homer race, but I won’t hold my breath.

What are your reasonable hopes?
Reasonable you say? I fully expect the Yankees to win the Series every year, which is my fatal flaw as a fan of this team having grown up in the ’90s.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
Word has been going around about the lack of stellar free-agent signings, such as Max Scherzer and Carlos Correa. Josh Donaldson is a neat add, though at the expense of Gary Sanchez, who I’ve been a decent fan of since he came up. I’m not too bummed at failing to land a star free agent player. I don’t mind not spending hundreds of millions of dollars on players each year. We will see, we will see.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Again, as a Yankees fan, the ceiling is winning the World Series. That’s the expectation each year and I don’t mind them having that pressure. The floor, of course, is a complete collapse which would probably involve Hal Steinbrenner doing something completely idiotic. Would not be a fan of firing Aaron Boone midseason.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Truly all I want is for Judge to stay healthy and hit more home runs than any other player in the league. I’m interested to see Cole come back from the dire outing against the Red Sox in the playoffs last year. Also, Gleyber Torres just had a baby so look for an early burst of excitement from him. Baby fever brings out the best in athletes, usually.

Will they make the playoffs?
They freakin’ better.

What’s your record prediction?
Anything above 90 wins would be pleasing, but I’m calling 100 this year baby.

What’s your World Series matchup?
First off, I would LOVE to see the Yankees crush the Guardians in the playoffs this year, if only to spite the one rowdy fan that tried to come on stage and fight me during a set in Cleveland a few years ago at a show while the two teams were playing each other. Literally all I said was ‘Go Yankees’ and this dude stormed the stage swinging. I’m going with Yankees vs Dodgers this year. That’d be a fun series. I’d also like to add that the Yankees haven’t made the World Series since 2009. I’m ready for that drought to be over. Go Yanks.

Russ Rankin, Good Riddance
San Francisco Giants

 

Russ Rankin
(Credit: Courtesy of Russ Rankin)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Hopefully improving on the success of last season. Competing for NL West title.

What are your reasonable hopes?
NL West title or NL Wild Card.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
They seem to have been pretty quiet – no big-name acquisitions as of yet.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Ceiling is winning the NL West.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Joey Bart. Second overall pick a few years ago. Succeeding a legend (Buster Posey) at the position.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
They won 107 games last season. I’ll say they go 95-67.

What’s your World Series matchup?
SF Giants vs Boston Red Sox.

Dawson Daugherty, Almost Monday
San Diego Padres

 

Dawson Daugherty
(Credit: Dawson Daugherty)

What’s your prognosis for this season?
World Series victory. I think the Dodgers are not going to be nearly as good as they were. And I don’t think the Giants are going to be as good. The Dodgers are still going to be hard to beat but I think the Giants won’t have that crazy season that they did. We’re getting our bullpen and Clevinger healthy. They have to let the talent and all the players do their thing and not get in the way of that. They’re exciting to watch.

What are your reasonable hopes for this season?
Beat the Dodgers. I’d be so hyped because of all of those L.A. trolls, dude. I live in Silver Lake but I despise the Dodgers stuff.

Who’s your player to watch?
Cronenworth. He’s just such a baller. I hope they moved him to first base and move Frazier to second.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yeah.

What’s your record prediction?
Over 100 wins I’d hope.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Padres and the Yankees. Padres win.

Willy Braun
Boston Red Sox

 

Willy Braun
(Courtesy of Willy Braun)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
We’re going all the way. All the way.

What are your reasonable hopes?
I have no reasonable hopes, it’s World Series champs or nothing!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
I wish we’d have gone after some more pitching but the bats are gonna get us five-six runs a game so as long as we can keep the opposition under that we’ll be OK.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Regular season winning the AL West.
Floor winning over half the games

Who’s your player to watch this year?
JBJ is back with the Sox and he’s due for a good year at the plate. We all know he’s gonna save a lotta runs with his range and his arm, so if he can get it going at the plate it’ll be a hell of a season for him.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yep.

What’s your record prediction?
98-64.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Sox-Dodgers.

Eric Nizgretsky, Loose Buttons
New York Mets

 

Eric Nizgretsky, Loose Buttons
(Credit: Courtesy of Eric Nizgretsky)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
How can you not feel great? A huge offseason gives the Mets a historic one-two punch of Hall of Famers leading the best rotation in baseball, and a batting order that was projected to win 93 games last year comes back fully healthy and mostly intact, with three new starting-level guys in the mix to bring the depth to new heights.

And yet, how can you possibly feel great? This is the same team that’s flamed out epically at every chance they’ve had since 2016. But nobody sat through multiple Jerad Eickhoff starts last year to give up before Uncle Stevie gets us back to the promised land. LFGM.

What are your reasonable hopes?
The sky is the limit with this team but there are no doubt some very real questions. Can DeGrom stay healthy and can Scherzer stay elite at 37? (Yes.) Is the bullpen good enough to hold up against such a tough division of hitters? What even is Robinson Cano in 2022? Inevitably it won’t be the perfect season the experts are predicting, but with any luck, they should be playing meaningful baseball deep into October. And that’s something to celebrate.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
There’s nothing not to love here. Scherzer is Scherzer. Bassitt could be the ace on a lesser team. The outfield is revamped and the defense is improved. Quality guys like J.D. Davis and Dom Smith might not even be able to find playing time. If I’m picky, give me a left-handed bullpen arm and a fourth outfielder. But it’s hard not to love what they’ve done here.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
What happens when an unstoppable force (Steve Cohen’s wallet) meets an immovable object (the Mets’ atrocious luck). A repeat of last year is the floor – 70-something wins, a rash of injuries, open animosity towards fans/coaches/teammates/vaccines and a couple of GM scandals for good measure. The ceiling would be finally turning the corner, going deep in the playoff and becoming a contender for years to come. I’m good with that one!

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Edwin Diaz puts it all together, returns to 2018 form and wins NL Reliever of The Year. Timmy Trumpet elected Mayor of New York.

Will they make the playoffs?
They absolutely should. Especially with the expanded wild card this year. It’s a tough division, the Braves are obviously coming off a World Series win and the Phillies could make some noise as well adding Schwarber and Castellanos. So the sign of a real jump would be winning the NL East. But we’ll get to the postseason any way we can, and rely on that top-notch starting pitching from there.

What’s your record prediction?
91-71, taking the NL East from the Braves on the last day of the season. Let’s be on the right side of that for once.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Mets make the NLCS, but the Dodgers take it home over the Blue Jays in 6. Cohen doesn’t forget it in the offseason.

Taylor Englert, Mike and the Moonpies
Houston Astros

 

Taylor Englert
(Credit: Courtesy of Taylor Englert)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
There’s a lot of baseball in the season but coming off the last season with the energy they had that got them the World Series appearance, I hope the dudes keep that same energy this season

What are your reasonable hopes?
Reasonable is subjective but I hope they win the world series in four games!

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
We’ll see. We’ll see. Don’t know anything about ’em.

What’s the ceiling/floor?
Regular season winning the AL West. Floor winning over half the games.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Kyle Tucker.

Why?
Love watching him hit and catch some wild flys. He got me amped last season.

Will they make the playoffs?
Yes.

What’s your record prediction?
102-60.

What’s your World Series matchup?
2021 rematch.

Chris Berardo
New York Yankees

 

Chris Berardo
(Credit: Courtesy of Chris Berardo)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Well, they say everybody’s got an even shot on Opening Day, but not really, and the bigger market teams will certainly be the ones to watch … and a beautiful part of being a Yankee fan is that we are ALWAYS in the hunt …

What are your reasonable hopes?
“Anything less than a World Series Championship is a failure” – George M. Steinbrenner

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
The Yankees have been curiously quiet on the trade and free-agent markets, but resigning Anthony Rizzo and acquiring Josh Donaldson from Minnesota are moves that I will sanction …

What’s the ceiling/floor?
There are some big holes but a lot of talent so I’d say the floor is still close to 90 wins … as for the ceiling, please refer to the late George M. Steinbrenner above …

Who’s your player to watch this year?
I think Joey Gallo is very determined to prove that his disappointing half-season after coming to NY was not who he is … plus, Tony Rizzo and Joey Gallo, a couple of Italian American guys in Da Bronx, it’s a natural!

Will they make the playoffs?
The AL East is going to be an absolute dog fight as usual but if they don’t there will be riots in the streets…

What’s your record prediction?
94-68.

What’s your World Series matchup?
Well, I’d like to see some kind of shocking series of events that lead to a Yankees-Pirates series, a completely rebuilding team, so I wouldn’t be nervous and sick about every pitch! Some bizarre miracle where I can relax for once and enjoy the wings … and also avenge the dark travesty of 1960!

Christopher Wells, The Neverlutionaries
Philadelphia Phillies

 

Christopher Wells The Neverlutionaries
(Credit: Christopher Wells)

What’s your prognosis for the season?
Go Phillies! I’m stoked that the lockout is over and hope that it doesn’t mentally affect the players in anyway, though I don’t think it will. We haven’t been to the World Series since 2009 and haven’t made the playoffs since 2011, so we are beyond due. It would be great for us to make that happen this year. Something tells me that at least a Wild Card spot is in their future! We are literally loaded to the gills with talent, so it’s now or never.

What are your reasonable hopes?
First off, we have one of the best in the game in MVP Bryce Harper and we all know what he can do. Philly has had bullpen issues in the past but I think we are good now! With Zach Wheeler coming off of a second-place finish in Cy Young Award voting last year leading the rotation and the most complete group of pitchers that we’ve had in Nola, Suarez, Gibson and Elfin, I think we can tie it all together this season. And with the addition of Nick Castellanos, we have all the pieces in place for a great year! My fingers and toes crossed, of course, that we can snap that 10 season absence from the second.

What do you think of your team’s new acquisitions (or lack thereof)?
We signed Kyle Schwarber a while back and he’s already doing his thing! He’s a beast for sure and one of the best hitters in the game! He will be able to make an instant impact for us. Nick Castellanos was also signed in late March and he’s going to be an excellent addition to the Phillies. With a new $100 million contract, he needs to show us that he is worth it but I feel that him sitting out for a year coupled with his pure talent will make him hungrier now than ever. He is in his prime, baby!!

What’s the ceiling/floor?
For the first time in a long while, we have the potential to go all the way to the top is my ceiling prediction. The floor would be another second-place finish in our division.

Who’s your player to watch this year?
Nick Castellanos!!! (Can you tell I’m stoked about him?)

Why?
He is such an awesome player! He brings serious credentials (Silver Slugger Award, an All-Star appearance, etc.) from his last season in Cincinnati and he has that swag about him that we love! Philly is notoriously all