Skip to content

And now the HBT staff’s 2014 predictions

Mar 31, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

Oracle of Delphi

We’re usually way wrong with this stuff. Waaaay wrong. All of us picked the Phillies to win the NL East in 2012. We all picked the Nationals last year. Not picking the Braves is probably always madness, I have no idea. But we’re all likely going to all whiff on one or 24 of these picks this year, too. Bank on it. But we make our picks anyway because that’s what professional baseball writers do. And, unlike some folks out there, we own our wrongness. Those other analysts merely adopt the wrong. But we’re born in it, molded by it.

Which is to say: we don’t take this exercise entirely seriously. No battle plan survives engagement with the enemy and such. If these predictions make you angry or resentful or convinces you that someone harbors bias or a vendetta against all that you love, well, you probably need to see a therapist.

Whatever the case, it’s fun to try to predict the future, darn it, so here we are. Wild card picks have an asterisk next to them.

CRAIG

AL East: Red Sox, *Rays, Yankees, Orioles, Jays
AL Central: Tigers, Royals, Indians, White Sox, Twins
AL West: Rangers, *Athletics, Angles, Mariners, Astros
NL East: Nationals, *Braves, Mets, Marlins, Phillies
NL Central: Cardinals, *Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Cubs
NL West: Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks, Rockies
World Series: Cardinals vs. Rangers — Cardinals win.

AARON

AL East: Red Sox, *Rays, Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles
AL Central: Tigers, Indians, Royals, Twins, White Sox
AL West: Rangers, *Angels, A’s, Mariners, Astros
NL East: Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Mets, Marlins
NL Central: Cardinals, *Pirates, Reds, Brewers, Cubs
NL West: Dodgers, *Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres, Rockies
World Series: Dodgers vs. Red Sox — Dodgers win

MATTHEW

AL East: Rays, *Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays
AL Central: Tigers, *Royals, Indians, White Sox, Twins
AL West: Athletics, Angels, Rangers, Mariners, Astros
NL East: Nationals, Braves, Marlins, Mets, Phillies
NL Central: Cardinals, *Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Cubs
NL West: Dodgers, *Giants, Diamondbacks, Padres, Rockies
World Series: Cardinals over Rays

D.J.

AL East: Rays, *Red Sox, *Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays
AL Central: Tigers, Indians, Royals, White Sox, Twins
AL West: Rangers, Athletics, Angels, Mariners, Astros
NL East: Nationals, *Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins
NL Central: Cardinals, Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Cubs
NL West: Dodgers, *Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks, Rockies
World Series: Cardinals vs. Rays – Rays win

DREW

AL East: Red Sox, *Rays, Yankees, Orioles, Jays
AL Central: Royals, *Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Twins
AL West: Rangers, Angels, Athletics, Mariners, Astros
NL East: Nationals, *Braves, Phillies, Mets, Marlins
NL Central: Cardinals, *Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Cubs
NL West: Dodgers, Giants, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Padres
World Series: Nationals vs. Rays — Nationals win.

BILL

AL East: Red Sox, *Rays, Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays
AL Central: Royals, Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Twins
AL West: Rangers, *Athletics, Angels, Mariners Astros
NL East: Nationals, *Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins
NL Central: Cardinals, *Reds, Pirates, Brewers, Cubs
NL West: Dodgers, Padres, Diamondbacks, Giants, Rockies
World Series: Red Sox vs. Dodgers — Dodgers win in 6

  1. chiadam - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Six writers for HBT, six picks for the Cubs to finish in last place. Urge to kill….rising!

    • cincinata - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Reminds me of a movie I saw once. You want the Truth? You can’ stand the truth! I once was in Vegas about three years ago and betting on the upcoming BB season at the sports book. The guy at the desk was from Chicago and we started talking about possibilities. He said the Cubs were 60-1 for winning the series on the next year. He said the odds should be 600-1, except for the crazy Cub fans who bet big money on them for the upcoming season, thinking this is the year for the Cubbies. He said they are all nuts but he understood the thinking, being from Chicago. Chidam, I think he was talking about you too.

      • scatterbrian - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        Weird, that movie reminds me of a scene from A Few Good Men, which has one of the most famous exchanges of dialogue in movie history. Tom Cruise says “I want the truth!” and then Jack Nicholson says “You can’t handle the truth!”

      • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        Not much difference. You have a better memory than I.

    • pilonflats - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      im not trying to pile on, but have you seen the roster?

      • chiadam - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:57 PM

        Yes. But I tried to avoid it as long as I could.

    • nbjays - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      That beats the 5/6 that have my Jays in last place.

      I saw the perfect quote from Stephen Brunt of Sportsnet yesterday trying to explain everyone’s views on the Jays this year. He says everyone has made a complete 180 and gone from “completely overblown irrational optimism” for the 2013 team to “completely overblown irrational pessimism” for what is essentially a healthier version of the exact same lineup, with a vast improvement at catcher.

      Meanwhile, I’ll keep my eyes out for recipes that make crow more palatable.

      • nbjays - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        And by “everyone” he was referring to everyone in the sports media world.

      • raysfan1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        I seem to remember one as a child, something about a pie stuffed with 24 of them..,

      • Jeremy T - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        I think the rest of the division has a lot to do with it, too

      • hk62 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:55 PM

        raysfan1…those were black birds, far more tasty than crow…

      • raysfan1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        I posted the comment for a lark.

    • deathmonkey41 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    • happytwinsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      six writers for HBT and no less than one of them picks the twins not to finish last. we’re on our way!

      • dluxxx - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        Gleeman’s homerisim knows no bounds.
        /s

      • jwbiii - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        They are competing against the White Sox, so there is a chance at 4th!

    • lazlosother - Mar 31, 2014 at 7:27 PM

      Six terrapins for the Mystery Men reference.

  2. kopy - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Aaron picking the Twins 4th?? What a homer!

    • Francisco (FC) - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      Kind of like Bill picking the Phillies to finish 4th in the NL East. Man, you guys just HAVE to check in the homer bias at the door, otherwise how can I trust these predictions?

    • happytwinsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      the twins finished fourth last year. they may not be much better this year, but how are they worse?

      • kopy - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        I actually put html brackets like and around the comment so that the sarcasm font would be more obvious, but I didn’t use periods and WordPress hid the formatting. I just thought it was funny the Twins fan was the only person who didn’t pick them 5th.

  3. kyzslew77 - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    When the Rockies win 80 games and finish in 4th, I will accept an apology in writing (from everyone except Drew).

  4. squakdawg - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    I love that you pick the Angles to finish third in AL West…

  5. Brian Murphy - Mar 31, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Someone has been watching BaneCat

  6. jm91rs - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    All but one picked the Reds over the Pirates. I’m a Reds fan but I have little optimism coming into this year. I’m wondering if the Pirates just can’t get past the “yeah but they’re still the Pirates” perception problems they’ve had for years.

    • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      I am with you on this one. I think the Bucks will beat out the Reds and the Cards too.

  7. 18thstreet - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Sure, it’s easy to pick the Dodgers now. But where were you before the season started?

    Buncha frontrunners.

    • natstowngreg - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:44 PM

      The Dodgers are in 2nd place.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        THEY HAVE THE MOST WINS IN BASEBALL!!!11!!one!

  8. raysfan1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    “AL West: Rangers, *Athletics, Angles, Mariners, Astros”

    Craig, didn’t know the Angels changed their name, but I like it. Some other team should name themselves the Saxons too. We could have an all-barbarian series.

    • nolanwiffle - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:49 PM

      He’s just being obtuse. But, in your heart, you know he’s right.

    • nbjays - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      You know proper team name spelling has never been Craig’s forte… loyal Barves fan that he is.

  9. mf44srq - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Collectively, the Rays & Cardinals are listed as in the World Series 3 times. Based on your combined histories, they should kiss their season goodbye…

  10. Kevin Gillman - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    So none of you “experts” picked the Indians making the playoffs again? Well, I guess you will be wrong, just like last year.

    • daveitsgood - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      and the year before that! and the year before that too and the year before that! They were always so wrong not picking the Indians to make the play offs all those years, 2013 really showed them, didn’t it? Luckily, all we have to do is go back to 2008 to show them how wrong they were the last time in picking against the Indians to make the playoffs. Chump “experts” /sarcasm

      • Kevin Gillman - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        Lighten up Francis, you do realize I was being sarcastic a bit too, right? However, I trust Terry Francona as the Indians manager. I know he will get these guys to play hard for a full season, and the younger players know what it felt like to play meaningful games in October. Last season wasn’t a fluke, but we will see.

      • daveitsgood - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        Well no, I didn’t realize that because unless you explicitly state you’re being sarcastic or make a comment so outrageous that it can’t be interpreted any other way than you being facetious, over interwebs, sarcasm doesn’t translate well in writing. I’m glad you feel optimistic about the Indians, it’s that time of the year for optimism of a team until the stark realities of failure crush all hopes.

  11. nymets4ever - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    I’m not too optimistic about the Angles – they have some acute pitching problems. They will need some supplementary arms to help out from the farm system and fill in as complementary pieces, then they might be all right.

    • nymets4ever - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      They did sign some decent relievers, so the bullpen could be a solid segment of the pitching staff. But the quality of their starting pitching will need to become parallel with their fearsome offense for them to truly turn 180 degrees from last year.

      • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:44 AM

        Mike will have to carry the team, because Albert will be a no show again this year. I liked Albert a lot, but then I think it is true that he must be about 40 years old as they say. And why they traded for Freese is a wonder to me. He will not help on “D”, and now I hear that he hasn’t hit an extra base hit in all of ST. Doesn’t sound too promising.

  12. buggieowens - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    I remember one person…one person and one person only picking the Red Sox to win the WS last year when HBT experts and commentators made their choices.

    And that person was….

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/29/2013-preview-the-hardballtalk-staff-predictions/

    Oh never mind. Could you have at least picked another image to use for this year?

    I am going to go out on a limb and pick the Red Sox to win the W.S. this year.

  13. phillysports1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    My predictions –

    NL
    East – Nationals
    West- Dodgers
    Central -Cardinals
    Wildcard -Braves
    Wildcard- Giants
    NL MVP- Paul Goldsmitch
    Runner up- Freddie Freeman.
    NL Cy Young – Madison Bumgarner
    Runner up- Michael Wacha
    NL CHAMPS – Cardinals

    AL
    East- Rays
    West- Rangers
    Central-Tigers
    WILDCARD- Blue Jays
    WILDCARD- Orioles
    AL CY YOUNG- Yu Darvish
    Runner up-Sonny Gray (Oakland)
    Al MVP- Jose bautista
    Runner up- Miguel Cabrera
    AL CHAMPS – Rangers

    Cardinals over Rangers 4 games to 1.WS

    JOE MADDON AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR.

    MIKE MATHENY NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR.

  14. phillysports1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    A GOOD TEAM I didn’t pick making the playoffs were the Indians .

  15. djandujar - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    My therapist told me he picks the Astros. Does that mean I should see a new therapist?
    Maybe Tobias Funke could be my analrapist. You know, analyst/therapist.

  16. shawnuel - Mar 31, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Rangers in the AL West? Wow…..it was a close race even when they had everyone healthy. With all the injuries I don’t see them even placing third.

  17. irishdodger - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    As a Dodgers fan, I think they have a complete letdown & Mattingly is let go as the scapegoat. Cards are the obvious choice for the NL.

    • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      And, you didn’t even mention Bad Boy Puig. Is he learning to behave yet? It is said that he doesn’t listen to any of his coaches and “does his own thing”. That is not good for a team sport.

  18. spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    NL EAST
    WAS 98-64
    ATL 86-76*
    MIA 72-90
    PHI 70-92
    NY 68-94

    NL CENTRAL
    STL 103-59
    MIL 83-79
    PIT 81-81
    CIN 80-82
    CHI 71-92

    NL WEST
    LA 94-68
    SD 83-79
    SF 80-82
    ARI 77-85
    COL 70-92

    • spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Play-off for WC in National League, taken by Milwaukee 6-4, and they advance.

    • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      What? You are leaving out the Pirates and Reds? I think you will see Pgh. take the lead soon, and never look back. Yes, the birds have the pitching, but Pgh has hitting and also good young and veteran pitchers.

      • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        Don’t see it like you. The run differential between St. Louis and Pittsburgh was over 100 runs in 2013. That is bound to catch up to the Buccos. Plus they lost Burnett, and now have Ishakawa starting at 1B.

        Why not move Snyder to first, and let Tabata play every day?

        St. Louis improved defensively. Gone is Freese who was a hindrance in 2013, and the young pitching staff is a year older, wiser, and stronger. And they have a SS that can hit, and start the year with one of the best closers in the game, rather than Boggs.

        So why should the less improved Pirates run away with the division?

  19. spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    AL EAST
    TB 101-61
    BAL 82-80
    TOR 81-81
    NY 77-85
    BOS 75-87

    AL CENTRAL
    DET 94-68
    KC 86-76*
    CLE 82-80
    CHI 74-88
    MIN 58-104

    AL WEST
    SEA 87-75
    OAK 86-76*
    LA 85-77
    TEX 84-78
    HOU 62-100

    • spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      NL wins overall interleague 1216-1214.

      • spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:32 PM

        St. Louis defeats Milwaukee 3-1
        Washington defeats Los Angeles 3-1

        Kansas City defeats Oakland in Wild Card Game

        Tampa Bay defeats Kansas City 3-0
        Detroit defeats Seattle 3-2.

        St. Louis defeats Washington 4-3
        Tampa Bay defeats Detroit 4-2

        St. Louis Defeats Tampa Bay 4-3 in 12 innings in Game #7, on two out two run double by Allen Craig to topple Tampa Bay by a score of 5-4.

      • miguelcairo - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        You sir, need to find a new sabermetric system or whatever it is you used to come up with those predictions.

    • jwbiii - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      So Red Sox go cellar/championship/cellar in three years. Interesting. Has that ever happened before?

      • spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        Good question. It is a transition year for the Sox. The Lackey, Peavy, and Doubront trio gives me pause. Plenty of strength in AAA, just not this year.

      • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:54 AM

        Spud, methinks your brain has stopped working for the moment. You can’t get even with the Sox by predicting them for last place. They will vie for the top of the AL East, and don’t forget that.

    • happytwinsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM

      58-104, consider it a testimonial to minnesota nice that i don’t GO ALL CAPS ON YO ASS! the twins game starts in about a half hour. this is your last chance to back out of our bet.

      58-104 vs 73-89. stakes: virtual ice cream all the fixins. i will hold you to it.

      • spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        You are on. And you have my promise, that it won’t have to be virtual. Name the location and I will offer up my credit card over the phone. I hope you win. I have a lot of friends here who are Twins fans, and I have always liked them, plus they were the first team to offer me a contract. That said, their pitching is miserable.

      • spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        And good luck to your season, lots of youngsters soon.

      • happytwinsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        the first team to offer you a contract? you’re a former player who probably knows way more about this than i do. oh oh.

        who’s your favorite team? good luck to them.

        so it begins
        54-108 = .333
        73-89 = .4506

      • spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        Hey, it only a guess. I like to think it comes with some cred, but who knows.

      • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        Slo down happy. You may see better than 58-104, but you still land in the cellar. I think the Twinkies are good for at least 65-70 games, but that may be the limit on wins.

    • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:49 PM

      Ok:

      Time to Play Ball.

  20. burndownhottopic - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Not one of you had the huevos to pick the O’s. You gonna eat it.

    • happytwinsfan - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      the evil empire shall lie beneath the boot of the fightin O’s!

    • cincinata - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Yes, burndown, you may be correct. I like the”O’s” also. It is a fight between Sox’s-O’s and TB for the East.

  21. navyeoddavee9 - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:07 PM

    Pirates 2nd to Cards, get wildcard

  22. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    This coming from the same crew that picked the jays to win the East last year, um yea I will take these predictions with a grain of salt!!

    • spudchukar - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      Yeah, your Yanks, really showed them how foolish their pick were.

  23. savior72 - Mar 31, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Thanks for the laugh guys, I needed that.

  24. timsizzle83 - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:02 AM

    Nappin on dem Os hon. No way the rays finish in front of the birds, not a single chance.

  25. embinoratsicus - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:37 AM

    I think this is the third year in a row I have said why are you A’s haters because you almost all pick them third and they will win the division.

    JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE THE A’S DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD DISCOUNT HISTORY.

    AL WEST – A’s, Rangers*, Mariners, Angles, and the rest…

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Angels' 2011 overhaul finally paying off?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3262)
  2. G. Stanton (2553)
  3. A. Rizzo (2328)
  4. H. Ryu (2088)
  5. J. Hamilton (2039)
  1. N. Arenado (2009)
  2. M. Trout (1999)
  3. E. Gattis (1916)
  4. D. Ortiz (1827)
  5. A. Pujols (1784)