1. Most Likely To Succeed: Albert Pujols
Sure he’s moving from the weaker National League to the big boy side of things*, but he also has set himself up a long term future where he’ll be able to easily slide over into the DH role and save his body. Plus the guy’s a machine. So people saying that Anaheim’s pitcher-friendly park will hurt him are crazy.
*I know. I know. The National League is how baseball was meant to be played. It’s the last bastion of real baseball strategy. But it also has weaker pitching overall, so there’s that.
2. Most Likely To Disappoint: Daniel Bard
Daniel Bard fell off a cliff at the end of last season (not literally, though that would explain a lot). Now he’s back and moved out of the bullpen and into the starting rotation for the first time in years. He definitely has good stuff, but can a guy who has already shown a tendency to crack, handle the pressure of that move? We’ll see.
3. Most Likely To Appear On “American Voice Factor’s Got Talent”: Jason Kipnis
5. Best Hair — Andrew McCutchen
The braid ponytail is a thing of beauty. I’m glad that giant contract you signed didn’t change you Andrew.
6. Worst Hair: Hanley Ramirez and José Reyes
The two dyed their hair orange to match the team’s uniforms.
7. Most Exciting Rookie: Matt Moore
Matt Moore was beyond dominant in the minors last year (1.92 ERA and 210 Ks). And in his brief stint with the big league club all he did was pitch a gem in the playoffs against the Rangers, one of the best hitting teams in baseball. No big deal. He’ll be the ace of the already excellent Ray’s staff by July.
8. Most Likely To Be Hated (Even By His Own Fans): Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod’s great to have on your team, but he’s still humiliating. Like a friend who always has your back, but has terrible halitosis and doesn’t know when to shut up. His skills have been slowly diminishing and his body has become a ticking time bomb. This may be the year it falls apart.
9. Most Likely To Be At The Center Of A Ton Of Weird Stories: Yu Darvish
Brett Ratner is making a documentary about Yu’s first season in Texas, right? If not that has to happen. This is literally the only thing I’ve ever wanted from Brett Ratner. Come on.
10. Most Likely To Be Surprisingly Boring: Manny Ramirez
We now live in a world where Albert Belle was a smiling old guest instructor at Indians spring training. This is to say that times change and people stop being crazy. I think we’ve reached the point where Manny is no longer the JaVale McGee of Major League baseball. I’m as sad about it as anyone.
12. AL EAST: New York Yankees
13. AL CENTRAL: Detroit Tigers
14. AL WEST: Texas Rangers
15. Wild Card 1: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim
16. WILD CARD 2: Tampa Bay Rays
18. NL EAST: Philadelphia Phillies
19. NL CENTRAL: Cincinnati Reds
20. NL WEST: San Francisco Giants
21. WILD CARD 1: Atlanta Braves
22. WILD CARD 2: Milwaukee Brewers
23. WORLD SERIES: Cincinnati Reds Over New York Yankees
24. Keep Smiling Brandon!
You’re going to win the whole thing.