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Baseball Preview: Superlatives And Picks

This is what’s going to happen this season. You can still watch if you want, but this is definitely going to happen, so spoiler alert.

1. Most Likely To Succeed: Albert Pujols

(Reuters Pictures)

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

Charles Krupa / AP

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

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

See video:

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

Patrick Semansky / AP

The two dyed their hair orange to match the team’s uniforms.

7. Most Exciting Rookie: Matt Moore

AP PRESS / AP

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

STEVE NESIUS / Reuters

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.

Picks!

12. AL EAST: New York Yankees

PICHI CHUANG / Reuters

13. AL CENTRAL: Detroit Tigers

Paul Sancya / AP

14. AL WEST: Texas Rangers

Chris Carlson / AP

15. Wild Card 1: Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim

DARRYL WEBB / Reuters

16. WILD CARD 2: Tampa Bay Rays

J. Meric / Getty Images

National League

18. NL EAST: Philadelphia Phillies

Alex Brandon / AP

19. NL CENTRAL: Cincinnati Reds

Mark Duncan / AP

20. NL WEST: San Francisco Giants

21. WILD CARD 1: Atlanta Braves

David Goldman / AP

22. WILD CARD 2: Milwaukee Brewers

Lenny Ignelzi / AP

23. WORLD SERIES: Cincinnati Reds Over New York Yankees

24. Keep Smiling Brandon!

You’re going to win the whole thing.

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