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MLB: 2015 Major League Baseball Predictions


Today is Opening Day, a day which should be a national holiday in my opinion. With that being said, I am going to go through a yearly ritual that is meaningless but fun.

Last season my 2014 MLB predictions did not go all that well, as you can see here. However, it is still a fun thing to go through each year.

So without further adieu, here are my 2015 MLB predictions.

* Wild Card Teams

AL East

1. Baltimore Orioles
2. *Boston Red Sox
3. Toronto Blue Jays
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. New York Yankees

I do not feel that the AL East will be all that strong. I think Baltimore will be the cream of the crop in the East and will win the division. I was torn between Boston and Toronto to pick up a Wild Card spot, but I am going with Boston.

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers
2. *Chicago White Sox
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Cleveland Indians
5. Minnesota Twins

With Price taking over the head of the rotation in Detroit, they are going to be back and strong as ever. I think they win the division again with their hitting. I don’t see the Royals making it back, not with the new additions to the Sox. To me this will be a hotly contested division and should be fun to watch all year.

AL West

1. Seattle Mariners
2. Anaheim Angels
3. Houston Astros
4. Oakland A’s
5. Texas Rangers

The Mariners are going to be good. Anaheim will still be strong, but the most improved will go to Houston. The Rangers and A’s will bring up the rear of the division all year battling it out for last place.

AL Wild Card Game – Chicago over Boston
AL Division Series – Detroit over Seattle & Baltimore over Chicago
AL Championship Series – Detroit over Chicago

NL East

1. Washington Nationals
2. Miami Marlins
3. New York Mets
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. Atlanta Braves

I have no faith in my Braves this year. Not after the exodus that took place. The Nationals are the team to beat, perhaps in the NL. They are going to be strong. I like the Marlins to finish second and maybe even push for a Wild Card spot late in the year, but I see them coming up short.

NL Central

1. St. Louis Cardinals
2. *Chicago Cubs
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
4. Cincinnati Reds
5. Milwaukee Brewers

I like how the Cubs look this year, but I don’t seem them making it to the World Series like I have seen others call for. The Cardinals will be hard to beat in the division but Pitt will really push Chicago. So will Cincinnati.

NL West

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. *San Diego Padres
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Colorado Rockies
5. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Dodgers are the team to beat once again. The Padres will really push them this year and the Giants will be back with a strong team. I would not have picked the Padres over the Giants for the Wild Card, except yesterday they traded for the best closer in baseball.

AL Wild Card Game – San Diego over Chicago
AL Division Series – Los Angeles over St. Louis & Washington over San Diego
AL Championship Series – Los Angeles over Washington

World Series – Los Angeles Dodgers over Detroit in six games.

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Today in Baseball History – March 24


March 24, 1911

Helene Hathaway Britton becomes the first woman to own a franchise when her uncle Matthew Stanley Robison dies unexpectedly. Robison lef the team, the St. Louis Cardinals, to his niece. She will go on to own the team from 1911 to 1916.

March 24, 1982

Fernando Valenzuela ends his holdout and reports to the Los Angeles Dodgers spring training.

Valenzuela was holding out for more money after making just $42,500 in 1981 when he won the Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award. He will make a reported $360,000 in 1982 after asking for $1 million.

He will end 1982 with a 19-13 record and an ERA of 2.87. He pitches 285.0 innings with 18 complete games and four shutouts. He will finish third in the Cy Young voting as well.

Born on this day:

1893 George Sisler

1942 Jesus Alou

1956 Garry Templeton

1958 Bruce Hurst

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Today in Baseball History – March 23


March 23, 1962

William DeWitt purchases the Reds for $4.625 million. DeWitt made a trade immortalized in the 1988 movie Bull Durham when Susan Sarandon’s character says, “Bad trades are a part of baseball; I mean who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake?” DeWitt traded Robinson to the Orioles claiming he was old at age 30. In his first year Robinson would win the Triple Crown and be named AL MVP.

Born on this day:

1979 Mark Buehrle

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Today in Baseball History – March 22


March 22, 1972

The New York Yankees trade first baseman Danny Cater to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Sparky Lyle.

The Yankees got the better end of this deal as Lyle went on to post a record of 57-40 and save 141 games over the next seven years with the Yankees. In addition, he won the 1972 Fireman of the Year Award and the 1977 Cy Young Award.

Cater played just three seasons for the Red Sox never playing more than 92 games in a season.

March 22, 1993

In a boating accident on Little Lake Nellie in Clermont, Florida, Cleveland Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews die. Olin died instantly and Crews died of his injuries the next day. Also in the accident was teammate Bob Ojeda who was seriously injured but able to recover and return to the mound later that season.

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Today in Baseball History – March 21


March 21, 1978

The San Diego Padres fire manager Al Dark. He becomes just the second manager (Phil Cavarretta – 1954 Cubs) to be fired during spring training. Dark took over the Padres midway through the 1977 season when they would finish fifth place. The team was 48-65 (.425) under Dark during 1977.

He would be replaced by pitching coach Roger Craig who would lead the Padres for the next two seasons.

Born on this day:

1939 Tommy Davis

1944 Manny Sanguillen

1963 Shawon Dunston

Died on this day:

1975 Joe Medwick

1988 Edd Roush

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Today in Baseball History – March 20


March 20, 1973

In a special election by the BBWAA, Roberto Clemente earns entry into the Hall of Fame. The Board of Directors at the Hall waive the five-year wait rule for Clemente who died in a plane crash bringing relief supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.

March 20, 1989

The commissioner’s office announces that Pete Rose is under investigation for serious charges.

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Today in Baseball History – March 19


March 19, 1960

Sammy White, catcher for the Boston Red Sox, announces he would rather retire than report to where he has been traded to, Cleveland.

March 19, 1984

Denny McLain is indicted on various charges including cocaine possession, extortion, racketeering, and loan-sharking.

Born on this day:

1871 Joe McGinnity

1927 Richie Ashburn

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Today in Baseball History – March 18


March 18, 1953

The Milwaukee Braves become the first team since 1903 (Baltimore to New York) to shift. The Braves make the move from Boston after being there for 77 years. The Braves move to the Western Division replacing the Pittsburgh Pirates for scheduling purposes.

The Braves would spend 13 seasons in Milwaukee before moving onto Atlanta.

Born on this day:

1916 Hi Bithorn

Died on this day:

1984 Charlie Lau

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Today in Baseball History – March 17


March 17, 1871

The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players is founding setting the stage for the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs or the National League.

Several of the NAPBBP teams would eventually make their way into the N.L. including the Boston Red Stockings which would eventually turn into the Atlanta Braves.

March 17, 1978

For the St. Patrick’s Day exhibition game, the Cincinnati Reds wear green uniforms rather than the traditional red. This starts an annual tradition and other teams soon follow suit.

Born on this day:

1944 Cito Gaston

1959 Danny Ainge

1965 John Smiley

1971 Bill Mueller

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Today in Baseball History – March 16


March 16, 1994

Former San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show is found dead of an overdose at age 37.

Show won 100 games with San Diego but might be better known for giving up Pete Rose‘s record-breaking 4,192nd hit.

Born on this day:

1906 Lloyd Waner

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Today in Baseball History – March 15


March 15, 1978

The Oakland A’s trade 1971 Cy Young Award winner Vida Blue to the San Francisco Giants. In return the A’s receive seven players in return along with $300,000.

Blue would go on to win 54 games for the Giants over the next four seasons including 18 in 1978. The A’s got nobody back in return that turned out to be a long term contributor to the club.

Born on this day:

1946 Bobby Bonds

1955 Mickey Hatcher

1959 Harold Baines

1974 Robert Fick

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Today in Baseball History – March 14


March 14, 1956

Satchel Paige signs with the Birmingham Black Barons to both play and coach. He is 50 years old.

Born on this day:

1961 Kirby Puckett

1965 Kevin Brown

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Today in Baseball History – March 13


March 13, 1954

The Milwaukee Brewers newly acquired left fielder Bobby Thompson breaks his ankle sliding into third base in an exhibition game. This paves the way for a young Hank Aaron to start in the outfield.

Aaron would play 122 games in 154 hitting 13 home runs.

Born on this day:

1963 Mariano Duncan

1964 Will Clark

1979 Johan Santana

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Today in Baseball History – March 12


March 12, 1903

The New York Highlanders are officially approved as members of the American League. The Highlanders move to New York from Baltimore and eventually becomes the Yankees.

March 12, 1951

Commissioner Happy Chandler’s contract was set to expire in April 1952. After repeatedly asking to have it extended, the owners voted 9-7 to keep him in office. Unfortunately, the nine votes for Chandler were not enough to reach the required three-fourths majority.

Upset at the failure to extend his contract, Chandler resigns effective July 15, 1951.

Born on this day:

1956 Dale Murphy

1962 Darryl Strawberry

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Today in Baseball History – March 10


March 10, 1959

Bill Veeck leads a group that pays $2.7 million for 54% of the Chicago White Sox purchasing it from Dorothy Comiskey Rigney, who is the granddaughter of Charles Comiskey.

This ends a 60-year period of White Sox control by the Comiskey family which saw two World Series titles, a huge scandal, and five A.L. Pennants.

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Today in Baseball History – March 9


March 9, 1946

Ted Williams turns down an offer of $500,000 to play in Mexico. Instead, he wins the first of his two A.L. MVPs batting .342 with 38 home runs and 123 RBI.

That year he led the league in runs, walks, on base percentage, and slugging percentage. It was his first season back after three years of military service.

Born on this day:

1893 Lefty Williams

1942 Bert Campaneris

1965 Benito Santiago

 

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Today in Baseball History – March 8


March 8, 1913

The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs was organized with John T. Powers as its president.

The Federal League operated as a “third major league” in 1914 and 1915 challenging the established National League and American League.  It was the last league to compete with the N.L. and A.L. to actually make it to the field.

The National and American Leagues interference caused the league to go under after the 1915 season, but it had a lasting impression on baseball in America.

The Federal League sued the National League in federal court. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court where it ruled that the Sherman Antitrust Act didn’t apply to Major League Baseball. MLB has enjoyed that antitrust exemption ever since.

The other lasting legacy left from the Federal League is Wrigley Field. It was originally built for the Chicago Whales of the Federal League. It was called Weeghman Park at the time.

Born on this day:

1939 Jim Bouton

1942 Dick Allen

1953 Jim Rice

Died on this day:

1999 Joe DiMaggio

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Today in Baseball History – March 7


March 7, 1923

Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis receives an appeal from the New England American Legion to stop playing morning games on Memorial Day. The request is denied.

Born on this day:

1951 Jeff Burroughs

1960 Joe Carter

1968 Jeff Kent

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Today in Baseball History – March 6


March 6, 1973

Larry Hisle, of the Twins, becomes the first designated hitter in major league history during an exhibition game with the Pirates. Hisle drives in seven runs hitting a pair of home runs on the day.

March 6, 1987

Andre Dawson signs a contract to play for the Chicago Cubs. He wanted to play on the natural grass field in hopes to save his ailing knees.

Dawson signed for just $650,000 which turned out to be a great deal for the Cubs as he hits 49 home runs en route to winning the 1987 N.L. MVP Award.

Born on this day:

1900 Lefty Grove

1939 Cookie Rojas

1940 Willie Stargell

Died on this day:

2006 Kirby Puckett

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Today in Baseball History – March 5


March 5, 1966

Marvin Miller is elected by player representatives as the Executive Director of the Major League Players Association. He was the former assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers.

He would hold the position until 1982. During his time he turned the MLPA into one of the strongest unions in the country.

March 5, 1973

New York Yankees teammates Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich announced they have swapped wives. They swapped wives, families, and even dogs.

The moved worked better for Peterson who is still married to the former Suzanne Kekich. They have had four children together. However, Mike Kekich and the former Marilyn Peterson soon split up after the move.

Born on this day:

1947 Kent Tekulve

1966 Kevin Brown

1976 Paul Konerko

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Today in Baseball History – March 4


March 4, 1907

A judgement is handed down where Brooklyn would have to pay the Baltimore franchise $52,000. When Baltimore left the N.L. in 1903, Brooklyn agreed to pay $40,000 to Baltimore but never did. The new figure included interest.

March 4, 1976

Bob Lurie and Bud Herseth purchase the San Francisco Giants for $8 million. The deal would keep the team from being sold to a Canadian brewery and moved to Toronto.

Lurie would be own the team until January 1993.

Born on this day:

1891 Dazzy Vance

1948 Tom Grieve

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Today in Baseball History – March 1


March 1, 1969

New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle retires.

Mantle, a perrieniel All-Star, finished his injury laded career with 536 home runs, a lifetime batting average of .298, three AL MVP titles, seven World Series titles, and the 1956 Triple Crown.

He has had his #7 retired by the Yankees, and was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1974.

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Today in Baseball History – February 28


February 28, 1903

A syndicate led by Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss and James Potter agree to purchase the Philadelphia Phillies for $170,000. It wouldn’t be until 1910 that owners are forbidden to have interest in more than one team.

February 28, 1931

Creator of the American League Ban Johnson dies after a long illness.

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Today in Baseball History – February 27


February 27, 1901

The N.L. Rules Committee decides that all fouls are to be counted as strikes, except after two strikes.

A few other changes that are made were that catchers must play within ten feet of the hitter. Also a ball will be called if a pitcher is not ready to throw to a ready hitter after 20 seconds. A ball will also be called if a player is hit by a pitch.

February 27, 1908

The sacrifice fly is adopted. A batter will not be charged an at-bat if a runs scores on a caught fly ball. The rule was repealed in 1931, but later reinstated gaining final acceptance in 1954.

Born on this day:

1953 Ron Hassey

 

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