MLB 2013 Predictions
Atlanta (Wild Card)
Everyone seems to agree on the order of finish in this division. Last year Washington won 98 games despite a line-up hammered by injuries during the first half of the season. Atlanta will be good, but they lost about as much as they gained in the offseason. The Phillies won't have last year's horrible start, but lack the depth to make up for injuries, and the second half of their line-up really drops off unless Domonic Brown finally breaks out. The Mets are rebuilding, but will still finish ahead of the Marlins.
Cincinnati will again make a legitimate run at the World Series, and the Cardinals will find ways to win with their homegrown talent. Milwaukee's starting pitching looks better with Lohse, though he'll find Miller Park a different environment from Busch Stadium. Pittsburgh has lots of above-average players, but especially on the pitching staff, they'll need more than that to contend in a division where everyone else has improved. Chicago has a long-term plan, but will be last this year.
Arizona (Wild Card)
San Francisco will do just what they did last year and what they probably would have done the year before if Posey hadn't been injured. Arizona's pitching staff will come together and grab a wild card with their solid but unspectacular offense. The Dodgers I'm just not buying, as there are reasons these players they've acquired were available. San Diego's offense will keep improving and a couple of their starters will have solid years, but I can't see them approaching the top two. Colorado still has things to figure out.
Baltimore (Wild Card)
Toronto only needs some of their new talent to work out in order to win this division. Baltimore will have a more stable rotation this year, which helps them stand pat. Tampa Bay's pitching will be shakier than usual; I think Moore is ready to dominate, but others who will be needed aren't. If the Yankees make it to June respectably they can win one last division championship with this core, but I don't see how they get to June. Boston will have good streaks, but be in last by the season's end.
Detroit is better than last year and will again win the division, while Kansas City finally has the pitching to get into the post-season hunt. Cleveland, on the other hand, doesn't have such pitching. I think Chicago's first place run for most of last year was a fluke just because the rest of the division was playing so poorly. Minnesota has deep problems.
Texas (Wild Card)
Baseball's best division was also my hardest call. Los Angeles won 89 games last year despite some horrid stretches, and is even better this year. Texas is still a strong team that is beginning to cycle in new talent, beginning with Rookie of the Year candidate Leonys Martin. Oakland has some starters who will fall to sophomore slumps, but they'll still be a threat all season. Seattle is better offensively than they get credit for, but this division will be too much for them this year. Houston is Houston.