March 30, 2021

2021 Predictions: Sports Illustrated, CBS, Yahoo, USA Today, FanGraphs, SB Nation, Mass Live, Dallas Morning News, FiveThirtyEight, Keith Law (The Athletic)

A bright spot!

FanGraphs projects the Red Sox to finish third!

Sports Illustrated

Yankees 97 65
Blue Jays 91 71
Rays 86 76
Red Sox 80 82
Orioles 62 100

"Order, restored: The Yankees should match the AL’s highest payroll with the league’s best record. . . . [The Red Sox] may not have actively torn down any more this winter—but they sure didn’t start building back up."

American League Central: White Sox
American League West: Angels
National League East: Atlanta
National League Central: Cardinals
National League West: Dodgers

CBS Sports

All five members of the "Eye on Baseball" team pick the AL East the same way:

Blue Jays
Red Sox

American League Central: White Sox 3, Twins 2
American League West: Astros 5
National League East: Atlanta 3, Mets 2
National League Central: Cardinals 5
National League West: Dodgers 5

AL Pennant: Yankees 4, White Sox 1
NL Pennant: Dodgers 4, Atlanta 1
World Series: Yankees 3, Dodgers 2


All 13 staff and contributors pick the Yankees to win the AL East.

World Series

Dodgers over Yankees (3)
Dodgers over White Sox (2)
Yankees over Dodgers (2)
Yankees over Mets
Mets over Rays
Mets over White Sox
Atlanta over Yankees
Atlanta over White Sox
Padres over Yankees

AL MVP: Mike Trout (6), Bo Bichette (2), Shohei Ohtani (1), Anthony Rendon (1), Tim Anderson (1), Giancarlo Stanton (1), Aaron Judge (1)

AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole (8), Lucas Giolito (3), Shane Bieber (1), Tyler Glasnow (1)

NL MVP: Ronald Acuna Jr. (4), Juan Soto (4), Fernando Tatis Jr. (2), Mookie Betts (1), Corey Seager (1),  Freddie Freeman (1)

NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom (13)

USA Today

Yankees 94 68
Rays 88 74
Blue Jays 87 75
Red Sox 80 82
Orioles 60 102

"Nobody won this division in the off-season, but the Yankees did less to lose it: Retaining DJ LeMahieu while the Rays shipped off Blake Snell and shed a half-dozen other members of their pennant-winning club. But Tampa Bay's unmatched depth will keep it just a tick above the Blue Jays, who made this a top-heavy and far more delightful division with George Springer the cog around which their young core shall rotate…The Red Sox remain in no man's land, but should field a more representative squad this season and possibly welcome future contributors, such as outfielder Jarren Duran, to the mix. ... Alas, the Orioles remain in the business of shedding rather than adding, with Adley Rutschman's march to the big leagues the most compelling issue this season."


Yankees    95  67
Blue Jays  88  74
Red Sox    86  76
Rays       83  79
Orioles    67  95

SB Nation

3. Who will win the MVP from each league?

Andrew Mearns, Pinstripe Alley: AL: Mike Trout; NL: Juan Soto.
Brady Klopfer, McCovey Chronicles: AL: Mike Trout; NL: Juan Soto
Sara Sanchez, Bleed Cubbie Blue: AL: Mike Trout, NL: Juan Soto
Kris Willis, Talking Chop: AL: Mike Trout; NL: Ronald Acuña Jr.
Ashley MacLennan, Bless You Boys/DRaysBay: AL: Mike Trout; NL: Fernando Tatis Jr.

5. Which team will be the biggest disappointment?

Sara: Yankees. For the past three years I feel like all I've heard is how great the Yankees will be, but it hasn't gotten them another ring. . . . I know the projections love the pitching staff, but ace Gerrit Cole is one of the pitchers most likely to be impacted by MLB's stated intention to crack down on substances because of spin rate discrepancies, Corey Kluber is a huge injury risk, Jameson Taillon is a good addition - who has thrown 37.1 innings in the last two seasons. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are both injury prone, and Gary Sánchez has shown no sign of turning it around at the plate. This is the same team that hasn't delivered in the last 4 years, they are just a year older.

7. What is your World Series matchup prediction?

Andrew: Dodgers/Yankees. . . . The door is wide open in the AL for the Yankees to return to the World Series, and if not now, then when? But also, no one's beating the Dodgers unless something goes seriously wrong.

Brady: Padres/Yankees. I have the Pads finally eclipsing their big brother Dodgers in a stacked NL, while the Yankees run circles around the competition in the AL. And it all makes for a star-studded World Series, that San Diego wins in seven.

Sara: Padres/White Sox. . . . The Padres are a brilliantly constructed team and they are built to beat the Dodgers. . . . The Yankees should be a juggernaut, but they are fragile. . . .

Kris: Dodgers/Yankees. . . . It seems like there are a lot of things that could go wrong with the Yankees' pitching staff, but I do not see anyone else in the American League that can match their fire power.

Ashley: Padres/Rays. I cannot imagine a more fun final showdown than this, especially with former Rays Tommy Pham and Blake Snell in the mix for the Padres. . . .

Mass Live

AL East: Yankees (5)

"As a staff, it's clear we're pretty high on the Yankees despite the questions in the starting rotation. . . . Note none of us think the Red Sox will make the postseason. . . ." 

AL Pennant: Yankees (4), White Sox (1)

NL Pennant: Padres (2), Dodgers (1), Mets (1), Atlanta (1)

World Series: Padres (2), Dodgers (1), Atlanta (1), Yankees (1)

AL MVP: Mike Trout (2), Alex Bregman (2), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (1)

AL Cy Young: Lucas Giolito (3), Tyler Glasnow (1), Corey Kluber (1)

AL Rookie: Bobby Dalbec (2), Jarred Kelenic (2), Wander Franco (1)

NL MVP: Fernando Tatis Jr. (2), Mookie Betts (1), Ronald Acuña Jr. (1), Cody Bellinger (1)

NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom (2), Walker Buehler (2), Blake Snell (1)

Red Sox Finish:

86 wins / 3rd place
86 wins / 3rd place
85 wins / 3rd place
82 wins / 4th place
74 wins / 4th place

Red Sox MVP: Xander Bogaerts (2), Bobby Dalbec (1), Rafael Devers (1), Alex Verdugo (1)

Red Sox Pitcher of the Year: Eduardo Rodriguez (2), Nathan Eovaldi (2), Nick Pivetta (1)

Red Sox Bold Prediction:

Chris Cotillo: Kiké Hernández makes the AL All-Star team
Chris Mason: Darwinzon Hernandez is the closer by the end of the year
Jim Pignatiello: J.D. Martinez is traded by the July 31 deadline
Chris Smith: Josh Taylor is Boston's best reliever
Matt Vautour: Hirokazu Sawamura saves more than 12 games

Dallas Morning News

AL East: Yankees 6, Rays 1
AL Central: White Sox 4, Twins 3
AL West: Athletics 3, Angels 2, Astros 2
NL East: Atlanta 6, Mets 1
NL Central: Cardinals 4, Brewers 3
NL West: Dodgers 7
AL Pennant: Yankees 4, White Sox 2, Rays 1
NL Pennant: Dodgers 4, Padres 2, Atlanta 1
World Series: Dodgers 4, Padres 1, White Sox 1, Atlanta 1


Yankees    97 65
Rays        88 74
Blue Jays   84 78
Red Sox    80 82
Orioles    63 99

Keith Law, The Athletic

Yankees    100   62
Blue Jays   89   73
Rays        87   75
Red Sox     80   82
Orioles     58  104

The Yankees are clearly the class of this division, and arguably of the American League . . . They have some starting pitching depth that wasn't there in the last few years as well. . . . The Blue Jays were aggressive this winter and could easily push themselves into the 90-win range, enough for a wild-card spot. . . . The Rays traded their best pitcher in Blake Snell, and might be without reliever Nick Anderson for half the season or more, so this team is worse on paper now than it was in 2020 . . . They're still a possible contender, but their margin for error is smaller this year. . . .

The Red Sox had an above-average offense last year and should do so again, maybe slipping into the league's top 3, but their run prevention was the worst in the AL last year and I see no cause for optimism on that front. Even the return of Eduardo Rodríguez, assuming he's fully recovered from COVID-related cardiomyopathy, won't make this an average rotation.

ALCS: Yankees over Twins
NLCS: Dodgers over Mets
World Series: Yankees over Dodgers

AL MVP: Anthony Rendon
NL MVP: Fernando Tatis, Jr.
AL Cy Young: Lucas Giolito
NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom
AL RoY: Randy Arozarena
NL RoY: Dylan Carlson

* * *

The Athletic also has some "articles" that look like predictions for MVP and Cy Young winners, but they are actually thinly-disguised advertisements for online gambling websites. I like The Athletic quite a bit and their Red Sox writers avoid the outdated, agenda-driven nonsense of various now-easily-avoided writers. It's sad to see other websites acting similarly (though on a smaller scale) to MLB's full embrace of gambling. MLB sees nothing wrong with chasing dollars in every direction, with little or no thought  to how it might cause damage the game and further alienate the sport's increasingly older fan base.


Shawn K said...

My hope is that the Sox are worth watching. Halfway decent pitching, a few winning streaks, hope for the future. That they're heading in the right direction.

FenFan said...

I look at these predictions every year and just think: "Remember 2013?"