Worst to first and first to worst. The Boston Red Sox are rarely a middle-of-the-road team. And in 2016 they will be back on top, hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy as world champs. Buoyed by the additions of ace David Price and fireballer Craig Kimbrel—not to mention one of the fastest and most defensively skilled outfields in recent history—Boston is vastly improved in all areas of the game, most crucially the health of skipper John Farrell.
The Red Sox will best the Tigers in six games in the American League Championship Series before downing the Washington Nationals in seven scintillating World Series games. Capping his historic career with his fourth World Series ring, David Ortiz will earn his second consecutive MVP of the Fall Classic, retiring in quintessentially Big Papi fashion.
Want to know how your favorite squad will fare? Check out my team-by-team predictions and get the first glimpse of an exhilarating 2016 postseason, including a playoff game for the American League Central crown, the Tigers beating the Royals in two different playoff formats and the precise game prognostications of all the playoff series.
As for my Bold Prediction of the Year: No team will win more than 95 games but nine teams will lose at least 90, including an unprecedented three teams—in reverse order of futility: Cincinnati (100), Colorado (103), Philadelphia (105)—failing to prevail over 100 times. The Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres will avoid suffering such an ignominious fate by a lone game, each posting identical 63-99 records.
(Last year’s BPOTY: ‘Eight teams will lose at least 90 games and one [the Arizona Diamondbacks] will lose 100.’ Oh so close: Seven squads actually lost at least 90 games but none lost 100, though the Philadelphia Phillies did have 99 . . .)
And the award(s) goes to . . .
NL MVP: Bryce Harper, RF, Washington Nationals
AL MVP: Carlos Correa, SS, Houston Astros
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Cy Young: David Price, Boston Red Sox
NL Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
AL Rookie of the Year: Byron Buxton, CF, Minnesota Twins
NL Comeback Player of the Year: Zack Wheeler, SP, New York Mets
AL Comeback Player of the Year: Yu Darvish, SP, Texas Rangers
NL Manager of the Year: Dusty Baker, Washington Nationals
AL Manager of the Year: John Farrell, Boston Red Sox