Ok, the season is upon us. At time of writing opening night is about one hour away. It is time to stick your neck out and make some bold predictions. Take the quiz (in the comment section) and have your say for the 2013 Blue Jays season!
For this piece Wes (WK) will be competing with me (ALE) and we will see who has more correct at the end of the season!
1) Blue Jays win total – 89 – over/under?
ALE – OVER – I think it will be close but if the Jays stay healthy I think they can be a 90+ win team.
WK – Over. If healthy…
2) Blue Jays make postseason? Yes/No?
ALE – YES – again, like the above question if the Blue Jays stay healthy I think they win the AL East.
WK – Yes. The major additions/upgrades mean the expanded playoff format really works in their favour.
3) More HRs – EE or Bautista?
ALE – Bautista. I think Joey Bats comes back and displays the power stroke Jays fans have come to worship.
WK – Bautista. Reyes + Melky = fastballs. Lots of walks for both of them, too.
4) Total HR total for EE & Bautista – 73 – over/under?
ALE – Over. I think Bautista hits over 40 and I think EE can hit 33 or more if healthy. I like the over.
WK – Over. They combined for 69 last season with Bautista playing fewer than 100 games. I think EE hits fewer, but JB hits considerably more.
5) More SBs – Bonifacio or Reyes?
ALE – I take the upset pick here and go for Bonifacio. I think he will get enough playing time throughout the season to put his amazing base stealing prowess to work.
WK – This depends on Maicer Izturis and Colby Rasmus. If Bonifacio sees significant time at 2B/CF, then he wins the SB crown, otherwise Reyes because he’s a full-timer.
6) Highest Blue Jays WAR – Batter?
ALE – Jose Bautista. Tempted to go with Jose Reyes but again I expect a huge year from Bats.
WK – Jose Bautista. When he’s healthy, WAR loves him.
7) Highest Blue Jays WAR – Pitcher?
ALE – Brandon Morrow. If healthy he could challenge for the Cy Young. A big if however.
WK – Brandon Morrow. I agree with Gregg Zaun: pitching behind RA Dickey is going to help make this a breakout year for Mr. Morrow.
8) More wins as a group – (RA Dickey+Brandon Morrow) or (Josh Johnson+Mark Buerhle+JA Happ)
ALE – I am going with the duo of Dickey/Morrow over the rest of the staff. I think both Morrow and Dickey are primed for big seasons and the win totals should follow.
WK – Johnson (contract year; #4 starter), Buerhle (Mr. Steady), and Happ (has looked great more often than not).
9) Brett Lawrie WAR – 3.5 – over/under?
ALE – Over. I think Lawrie rebounds with the stick and continues to play top notch defense to surpass 3.5 wins.
WK – Under, but slightly. He’ll benefit from hitting #5, but he’s too injury prone and volatile.
10) Who will be Blue Jays top 2014 Baseball America prospect?
ALE – SP Aaron Sanchez. Though Roberto Osuna could surprise.
WK – I’m going with Roberto Osuna here. I think Sanchez will slip a little and Osuna will take a giant leap forward.
11) Predict AL East standings
ALE – 1) Toronto, 2) Tampa Bay, 3) Boston, 4) Baltimore, 5) New York
WK – TOR, TBR, BAL, BOS, NYY. We can’t assume injuries won’t play a significant role: look at the NYY–heck, even Cashman busted his leg.
12) Predict AL/NL/WS winners
ALE – AL – LA Angels, NL – Washington, WS – Washington
WK – This requires no fewer than 14 interrelated predictions…so…it’s my time to dream: Jose Reyes steals home and the Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series 4-3 over the San Francisco Giants.
13) More saves – Casey Janssen or Sergio Santos?
ALE – Casey Janssen. I think when he returns he resumes his stellar relief work as the ninth inning guy,
WK – Based on Spring Training and Game 1 of Mission ’13? Sergio Santos: 96 mph and a deadly slider.
Get those predictions in!! Maybe Wes will give the winner a couple grand? 😉