Hi, everyone. Alec here.
The 2021 MLB season is upon us, thank goodness. Our Philadelphia Phillies are set to start a promising season within the most competitive division in all of baseball. Some are saying that predicting the outcome of the NL East is impossible. Well, I guess I’m attempting the impossible.
Along with the NL East, I’ll give my predictions for the major awards and World Series results. I’ll also be covering what I think individual Phillies players will do in 2021.
MLB’s Most Competitive Division?
The Braves are the team to beat. Simple as that. For the last 3 seasons, the Atlanta Braves have won the NL East. Now, Freddie Freeman is coming off of an MVP season and the Braves have their most exciting rotation in 15 years. Between the youth movement of Ian Anderson, Max Fried, and Mike Soroka and the veteran presence of Charlie Morton and former Phillie Drew Smyly, the Braves have formed a fearsome starting rotation.
Because of the nature of the division, I believe the Braves will win just 94 games to claim the division crown. No need to worry, they will not win the World Series. Freddie Freeman will receive MVP votes again.
The Philadelphia Phillies will make the MLB Playoffs. You heard it here first. They will barely squeeze in as they’ll win 89 games. Bryce Harper, with a fully healthy back, will be top-10 in MVP voting. Zack Wheeler will be an All-Star. Alec Bohm will get a down-ballot MVP vote. The improved bullpen will be a much-needed upgrade. Neris will be out as closer by May 10th. JT Realmuto will hit .280 with 25 bombs, but more importantly, win his second Gold Glove. Matt Moore will win comeback player of the year.
Unfortunately, the Phillies will not make it past the Wild Card round as they’ll succumb to the San Diego Padres. I do think there’s a chance the Padres win the West and the Phillies have to face the Dodgers. Either way, the Phillies face an early exit.
With all the hype, the Mets will find a way to blow it and finish third in the division. They’ll win 86 games, narrowly missing the playoff. September will be a nail-biting finish to the season. Jacob deGrom will win the NL Cy Young as his velocity is magically up again.
Watch out Nationals, here comes the fish. The Marlins won’t be the worst team in the division and will be in the playoff hunt well into August. They’ll win 82 games. Sixto Sanchez will get Rookie of the Year votes for the first full-ish season.
The Nationals will be the biggest disappointment in the NL. Trea Turner and Juan Soto will shine bright. Newly added Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber will not. The rotation, hinging on an aging Max Scherzer and injury-prone Stephen Strasburg, will crumble by midseason. They’ll win 79 games and, somehow, Juan Soto will still win the NL MVP. This tweet will be even worse in 2021 than it was in 2020.
The World Series
For the first time since Y2K, there will be a repeat World Series winner. The LA Dodgers will beat the Chicago White Sox in 6 games. They’ll win the NLCS in a competitive 6-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the Dodgers will just barely survive the San Diego Padres in the NLDS.
The White Sox will narrowly beat the Blue Jays in the ALCS in another 7-game set.
Rookie of the Year
National League: Dylan Carlson, St. Louis Cardinals
American League: Jarred Kelenic, Seattle Mariners
Natiional League: Jacob deGrom, New York Mets
American League: Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
Most Valuable Player
National League: Juan Soto, Washington Nationals
American League: Mike Trout, LA Angels of Anaheim
Photo Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire