21 very specific predictions for the 2021 MLB season
Nobody really knows anything when it comes to baseball. We don’t talk about that enough. We often think that we know what will happen, but baseball has always played by its own set of random rules.
Though certain things often turn out about how we expected — division winners, All-Star selections, a World Series matchup, etc. — the whole thing is a giant crapshoot and we’re all essentially just broken clocks when it comes to prognostication.
As usual, I contributed to Sporting News’ official 2021 predictions. There’s nothing super-surprising there, so I’m taking a different approach here. I’m gonna get super-specific. Nothing you’re about to read should be considered outlandish. This is all stuff that could legitimately happen. Still, I’ll almost certainly be wrong about most everything, if the 2019 version is any indication.
So read these, ponder them, check back periodically, then roast me on Twitter in October.
Ready? Here are 21 very specific predictions for the 2021 season.
1. Mike Trout will hit .306 with 32 homers, exactly 100 RBIs and a .452 on-base percentage. He’ll be worth 8.6 WAR and will win the AL MVP award.
2. Ronald Acuña Jr. will hit 42 homers and have 112 RBIs. He will win the NL MVP award, with 7.1 WAR. Oh, he’ll also seal exactly 40 bases to join that sweet 40/40 club.
3. Jacob deGrom will win 22 games. Even though pitcher wins are stupid, this will still be cool.
4. Fernando Tatis Jr. will finish a close second to Acuña in the MVP race. He’ll bat .310 with 36 homers and 104 RBIs, compiling a WAR of 6.9.
5. The Padres will win the NL West by one game over the Dodgers. They’ll win 100 games to the Dodgers’ 99.
6. Two pitchers will hit home runs this year. One of them will be Madison Bumgarner. But mostly, pitchers will be awful, hitting below .100 for the year. Seriously, BELOW .100!
7. Freddie Freeman will win the NL batting title with a .329 average.
8. DJ LeMahieu will win the AL batting title with a .337 average.
9. The longest winning streak of the season will belong to the Yankees, who will reel off 10 straight in June.
10. The longest losing streak of the season will belong to the Orioles, who will drop nine straight in May.
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11. The Mariners will have two seven-game losing streaks.
12. Kyle Lewis will have the longest hitting streak of the season, at 23 games.
13. Mookie Betts will have a four-homer game in, let’s say, August.
14. The Rangers’ Khris Davis, after two years of missing the mark, will hit .247 again.
15. Juan Soto will be the leading vote-getter for the All-Star Game. He’s also hit .318 this year with 36 homers and 40 doubles.
16. There will be one no-hitter. It will come in May.
17. Francisco Lindor will hit for the cycle in September.
18. The Mets will be a wild card with 90 wins.
19. Shohei Ohtani will stay healthy all season and finish 16-4 as a pitcher, and club 22 homers as a hitter.
20. Max Scherzer will have the highest-strikeout game of the season, with 18.
21. The Yankees will win the World Series in five games.
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