The MLB season is just a few days away which means it’s time for one of our favorite gimmicks (yup, let’s call it for what it is). Our popular – and often highly debated – bold predictions feature is back!
If you’ve followed these articles before (see: 2012 NFL & 2012 MLB), you know the experts tend to hold little back with their picks. After all, if would hardly be “bold” to predict that a perennial Cy Young recipient like Roy Halladay will win 10+ games this season. Okay, maybe that actually *would* be bold given Halladay’s poor Spring.
You get the point, though: The experts are going out on a limb here with risky picks they believe in. In some cases, the opinions are risky enough that at least a handful of experts will probably seek to destroy all existence of this article 1 year from now. With that in mind, here are 30 bold predictions from the fantasy experts….
“Giancarlo Stanton will hit 50 home runs. Maybe not so bold, since he hit 37 in 123 games last season, but he’s a monster. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the only reason to pay to see the 2013 Miami Marlins!” – John Halpin (Fox Sports)
“Carl Crawford winds up being the steal of the fantasy draft season, recapturing the form from his Rays days to hit double-digit homers, steal over 40 bases and score 100 runs. He finishes as a top-10 outfielder in fantasy leagues.” – Ryan Boyer (Rotoworld)
“Cliff Lee once and for all proves wins is an essentially useless indicator of a pitcher’s production by winning at least 20 games with the same numbers he posted in 2012.” – Andrew Gould (Bleacher Report)
“Matt Harvey will have an enormous breakout and finish in the top 3 of the NL Cy Young voting. He’ll rack up about 220 K, with 15 W and a low 3 ERA. Mets fans will compare him to Doc Gooden because he’s the best young pitcher they’ve seen since Doc.” – Alex Roberts (RotoBaller)
“Stephen Strasburg will become the first pitcher to strike out 300 batters in a season since 2002 (Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling). An extra year removed from having Tommy John surgery, Strasburg won’t have an innings cap in 2013.” – Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)
“Jay Bruce hits 50 Home Runs. If he can avoid the cold spells he goes under every year and hits for more average the 2012 Silver Slugger easily reaches this plateau in his still very young career.” – Terrance Bridgett (FantasyTrade411)
“Mike Trout will be the biggest fantasy bust in 2013. Billy Hamilton will be called up before the all star break and lead the league in stolen bases. Tim Lincecum will earn the comeback player of the year. Stephen Strasburg will win the NL CY Young award and Max Scherzer will with the AL CY Young award. Jeff Boggis will finish in the top 10 in fantasy baseball accuracy.” – Jeff Boggis (Fantasy Sports Empires)
“Max Scherzer will win the AL Cy Young Award with 225Ks, a 1.10 WHIP and a 1.97 ERA. Also, Jackie Bradley Jr. will win the AL Rookie of the Year Award playing in LF for the Boston Red Sox.” – Tony Mauriello (FantasyTrade411)
“My bold prediction is that Julio Teheran finishes the year as the best starting pitcher in Atlanta. He turned a corner late last year and has looked like a breakout candidate both in winter ball and in the spring. The former top-five prospect is going to pay huge fantasy dividends this season.” – R.J. White (Fantasy Baseball Café)
“Dillon Gee ends up being a must-start pitcher by the end of the year. He has good control of the strikezone and should post a high strikeout total with a low walk rate (and thus low ERA/WHIP). Last year, his ERA was 4.10 but just two poor starts had a major effect on that because his ERA was 3.11 with those two starts removed.” – Luke Gloeckner (Mr. Cheat Sheet)
“Andrelton Simmons will easily be a top 10 shortstop this season. After helping the Netherlands reach the semifinals of the WBC, Simmons is slated as the leadoff hitter for what should be a very potent lineup. A .300 average, 90-100 runs, 15 homers and 10 stolen bases is my bold projection.“ – Justin Sablich (The New York Times)
“James Shields will be a Top 5 fantasy starting pitcher in 2013. Currently ranked No. 21 by the consensus, Shields is a workhorse and a pillar of consistency, throwing over 200 innings in each of the last six seasons. Shields put up a nasty 23.6% strikeout rate and 6.1% walk rate in 2012; if he can bring down his ERA, he’ll be a No. 1 guy on any fantasy roster.” – Keith Goldner (numberFire)
“Travis Hafner will turn back the clock to 2005-2006 and hit somewhere between the 33-45 HR Range for the Yankees. If there was a ballpark that was built for Travis Hafner, the New Yankee Stadium and that powerful jet stream in right field is going to make him a BEAST. With no Granderson/Jeter/Teixeira/Rodriguez to start the 2013 season, the Yankee faithful will hope Travis Hafner will be able to pick up the slack and carry this team with Cano.” – Muntradamus (Beast Dome)
“I said this last season, Jonathan Lucroy would outperform Buster Posey, which may be as bold of a statement as you can make in hindsight with Posey winning NL MVP. But, compare the 26-year old Lucroy’s first two months of stats last season, before landing on the disabled list prior to the end of May, where he batted around .330 with five home runs, 30 RBI, and two stolen bases in 24 less at bats than the age equivalent Buster Posey who, for the month of April and May, hit .303 with six home runs, 27 RBI, and one stolen base in 163 at bats. You can then see that predicting Lucroy as one of the top hitting catchers, again, may not be as bold as you first thought.” – Michael Pichan (RotoInfo)
“Erick Aybar will finish as a top 5 shortstop. It was just announced that Aybar will be hitting in the 2-hole for the Angels and he should have a lot of RBI opportunities hitting behind Mike Trout and even more run opportunities with Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo hitting behind him. With a lot of the injury risks at shortstop this season, Aybar has a very good chance at positioning himself as a borderline-elite shortstop in 2013.” – Nick Raducanu (FantasyTrade411)
“Michael Morse will finish top 5 in HR. Sure, he’s only played more than 102 games once in his career, and he’s moving to a more spacious park with heavier air. Morse still has prolific power, and if he’s healthy, he’ll get a chance to show it off every day in Seattle.” – Tim Young (MLB Soup)
“Our bold prediction is that Rick Porcello will turn into a coveted fantasy baseball starter by season’s end. Having scrapped his flat slider and after developing an above average breaking ball to compliment his mid-90’s heater, Porcello should be able to take the next step in his career. Pitching on a team with an above average offense and solid backend to the bullpen, the young starter should dominate most SP5 matchups.“ – Chris Ziza (FFLockerRoom)
“Elvis Andrus gets traded to the Yankees. With Jeter’s age and ankle a concern and the Rangers hurry to call up Profar; my prediction is that the Yankees trade for Andrus and that he will be New York’s new shortstop, while The Captain is moved to third base.” – Jordan Tozzi (Legion Report)
“Kendrys Morales will be ranked in the top 10 fantasy 1B by year end, with close to a top 50 overall fantasy performance. A .290 Avg, 30 HR, 80R, 100RBI season is very possible, with a return to 2009 form providing upside on even that.” – Duncan Sanford (EDSFootball)
“Matt Kemp finishes as a top 2 fantasy player. In early 2012, Kemp was hitting at superhuman levels until an injury hit which he never seemed to fully recover from. Now fully healthy and hitting in the middle of a great lineup, expect a return to greatness for Kemp.” – Michael Sherman (Fantasy Team Advice)
“Homer Bailey emerges as a solid #3 fantasy starter. After a ton of hype, Bailey finally managed to stay healthy in 2012 as he started a career-high 33 games while setting personal best marks with 3.68 ERA and 208 innings pitched. He was 8-4 with a 3.12 ERA and a 107/25 K/BB ratio in 118 1/3 innings over the final three months of last season, a run that included a late September no-hitter against the Pirates. If Bailey can figure out a way to have more success at home (.526 SLG against at GABP) he could prove to be a valuable fantasy commodity.” – Dan Clasgens (Get Sports Info)
“My bold prediction for this year is that J.P. Arencibia finishes as a top-10 fantasy catcher. He’s going to hit between 25-30 HRs with 70-80 RBI and his batting average won’t kill you as much as others like Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Russell Martin.” – Michael Clifford (FantasyTrade411)
“Starling Marte finishes the season with 90 runs, 15 homers, and 35 steals. In doing so, he outperforms Shane Victorino and finishes the season as a top-50 outfielder.”- Greg Smith (The Fake Baseball)
Thanks to all of the experts that contributed their bold opinions. We’ll check back throughout the season to see which experts got their predictions right. If you have your own bold prediction, feel free to let us know in the comments below…
In the meantime, if you’ve already completed your draft, be sure to check out our MLB version of My Playbook. You’ll be able to import your teams and get custom news and advice from the top fantasy experts. You’ll also receive projected standings for your league as soon as your team is imported. You can import multiple teams so give it a try!