Top 25 Bold Predictions for the 2013 MLB Season

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Top 25 Bold Predictions for the 2013 MLB Season

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Can you smell the hot dogs and the peanuts yet?

Well despite the snow on the ground in the north, Spring has officially arrived and March Madness is in full swing with the Sweet 16. All that signals there is just one thing missing. That’s right folks. The MLB season is just a week away from its first pitch to kick off the 2013 campaign.

And you know what that means of course?

It’s time for this guy to make some big statements and outrageous claims for the upcoming season. And when the word outrageous is thrown out you know it’s going to be an interesting read because, with 162 games to play, anything can happen and it usually does.

Plus, who wants all of those “safe” predictions that come from the machine that is the Mothership in Bristol and the talking heads there. Most every sports fan is starting to tire of their ability to brainwash the general public. To be honest, if it wasn't for John Kruk there wouldn't be a reason to watch anything they had to say about baseball.

So what you are about to experience are the Top 25 Bold Predictions for the 2013 MLB Season. Bold. Predictions. Not some pansy, run of the mill, Justin Verlander is a great pitcher.

After all this is definition of Bold according to Webster’s:

bold - (bld) adj. bold·er, bold·est 1. Fearless and daring; courageous. 2. Requiring or exhibiting courage and bravery. See Synonyms at brave. 3. Unduly forward and brazen; impudent: a bold, sassy child. 4. Clear and distinct to the eye; conspicuous: a bold handwriting. 5. Steep or abrupt in grade or terrain: bold cliffs. 6. Printing Boldface.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Nothing easy here. We are talking about stuff like questioning the fact Prince Fielder claims to be a Vegan. From one fat guy to another, there isn't anyway under the sun he is Vegan. That’s a Bold Prediction.

So sit back, grab a cold one and a get ready to be shocked and surprised. But more importantly, bookmark this article, print it and hang it on the fridge, post it by the water cooler at work and anywhere you can refer to it quickly to be amazed at how spot on these predictions were come November.

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No. 25 - Mariano Rivera Will Save Only 20 Games

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, New York Yankees fans. Let’s get this list of predictions off and rolling.

The fact is Mariano Rivera is old. No doubt he is the greatest reliever to ever play in the game, especially in the postseason. But he is coming off major knee surgery at age 42, and since PEDs are not allowed in the game anymore, there is no way he is going out with a dominant performance.

In fact, the Yankees are so old and brittle they will be hard pressed to have Rivera in save situations.

The swan song tour will be fun no doubt, but the numbers are not in favor of Rivera in his final season.

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No. 24 - Pittsburgh Pirates Will Win the NL Central Division

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Why not, right?

Everyone wants to jump on the Cincinnati Reds bandwagon (and for good reason), but let’s just take a minute to take a deep breath and think about how they match up with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

There are a lot of great young players mixed with some crafty veterans on this team that will be hard pressed to beat. In fact, the 2013 edition of the Pirates reminds this guy a lot of that 1991 Atlanta Braves squad.

So don’t be surprised when Pittsburgh takes the Central Division crown.

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No. 23 - Brian McCann is the MLB Comeback Player of the Year

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

This is the ultimate Bold Prediction because Brian McCann may not even be eligible for the award.

But in passion and theory, there is no one ready to have a bigger breakout season than the Atlanta Braves All-Star Catcher. McCann battled a shoulder injury all of last season to the point he wasn't able to contribute at all in the 2012 postseason. But the skip is back in McCann’s step and he is getting the chance to just heal and work out instead of taking some minor beatings during the action this spring.

Plus, this is a contract season for the future Hall of Famer which equals all signs pointing to a big, big season by the second best catcher in the game.

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No. 22 - Buster Posey Wins Another MVP

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Is it even possible to say the kid heading into his third full season of service can win back-to-back MVP awards?

Well, if the man you are talking about is Buster Posey then the answer is yes! As a quick refresher, here is a reminder of what this kid has been able to accomplish in 308 games.

Posey was the 2010 Rookie of the Year who helped lead the San Francisco Giants to the World Series Title then missed all but 45 games due to a broken ankle after a collision at home plate in 2011 only to return to lead the Giants to another World Series Trophy while picking up an MVP award along the way in 2012.

No one, ever, in the history of baseball can say they have accomplished this in their first 300 games. And there is no need to think Posey’s run at greatness will end as long as he is healthy.

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No. 21 - Joe Buck and Tim McCarver Will Come to an End at FOX

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On behalf of all baseball fans, let’s officially begin the petition to remove the babbling idiocy of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

These two have officially turned into cartoon characters who think they are the end all, be all when it comes to sports broadcasting and baseball. And with that being said, look for these pair of jokers to cross the line at some point and get booted from the booth in 2013.

If you’re going to dream, then dream big!

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No. 20 - Yu Darvish Wins the AL Cy Young Award

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

All signs this spring are pointing to 2013 being the year of Yu. That’s right, Yu Darvish had a solid first season in 2012 and there is no doubt that he will back that up with a dominant performance in 2013. Just go ahead and hand the American League Cy Young Award to him now.

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No. 19 - Wil Myers Will Win the AL Rookie of the Year

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There is no doubt Wil Myers can ball. He has all the tools necessary to be a star in the game, and the Tampa Bay Rays have decided to start the 2013 season with him in the minors.

So how can a kid who will start the season as the star in Durham possibly win the AL Rookie of the Year?

It’s actually a great thing for the Myers to get his legs under him for a month or so, let the Rays do what they are going to do and then call the him up in June and let him finish the major league campaign with strong legs and on a roll.

Nothing can tire a young player like the grind of 162 game season when most are use to around 80 to 100. Great move by the Rays and an even better opportunity for Myers to run away with the title.

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No. 18 - Craig Kimbrel Will Save 50+ Games

Charles LeClair-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves are going to be really, really good this year. And that also means that Craig Kimbrel is going to set his name officially in granite as the best reliever in the game by saving at least 50 games in 2013.

The only thing that could keep him from reaching this mark is the fact the Braves will have possibly the best offensive lineup it has ever had leading to more than 20 victories by four or more runs.

But if Atlanta gets to the ninth up by three or less, Kimbrel is going to shut the door like none other.

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No. 17 - New York Mets Will Finish with the Worst Record in Baseball

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Are any comments really needed on this one?

Simply the worst outfield in the history of baseball. In fact, since they are still paying Bobby Bonilla like $10 million he would be quite an upgrade.

Get ready for another rough season for the New York Mets.

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No. 16 - Adam Eaton Wins the NL Rookie of the Year

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Without a doubt, Adam Eaton will win the National League Rookie of the Year for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He is a current version of D'Backs Manager Kirk Gibson and Eaton is going to flourish alongside the steady greatness of Martin Prado.

A young, exciting talent who will get the keys to this team especially with the departure of Justin Upton.

Eaton does have an injury to his elbow that they have decided to place him on the DL to rest the first two months of the season. This actually is a good thing for Eaton who will be able to have the fresh arm and legs to finish out an award winning first season.

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No. 15 - Instant Replay Will Finally Make a Big Impact

Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, don’t get this guy started on the infield fly that was at the warning track in the 2012 playoffs.

Where technology stands in the game today, there is no reason for MLB not to embrace and adopt the future that actually started 20 years ago. These arrogant umpires' best days are past them and the adoption of replay needs to be a major part of their management of the rules of the game.

There will be a moment early in the season that will make sure baseball joins the rest of us in 2013. And what a glorious day it will be.

For the record, this guy has developed a system using technology that could uniform the strike zone and make baseball the leader in all of sports when it comes to innovation if anyone is interested in listening.

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No. 14 - Philadelphia Phillies Will Lose 90+ Games

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

That’s right folks! The Philadelphia Phillies will finish with 90 or more losses in the National League East.

(patiently awaiting Philly fans to lose it)

There is no doubt on paper Philadelphia has some great names that have a ton of experience in winning and winning big in the game of baseball. And, for the most part, all their stars have looked really good this spring. But the grind of a 162 game season, when you are as old as the Phillies are, will lead to an epic collapse when the weather heats up in June.

Mark it down and remember you heard it here first.

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No. 13 - Washington Nationals Will Struggle to Make the Postseason

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Every MLB season one of the darlings of the media and the fans seem to find a way to blow it.

And that team in 2013 will be the Washington Nationals. Do they look good so far in Spring Training? Yes. Do they look like a beast on paper? Yes. Do they have the moxie to handle adversity or injury? No, not at all.

And as soon as the slide starts, the Nationals will find a way to choke and choke hard on their own greatness.

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No. 12 - Los Angeles Dodgers Will Not Make the Postseason

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

To be honest, it hurts to say the following but there is just something screaming the Los Angeles Dodgers and their gazillion dollar payroll will not make the playoffs.

Whether it be injuries or pitching not living up to their billing, there is just something that doesn’t seem quite right for the Dodgers in 2013.

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No. 11 - Jason Heyward Becomes the First 40-40-40 Player in Baseball

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

OK, so maybe it is a stretch to say Jason Heyward will be the first player to finish a season with 40 homers, 40 stolen bases and 40 doubles. Or is it?

The addition of Justin Upton and B.J. Upton will keep Heyward in the second hole in the batting order for the most part giving him at least 30 more plate appearances in 2013. For the record, the star right fielder for the Atlanta Braves finished 2012 with 27 homers, 30 doubles and 21 stolen bases.

Add 30 more plate appearances or more this season and a 40-40-40 season seems pretty doable.

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No. 10 - Robinson Cano Will Deal with PED Issues

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

All signs are pointing to the New York Yankees being a grease fire in 2013. And there is no doubt a major player will have to deal with questions in regards to PEDs. So that’s why Robinson Cano will be the target of the media when it comes to the juice that makes baseball players a little stronger.

Is there any evidence of this at all? No. None. But with the demise of the Yankees coming sooner than later, this season the New York Media will have a lot of free time to do some digging. And the longer Cano keeps the rumors that he is ready to leave New York alive, the more irate the media will be in the search for something to hang their front page story on while damaging the star's ability to go elsewhere.

This is something to keep your eyes on for sure because that's what the pompous New York Media does.

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No. 9 - Stephen Strasburg Will Get Shut Down again in August

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Is is clear now that super douchebag Scott Boras completely controls the future and career of one Stephen Strasburg.

And as soon as things are not looking good for the Washington Nationals to make the playoffs, Boras will demand a shutdown of the young pitcher.

And if this happens, look for major changes coming to limit the role of agents in the game of baseball.

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No. 8 - Baltimore Orioles Will Win the AL East

Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it seems to be the year of the greater Maryland area in 2013. The Baltimore Ravens fresh off their Super Bowl win will be joined in their greatness by the Baltimore Orioles.

There is not a better young team in the game with the experience and the moxie of this team. They seem to have the right players at the right time to make a run to the World Series.

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No. 7 - Los Angeles Angels Will Lead MLB in Runs Scored

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

This is probably the biggest no brainer on this whole list as the Los Angeles Angels will set a new mark in all of baseball in runs scored in 2013. The lineup the Angels are throwing out there can easily score 1,300 runs this season. Look for Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton to average around eight runs a game easily breaking the record set by the Boston Beaneaters in 1894.

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No. 6 - New York Yankees Will Finish Dead Last in the AL East

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you didn't read in between the lines until now, then you might need to pick up another sport to follow. Yes, the New York Yankees and their oldies but goodies will finish dead last in the American League East.

Now the AL East is good enough where dead last means you still win like 75 games, but either way the darling of baseball will not be a compelling watch in 2013.

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No. 5 - Boston Red Sox Will Win the AL Wildcard

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, someway, the Boston Red Sox will find a way to win the American League Wild Card in 2013.

When you look at what the Red Sox are doing this spring along with a new clubhouse presence, it just feels like they will stay close enough and be able to put the run on to the postseason when it counts.

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No. 4 - Kris Medlen Will Win the NL Cy Young Award

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

There was no better pitcher in the second half of 2012 than the Atlanta Braves Kris Medlen. The kid gave up like nine runs in 80+ innings leading Atlanta to the postseason.

Despite the beating he took to the Philadelphia Phillies in his last outing in Spring Training where he gave up nine runs in six innings (a game the Braves won 17-10), Medlin just has a Greg Maddux sense to him. Now, no one, ever, will be Maddux and it is unfair to compare Medlin to him, but when you look at his pitches and how he carries himself on and off the mound, the Maddux-esque confidence is there along with some of his pitches.

With all that being said, look for Medlin to put up big numbers and take home the National League Cy Young Award in 2013.

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No. 3 - Scott Boras Will Get Banned from Baseball

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s pretty safe to say fans and most of General Managers are sick of agents. And no one has ruined the game more than one Scott Boras. He has set himself as enemy No. 1 for years before his public forcing of the hand of the Washington Nationals on Stephen Strasburg just added to his lore as the devil.

And the handling of Strasburg or something is going to push Boras over the top for the final time and lead him down the path of no return.

Whether it be the handling of Michael Bourn’s Free Agency, the writing is on the wall that the players he represents are starting to tire of his management of their careers. His ability to maximize money is no longer there and without that he is dead to players and hopefully dead to baseball.

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No. 2 - 2013 Will Be the Last Year of No DH in the National League

Kevin Liles - USA TODAY Sports

This one pains this longtime baseball fan, but it is simply time for the game to evolve and join 2013 along with the other major professional sports in accepting change that is good for the game.

Yes, 2013 will be the last season of the pitcher batting in the National League. As the money of television deals continue to dictate the construction of more and more teams in the game, General Managers in the NL realize the loss of a 30 year old star who still has a bat to win them a title to the American League is no longer smart business.

Cause every Atlanta Braves fan knows Chipper Jones would be back for his 20th season if the DH was in effect. They also know Brian McCann is heading to the AL unless this rule change takes place. And that is just one team folks.

So if you are one of the old schoolers, enjoy 2013 because the DH will be uniform for both the NL and the Al in 2014.

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No. 1 - The Atlanta Braves Will Win the 2013 World Series

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports -- Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

No team made more moves this off season than the Atlanta Braves. With the departure of the face of the franchise in Chipper Jones, the Braves knew they needed to spark the town and the clubhouse in historic fashion. And that is exactly what Frank Wren did in adding Justin Upton and brother B.J. Upton while dealing fan favorites Martin Prado and Tommy Hanson away.

Adding the Uptons alongside the emerging superstars in Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman and a healthy Brian McCann gives Atlanta the best lineup it has had since the days of the great teams in the 1990s. In fact, when you have Dan Uggla batting seventh or eighth in this lineup, this has the chance to be a team that score 1,000 runs.

And its not like the pitching staff is an issue either with Tim Hudson and Kris Medlin on the front end and Craig Kimbrell ready to close the door.

Just simply a great team that everyone wants to overlook because of the Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Just something is telling this guy the 2013 World Series goes through and returns to Atlanta.


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.