Alright, all. Opening Day is nearly upon us, and it actually looks like we’re going to get a full season, and fans in the stands! So, without further ado, it’s now time to bring back what was one of the longest running Gaslampball.com traditions. That’s right, I’m talking about the annual Padres Prediction post! A version of this post ran every year, from 2006 to 2018 (which is a freaking lifetime in terms of the internet), before a series of unfortunate events caused the 2019 Prediction post to never make it onto the site. This actually happened to be one of my favorite posts of the year, so I brought it back last year, and by the Baseball Gods, I’m doing it again this year.
So, as per tradition, here’s your mission, fellow ‘Ballers. Down in the comments section, post your answers to the following questions:
1) What will be the 2021 Padres’ record? (If you need some help, head over to Jay Stokes’ Win Total Over/Under fanpost).
2) What place will the Padres finish in the NL West?
3) What will be the order of finish in the National League Western Division?
4) Which Padre player will be traded before seasons end?
5) Who would be the Padres All-Star(s) (currently scheduled for 13 July in Atlanta, GA)?
Go ahead and predict the World Series Champions, major award winners (Cy Young, MVP, etc.), playoff field (current 5-team per league setup, or expanded version, your choice), whatever else if you are so inclined.
I’ll start this off:
- The Padres will finish 98-64 on the year, good for...
- 1st place in the NL West (!!!), finishing just ahead of...
- The most hated L.A. Dodgers, who will finish 97-65 and 2nd in the NL West. Rounding out the NL West will be the Giants in 3rd, the D-Backs in 4th, and the Rockies in 5th.
- Despite his status as one of our more lively bullpen arms, RHP Emilio Pagan will get packaged up with a host of prospects to bring us RHP Josh Hader, once the Brewers fall out of contention around mid-season.
- If the All-Star game does go off as currently scheduled, several Padres will make it: Fernando Tatis Jr. will headline, and he’ll be joined by 3B Manny Machado, LHP Blake Snell, and CF Trent Grisham (Grish makes it as a late injury replacement).
As for the World Series, I don’t believe MLB will expand the playoffs yet (they’ll save that for 2022 following CBA negotiations), so it’ll be a standard 5-team per league set-up. While I believe the Padres will win the West and will take down Cardinals again in the NLDS, they’ll get beat by the Braves in a tooth-and-nail, 7-game NLCS, mainly due to an absolutely unconscious hitting display by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman. The Braves will make their way to the Series by taking down the Dodgers in the NLDS, thereby denying the Dodgers a shot to repeat as champions (the Dodgers will beat the Phillies in the Wild Card). In the Series, it’ll be the Braves and the White Sox going at it. Juan Soto will win the NL MVP, and Jacob DeGrom wins the NL Cy Young.
So those are my predictions. What are yours? Have at it!