Strange and Bold MLB Predictions, 2019 - by Brian Phillips

The best day of the year is here! Opening Day! The Pencilstorm staff will be hunkered down at the world famous Bier Stube on High in time for 1 pm first pitch. Last year they had free hot dogs too!

Before the 2019 season unfurls itself over the next six months allow me to get some strange and bold predictions down:

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks

Three years after a World Championship the 2004 D-Backs won just 51 games. The 2019 Arizona club won't be quite that putrid, but they won't win more than 65 games either.

Atlanta Braves

Weary of his weak bat the Braves bench and then demote Dansby Swanson by June in favor of Johan Carmargo.

Chicago Cubs

With his bum shoulder healed Kris Bryant returns to his MVP form hitting over .300 with 32 plus bombs and 110 plus RBI.

Cincinnati Reds

Often compared to Joey Votto for his superior plate skills, a healthy Jesse Winker logs an all-star campaign and ends up with across the board better numbers than the Reds' first baseman.

Colorado Rockies

With his new plate approach Ryan McMahon hits his way to an NL Rookie Of The Year award.

Los Angeles Dodgers

A broken down Clayton Kershaw only makes 10 starts for the Dodgers.

Miami Marlins

Trevor Richards makes 33 starts and finishes top 10 in Cy Young voting.

Milwaukee Brewers

Realizing Mike Moustakas is a terrible second baseman the Brewers rush #1 prospect Keston Hiura to the show by mid summer.

New York Mets

Oft injured outfielder Yoenis Cespedes does not play in a single 2019 game.

Philadelphia Phillies

Shifted to death, and spooked by his mega contract, Bryce Harper is booed mercilessly when he finishes April hitting .160.

Pittsburgh Pirates

His efforts to elevate the ball paying off, Josh Bell launches 27 home runs.

San Diego Padres

With an exciting influx of great young talent and behind newly signed Manny Machado, the Padres contend into September for a playoff spot.

San Francisco Giants

The Yankees see Greg Bird injured again, and Luke Voit is exposed with every day at bats. New York swings a deal with the Giants to acquire Brandon Belt for prospects. Belt hits 15 home runs for the Yankees in August and September.

St. Louis Cardinals

In the thick of the playoff hunt the Cards realize they can no longer afford to have Dexter Fowler in the every day line up. Fowler is DFA'd and Tyler O'Neill becomes an outfield regular.

Washington Nationals

While Bryce Harper struggles all season young phenom Juan Soto is in the running for NL MVP.

American League

Baltimore Orioles

The Vegas over/under is 59.5 at last check. This club will win no more than 40 games.

Boston Red Sox

Going into the season without an established closer the Sox turn to David Price by the All Star break.

Chicago White Sox

Eloy Jimenez has a better year than Vlad Jr and wins the AL Rookie of the Year.

Cleveland Indians

Finding themselves 5 games back of the Twins at the deadline the Tribe ship Corey Kluber to the contending Padres for outfield prospects.

Detroit Tigers

For the Tigers it's a long year, but a mostly healthy Miggie makes one last run at a batting title.

Houston Astros

Justin Verlander misses two months after injuring his back having sex with wife Kate Upton.

Kansas City Royals

The Royals run so much Billy Hamilton is only third on the team in steals as he loses playing time with his continued struggles at the plate.

Los Angeles Angels

A shell of his former self and with Justin Bour enjoying a surprisingly productive season, Albert Pujols is DFA'd and asked to take a position in the front office. Refusing that offer he is traded to the Cardinals for a single A relief pitcher.

Minnesota Twins

The surprising Twins win the AL Central by five games over the Tribe and then lose four straight to the Astros in the division round. A healthy Justin Verlander pitches a shut out in game one.

New York Yankees

Miguel Andujar's defense becomes such a liability that the Yanks ship him back to triple A and acquire Kyle Seager from the Mariners.

Oakland Athletics

Never able to get their ragged pitching staff right the A's finish third behind the Astros and Angels.

Seattle Mariners

In a wholesale sell-off Seager isn't the only one traded. Edwin Encanarcion and Jay Bruce are also dealt for prospects.

Tampa Bay Rays

Fueled by young stars Blake Snell, Brandon Lowe and Willie Adames along with a career year from Tommy Pham, the Rays take the second wild card and shock the Red Sox in the wild card game.

Texas Rangers

Joey Gallo reaches a new career high in batting average by hitting .212.

Toronto Blue Jays

With the collective bargaining agreement looming and players concerned about a possible salary cap, Vladimir Guererro Junior signs a ten year $200 million dollar deal with the Jays.