Gav’s 30 Boldish Predictions: One for each MLB Team (2024 edition)

I’m not going to bore you with how many successes I had in last year’s article. To be honest, I was close but not quite there with many of my predictions. Mitch Keller was 5⅔ innings shy of the predicted 200-inning/200-strikeout campaign, and Matt Brash was tremendous but he wasn’t the most deadly arm in Seattle.

Naturally, I will accept that I was completely wrong about the Astros missing the playoffs, Shohei Ohtani staying with the Angels, and Bobby Witt Jr. suffering a hard sophomore slump.

And of course, as with all predictions, if they are correct, I frequently get, “well, it was obvious, wasn’t it?” So I didn’t get the deserved credit for predicting an MVP-calibre season for Corey Seager or Spencer Strider notching 200 strikeouts or Esteury Ruiz swiping 60+ bags. 

Just before we start with this season’s predictions, I’ll leave this one here from last year.

Here are my 2024 BOLDish predictions, one for each MLB team. If you think you can do better, we would love to hear from you. Everyone has Five Bold Predictions in them, so click the “Write for Us” link and we will incorporate yours in the next edition.

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks
No messing about here. Despite the additions of power sluggers Eugenio Suárez and Joc Pederson, and the pre-Opening Day signing of Jordan Montgomery, the D-Backs prove that 2023 was an anomaly and slip to fourth in the division.

Colorado Rockies
After the Midas-metamorphosis of high-strikeout, nobody-wants-him, former-top-prospect Nolan Jones, the Rockies repeat the magic when Brenton Doyle slashes his strikeout rate to produce a 20-home run, 25-stolen base season whilst winning a second Gold Glove

Los Angeles Dodgers
While all of the media attention centres around the top three of the lineup of Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman, it is catcher Will Smith who produces his first-ever 30-homer season and leads the Dodgers in WAR.

San Diego Padres
Despite only having achieved it once in his MLB career (and that was back in 2013), Yu Darvish turns back the clock to produce a dazzling 200-inning/200-strikeout campaign to power the Padres to the postseason.

San Francisco Giants
Aided by exceptional outfield defence from Luis Matos and Jung Hoo Lee, Blake Snell finishes in the Top 3 in NL Cy Young voting, yet it is still not enough to stop the haters.

NL CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs
Although a somewhat disappointing season for Chicago, the bright spot is undoubtedly the transformation of Seiya Suzuki from a useful outfielder to an elite MLB superstar. He finishes the season as the top Japanese player.

Cincinnati Reds
In a Reds rotation that features Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Andrew Abbott, and Frankie Montas, it is the oft-forgotten man, Graham Ashcraft, who breaks out to become one of the most deadly arms in the NL. 

Milwaukee Brewers
Perhaps it was the trade of Corbin Burnes or perhaps it was the long-term injury of Brandon Woodruff, but the 2023 division winners slump to the bottom of the NL Central. The rotation behind Freddy Peralta of DL Hall, Jakob Junis, Colin Rea, and Joe Ross proves completely inadequate for Major League Baseball. 

Pittsburgh Pirates
Finally, after years of teasing us with their potential, the left side of the Pirates infield explodes with career years from Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz. And not to be overlooked, Jared Triolo establishes himself as an everyday major-league second baseman.

St Louis Cardinals
In a role reversal with the Milwaukee Brewers, the 2023 division bottom dwellers take the NL Central with the youth movement of Jordan Walker, Nolan Gorman, Victor Scott and Masyn Wynn revitalising the franchise.

NL EAST

Atlanta Braves
In a star-studded lineup that features Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and Matt Olson, it is 23-year-old Michael Harris II who finishes the season with the highest WAR on the team.

Miami Marlins
Despite only one Marlins player enjoying a 25-homer season since 2018, they get two in 2024 thanks to Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jake Burger.

New York Mets
Fourth outfielder Tyrone Taylor proves that his .899 OPS in the final two months of last season was the start of a delayed breakout, and the 30-year-old finishes the season as the Mets’ best outfielder

Bonus prediction: GB outfielder Trayce Thompson is promoted to the 40-man roster in June and homers in front of the London Series crowd.

Philadelphia Phillies
With Bryce Harper and Trea Turner vying for MVP votes and the twin-headed threat of Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler established as the most potent one-two in the National League, the Phillies become World Series champions.

Washington Nationals
Where did this come from? CJ Abrams overexcites fantasy baseball players across the world with a 20-homer season while swiping an NL-leading 60 bags.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox
In a year of downs and more downs, the overwhelming highlight for the White Sox is the return to MLB of 5.41 ERA Erick Fedde. Despite losing more games than he won, Fedde garners a Cy Young vote.

Cleveland Guardians
Remember Triston McKenzie? He of the 2.96 ERA in 2022? He is back with a vengeance in 2024 and gets the All-Star call after a stunning first couple of months. 

Detroit Tigers
Rangers Wyatt Langford is the bookies’ favourite for AL Rookie of the Year, but he is beaten in ROY voting by the Tigers duo of Parker Meadows and Colt Keith.

Kansas City Royals
I was tempted to predict a 40-homer season for Nelson Velázquez, but that was too bold, even for me. However, it wasn’t too bold for the brilliant Jamie Steed. You can read the rest of his bold predictions here.

Instead, I will venture that third baseman Maikel García, will commit his .081 ISO to a distant memory and have a breakout 20-home run and 25-stolen base season.

Minnesota Twins
Every year, I predict a Byron Buxton resurgence, but he has still only played 100 games once in his career. Anyway, what if 2024 is the year? What if the 30-year-old posts a .980 OPS? That’s it. That’s the prediction.

AL EAST

Baltimore Orioles
Closer Craig Kimbrel suffers multiple capitulations in April and is consigned to the IL, giving Yennier Cano the opportunity to take the job and record 35 saves for the Orioles.

Boston Red Sox
Triston Casas buckles under the constant presence of Netflix cameras and takes time away from the game for “personal reasons.”

New York Yankees
Juan Soto wins the AL MVP. Is that bold? I guess if he does, then it wasn’t bold.
How about Juan Soto out-homers Aaron Judge? Is that better?

Tampa Bay Rays
Despite only 63 games at the Major League level, René Pinto establishes himself as a Top 5 catcher producing positive contributions with both the bat and behind the plate.

Toronto Blue Jays
Giving optimism to all of us old guys, soon-to-be 40-year-old Justin Turner thrives in Toronto and finishes as a top-five designated hitter. For reference, Bryce Harper was fifth in 2023 (min 300pa at DH).

AL WEST

Houston Astros
Although he can’t match Adley Rutschman’s prowess behind the plate, Astros catcher Yainer Diaz capitalises on the opportunity of playing time in Houston and is the AL’s most productive catcher with the bat. 

Los Angeles Angels
One season too late for Shohei Ohtani, the non-Mike Trout members of the Angels’ lineup explode, with Zach Neto, Nolan Schanuel and Logan O’Hoppe establishing themselves as bonafide MLB stars, each enjoying 20+ homer seasons.

Bonus prediction: Mike Trout steals more bases than Ronald Acuña Jr. Ron Washington loves to let his players run, and surely Acuña Jr. will need to protect his smarting meniscus

Oakland Athletics
Last season, the A’s only had two above-average (qualified) hitters. This season, six of Brent Rooker, Shea Langeliers, Ryan Noda, Seth Brown, Zack Gelof, JJ Bleday, Abraham Toro, or J.D. Davis will post an OPS+ above 100.

Seattle Mariners
With Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Logan Gilbert, the Mariners have three starters in the Top 20 of WAR. For reference, 14 teams did not have a starting pitcher in the Top 20 last season.

Texas Rangers
In an amazing turn of fortunes, the Texas Rangers prove that they were, in fact, a 2023 one-hit wonder. Despite the late-season returns of Tyler Mahle, Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, it is too little too late, and the World Series champions fail to make the postseason.

Why not put together Five Bold Predictions of your own. Submit via the “Write for us” link and we will incorporate them in the next article.

Featured image of Graham Ashcraft by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Eugenio Suarez by Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Seiya Suzuki by Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Michael Harris II by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images. Erick Fedde by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Yennier Cano by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Yainer Diaz by Rich Storry/Getty Images.

Article by @GavTramps. Want to share your baseball opinions in 2024 with a Bat Flips & Nerds audience of 10,000+? Click on the “Write for us” link above.

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