Welcome back baseball fans and the just plain greedy who want to get rich quick on my proven powers of predicting. As all of you true fans know, as the trading deadline approaches its end, I make my modest first-half corrections.
Why? Because it’s about half way through the season, and, as every true fan also knows, teams that have played well go into the trading market seeking quality guys to shore up their weakness and enhance their chances of making the prestigious and lucrative playoffs. Where do they get those players? From the weaker teams already out of contention and in need of better talent to bank for the future; as you might expect, they seek younger promising talent (performers) on the rise in exchange for older, established players with expensive contracts.
Does my update negate the April picks? No, merely sharpens them, alters them to current rosters and offers you the chance to hedge any bets made in the spring; for those who have not yet taken the player’s plunge, you have the edge with fresh info.
In the spring I called for a very predictable season. It still is, with some notable exceptions. Washington has sputtered, giving both the Braves and Phillies a real shot at the Eastern Division crown. The Cubs are a good bet to blow it to the talented Brewers in the NL Central, while the Dodgers, strengthened by the trade for Machado, will take the NL west title and go on to win the NL championship. Unfortunately, they will meet the winner of the two American League super teams, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox, and lose. Pick a winner in the AL?
With shaky hands I don my Red Sox. (The Indians and Yankees are AL runner-ups.)
Note that my long shot picks of spring—the Seattle Mariners in the American League and the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League—are still in the thick of the pennant races and would still fetch a fancy return from the Vegas books.
Below, my picks from the spring, followed by the revised choices of July 30.
So there you have it...your keys to your fortune, free of charge. Plan now to rent a Ryder or pinch a Penske to pick up your Vegas swag when the World Series ends in October.
Let me just say again in closing, as I did last spring, that in these iron times I find it a comforting distraction watching another outdoor spectacle of chess and ballet played out on a stage of green by the Boys of Summer.
Finally, a reminder that these selections are guaranteed. If the teams do not finish in the order predicted, I will provide you picks for next year’s season absolutely free of charge!