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MLB Predictions 2021 from Cape League Interns

D.J. LeMahieu (Harwich ‘08) - SportsPix Photo
04/01/2021 4:12 AM

Article By: Michael Lane and Ethan Kagno

 
With Opening Day finally here our Cape League interns, Ethan Kagno and Michael Lane, gave their predictions for the 2021 MLB season!

AL East:
Ethan - New York Yankees
Michael - New York Yankees

“If the Yankees can stay healthy, this team is easily good enough to win it all. They are balanced offensively with D.J. LeMahieu (Harwich ‘08) and Aaron Judge (Brewster ‘12) in the heart of the order, followed by powerful home run threats in Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit (Harwich ‘11), and Gary Sanchez. While waiting for Luis Severino to make his way back from injury, the Yanks still have one of the game’s top pitchers in Gerrit Cole.” - Ethan
 
AL Central:
Ethan - Chicago White Sox
Michael - Minnesota Twins

“The Twins have won the division with a win percentage above .600 each of the past two seasons, and I believe the streak will continue in 2021. The Twins have hit the second most home runs in the MLB since 2019, feature elite defense up the middle, and have an above average pitching staff. Expect Mitch Garver (Hyannis ’12) to return to his 2019 form, when he won the Silver Slugger Award. This could be the year they win their first playoff game since 2004.” - Michael

AL West:
Ethan - Houston Astros
Michael - Houston Astros

“Despite losing one of their best players in George Springer (Wareham ‘09/10) to free agency, the ‘Stros will still be able to produce enough runs to win games. With a talented infield of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Yuli Gurriel, along with designated-hitter Yordan Alvarez, this team will be tough to beat. In addition, Houston boasts a solid one-two punch with starters Zack Greinke and recent free-agent acquisition Jake Odorizzi.” - Ethan
 
AL Wild Cards:
Ethan - Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels
Michael - Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians

“The Blue Jays may be somewhat of a dark horse to make the playoffs as they compete in one of the toughest divisions in baseball. Key acquisition, George Springer (Wareham ‘09/‘10), will provide plenty of leadership and intensity to a young Blue Jays squad full of promise. This is the year they surprise some people.” - Ethan

“The Indians may have lost Francisco Lindor, but they still are poised to be contenders for a Wild Card spot in the American League. Their offense will be led by Jose Ramirez, who has finished top three in MVP voting during three of the past four seasons. It’ll likely require another Cy Young caliber season from Shane Bieber (Yarmouth-Dennis ’15), but expect to see the Indians back in October.” - Michael
 
AL Champions:
Ethan - New York Yankees
Michael - New York Yankees

“As tough as it is to admit, as a Sox fan, it’s the Yankees pennant to lose. Although they were ousted by the Rays in the ALDS last season, the Yankees have proven when at full strength, they are a force to be reckoned with. You know the Bronx Bombers will be near the top of the league in home runs, led by Aaron Judge (Brewster ‘12), D.J. LeMahieu (Harwich ‘08), Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez. I know Yankees fans have been waiting for number 28, and this could be the year they make it back to the Fall Classic.” - Ethan

 

Pete Alonso’s (Bourne ’15) SportsPix Photo

NL East:
Ethan - Atlanta Braves
Michael - New York Mets

“The Steve Cohen era has arrived in Queens and the Mets look to be serious contenders in year one. The acquisition of Francisco Lindor headlined a busy offseason for the Mets, including signing James McCann (Cotuit ’10) and Trevor May. They have one of the deepest lineups in the league featuring Lindor, Pete Alonso (Bourne ’15), Jeff McNeil (Brewster ’12), Michael Conforto, and J.D. Davis (Chatham ’13).” - Michael

NL Central:
Ethan - Milwaukee Brewers
Michael - St. Louis Cardinals

“Although the Brew Crew didn’t make any major splashes in free agency, they were able to fill some holes defensively by signing free agents Kolten Wong (Orleans ‘10)  and Jackie Bradley Jr. (Hyannis ‘11), both of whom are Gold Glove Award winners. They have perhaps two of the best relievers in baseball in Josh Hader and Devin Williams. The Brewers will turn to their ace, Brandon Woodruff (Harwich ‘12) to lead the squad deep into the playoffs after he finished the full 2019 season with an 11-3 record, 143 strikeouts and a 3.62 ERA.” - Ethan
 
NL West:
Ethan - Los Angeles Dodgers
Michael - Los Angeles Dodgers

“This shouldn’t come as a surprise as the Dodgers were dominant all season long after turning in the best record in the MLB (43-17) on route to a 4-2 World Series win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite it being extremely difficult to win back-to-back championships, the Dodgers have all the tools to make it happen. They have arguably the best pitching rotation in the game with Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, and Walker Buehler (Yarmouth-Dennis ’14). In addition, they have great depth with Chris Taylor (Yarmouth-Dennis ‘11) able to play middle infield, and any outfield position. Not to mention, they have former MVP’s Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger scouring the outfield. This team has the potential to be better than they were last year. That’s scary.” - Ethan
 
NL Wild Cards:
Ethan - San Diego Padres, New York Mets
Michael - San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies

“The San Diego Padres are loaded. They strengthened their pitching staff by acquiring Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Mark Melancon, and Keone Kela. They locked in 22-year old phenom, Fernando Tatis Jr. to a 14-year, $340 million contract extension as he has proven to be the next face of their franchise. Although Mike Clevinger (Cotuit ‘11) may not be able to return this season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, he will undoubtedly have fun rooting for his new teammates as they are hungry to get back on top.” - Ethan

“The Philadelphia Phillies are my biggest sleeper team this season, currently projected by FanGraphs to finish fourth in the NL East. They improved their bullpen this off-season and brought back the best catcher in baseball, J.T. Realmuto. Alec Bohm (Falmouth ’17) is going to break out as an anchor in a Phillies lineup that also features Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins (Falmouth ’13). Aaron Nola (Harwich ’12) should contend for the NL Cy Young, as the Phillies return back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.” - Michael
 
NL Champions:
Ethan - San Diego Padres
Michael - New York Mets

“Even as a Wild Card team, I like the Padres as an upset over the Dodgers to make the World Series. The Friars have enough star power and depth to overcome their division foe, Los Angeles, and are ready for the limelight. Jake Cronenworth (Orleans ‘14) will take home 2021 NLCS MVP honors. I’m all aboard the Padres bandwagon to the World Series!” - Ethan

“The Dodgers are the best team in baseball, but repeating as World Series champions is extremely difficult. It hasn’t happened since 2000 and I don’t think it’s happening this year. The Mets have the pitching to shut down any team in a playoff series. After facing Jacob deGrom in game one, their opponents will have to face some order of Marcus Stroman (Orleans ‘10/’11), Noah Syndergaard, and Carlos Carrasco.” - Michael
 
World Series Champions:
Ethan - San Diego Padres
Michael - New York Mets

“The Padres and Yankees. A rematch of the 1998 World Series. However, this time it's a different outcome as The Pads bandwagon finishes its historic Cinderella run and takes home its first championship ever. Head coach Jayce Tingler (Brewster ‘02) will be spraying champagne in celebration of his team’s incredible run.” - Ethan

“Complete transparency, as I was finishing editing this article, news broke that the Mets extended Francisco Lindor for the next decade and I changed my NL Champions and World Series Champions. Growing up a Mets fan, I’ve painfully learned that our year will always be next year. Something special is brewing though and there’s no more waiting. Led by Pete Alonso’s (Bourne ’15) postseason heroics, 2021 will be the year that the Mets bring a World Series back to Queens for the first time since 1986.” - Michael