By Aaron Jackson
For this week’s Jackson 5, I’m going to give you 5 Bold Predictions for the second half of the Major League Baseball season. Before we get to that though, best to rehash what I said before the season. Got to prove my worth before you can trust me right?
5 Bold Predictions for 2017 MLB Season: Part 1
- The Boston Red Sox will have a chance to win the AL East. But it will come down to the last week of the season, and they will have to fight off the Tampa Bay Rays, who many have last in the East, to get it done. One of those teams will make the playoffs, while the other will miss them altogether. So far, so good.
- The Cleveland Indians will be a playoff team, but they will not have the best record in the AL despite being favorites to do so. That honor will go to either the Seattle Mariners or Houston Astros. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad, atleast that’s what Meatloaf said.
- Andrew Benintendi will fall short of expectations when it comes to home runs. That said, he will challenge for the American League batting title for much of the year before falling just short. That award will go to his teammate Mookie Betts. I also expect he will lead the team in doubles. Both have a ways to go before batting title contention.
- The Red Sox, barely over 500 at the All Star break, are forced to make a move. Unfortunately it is not letting John Farrell go, but instead another Dave Dombrowski blockbuster. I’m sorry Jim, but were you really that excited for Rafael Devers anyway? A late first half surge stopped this from happening.
- Here are my Awards predictions:
AL MVP: Jose Altuve Gotta be the favorite right?
AL CY Young: Chris Archer He’s much better this season, but has a long way to Cy Young contention.
NL MVP: Bryce Harper Right up there.
NL Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner Stupid dirt bike.
- David Price will be the Red Sox best pitcher in the second half of the season, and will win his first playoff game: This theory is based solely off last night’s game against the Yankees. Specifically, the 8th inning. He was fantastic all game long, and the emotion he showed first at Jackie Bradley’s catch and then at the strikeout to end the inning just have me feeling like he’s found some form of motivation. A David Price that feels like he has to prove something is a good David Price; I hope.
- Aaron Judge will fall back to earth: The curse of the Home Run Derby strikes again. I expect to see him scuffle quite a bit in the second half, with a batting average hovering around .250 and a major drop in power. Don’t be shocked to see him finish with 40 home runs. He’s about to hit a rookie wall.
- The Red Sox will trade for a third baseman (coughTodd Frazier cough), but we haven’t seen the last of Tzu Wei Lin: Frazier will provide the power the team needs, and being put back onto a contending team will give his average a lift as well. That said, while he’s now headed to Pawtucket, don’t say goodbye yet to Lin. I’m thinking he will be back, and will come up big in a late September game.
- Tampa Bay doesn’t make a huge trade at the deadline, but they get much better anyway: Remember the name Brent Honeywell. His ERA in AAA is in the mid 4’s right now, but he’s got a nasty screwball and strikes out a ton of guys while walking no one. The opposite of Henry Owens. I expect he will make his major league debut after the deadline and pitch very well for the Rays down the stretch.
- There will be a ton of big names in rumors, but none will be dealt: Giancarlo Stanton, Andrew McCutchen, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Jonny Cueto and most of the other big name players will have rumors swirling, but they’ll all stay put. The biggest name dealt will be Sonny Gray, as he goes to the Cleveland Indians in their continued effort to push for a division they will end up winning.
Aaron Jackson (@AaronRJackson on Twitter) is a co-host on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.