Drunk_Previews big

Would you rather:

A) Read an MLB season preview written by sober baseball nerds?

B) Read an MLB season preview written by drunk baseball nerds?

If you answered A), you might have better luck here, or here.

If you answered B), or for some reason clicked on those links and still find yourself reading this, then buckle up, because it’s time for the Clown Show’s first annual 2014 MLB Drunk Season Preview.

The premise: aren’t you sick of reading half-assed predictions? “If Clay Buchholz can stay healthy and his FIP only regresses to a certain degree, and if Xavier Boegarts steps up and is the shortstop we think he can be and the Red Sox start winning baseball games early and often, it seems likely that they will blah blah blah blah blah…”. Fuck all that noise. We are getting drunk, not looking anything up, and telling you how we think the MLB season is going to go, fully acknowledging it probably won’t go that way at all. And if sober people think they can do any better than us, well, maybe they can. But you won’t have nearly as much fun reading what they have to say. We promise.

A division a day, for the next six days. Today, Wednesday, we begin with the NL Central, because why not? Crack a beer. It’s almost baseball time. 

THE NL CENTRAL

Written by Machado’s Mittens

Divider

I’m drunk. Seven beers drunk with pop corn all over me.
It’s time to talk about the NL Central. Which is my favorite division, if you forget about the AL East, AL Central, NL East and sometimes AL West.
But seriously. It’s a cool division. It has the hardest playing team in baseball (The Cardinals, who come from the greatest baseball town in America that wants you to know that they’re the greatest baseball town in America and acts like they’re an underdog every year), the saddest team in baseball (the Cubs), the most bad ass team in baseball (the Pirates, who are probably my fourth favorite team) and a team named after beer. Which reminds me. I need another beer. Go Brewers.
Oh yeah, and there’s also the Reds. Who are like… good and shit.
Last year, this was a super tight race. The Pirates, Cards and Reds each played outstanding baseball all year long, and at times each seemed unbeatable. The Cards made it to the fucking World Series because they’re a team that’s all about grit, playing the game the right way and believing in their team and focusing on each game, one at a time. Please note the scathing sarcasm over my IPA laden breath. Fuck the Cardinals.
So what do I think is going to happen this year?
Well, first the easy call. I think the Cubs are going to come in dead last. That said, I see a lot of interesting bright spots. I think that Mike Olt will actually perform. He had sight issues or something last year, and I actually believe that this is a real problem that affects some baseball players (see: Freeman, Freddy, 2012). I think that Starlin Castro is gonna go HanRam at some point (and start caring about baseball again) and maybe have the 20/20 season that he is capable of. Maybe this happens when they finally trade him to a major league team, but I can see it happening this year… If he starts taking Adderol or something. Valbuena crushes balls. Maybe he does some of that past Spring training. Samardzijzdkljaza will strike out 200 dudes that don’t care and approximately 3 balls get lost in the Ivy.
Enough time lost on the Cubs.
I think that the Brewers come in Fourth. I know, I know. Same as last year, so far. REAL DRUNK of you, Max. But seriously. Do you see it any other way? How drunk are you? Ryan Braun will probably show some semblance of his former self, but he’s not vacationing in Florida anymore. I can see him hitting 20 HR and stealing some bags, but his MVP days are gone. Just like the Brewer’s pitching, attendance and supporting cast. Aramis? Seriously? You drafted him in your fantasy league? You need to switch to session beer, bro. Do you even lift?
I think the Cards come in third. Wainwright gets hurt. Carlos Martinez watches too much porn (that’s a fact, not a prediction). Matt Carpenter’s soul only bought him one ridiculous year. Taveras doesn’t make it to the majors. Yadier Molina regresses hard but still is the most bad ass catcher in the majors. Adams and Wong don’t live up to their hype (is there any hype?) and that stupid arch is demolished after a record number of base jumpers die jumping off of it. Can you tell that I don’t like St Louis? They can win 90 games this year, but I bet it’s 85.
The Reds come in second.
I also think that the God-sent firing of ol’ Dusty Baker will help this team. After all, a manager who dared to talk about “clogging the bases” belongs in a beer league. Not the MLB. You know what? I don’t even believe in that. Dusty Baker belongs in the Hall of Fame. As a janitor.
The one-two punch of Choo and Votto is done. Still, I see Votto having another big year (even if he doesn’t hit tons of homers) and now he’s got Billy Hamilton in front of him… I think. Admittedly, I don’t think that Hamilton will have an OBP even close to Choo, but I bet that their run totals are similar thanks to Hamilton’s 200 stolen bases. Jay Bruce will hit 30 HR this year and go on a couple of hot streaks. That’s kind of what he does. I see Brandon Phillips taking a major step back, but I still say that he leads the majors in web gems.
Chapman will shake off the line drive to the face (sounds like he already has, actually) and I see another step forward for Homer Bailey, a full season for Cueto (it’s gotta happen someday, even with that stupid twist that leads to injuries) and Mat Latos is my kryptonite. As long as I don’t have him on my fantasy team, the dude will be consistently above average. Cingrani is going to get crushed. 90 wins tops.
Finally, I think that the Pirates take yet another step forward. Do I really believe that they come in first this year?… Hang on. I need another beer.
Yes. Now I believe. 100 wins is possible and my girlfriend and her twin look slammin’. I didn’t know she had a twin…
Last year, Andrew McCutchen had a terrible spring training. And then went on to yet again post MVP numbers, this time actually winning it. (Right? Didn’t he? I don’t remember). This year? I’m pretty sure Cutch is batting over .600 and yeah, it’s Florida and it’s just spring but I see a monster year coming. Starling Marte cuts down on his K’s and posts a legit 20/30 season. Edinson Volquez (who I think they signed) profits from the gangsta clubhouse atmosphere, Pedro Alvarez takes his power to yet another level and cuts his k’s down to 150 and Russel Martin becomes a top 3 catcher. Neil Walker finds his stroke and puts in his career year. I honestly don’t know who is playing first or short but I bet they combine for 40 HR. Man, this beer is good.
It’s a shame they don’t have an AJ Burnett-type figure this year, but Gerrit Cole is finally here for a full season and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he gets some Cy Young votes this year. I love Francisco Liriano. I know he’s a hot and cold guy (pause) but I still say that he builds on last year and finishes as one of the 10 best pitchers in the NL, albeit with a high WHIP and a couple of BAD games. Finally, this bullpen is legit. I worry that Grilli lost his touch, but there’s still Melancon and I’m going to their open try out. As soon as they announce it and I learn how to throw a knuckle ball. Have you seen me in black and yellow? They wrote that song about me, bro.
Your 2014 NL Central, folks.
Time to pound water and try and forget that I wrote this.