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The staff's predictions for the Colorado Rockies and the rest of MLB in 2015

Season predictions are a balance of meaninglessness and fun. What do we think will happen in 2015?

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

In order to save you the trouble of watching baseball in 2015, the Purple Row brain trust has been surveyed about what will happen this season. The accurate results are below. The staff predicted how each division will shake out, who will win it all, and which individual players will take home the major awards. So as to prevent immediate adoration and/or future embarrassment for individual voters, the votes as detailed below are anonymous. But all voters are now invited to provide their rationales in the comments. That's also a fine space for the non-voting bloc of readers to offer their own, probably less accurate, predictions.


We go west to east around these parts, so let's start with the big one.

NL West

On Friday's episode of the Effectively Wild podcast, hosts Sam Miller and Ben Lindbergh identified the NL West and the NL East as the only divisions with only one clearly "correct" pick to win the division. I'm positive that the two voters who picked the Rockies to best the Dodgers in the NL West have good reasons for doing so. Still, I can't help but think a little bit of the endowment effect is at play there. We attribute more value to things we own. As familiar fans and observers, we take ownership of the team, resulting in an inflated sense of the team's abilities. Make no mistake: the optimism is welcome. But I'll be very surprised if the majority doesn't rule in this instance.

Team Average First place votes
Dodgers 4.81 14
Padres 3.38 0
Giants 3.00 0
Rockies 2.75 2
Diamondbacks 1.06 0

NL Central

There is a general consensus as to the NL Central winner. What I find most interesting is that the Purple Row staff, on the whole, is showing restraint with regard to the Cubs' bandwagon. They're an exciting team, but a lot has to go right for a bunch of really young players for the Cubs to challenge the Cardinals and the Pirates for the division.

Team Average First place votes
Cardinals 4.69 11
Pirates 3.63 3
Cubs 3.56 2
Reds 1.75 0
Brewers 1.38 0

NL East

The five and one averages next to the Nationals and the Phillies indicates that there is unanimity at the top and bottom of the NL East. For good reason, nobody really expects much from the Braves, either. The near interchangeability between the Mets and Marlins in the two and three spots are what make this division really interesting. Add those two young teams to the even younger Cubs, the consistently good Pirates, and San Diego's potpourri experiment, and we're in line for a really fun Wild Card race.

Team Average First place votes
Nationals 5.00 16
Marlins 3.56 0
Mets 3.25 0
Braves 2.19 0
Phillies 1.00 0

NL Champion

The Nationals received 13 of the 15 votes (with one abstainer) to win the National League. Two other teams received a vote: the Dodgers and the Cubs.

AL West

Now this will be an interesting division to watch. I dabble in Mariners fandom, so I'm really pulling for the M's to take the division. The big questions for the top of the division are, can the Angels continue to hit like crazy, and can the Mariners stop being crazy bad at hitting? The Athletics seem perfectly placed to me, as the third place prediction represents either the collective confusion or mistrust of what Billy Beane did to the team this offseason.

Team Average First place votes
Angels 4.38 8
Mariners 4.13 6
A's 3.31 2
Astros 1.75 0
Rangers 1.44 0

AL Central

Just as many voters think that the Tigers won't win the AL Central for a fifth straight year as those that do. Nobody thinks that defending AL champs will challenge for the division. My money is on Cleveland riding a strong rotation to take advantage of the beginning of the Tigers' decline.

Team Average First place votes
Tigers 4.19 8
Indians 3.56 5
White Sox 3.50 3
Royals 2.75 0
Twins 1.00 0

AL East

Choosing the Red Sox to win the AL East would have seemed strange in November, but it makes sense now. Picking them to win the division either displays confidence that the bats will be as good as expected or that the pitching won't be as mediocre. Alternatively, it might be a belief that the former can adequately compensate for the latter.

Team Average First place votes
Red Sox 4.81 13
Orioles 3.56 2
Blue Jays 2.75 0
Yankees 2.31 1
Rays 1.56 0

AL Champion

There was no overwhelming consensus for AL champion. The Mariners, however, get the nod with five votes. Close behind are the Angels with four votes. No other team received more than a single vote, as the A's, White Sox, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, and Tigers each garnered one tally.

World Series Champion

The Purple Row staff thinks that the Nationals will face the Mariners in the World Series. If that happens, it would mean the first World Series trip for both franchises. Of the 15 votes cast, the Nationals got 12 of them, so that's our prediction. It's the safe pick, but if I were given the option to choose the Nationals to win it all or the field, I would go with the even after pick and choose the field. The White Sox, the A's, and the Dodgers--three among the field--were the other teams to get a vote to win the World Series.

NL Rookie of the Year

Speaking of safe picks, 12 of 15 voters believe that Kris Bryant will win the NL Rookie of the Year. Two others think it will be Jon Gray, who we're all going to be rooting for. The other vote was cast for Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson.

AL Rookie of the Year

Of all the categories here, this was my favorite. Purple Row is definitely National League oriented, and this year the American League doesn't have an easy Rookie of the Year option like Kris Bryant. Last year there was even not-really-rookies Jose Abreu and Masahiro Tanaka to choose from. In our poll, more people either abstained or voted for an ineligible player than any single eligible player. Mookie Betts garnered three votes and Taijuan Walker one, and both have already surpassed rookie eligibility. Add on two abstainers and that makes six votes. In the end, Rusney Castillo gets the Purple Row prediction with four votes. Dalton Pompey received two, and Andrew Heaney, Steven Souza, Aaron Sanchez, and Yoan Moncada all received one vote. Our collective oversight was forgetting both how aggressive the White Sox have been with Carlos Rodon and how good he can be.

NL Cy Young

These results were interesting as well. Clayton Kershaw -- who is just 27 and has already won the thing three times -- is a natural choice. No other players received more than one vote, but three different Nationals starters did, as Jordan Zimmermann, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg all got one. That's one reason why people think they'll win the World Series. Matt Harvey received the other vote.

AL Cy Young

Going back to the well of former Cy Young winner under 30 years old (it's a fine well), the Purple Row prediction for AL Cy Young is Felix Hernandez, who received seven votes. Chris Sale and David Price each got three tallies, while Garrett Richards, Sonny Gray, and Corey Kluber each got one.


We know -- we know -- that Troy Tulowitzki has an eight win MVP season in him if he can stay on the field. But we can't trust our hopes to make this prediction. That means Giancarlo Stanton is the consensus Purple Row choice for NL MVP, with six votes. Bryce Harper garnered five, Tulowitzki three, and Yasiel Puig and Andrew McCutchen each received one vote.


Joses Abreu and Bautistia received two votes and one vote, respectively, and Robinson Cano got one. Last year's AL MVP Mike Trout is the choice to repeat with 12 votes.


There you have it. That's what's going to happen. See you all in November!