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Pinstripe Alley’s 2021 Yankees and MLB predictions

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Will 2021 be the year that the Yankees return to the top? Here’s what we think.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

At long last, it’s almost Opening Day. In just 24 hours, we’ll already know how the Yankees’ first game of the season turned out. Well, either that or we’ll be sad that it rained.

With the 2021 season nearly upon us, it’s time for the Pinstripe Alley staff to share its predictions for the upcoming campaign. As always, our writers were tasked with taking their best shots at forecasting standings, awards, statistics, the playoffs, and more. If we’re wrong, blame it on glitches in the matrix.

Last year, Josh unseated Jake’s “dynasty Yankees”-esque run of four consecutive years atop the PSA Predictions leaderboard. Josh has now actually won in back-to-back seasons since he and Jake split the crown in 2019. Will Josh three-peat, or will one of the challengers unseat him?

2021 AL Standings

The Yankees are the unanimous pick to take the AL East, with the Blue Jays and Rays fighting it out for the No. 2 spot. The defending AL champions in Tampa have lost some key pieces from 2020, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that they won’t easily fade.

Over in the AL Central, we’re fairly split between the Twins and White Sox, but the Pale Hose got the one-vote edge. The Astros prevailed over the A’s by the same margin in our AL West, though some writers went for the Mike Trout/Shohei Ohtani-led catnip that is the Angels instead of Oakland at No. 2.

2021 NL Standings

Aiming for their fourth NL East crown in a row, the Braves will probably end up getting a good fight from the Mets, who have made a ton of improvements in the offseason. However, based on our predictions, it doesn’t seem like it will quite be enough. Some — like myself — even have the Phillies above the Mets. A bold strategy, I know.

The NL Central is a hodgepodge aside from everyone agreeing that the Pirates stink. The Cardinals get the edge over the Brewers here with the Cubs continuing their post-2016 tailspin. As for the NL West, it’s “Dodgers, Dodgers, Dodgers” for the ninth year in a row. Respect to Kunj though for giving the upstart Padres a vote to dethrone the juggernaut.

Yankees leaders: AVG, HR, ERA, and WAR

It’s probably fitting that the top vote-getters for most homers on the Yankees were split between Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Kudos to John and Andrés for going against the grain by voting for Gio Urshela to lead the team in average over the reigning MLB batting champion. He did hit .314 in 2019, so you never know!

Misc. Yankees predictions

What can we say? We’re optimists.

We’re all hoping for big, healthy comeback seasons from Judge, Stanton, Gary Sánchez, and even the Corey Kluber/Jameson Taillon duo. Amusingly enough, Kunj is the low man on the number of combined starts between Kluber and Taillon, but naturally has Judge breaking the single-season home run record. We keep things reasonable around here!

MLB leaders: AVG, HR, ERA, and WAR

Mike Trout and Jacob deGrom are just unfair in these wide predictions, and I suspect that it won’t be long before Nationals wunderkind Juan Soto ascends to that level, too. He’s absurd.

Most team wins & losses, first manager fired

No, I did not average Kunj’s 161-win prediction into the consensus. I’m rude like that. The funny thing about John’s 112-win guess for the Dodgers is that it’s not too hard to squint and see how it’s possible. Also, condolences to Rockies skipper Bud Black, who is in just about the biggest lose-lose situation imaginable in Colorado. What a mess.

MLB Awards

Dan Brink and I were the only writers to not pick a Yankee for the Cy Young and I feel a little guilty. Alas. Meanwhile, I’m sure a Jarred Kelenic Rookie of the Year win in Seattle would not cause any headaches across town at all, no siree Bob.

Young Marlins stud Sixto Sánchez is the popular pick for NL Rookie of the Year, but don’t sleep on the Pirates’ Ke’Bryan Hayes. If you don’t know about him, he’s the son of former Yankee Charlie Hayes and can do it all on both offense and defense.

Playoffs?!

We’re all picking the Yankees to make it back to the World Series for the first time since 2009. Usurping the defending champions though? Some of us think they can do it, but the plurality do not. Hopefully we’re wrong. For what it’s worth, the Dodgers weren’t a unanimous pick to win the NL pennant, and the Yankees won all four of these predicted matchups with the likes of the Padres, Braves, and Mets. So maybe someone else will do the dirty work.

Share your own predictions in the comments below, and who knows? Maybe you’ll end up having the upper hand. It’s anyone’s guess. Have fun with it!