The 2021 MLB season is quickly approaching, and with that, we speculate on some of the potential happenings in MLB. So for this article, we will make 10 bold predictions for the 2021 MLB season.
Bold Predictions #1: 40/40 Player
It has been 14 years since we would last see a 40/40 player in MLB. Just two seasons ago, Ronald Acuña Jr was a mere three steals short of accomplishing this feat. So with the 2021 seasons being a renaissance year of sorts for the sport and the world. We will see a player push the boundaries and become just the fifth member of the 40/40 club.
Bold Predictions #2: Kris Bryant Traded
An ongoing storyline for the 2021 season will be whether or not Kris Bryant is traded from the Chicago Cubs. And the, not quite as bold as you would think prediction, would say yes. Kris Bryant was once seen as one of the best players in MLB. But through injuries and ineffectiveness, he’s fallen out of favor with many baseball pundits as far as being elite. However, as the 2021 season progresses, Bryant should begin to re-establish his value and once again become a hot trade commodity. The Philadelphia Phillies, in my opinion, are a favorable landing spot for Kris Bryant if I had to venture a guess.
Bold Predictions #3: 10+ Players Hit 40+ Homeruns
Every (normal) season, the homeruns in Major League Baseball seem to increase. And because of that, the number of players hitting new career highs in the HR category also increases. Now, coming off of the shortened season, teams are likely to be cautious with their franchise stars and not over-exert them. So the number of players that will reach the at-bats to reach this mark will likely be less. But that being said, there are sluggers in MLB that should easily eclipse the 40 homerun plateau. If I had to guess some of the players who make this list, I’d say Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Pete Alonso, Joey Gallo, Bryce Harper, Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Eugenio Suárez, Ronald Acuña Jr, and JD Martínez.
Bold Prediction #4: 3 300 Strikeouts Pitchers
Under normal season circumstances, strikeouts like homeruns continue to rise. And under normal season conditions, we would have more pitchers approaching higher strikeout totals. However, with innings limits and teams being cautious with pitcher’s arms, fewer pitchers can reach the 300 strikeouts plateau. So for the 2021 season, only three pitchers will hit the 300 strikeouts mark. Venturing a guess as to who those pitchers would be are Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGrom, and Max Scherzer.
Bold Predictions #5: Aaron Judge & Giancarlo Stanton Surpass Mantle & Maris’ 1961 Homerun Total
Since Giancarlo’s acquisition in the offseason prior to the 2018 season, Yankee fans and baseball fans have been hoping for a homerun barrage. Now, not since the M&M Boys or Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris have two teammates been so capable of chasing down homerun history. Both players already have a 50+ homerun campaign under their respective belts. And a healthy season by both men could once again see them approach those numbers or even surpass them. So this season will be the season in which Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton surpass the 115 homeruns that Mantle & Maris combined for in 1961. Judge and Stanton will combine for 130+ homeruns.
Bold Prediction #6: Aaron Judge Breaks Barry Bonds’ Single Season Homerun Record
The homerun rate in Major League Baseball has continued to increase. However, even with that and the idea of juiced baseballs, no one has even approached Barry Bonds’s single-season mark of 73 homeruns. The closest was Giancarlo Stanton in 2017 with 59 homers. That is until this season. Aaron Judge has all the natural God-given power in the world. And he will stay healthy in 2021, allowing that power to flourish and deliver nearly 80 homeruns. That’s my claim, and I’m sticking to it, well, as long as Judge stays healthy. And that’s a tall order.
Bold Prediction #7: Tony La Russa Fired
One of the most head-scratching moves of the offseason was the signing by the Chicago White Sox for their new manager, Tony La Russa. La Russa is no doubt a legendary manager. But the kind of old-school mentality that comes with La Russa will likely clash with the front office at some point this season. Leading to an eventual fallout and the subsequent firing of Tony La Russa.
Bold Prediction #8: 5+ 20 Game Winners
With the inclusion of new baseballs this season, it’s expected to affect the game seriously. And while added “real” offense is the intended desire, it will have an adverse effect. That effect will be that more pitchers will dominate in 2021. And with that, we are claiming that there will be at least five 20 game-winners in 2021. If I had to guess who they might be, I’d say Jacob deGrom, Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieber, Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, and possibly more.
Bold Prediction #9: MLB & MLBPA AGREE on New CBA (NO STOPPAGE)
There will be a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the MLB & the MLB Players Association in a bold prediction that more of a hope and prayer than an actual belief. The last thing the sport as a whole can afford is another strike and lockout. Baseball has been struggling to appeal to a younger audience. And if another strike happens and we lose baseball, we may never get it back. There’s no Cal Ripken Jr chasing the game’s played streak. There’s no looking the other with PEDs to induce a homerun chase. MLB and the MLBPA MUST find a way to work together to keep baseball alive.
Bold Prediction #10: New York Yankees Win the World Series
In a bold prediction that I make each and every season, the New York Yankees will win the World Series. Yes, it is partly because I am a Yankee fan, but I also believe in this team. There are a lot of questions on this team going into the 2021 season. But there’s also a lot to be excited about with this team. If the Yankees can stay healthy, this could be a historical and magical season.