MLB predictions: Again, into the fire, likely to be burnt

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) The New York Yankees stand for the national anthem on Opening Day against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on March 28, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Orioles 7-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) The New York Yankees stand for the national anthem on Opening Day against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on March 28, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Orioles 7-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Charging Forward

None of the preceding, though, discourages this observer from pushing forward into 2020 MLB predictions, and I’m not going to discard the bold nature of my predictive instincts. Once again, these headline predictions will go up to the All-Star game only:

(Mar. 27) As Astros open season, spring training beanballs continue

Angels pitchers have no wings, as seven “world champions” are hit by pitches in Houston’s first two games. Commissioner defied!

More from Call to the Pen

(Mar. 31) Back end of Phillies rotation picks up higher-paid mates, salvages opening week

Back-to-back one-hitters by Zach Eflin and Vince Velasquez mitigate continuing Marlins dominance of Philly. “Take that, smartasses,” said the two righties in unison to a group of reporters after Vinny Velo’s gem.

(Apr. 14) Jose Berrios’ red-hot 4-0 start gives him the early lead in the AL Cy Young race

Curveball specialist’s 17-inch horizontal movement has Twins fans talking about “Bert Blyleven 2.0.” Right-hander’s 1.31 ERA leads major league baseball after four straight wins. Early MLB predictions placing him atop a list of Cy Young candidates now look like genius.

(May 17) Commissioner Manfred declares next pitcher who hits an Astros player with a pitch will be suspended 80 games “regardless of game circumstances”

Decree follows 46th Astros player hit by a pitch. Yankees hurler refuses to answer reporters’ questions about intention. Minus Houston, entire American League ownership group signs letter condemning commissioner’s anticipated action, crying, “Unfair! You’re taking away half the plate.”

(May 23) Bucs shortstop Kevin Newman assumes NL batting lead after 4-for-4 day against Frisco

Twenty-six-year old follows up 99-point jump between ’18 and ’19 by adding another 30 points in torrid early going. His .338 now leads Christian Yelich by five points.

An Emergency Room June

(June 4) Washington star Stephen Strasburg goes to the injured list after being run over by Security guard chasing female streaker on Ladies Night

Nationals hopes for repeating as World Series champions dim considerably as they also announce Ryan Zimmerman is moved to the 60-day IL after slower than expected recovery.

(June 21) Slimmed-down Tigers great Miguel Cabrera lights up Dodgers ace, seizes MLB batting lead at .362

The Detroit star explained, “I just had to lay off the arepas,” propelling reporters to Mr. Google’s machine to identify Venezuelan favorite cornmeal cakes stuffed with various goodies.

(June 29) Dallas Keuchel joins fellow Chisox lefty Gio Gonzalez on IL as White Sox continuing swoon verifies early MLB predictions the Pale Hose would fold despite the talent

An eighth straight losing season is looking more and more like a lock on the South Side. “Can somebody dig up Joe Jackson?” asked an unidentified fan interviewed by a local TV crew outside New Comiskey.

(July 1) Reds take over first place in the NL Central with an extra-innings win over the fading Dodgers in Los Angeles

Freddy Galvis’ defense and Joey Votto’s home run in the 14th inning are the determining factors. Trevor Bauer curses out reporters – again.

Next. Houston Astros: Forrest Whitley make or break year. dark

(July 11) MLB limps into All-Star break as 75th Astro is hit by a pitch

“Where’s the Commissioner?” asked Houston skipper Dusty Baker.