Another Monday, and that means another week of baseball is upon us. That also means that it's once again time for us at EOB to tell you what's going to happen before it happens. Yes, it's the Eye On Baseball Weekly Predictions. Guaranteed to almost certainly be incorrect! Onward ...
1. The Pirates will end the week in first place in the NL Central.
At present, the Pirates are tied atop the NL Central with the Cardinals. However, by week's end they'll have a (very small) lead in the division. Why's that? Well, this week the Cardinals are tasked with playing three at home against the Reds and then three on the road against those Pirates. The Pirates, meantime, open the week at home against the lowly Brewers. As well, the Pirates will miss out on St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright during the three-game weekend set.
2. The Rays will retain the Eye On Baseball Heavyweight Championship.
As EOB heavyweight title defenses go, this week will get off to a strange start for the Rays, as the Monday make-up game against the Royals in KC constitutes a one-game, loser-leave-town match for the title. The Rays will survive that challenge and then go to defend the belt successfully against the Angels at home and Athletics on the road.
3. Max Scherzer will win his 20th game.
If the rotation slotting holds, then Max Scherzer of the Tigers will get his next start on Thursday at home against the Athletics. The A's are a quality team, to be sure, but they've been struggling of late and they also have one of the AL's worst offenses against right-handed pitching. That's why Scherzer this week will move to 20-1.
4. Mariano Rivera will notch the ninth 40-save season of his career.
The great Mariano Rivera presently has 38 saves in 2013. I'll do the high-level mathematics for you and point out that he needs just two more saves to get to 40 for the ninth time in his career. The Yankees this week host the Blue Jays for three and then the Orioles for three. The schedule, then, is a mixed bag, but I'm saying Mo gets his two saves. On that point, when he does get to 40 saves he'll tie Trevor Hoffman for the most 40-save seasons ever.
5. The Brewers will become the first team to commit 100 errors this season.
The Brewers lead the majors with 97 errors committed in 129 games played. (Right behind them are the Astros with 95 errors in 128 games). This week, those Brewers will achieve the honor of becoming the first team in 2013 to reach 100 errors for the season. For comparison's sake, the Orioles have the fewest errors this season with 39.
EOB Predictions Tally: Last week, I went 3-for-4 (thanks for ruining perfection, lame-wad Mets), which brings our season-long tally to 31-for-65 (.477).