Time to put our money where our mouth is and give y’all some actual predictions for the season. As Jonah Keri says, remember that all these predictions are based entirely on emotion and use no analysis or logic. If your team is ranked low then it means that I hate them for no good reason.
Predicted records are for NESCAC games only
The first thing that jumps out is that Wesleyan is well above everybody else in my mind. The Cardinals went 10-2 a year ago and have virtually everybody back. They aren’t a team of future major leaguers so somebody in the West (probably Amherst) will beat them once this year, but besides that expect them to cruise. Amherst will take a small step back but still make the playoffs comfortably ahead of the morass at the bottom of the division. I think Williams will take a step back because their offense will not carry them like it did last year. Also, Hamilton and Middlebury should be better this year which will make those harder wins for the Ephs.
In the East I expect things to be a dogfight from top to bottom. Tufts would be more separated from everybody else if not for some questions surrounding their health right now (more on this tomorrow). I like Colby to barely grab that second spot because of the strength of their top three starters. Bowdoin and Bates are going to be right there at the end, too, I think. Finally, I expect Trinity to look much better than they did in 2014 but think they might end up not having the results in the standings. If we are being honest, the East is much more up in the air than the West, and every team has a chance to make the playoffs.
NESCAC Tournament Predictions
So Colby, Tufts, Wesleyan and Amherst will make the NESCAC tournament. Going into how every game will play out is like submitting your March Madness bracket in January. I would look silly doing it. What I will predict is that just like last year Tufts and Wesleyan will be the final two teams standing. Though the Jumbos deeper starting rotation gives them a potential edge, I think the Cardinals end up repeating as champions. So yes, I’m sorry if you are disappointed that I am not going out on a limb and calling any real upsets. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I also picked Kentucky to win March Madness. What can I say, I like the favorites.