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Crazy Predictions for the National League in 2015

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17 game winner Rafael Montero
17 game winner Rafael Montero
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for more Crazy Predictions! Take these as seriously as you want: some are somewhat realistic, others are tongue-in-cheek. Can you figure out which is which?

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Atlanta Braves: Trevor Cahill finds his way back to excellence and out-pitches Shelby Miller. Christian Bethancourt will draw a bases-loaded walk against the Mets prompting national talk about how much his strike zone judgment has improved. He finishes the season with a .297 OBP.

Miami Marlins: Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich will have excellent seasons, which TV commentators will attribute to talent osmosis due to Ichiro Suzuki's veteran leadership. Tom Kohler will go 16-7 with a 2.99 ERA and commentators will attribute this to Ichiro Suzuki teaching him how to win.

New York Mets: Rafael Montero will stop tipping his pitches and win 17 games and rank in the top five among National League starters in both ERA and fWAR. He will be dissed for the All Star game but by the end of the season everyone will be talking about how they never doubted him and of course he was obviously a top prospect. Bartolo Colon will have a better year than Matt Harvey. He will also hit his first major league home run (he is a career .075 hitter with an .083 SLG).

Philadelphia Phillies: Jeff Francoeur will draw a bases-loaded walk in a critical situation against the Mets, prompting commentators to credit Ichiro Suzuki with teaching him a better sense of the strike zone. Cole Hamels will be traded to the Boston Red Sox at the end of July in exchange for Deven Marrero, Sean Coyle, Brian Johnson, and Teddy Stankiewicz.

Washington Nationals: The Nationals will draft Duke University right-hander Mike Matuela and get him over the Tommy John hump. Bryce Harper will win a Gold Glove. He will hit .290/.375/.535 and someone will complain that he didn't hit .300 and is over-hyped. Xavier Cedeno will be the best player in major league history named Xavier Cedeno.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs: The Cubs will do something and Scott Boras will get angry. Jake Arrieta will have a better year than Jon Lester, who will produce league-average numbers and be limited to 164 innings by nagging injuries. Matt Szczur will be the best player in major league history named Xavier Cedeno. Kris Bryant will get off to a slow start at Iowa, which Scott Boras will blame on the Cubs. Mike Olt will get off to a good start in Chicago, which Scott Boras will blame on the Cubs. Kris Bryant is promoted in late June anyway and hits 15 homers in the second half of the season.

Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton will steal four bases in a game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver on July 25th, which will be attributed to thin air and park effects. Todd Frazier will hit three homers in that same series which will be attributed to his work ethic and drive to succeed. Marlon Byrd will have a better year than Jay Bruce.

Milwaukee Brewers: Mike Fiers will be the Corey Kluber of 2015, going 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA and 220 strikeouts in 204 innings. He will finish second in Cy Young voting. Eight years from now, someone drafted in the 23rd round of the 2015 draft that you've never heard of will post a similar season. Somebody will boo Ryan Braun.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Radhames Liz will have an excellent year in the Pirates bullpen, prompting his 2008 Topps baseball card to double in value. This will be attributed to park effects and Ichiro Suzuki's veteran leadership. Andrew McCutchen will win his second MVP award and the Pirates will win the World Series.

St. Louis Cardinals: Jason Heyward will finish second in NL MVP voting despite having a slightly better season than Andrew McCutchen. Peter Bourjos will hit more home runs than Randall Grichuk. Carlos Martinez will throw a no-hitter in August while walking seven and throwing 134 pitches.

NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks: Archie Bradley will throw 24 consecutive scoreless innings in early May. . .with a 14/22 K/BB ratio. Sometime in August he will get torched over a 20-inning stretch,giving up 25 runs. . .with a 22/3 K/BB ratio. Nick Ahmed will be described as "a scrappy player who plays the game the right way" eighty-nine times by TV announcers from other teams.

Colorado Rockies: Not a prediction, but did you know that Todd Helton pitched 193 innings over three seasons at the University of Tennessee, with a 2.24 ERA and a 172/49 K/BB? In the days of heavy college baseball offense? Justin Morneau will hit better on the road than at home.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Zack Greinke will bite off Alex Guerrero's other ear. Zach Lee will NOT take up college football at LSU. I did an April Fools article about that once; people took it seriously and the Dodgers got really angry about it. The Dodgers will sign a 16-year-old pitcher from Mexico. Julio Urias will quit baseball and take up college football at LSU.

San Diego Padres: Two days before the 2015 MLB draft, the Padres will announce that they have pre-drafted then traded Brendan Rodgers to the Washington Nationals for Jameis Winston and Rusty Staub. Corey Spangenberg will have a higher ISO than Yonder Alonso. Someone will say that James Shields has taught Ian Kennedy how to win.

San Francisco Giants: Following a rash of outfield injuries, Madison Bumgarner will volunteer to play right field even on days that he pitches. Someone will praise the Giants for pitching development but will overlook the fact that they've developed some hitters too. Chris Heston will be the Matt Shoemaker of 2015.