Sports Unbiased MLB Writer’s Unique Predictions & Statistical Firsts

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**This was a fun article to collaborate on with my fellow Sports Unbiased MLB Writers Adam Solowiei and Brian Reese. Here’s a little summary with a link to the article and below that are my personal predictions for these fun categories! If you want to jump straight to the full article click here! ENJOY!**
It is not uncommon for multiple outlets to predict who will win each division, the World Series or the major individual awards for any given Major League Baseball season. In fact, it is quite common and even writers here at Sports Unbiased do the same. But what about the short term and dare I say fun predictions.
Who will hit the first home run on Opening Day? Who will be the first player ejected from a game? When will expanded instant replay be used the first time? These are all great questions that are near term and come with a level of fun and excitement. Fans do not have to wait until September or even July to resolve these predictions. Here at Sports Unbiased, a few of our baseball writers got together with the intention of predicting those things. Some predictions will be off the cuff, others might be tongue and cheek but at the end of the day it will be fun, informational and exciting for baseball fans to imagine.
Without any delay we present the 2014 Major League Baseball unique predictions and statistical firsts created and compiled by MLB writers Adam Solowiei, Jen Rainwater and Brain Reese. Let the fun begin as we looked into historical trends, statistics, programs and even a magic eight ball or two.

Who will hit the first home run?

Brian – Bryce Harper: I was originally leaning towards going with Mike Trout, but considering he is facing King Felix in the late game opening night I predict that Harper will start the season with a big hit off of Mets starter Dillon Gee. Harper has 42 home runs in his first two major league seasons.
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Jen – Miguel Cabrera: For two reasons, the first is that his name is Miguel Cabrera and the second he’s playing in an early game against James Shields and the Royals. Shields has given up 20 hits in 24.2 innings in spring training, someone has to score so Verlander can get the first shut out!
Adam – Andrew McCutchen: He has been on absolute fire during spring training already hitting five home runs. He is also playing in the first game and is scheduled to face Jeff Samardzija who gave up two spring home runs and 25 last season.
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My Personal Unique Predictions: 

Who will hit the first home run?
Miguel Cabrera: For two reasons, the first is that his name is Miguel Cabrera and the second he’s playing in an early game against James Shields and the Royals. Shields has has given up 20 hits in 24.2 innings in spring training, plus someone has to score so Verlander can get the first shut out!

Who will hit the first triple?
Starling Marte: It may be difficult against Samardzija who can rack up strikeouts but he’s a happy camper after getting his six year extension so if he hits one far he’ll probably try for third.

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Who will steal the first base?
Billy Hamilton:Only if Billy Burns is not on the A’s opening day roster which is highly likely. But if Burns plays somehow he will steal the first base. Billy Hamilton might be the fastest guy in the Majors right now but not for long.

Who will be caught stealing first?
Billy Hamilton: It could also be Billy Hamilton because the Cards will have Yadier Molina behind the plate.

Who will throw the first shutout?
Justin Verlander: The easy reason is I seriously think this guy is super human. I know my team can’t hit him (I think “shutting out the A’s” is his favorite activity on his facebook profile). Plus, he has had very dominate spring. His ERA is 0.00 and he struck out 17 batters in 20 innings.

What player will be ejected first?
Bryce Harper: I only say this because all I the headlines I have seen about him this spring is that he’s been arguing a lot. If he is already arguing calls in spring training what’s to stop him in a real game?

What manager will be ejected first?
Mike Scioscia: Sure this might seem random but the guy WHINES about EVERYTHING.

How many games into the season before expanded replay is used? One. Someone will use it Opening Day. After what the A’s endured last year with that call in Cleveland and another one in Houston I wouldn’t be surprised if it is Oakland’s Bob Melvin who busts out with the first challenge. Plus, he usually only argues when he is pretty darn sure he is right so if there is a controversial call he’ll have the guts to go for it.

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What will be the best and worse presents Derek Jeter receives on his farewell tour?
Best – I think the sandcastle the Rays gave Rivera was awesome. There is the problem of transportation to worry about but hey! It’s Derek Jeter. I’m sure he has sandcastle movers on speed dial. If not he can just start his own company. And he can put it by the Awesome surf board the A’s will give him! (between the A’s and the Rays do you really see them changing it up?)
Worst – The A’s could and probably should snub him because of the stupid “Flip” … yeah, we are still mad about that.

(Very A’s biased I know … hope that’s ok! It’s supposed to be fun, right?)

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