Tyler Salk (with Kevin Aherne, Ryan Fox, Mike Parente, and Pat Sullivan)
The staff of WBOB Sports loves competition. We fight it out, jockey for position, but only one can become the true champion. The same goes for every major sports team.
As we look towards the new year, WBOB Sports personalities have made their boldest predictions for the 2018 sports calendar, and offer their picks for each league champion.
Dodgers: There’s a lot of MLB offseason left. There’s also a lot of money the Dodgers have available to maintain their bullpen. Bellinger is somehow only going to get better, in a young, talented lineup.
Yankees: Baseball in the modern era is nothing more than a dick-swinging contest and with the acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees now have the biggest dicks in baseball. The rest of the league will fall short at the urinal as the World Series trophy returns to its rightful home in the Bronx.
Patriots: They’re finding so many ways to beat you and half of the time, it isn’t on the arm of Brady. One week they’ll air it out, then next week it’s ground-and-pound, then another week the defense blankets the opponent. Not too mention that their opponents always find a way to shoot themselves in the foot when trying to outthink Belichick and it’s down right sad.
Patriots: Not sure if this is for the Super Bowl in a month, which obviously is the Patriots. Steelers will pee down their pants once again in Gillette, and whoever makes it out of the NFC will just be happy to be in the Super Bowl, and just like Atlanta did last year, choke under the bright lights.
Warriors: After 82 meaningless regular-season games to confirm what we already know, Golden State will cruise through the Western Conference playoffs again (unless you think born loser Carmelo Anthony will be a difference-maker in Oklahoma City) and rout whoever they’re forced to play from the East in another boring, lopsided Finals.
Thunder: Ready for this? OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER in the finals. I know they will have to go through Houston (choke) and Golden State, but this is the year that GSW exit before the finals.
I think it’s Cleveland and Boston in the East. OKC ships up to Boston for game 1 of the NBA Finals. OKC in 6.
Lightning: While the OKC Thunder don’t look as elite as they used to be, the Tampa Bay Lightning look strong in the other major winter sport. Scoring 0.8 more goal per game than the average team, it’s not a surprise that they’ve won the most games so far. Mix that with the goalie with the highest save percentage amongst goaltenders with twenty or more games played, and you have an elite team.
Golden Knights: For an expansion franchise, the Golden Knights are making a lot of noise right now in the West. They currently have the most points (52), most wins (25), tied for the highest goal differential with the LA Kings (+23), and 2nd in goals scored (126) in the Western Conference. Mixed with both youth and experience and playing at a high level, the Golden Knights can be the first expansion team to raise Lord Stanley’s Cup in their inaugural year.
Orlando City: MLS is growing. It’s no longer at the “intramural” level in terms of competition, but that just means that it’s at about the Canadian Football League level. I think we see some fundamental changes in 2018 to MLS; including discussions for a more European-style game, such as relegation and/or a reduction to the playoff field.
Toronto FC: Who the f*** cares? I didn’t subscribe to the YES Network three weeks ago to watch 12 hours of Premier League reruns and I certainly don’t make sports predictions under the guise that “professional” soccer will be included. With that said, let’s just throw a dart at the dartboard and pick Toronto because it leads the league with 69 points, which is Rob Gronkowski’s favorite number.
2018 Winter Olympiad
Germany: U-S-A, U-S-A! Hey the Russians are out, so that gives a little boost, in hockey anyways. With the NHL players not involved, we have another US/Canada title game.
Germany wins medal count, US comes in a close second.
The Yellow Ring on the Olympic Flag: The Olympics aren’t really judged on the aggregate, so… I guess I predict the Yellow Ring on the Olympic Flag will dominate the Red and the Blue Rings… Black and Green will be disqualified.
NCAA FBS Football
Alabama: Roll Tide Roll. Saban does it again. Georgia can’t pull off the big runs they had against Oklahoma, and Jake Fromm is forced to win the game on his arm. He is a ballsy player, but makes one mistake that costs the Dawgs the game.
Saban raises his 5th trophy in 10 seasons in Tuscaloosa.
Let the hating begin, Palazio.
Georgia: They got a defense that can suffocate as they rank fourth in points allowed and total yards allowed. Not to mention they got two runnings backs in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, each with Pro caliber talent that can churn out the yards and keep offenses like Clemson and Oklahoma sitting on the sidelines in frustration. Alabama fans will try to say their team is better those categories but Georgia played one more game than the Rolling Tide, the SEC Championship game.
NCAA Men's Basketball
Duke: The Blue Devils had the best team entering the Summer… then the best player in the country reclassified. Marvin Bagley is an unbelievable talent, and the entire team will be prepared during the regular season by facing the skillful ACC.
Virginia: The one-and-done era will come to a close in 2018. In its place, a system where players can opt to enter the draft at 18, but players who enroll in college must complete 2 academic years in order to be eligible.
In a shocking change, the baseball writers of America will finally announce a major change to the Hall of Fame: Steroid users Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be inducted. Trends are pointing towards more and more writers voting for them each year. 2018 is the year.
The Cleveland Browns have not won a game since 12/24 last year. In 2017, they went 0-16 to become the second team in NFL history to achieve such a feat. In 2018, the Browns will shock the world by winning 5 games in 2018. A lot of teams will be sleeping on the Browns and get overconfident thinking it’ll be an easy victory but the Browns will rebuild through free agency and the draft to put together a team that could win 5+ games.
LeBron James will fool everybody and sign with the Bulls - along with Paul George.
Patriots draft a quarterback with their 2nd round pick (Mason Rudolph anyone?), Jim Harbaugh goes back to the NFL (Goodbye), LeBron resigns in Cleveland, Phillies are surprise team in MLB.
The Patriots will amicably part ways with Tom Brady at the end of the season and Bill Belichick will leave New England by leaving Bob Kraft a note on a cocktail napkin that says he is resigning to become “HC of the NYG.” He will promptly fire Dave Gettleman and hire Jon Bon Jovi as his general manager and the Giants will finish 14-2 before defeating Brady and the Cleveland Browns in Super Bowl LIII.
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