It’s that time of year again when everyone is debating where each team will finish within each division in Major League Baseball. The time when people try and predict Most Valuable Players, Cy Young winners, Comeback Players of the Year, and everything else you can try an predict for the most statistical-based sport around.

As a Cleveland sports fan and writer, I bring to you 10 bold predictions for the 2014 Cleveland Indians:

1. The Indians will make it to the World Series.
2. Jason Kipnis will finish in the top THREE in American League MVP voting.
3. Corey Kluber and Zach McCallister will combine to win 30+ games.
4. The Indians will have SIX players hit 20+ home runs.
5. Carlos Santana will finish in the top FIVE in the home run race in the American League.
6. The Indians will have multiple players with 100+ RBI.
7. Michael Bourn will lead the American League in triples.
8. The Indians will lead the American League in runs.
9. The Indians will lead the American League in walks.
10. The Indians will WIN the World Series.

Yes, these are bold predictions and therefore, I feel I should at least explain some reasoning behind my thoughts. I know that all of these most likely won’t happen, that’s why they’re bold predictions. However, I do believe that some of these predictions actually have a chance of happening.

1. The Indians will make it to the World Series.

Why not? Last season the Indians were one win away from joining in on the playoff series fun. A team that added a few small pieces, and didn’t lose much easily has a chance to make it to the World Series in 2014. This prediction can definitely happen if players like Asdrubal Cabrera, Nick Swisher, and Michael Bourn live up to the expectations that many have.

2. Jason Kipnis will finish in the top three of American League MVP voting.

Kipnis is due for a big, big season in 2014. In 2013, Kipnis led the team in stolen bases, hits, runs, and RBI, tied for second on the team in average, and finished third on the team in home runs. All of these numbers weren’t particularly outstanding, but I think Kipnis will improve on all of them. If he does, that makes him a top player in the American League.

3. Corey Kluber and Zach McCallister will combine for 30+ wins.

This prediction is one of the more bold ones. Last year, Kluber posted a solid record of 11-5, while McCallister went a respectable 9-9. For this prediction to prove true, each pitcher would have to win five more games each in 2014 than they did last season. I think it’s possible.

4. The Indians will have six players to hit 20+ home runs.

I don’t think that this prediction is even that farfetched. In 2013, the Indians only had two players hit 20 or more home runs, Swisher, and Carlos Santana. Swisher hit 22 home runs in a down year, and Santana didn’t reach his power potential (which we’ll get to later), and he still managed to hit 20 home runs. A few guys were close to 20. Kipnis hit 17, Ryan Raburn hit 16, and Cabrera hit 14 home runs. I expect all five of those players to hit 20+ home runs, or at least be close, and perhaps Yan Gomes and the newly added David Murphy contributing to the cause.

5. Carlos Santana will finish in the top five in the AL home run race.

Not only do I think Santana can hit 20+ home runs, I think he will hit over 30 home runs this season. I believe we are going to see the pull-hitting power that we’re accustomed to seeing Santana provide, but I think he’s going to show some opposite field power in 2014. Also, don’t sleep on the fact that not playing catcher everyday will help keep Santana healthy and capable of producing more power throughout the season. The reason I think he can finish top five, is because only eight players in the AL hit 30 or more home runs in 2013. This amount could rise and/or fall in 2014, but I believe Santana could be in the top five in the AL home run race.

6. The Indians will have multiple players with 100+ RBI

With all these home runs that I’m predicting, come RBI. Hopefully, Michael Bourn, Michael Brantley, and others will be getting on base regularly, leading to more runs. I think that Kipnis, Swisher, and Santana could all be around the 100 RBI mark in 2014.

7. Michael Bourn will lead the AL in triples.

Bourn has a lot of making up to do with the Tribe faithful. Fans had plenty of expectations from the lead-off man in 2013, and he failed to meet a lot of those. I really do see a bounce back season coming for Bourn in 2014, although he is starting off on the Disabled List. In 2013, the AL leader in triples was Brett Gardner with 10. Bourn, in a disappointing season still piled up six triples, making it very possible that he can finish in double digits for triples in 2014.

8. The Indians will lead the AL in runs.

In 2013, the Tribe tied for fourth in the AL in runs scored with 745. The number one team was the Baltimore Orioles, who plated an incredible 853 runs. I think it’s very possible for the Indians to lead the league in runs scored, especially since they were top four in 2013.

9. The Indians will lead the AL in walks.

Again, in 2013, the Tribe finished fourth in walks in the AL with 562. The leading team in base on balls was the Tampa Bay Rays with 589, not too far off of what the Indians managed last season. With a young, improving core of players like Brantley, Kipnis, and company, along with the strategy that manager Terry Francona instills, walks are a category that the Indians could easily lead in 2014.

10. The Indians will win the World Series.

Again, why not? The beginning of the Major League Baseball season is a time for all fans to have hope for their teams. After all, these are bold predictions but who knows what will happen? All I really know is that the Indians have some “Unfinished Business” to attend to in 2014, and I can’t wait to see it starting on Monday in Oakland.

-AJ Ondrey

Follow me on Twitter: @CST_AJ

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