MLB predictions, Division by Division.
Take a young team that makes an unexpectedly deep playoff run and add in some top-tier talent
and what do you have? You have a very likely division champ and a World Series contender. The addition of Giancarlo Stanton to this already stacked lineup should strike fear into the hearts of the whole American League. Aaron Judge is just scratching the surface, people. With Stanton in the lineup, we’ll see him raking this season. Didi Gregorious is hitting over .360, people. That’s almost .100 over his career average. If he’s hitting like that, there’s probably nowhere for pitchers to hide, he was a close to an easy out as the Yanks had last year. Last year’s surprise in the rotation, Luis Severino has started out strong again this year, going 2-0 and leading the team in ERA. The only thing likely to derail the pinstripes this year is a rash of injuries.
Prediction: Stanton and Judge recreate that awesome McGwire/Canseco “Bash Brothers” poster.
If you take nothing else away from this article, let it be this. The Red Sox are the team to watch in the AL East this season. Not because of a starting rotation that features an invigorated David Price, who clearly didn’t like having his opening day start handed to Chris Sale. He’s pitched fourteen innings of shutout ball thus far this season, all against his former team, the Rays. Nor is it because of the most exciting outfield in the majors. The trio of Benintendi, Betts and Bradley, Jr. are young, fast and fun to watch. Watching them roam the odd dimensions of Fenway Park is somehow calming in its quickness. No. It’s because these Red Sox are likely to be a high wire act near the top all season long. They pitch well, but the bullpen isn’t deep and they don’t hit a ton of home runs. Every game is prone to be a nail biter. As such, I see them in the Wildcard, behind the division winning Yankees.
Prediction: David Price and Chris Sale will both have Cy Young form, but won’t have enough
run support to win twenty games.
So, the Blue Jays. If they were in a different division, I think we’d be talking more about them. But they’re not. And they didn’t exactly have the sort of offseason that would allow them to eclipse the Red Sox or the Yankees. Sure, Josh Donaldson is exciting, but name a few more Blue Jays. I’ll wait. Justin Smoak? Anyone? I’ll bet you didn’t know he was leading the AL in RBI’s. He’s also a switch hitter, which is cool, but he lets people call him “Moakey”, which, just, no. They did split the opening series with the Yankees, though, which means they can play with anyone.
Prediction: The Blue Jays will be a thorn in the side of both the Red Sox and the Yankees. They
won’t contend, but they’ll prevent the AL East winner from having home field advantage through
Before you get too harsh on Dem O’s hon (“The Orioles, friend”, if you don’t speak Baltimore), let’s all remember that they’ve already been swept by the Astros. That’s going to happen to a lot of teams. I see one thing that seriously worries me for them, and it’s this. Chris Davis is batting .048 on the season with no home runs. I know Davis isn’t a guy that hits for average, he’s a homerun threat. But if Chris isn’t hitting, the Orioles aren’t winning.
Prediction: The Orioles will go on a bizarre midseason hot streak that creates a frenzy in
Federal Hill. I’m thinking seventeen or eighteen straight, but they still won’t contend.
OK- let’s be fair here. The Rays won the season opener in exciting fashion, beating up on Boston’s bullpen and ruining a perfectly good start by Chris Sale. Since then, however, they’ve been beaten into submission by both the Red Sox and the Yankees. I’m not saying they’re a doormat, but when you’ve lost to the Red Sox four times by a total of four runs…you’re either competitive, or they’ve got your number. I’m thinking it’s the latter.
Prediction: Coupled with the Marlins, the Rays will make Florida regret bringing professional
baseball to their state. There’s a legit chance that the worst team in both leagues is from the