via Sporting News
Ladies and gentlemen, in under 24 hours, the 2018 MLB season will be upon us. Five long months without baseball will finally end with opening day on Thursday, March 29th. Major League Baseball made a change to this season’s opening day festivities, as all 30 teams will be playing on the same day to kick off the new season. I am more than ready to get this show on the road and I have a pretty good feeling about my predictions heading into the 2018 season (for now).
- Boston Red Sox – 93-69 (Division Champion 3)
- New York Yankees – 92-70 (Wild Card 1)
- Toronto Blue Jays – 82-80
- Baltimore Orioles – 76-86
- Tampa Bay Rays – 74-88
Everybody who is anybody is locking the Yankees in as the AL East champion and that is exactly why I’m not picking them. The Evil Empire is a certifiable lock for the postseason simply because they could have the greatest offense in baseball history. Despite that, I’m sticking with the Sox here. My biggest reason is because Boston has better pitching. Their offense isn’t far behind the Yankees either, and I am a huge pitching guy. Any rotation like the Red Sox have gets my vote of confidence. This race could come down to the final series of the year in Fenway. If it does, buckle up, because that would be a series you won’t want to miss.
- Cleveland Indians – 96-66 (Division Champion 2)
- Minnesota Twins – 86-76
- Kansas City Royals – 75-87
- Chicago White Sox – 72-90
- Detroit Tigers – 68-94
The AL Central will once again be no contest in 2018. The Indians are undoubtedly the most talented team in this division and with three teams in the rebuilding phase (Royals, White Sox, Tigers), their only competition will be the Twins. Although the Twins did upgrade their rotation, it will not be enough to catch the Tribe. Cleveland will be crowned AL Central champions for the 3rd straight season with about a week to spare.
via Houston Chronicle
- Houston Astros – 99-63 (Division Champion 1)
- Los Angeles Angels – 87-75 (Wild Card 2)
- Seattle Mariners – 81-81
- Texas Rangers – 76-86
- Oakland Athletics – 75-87
Just like the AL Central, the western division in the American League won’t be very competitive. The World Series champions reside here and barring multiple injuries, it would be an absolute shock if Houston did not win the division. The Angels revamped their lineup and gave Mike Trout some protection. Also, they of course won the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, but following his not so great spring, it will be interesting to see how he pans out. I like the Angels to squeak past the Twins and clinch the 2nd wild card spot.
via New York Post
- Washington Nationals – 93-69 (Division Champion 3)
- New York Mets – 83-79
- Philadelphia Phillies – 79-83
- Atlanta Braves – 75-87
- Miami Marlins – 66-96
The Nationals will continue their dominance in the NL East by winning their 5th division title in 7 years. If the Mets can stay healthy, their record will probably be better than what I have it at, but that’s a big if. The Phillies improved a lot in the offseason and have postseason aspirations, but I think they need one more year before they can compete. The dismantled Marlins are the easy choice to finish in the cellar and will more than likely have the worst record in baseball at season’s end.
- Chicago Cubs – 96-66 (Division Champion 1)
- St. Louis Cardinals – 88-74 (Wild Card 1)
- Milwaukee Brewers – 86-76 (tied Wild Card 2)
- Pittsburgh Pirates – 75-87
- Cincinnati Reds – 73-89
The NL Central has the potential to have three representatives in the 2018 MLB postseason. The Cubs will have a real fight on their hands with the Cardinals and Brewers who both improved in the offseason. Chicago will eventually pull away and finish with the best record in the National League. The NL wild card race will be much more competitive than the AL and the 2nd wild card spot will have to be determined by a play-in game.
- Los Angeles Dodgers – 95-67 (Division Champion 2)
- Colorado Rockies – 86-76 (tied Wild Card 2)
- Arizona Diamondbacks – 85-77
- San Francisco Giants – 82-80
- San Diego Padres – 78-84
Probably the best overall division in baseball, the NL West is filled with talent. The Dodgers are the Dodgers, the Rockies and Diamondbacks have stellar offenses and the Giants and Padres upgraded big time. Despite all of this talent, the Dodgers will run away with the division late and they will be the lone NL West team in the playoffs.
AL Wild Card Game – Yankees over Angels
ALDS – Indians over Red Sox in 5 games, Astros over Yankees in 5 games
ALCS – Astros over Indians in 6 games (MVP: Carlos Correa)
There won’t be many surprises in the AL, as the two best teams will duke it out for a spot in the Fall Classic. The pitching matchups in an Astros-Indians series would be to die for and I am really hoping we get to see them play out. In the end, I’m going with the safe choice and riding with Houston, who will look to become the first team since the 1998-2000 Yankees to repeat as World Series champions.
NL play-in game (for 2nd wild card spot) – Brewers over Rockies
NL Wild Card Game – Cardinals over Brewers
NLDS – Nationals over Dodgers in 5 games, Cubs over Cardinals in 4 games
NLCS – Cubs over Nationals in 7 games (MVP: Javier Baez)
The NL playoffs will unofficially start with a play-in game for the final wild card spot, something we haven’t seen since 2013. Both NLDS matchups will be very intriguing, especially the Nationals-Dodgers series. The Nats will finally win a series for the first time since they became the Nationals in 2005. A Cubs-Nationals NLCS would have to go the distance, as both teams wouldn’t give an inch to the other. The Cubbies would eventually prevail in a series for the ages and have a date with the Astros to determine baseball’s superior team in 2018.
The 114th edition of the Fall Classic has potential to be the best series in MLB history. Two juggernaut franchises who have went through the rigors of a multiyear rebuild and have finally tasted some success will be looking for more. These two teams have won the past two World Series titles and are looking to begin a new dynasty. The pitching matchups in this series makes me sweat a little not gonna lie. Lester vs Verlander, Darvish vs Keuchel, Quintana vs Cole, Hendricks vs McCullers. Need I say more? This one will go all 7 games and if we’re lucky, we could see extras in the final game. In the end, Chicago will only have to wait 2 years for their next title instead of 108. Cubbies in 7, Anthony Rizzo World Series MVP, book it.
Manager of the Year
AL – Mike Scioscia (Los Angeles Angels)
NL – Dave Martinez (Washington Nationals)
Rookie of the Year
AL – Willie Calhoun (Texas Rangers)
NL – Scott Kingery (Philadelphia Phillies)
Cy Young Award
AL – Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox)
NL – Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers)
Most Valuable Player
AL – Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels)
NL – Bryce Harper (Washinton Nationals)
I can’t wait to see how poorly I predicted this season once it has concluded, but regardless, I am pumped for the new season to begin. Be sure to check out our pump up video made by our fearless leader Peter Snyder and good luck to all of your favorite teams in the new year. Baseball season is here!