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MLB Regular Season Predictions

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American League East

New York Yankees    95-67

Boston Red Sox         90-72

Toronto Blue Jays      82-80

Tampa Bay Rays        71-91

Baltimore Orioles      70-92

 

American League Central

Cleveland Indians    103-59

Minnesota Twins       86-76

Chicago White Sox    73-89

Detroit Tigers            61-101

Kansas City Royals   59-103

 

American League West

Houston Astros          103-59

Los Angeles Angels     88-74

Texas Rangers              78-84

Seattle Mariners           75-97

Oakland Athletics         72-90

 

National League East

Washington Nationals    104-58

Philadelphia Phillies        80-82

New York Mets                74-88

Atlanta Braves                  73-89

Miami Marlins                   62-100

 

National League Central

Chicago Cubs              93-69

St. Louis Cardinals     87-75

Milwaukee Brewers    85-77

Pittsburgh Pirates        73-89

Cincinnati Reds           69-93

 

National League West

Los Angeles Dodgers  99-63

Colorado Rockies        91-71

Arizona Diamondbacks  89-73

San Francisco Giants      80-82

San Diego Padres             65-97

 

AL East

It’s easy to forget that the New York Yankees did not win the AL East last season, they finished two games behind the rival Red Sox. After the Yankees added slugger Giancarlo Stanton to an already powerful lineup and a full season of Sonny Gray alongside Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka atop the Yankees rotation. This years Yankees team looks better than the one that advanced to the ALCS a year ago. The Bronx Bombers will be hoping for another strong season from the 37-year-old veteran CC Sabathia. All things considered it looks like the Yankees will be the favorites in the division.

 

As for the Boston Red Sox, they added that No. 1 power bat that they needed since the retirement of David Ortiz. J.D. Martinez brings a lot of power to middle of the Red Sox lineup to go along young stars Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Rafael Devers. Martinez had a career year last season with the Tigers and Diamondbacks, hitting 45 home runs and driving in 104. Last season, the Red Sox were 26th in home runs and they hope to improve that number this season. As of now though, it looks like they’ve been overtaken in the AL East.

 

The Toronto Blue Jays have opted to make one last push with the current team they have, holding onto Josh Donaldson this offseason instead of shopping the free-agent-to-be. Healthy seasons from Aaron Sanchez and J.A. Happ could rejuvenate the starting rotation to a strength. The Blue Jays are much better positioned for injuries on the position player side of things after adding third baseman Yangervis Solarte, shortstop Aledmys Diaz, and outfielders Curtis Granderson and Randal Grichuk. If the Blue Jays fall out of playoff contention early, it is going to be a busy summer on the trade market. They should be able to hang around the wildcard though.

After losing Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison this takes a huge piece out of the Tampa Bay Rays lineup, the Rays will once again have to rely on the starting rotation to give them a chance at contending.

The Baltimore Orioles are giving it one last shot with the team they have to win the World Series. With Manny Machado, Zach Britton, and Adam Jones who are all likely to test the free agent market this offseason it looks like their superstar

AL Central

The Cleveland Indians who won the AL Central by 17 games en route to the best record in the American League last season. The Indians are going into this season with one of the best starting rotations in baseball, with Corey Kluber coming off a CY Young Award last season and a strong bullpen with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen locking down the eighth and ninth inning for the tribe. The offense for the tribe should be just as potent with infield stars Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez leading the way.

 

The only other team in the division that is built to even have a chance at contending is the Minnesota Twins. The Twins surprised a lot of people last season by sneaking into the second AL wild-card spot, in a season where many people thought they were going to lose hundred plus games. Starting pitching remained a question for the Twins this offseason and losing veteran starting pitcher Ervin Santana for 10-12 weeks following surgery on his right middle finger. The Twins went out and signed Lance Lynn, Michael Pineda, and Jake Odorizzi to bolster their week starting rotation. The Twins will give the Indians a run for their money in the division this season and maybe sneak out on top.

 

As for the Chicago White Sox who are a year into the rebuilding process and they have some dynamic young talent that will soon make the Soxs a contender in the next few years.

 

Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals are both beginning their own rebuilding project. Both teams are short on young controllable talent. The next few years both of these franchises are going to struggle.

AL West

The Houston Astros are going into this season looking to defend their World Series Championship. With Jose Altuve winning the AL MVP last season and full season with Justin Verlander, the Astros look to be the favorite to defend and win the World Series this year. The Astros arguably have the best rotation in baseball with Dallas Keuchel, Lance Mccullers Jr., Justin Verlander, and Gerrit Cole. Everyone forgets that the Astros traded for Gerrit Cole who is another star pitcher added to their star-studded rotation. This year it looks like it is the Astros division to lose.

The Los Angeles Angels are the most improved team in the division. Along with them re-signing outfielder Justin Upton; after he was acquired by the Angels during the trade deadline, they also added infielders Zack Cozart and Ian Kinsler to fill the glaring holes in the infield. Everyone knows that the Angels won the sweepstakes for Shohei Ohtani. If he can live up to all the hype as a front of the rotation type of guy, he adds depth to what is an already pretty good rotation. The only way to make this work is Garrett Richards, Matt Shoemaker, and Tyler Skaggs need to stay healthy this season.

The Texas Rangers will test out their six man rotation and they have an intriguing group of arms that they can do it. The converted relievers Mike Minor and Matt Bush, veterans Doug Fister and Bartolo Colon and injury returnee Martin Perez could benefit from additional rest. If the Rangers pitching staff stays healthy and young hitters like Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo, and Willie Calhoun can make the type of impact that the team is hoping for.

 

The biggest area of need entering the offseason for the Seattle Mariners was the starting rotation and that’s yet to be addressed, as Erasmo Ramirez and Marco Gonzales are both penciled into rotation spots with little in the way of depth behind them.

 

A team that shouldn’t be slept on this season is the Oakland Athletics, who have a great collection of young talent capable of taking another step forward in their progression. Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, and Kendall Graveman are solid pieces to the Athletics puzzle. The Athletics strong minor league system should provide more reinforcements. They record might not show it this year for the Athletics, but they are headed in the right direction in the rebuilding process.

 

NL East

Going into this year winning the NL East is no longer enough for the Washington Nationals this season. The Nationals are going for it all this year because Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and Gio Gonzalez are all headed for free agency next winter, this is a make-or-break season for the current Nationals core. If you look at the Nationals roster on paper, they are as talented as any team in baseball. With a healthy Adam Eaton it will add another dynamic to the offense, and full seasons from Ryan Madson, Sean Doolittle, and Brandon Kintzler will make the Nationals bullpen a strength from the get-go.

 

Last season, a lot of things went wrong for the New York Mets as they went from playing in the NL Wild Card Game to losing 92 games will essentially the same roster. The biggest concern going into this season is the health of the pitching staff which is a big factor in the team’s success. If Noah Syndergaard picks up his success from his injury short season last year alongside Jacob deGrom atop the Mets rotation, the team will need to find three other starters to count on. The Mets look to have a bounce back season, but the biggest question is health.

 

The Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies are at similar points in their respective rebuilds. Both teams are still in the process of developing their young talent, but they are also ready to see more wins in the win column this year. Both teams are year away from contending, but they could make a push at a Wild Card spot this year.

 

As for the Miami Marlins who traded a lot of star talent this offseason are starting over this year. Trading Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees, Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals, Christian Yelich to the Brewers, and Dee Gordon to the Mariners meant shipping out a massive chunk of last year’s offensive attack. Now they have a weak offense backed up by one of the worst starting rotations in baseball. The Marlins look to struggle for couple years now.

NL Central

 

The expectations are always high for the Chicago Cubs in recent years that a 92-win season and an NLCS appearance last year ranked as a dissapointment. They are still the favorites to win the favorites to win the NL Central, but with new faces in the starting rotation and at the back of the bullpen. There are also still some questions that will need to be answered going into this season.

 

With the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers the NL Central will be a three team race. Both of these teams are looking like legitimate wild-card contenders at the very least. The Cardinals added power bat Marcell Ozuna who had an 145 OPS+ with 37 home runs and 124 RBI. This gives the Cardinals that middle-of-the-order threat since Albert Pujols. The biggest question mark going into the season was who was going to lock down the ninth inning, the Cardinals signed the comeback player of the year last year Greg Holland. As for the Brewers, there is no question that they improved with the additions of star outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich to add to an already potent offense. Can a rotation fronted with Chase Anderson, Zach Davies, and eventually Jimmy Nelson(coming off of shoulder surgery) contend?

 

The Pittsburgh Pirates a team who traded away their franchise player;Andrew McCutchen, and star front of the rotation pitcher; Gerrit Cole. After these moves the Pirates aren’t as bad as everyone thinks. They have young starting pitchers that will be there for many years and a good offense. The Pirates will fall off after the All-Star break.

 

Picking the Cincinnati Reds to finish last isn’t an understatement. If a few of the abundance of young arms in their minor league system can latch onto rotation spots, they have offensive firepower, but with the young arms it looks like another year of development.

 

NL West

 

The Los Angeles Dodgers remain the team to beat in the division, winning 104 games and reaching the World Series last season. A bounce back year from Logan Forsythe could really give the Dodgers the deepest lineup in the National League. Although they lost Yu Darvish this offseason, the Dodgers still have a good rotation to contend for a championship. The biggest question is trying to bridge the gap to closer Kenley Jansen. This could be the only weakness the Dodgers have going into the season.

 

The Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks did battle for the NL Wild Card Game last year and it could happen again. The Rockies, who lost that game 11-8, in Arizona, they added Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw to bolster their bullpen and they also resigned Jake Mcgee. The Rockies have a potent offense, and with Jon Gray coming into his own as a legitimate ace and a bevy of young arms to complement Gray.

 

As for the Diamondbacks who won’t go down without a fight, they lost J.D. Martinez and closer Fernando Rodney, but the bullpen is arguably better with Archie Bradley moving into that role.

 

There will no doubt be some who think the San Francisco Giants are a playoff team this year after adding Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen. Longoria adds offensive power to the lineup and Mccutchen is coming off a bounce back year and looking to improve on that. They’ll be better, just not postseason better.

 

And finally, we have the San Diego Padres, who are still at least a few years away but boast one of the best farm systems in baseball and an exciting collection of young talent at the MLB level.

 

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MLB Regular Season Predictions