2019 MLB Season Preview

One of the most anticipated days in sports is upon us again with MLB Opening Day tomorrow. For the 150th time, teams will begin the journey for the World Series trophy, fans will fill the stands and take in a ballgame with their soda, hot dog and Cracker Jacks, groundskeepers will trim the grass, even out the dirt and chalk the lines with the beautiful white paint. There is nothing like the pageantry of opening day for the MLB. It is a special day that should be recognized as a national holiday. Unfortunately, I will be in class and miss a little bit of another beautiful start to the MLB season. So without further ado, here is my preview for the 2019 season and I will lay out my predictions for the playoffs and major awards.

American League:

AL West:

  1. Houston Astros: 95-67
  2. Oakland Athletics: 91-71
  3. Seattle Mariners: 79-83
  4. Los Angeles Angels: 70-92
  5. Texas Rangers: 67-95

2019 will be the Astros’ 3rd straight year as AL West champions, but this time they will be in a tight battle all season long with the gritty Oakland A’s, who brought back most of their wild card team from last year. The Mariners let all of the stars go and only brought back Edwin Encarnacion. What could have been a year that Seattle broke their playoff drought is no more and the city will once again have to wait for another chance at the playoffs. The Angels may have better hitting with Jonathan Lucroy, Justin Bour, and Zack Cozart, but their pitching staff is still criminal and the half-billionaire, Mike Trout will once again experience a losing season. Oh wait, the Texas Rangers are still a franchise?

AL Central:

  1. Cleveland Indians: 90-72
  2. Minnesota Twins: 79-83
  3. Chicago White Sox: 77-85
  4. Kansas City Royals: 70-92
  5. Detroit Tigers: 64-98

I have not cared about this division since the Royals won the World Series in 2015. There is no real contender or intrigue in this division. Since the Indians blew a 3-1 World Series lead to the Cubs in 2016, they have just been placeholders and have only able to fill a spot in the playoff in the last two years. Cleveland will win the division once again, but that is not saying much.

AL East:

  1. Boston Red Sox: 101-61
  2. New York Yankees: 99-63
  3. Tampa Bay Rays: 92-70
  4. Toronto Blue Jays: 74-88
  5. Baltimore Orioles: 42-120

The AL East is the most intriguing because of the shocking rise of the Tampa Bay Rays. Led by Cy Young winner, Blake Snell, the Rays will be a threat to potentially steal a wild card spot from one of Boston or New York if the A’s are as good as they were last year. Either the Red Sox or Yankees will be going to the World Series this year. The Blue Jays need to figure out everything and the Orioles need to do everything they can to not set the record for worst MLB season in the modern era, which is owned by the 2003 Detroit Tigers who finished 43-119.

American League Playoffs:

AL West Champs: Astros

AL Central Champs: Indians

AL East Champs: Red Sox

AL Wild Card: Yankees, Rays

ALDS: Red Sox vs. Yankees, Astros vs. Indians. Again….

ALCS: Yankees vs. Astros

AL Champs: Yankees

AL Awards:

MVP: Alex Bregman

Cy Young: Blake Snell

Manager of the Year: Kevin Cash

Rookie of the Year: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

National League

NL Central:

  1. St. Louis Cardinals: 95-67
  2. Milwaukee Brewers: 91-71
  3. Chicago Cubs: 85-77
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates: 73-89
  5. Cincinnati Reds: 68-94

I forgot just how good the battles for each NL division are going to be and the Central is the best it has been in a long time. The Cardinals added an MVP-caliber star in Paul Goldschmidt, the Brewers are the defending NL Central Champs, and the Cubs won a World Series three years ago. All eyes should be on this division.

NL East:

  1. Philadelphia Phillies: 93-69
  2. Atlanta Braves: 92-70
  3. New York Mets: 82-80
  4. Washington Nationals: 79-83
  5. Miami Marlins: 55-107

The Phillies have all the hitting in the world and bring back Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola as a dangerous 1-2. Bryce Harper has never won a playoff series but has a great chance to do it if he can be a clubhouse leader and receive guidance from former MVP, Andrew McCutchen. The Braves play Philadelphia seven times in the final month that will determine the division champ. The Mets loaded up a little bit with Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz and will be watchable. The Nationals have talent, but they will not be able to handle the depth of the NL schedule. Miami is Miami, I honestly can not name one player on their roster.

NL West:

  1. Colorado Rockies: 94-68
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers: 89-73
  3. San Diego Padres: 78-84
  4. San Francisco Giants: 71-91
  5. Arizona Diamondbacks: 68-94

For the first time since 2012, there will be an NL West champion not named the Dodgers. Colorado owned LA during the regular season last year and should be able to keep the Boys in Blue behind them. After watching teams celebrate a World Series win two years in a row at their home, the Dodgers will take a step back and miss the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Padres have Manny Machado and possibly the best farm system in baseball. They are on the rise and will be fun to watch at the best stadium in baseball, PETCO Park. The Giants and D-Backs are in the midst of a rebuild and will not be in contention for the playoffs this year.

National League Playoffs:

NL Central Champs: Cardinals

NL East Champs: Phillies

NL West Champs: Rockies

NL Wild Card: Brewers, Braves

NLDS: Cardinals vs. Brewers, Rockies vs. Phillies

NLCS: Brewers vs. Phillies

NL Champs: Brewers

NL Awards:

MVP: Paul Goldschmidt

Cy Young: Aaron Nola

Manager of the Year: Mike Shildt

Rookie of the Year: Fernando Tatis Jr.

 

2019 World Series: Yankees vs. Brewers: Yankees win in 6 games

 

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