Another year, another ill-advised attempt to prove to the internet that I know something about this baseball stuff. Luckily most of my prior predictions are long lost in nether realms where shutdown blogs go to die.
American League East
- Boston Red Sox – No bullpen? No problem! My local nine are trotting out a team mostly identical to last season’s champions, minus a couple of fireballing relievers and Ian Kinsler’s desiccated corpse. Luckily for the Sox, that’s more than enough in an American League that’s more top heavy than any of the ladies Michael Cohen paid off for the president. They’ll find a closer. I’ve got five bucks that says recent draftee Durbin Feltman’s in the late inning mix by the All-Star break.
- Tampa Bay Rays (Wild Card) – I was so happy when I heard Blake Snell got paid. Mind you, I know nothing about him as a person. I don’t know if he’s the sort of solid bro that walks old ladies across the street and rescues kittens from trees or if he’s a douche that farts on the elevator and manspreads on public transportation. What I do know is that he’s one of the best pitchers in the game, he appeared to be stuck in a shit situation where he was going to be making a fraction of what he’s worth for the next few years…and then he wasn’t. Good on the Rays, who I believe are a deeper, more complete squad than any Junior Circuit team outside of Houston. Charlie Morton might be the most underrated signing of the offseason.
- New York Yankees (Wild Card) – Even as an unabashed Red Sox homer I feel like I can’t possibly crap on this iteration of the Bronx Bombers hard enough. That rotation is held together with spit, duct tape, and whatever the hell’s left of CC Sabathia’s poor belt. Brush Giancarlo Stanton back once in the early innings and you’ll have him weakly chasing sliders down and away all game. Left field and first base are big question marks, their infield defense is going to be terrible, and Troy Tulowitzki is prominently involved. This is the American League and all, so that’s still an 89 win team, but god damn.
- Toronto Blue Jays – Think Vlad Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette, and Cavan Biggio will be up by the time I see this club in Fenway in late June? I sure as shit hope so. I also hope I get to see Clay Buchholz get shellacked one more time on that warm, crisp afternoon. It’s the simple things in life.
- Baltimore Orioles – I can’t even.
American League Central
- Cleveland Indians – I wanted to put the Twins here. The Tribe is already down a few stars, their outfield’s as sketchy as ever, and in general they’re looking sort of depleted and vulnerable. Maybe I should put the Twins here.
- Minnesota Twins – Then again, we’re talking about a team that’s just really meh except for Willians Astudillo. I love Willians Astudillo. I just don’t live him or the team’s sort of shitty rotation quite enough to publicly pick them to finish ahead of the Indians.
- Kansas City Royals – A distant third in a terrible division, but a warm number one in my heart because Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, and Billy Hamilton are going to steal all the bases.
- Chicago White Sox – I guess things are looking up? Moncada? Jimenez? Eh, they’re still a couple years away.
- Detroit Tigers – The second most embarrassing thing about Detroit. They should send Kid Rock a fruit basket.
American League West
- Houston Astros – Who else? The most star-studded, deepest team in the game somehow keeps getting better. The loss of Dallas Keuchel may not hurt them at all with so many good young arms in the system.
- Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – They’re building a strong core around Mike Trout and I think they’ll have a fun summer before ultimately flaming out sometime in August. Look out for them next year.
- Oakland Athletics – I have no clue how in the hell this club won 97 games last year. I have no clue how the hell they’d even win 87 this year.
- Seattle Mariners – I sort of like that they moved Robinson Cano, Jean Segura, Edwin Diaz, and James Paxton for youth and depth all in the same offseason. They weren’t close to competing with the class of the AL and they knew it, so they blew it up. Whether anything they got in return is worth a damn is a question we won’t have the answer to for at least a couple seasons.
- Texas Rangers – Whatever.
National League East
- Washington Nationals – Letting Bryce Harper walk and investing in depth was the right move. Juan Soto and Victor Robles are ready to carry the offensive load. Classic addition by subtraction.
- New York Mets (Wild Card) – Dare I say it, I sort of believe in the boys from Queens. The top of their rotation is frightening, their outfield’s come together nicely, Cano’s still got some miles in his bat, and Diaz gives them a lights out closer. If Pete Alonso makes the team and hits all the dongs like I think he can, look out.
- Atlanta Braves – I love their offense. I don’t trust their pitching. They’d run away with the AL Central.
- Philadelphia Phillies – I know Bryce Harper, Jean Segura, and JT Realmuto are big deals. I also know their rotation can be best described as “Aaron Nola and some shit we found on the street.”
- Miami Marlins – How does 40 wins sound?
National League Central
- Chicago Cubs – A lot of prediction systems and prognosticators are declaring doom and gloom for the Cubbies. Their rotation’s older than the leftovers in the back of your fridge, they didn’t invest in any major upgrades, and their young stars feel like they haven’t quite blossomed the way they were expected to. There’s still a ton of talent here, and I’d argue they’re the least flawed team in this division.
- Milwaukee Brewers – They’re getting a ton of rotation depth back from injuries, but so much went right for this team last year. I think they’re due for a little regression.
- St. Louis Cardinals – This is another team I just can’t quite believe in. They’re solid everywhere, they finished strong last year, and Paul Goldschmidt’s a big upgrade in the middle of their lineup…but…meh.
- Pittsburgh Pirates – They’re fine. I guess. If ever a team could’ve benefited from a couple of free agency splurges, its this one. They’re sooooooo close.
- Cincinnati Reds – The addition of Yasiel Puig means they’ll at least be fun.
American League West
- Los Angeles Dodgers – Yup. Whatever.
- Colorado Rockies (Wild Card) – I don’t actually think the Rox are better than the Braves, Phillies, Brewers, or Cardinals, but I do think they’ll eke out a repeat trip to the Wild Card game by feasting on the dumpster fire that is the rest of this division.
- Arizona Diamondbacks – They’re going to regret moving Goldschmidt. Wow.
- San Diego Padres – The future’s bright, but it’s a couple years away.
- San Francisco Giants – The future’s dark and scary and it’s behind you right now LOOK OUT!
AL Champions – Houston Astros
NL Champions – Washington Nationals
World Series Champions – Houston Astros