Hotdogs, peanuts, and happy bettors are all signs of the beginning of Baseball season. This year looks particularly promising, with a wild off-season that saw major changes in the MLB.
What can you expect this upcoming season, and how can you maximize your ROI? Read on for our predictions for the MLB 2019 season broken down by the six divisions.
MLB 2019 American League
The AL West
The AL West belongs to the Houston Astros. We expect them to win over 100 games for the second year in a row, in part because of Verlander and Cole’s brilliance and in part because of their divisional competition.
It seems like three of the teams in this division is in a constant state of rebuilding. This year is no different. Expect to see the Rangers and Mariners fight for the last spot due to weak pitching and ineffective leadership in their front offices. Seattle is in yet another rebuild while the Rangers have yet to find any consistency in their lineup.
Oakland should compete and have a good season, but with the current bullpenning trend, they don’t have a deep enough pitching roster to make the playoffs.
The AL Central
Remember when the White Sox were competing for a playoff spot?
Neither do we. Unfortunately, that trends not going to change.
If you’ve remained loyal to the south-side for the past six years, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that Eloy Jimenez could end up being the next Frank Thomas. The bad news is that this year, Jimenez will suffer in relative obscurity as the Sox head towards their seventh straight losing season.
Another bit of good news for the White Sox is that they won’t finish dead last in the Central division. That wonderful distinction will belong to the Kansas City Royals, a team built on speed and not much else.
The Cleveland Indians are a middle of the pack team and will have middle of the pack results. Are they bad? No. Are they good? No. They’re just there, playing baseball and having fun.
The top two teams in the Central look to be the Twins and the Indians. The race for first place in this division should come down to the wire. The Indians have an experienced pitching staff that will propel them to a Wild Card spot, but the Twins are the creme of the crop in the AL Central.
With the addition of Nelson Cruz to a young core of Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, and Byron Buxton, the Twins’ lineup went from dangerous to downright scary. Cruz provides a guaranteed .280/.350/.540 hitter that will also blast over 40 HRs every year. Look for Minnesota to have a breakout year.
The people that claim there are no sure bets in sports haven’t seen the Baltimore Orioles. If you wanted to cash out on over 70% of your bets, pick them to lose. Who are they playing? It doesn’t matter. The only interesting thing about this team is whether they will break the all-time record for losses in a season.
Other than the Orioles, the East is an interesting division. There are four teams that could finish above .500, but unfortunately, only three of them are going to make the playoffs. The Blue Jays are going to get left on the outside looking in.
Tampa Bay has the pitching staff to take them into the playoffs, but its only a two-team race to the top of the East. The Red Sox and the Yankees are going to battle throughout the year for the top spot.
The defending champion Red Sox chose to stay pat in the offseason, and that’s going to come back to haunt them. The Yankees have the deepest bullpen in baseball and the moxie to make moves should they decide they need another power hitter throughout the season. Look for the Yankees to squeak out a division championship this year.
MLB 2019 National League
The West is really a two-team race between the Rockies and the Dodgers. The Giants will finish last in the division and become a fire-sale where everything must go. The real question with San Fran is if they can get a decent return on their trades to set themselves up for the future.
Arizona is in baseball’s version of no-mans land. They aren’t bad enough to sell everything, but they aren’t good enough to make the playoffs. It’s the MLB’s version of purgatory, but since it’s in Arizona, it’s hotter.
The Padres made headlines by acquiring Manny Machado, signaling to the rest of the division that they are ready to make it a three-team race. While it’s doubtful they can do so this year, if they can build their bullpen and add another baserunner, 2020 could see the end of the Dodger’s reign.
We say 2020 because the Dodgers aren’t going anywhere this year. They’re staying on top for the seventh consecutive year with the Rockies making it to the playoffs as a wild card.
During the Winter, the Cardinals made what could be the greatest trade in franchise history when they acquired Paul Goldschmidt. If that seems like a grandiose statement, consider the following:
- Averages 149 games per season
- 546 at-bats per season
- 97 runs scored per season
- 163 hits per season
- 91 walks per season
- Lifetime OPS of .930
Did we forget to mention that he hustles on every play and is highly underpaid? The Cardinals hit paydirt with this trade, and it’s going to propel them to the top of the division. The Brewers will give them a challenge, but late-season pitching woes will continue to plague them. They will, however, be good enough to secure a playoff spot.
The Cubbies will bounce back, but unfortunately not enough to make the playoffs this year. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will continue to fight over which team can eliminate themselves first for the playoffs. In that race, we’re going with Pittsburgh.
The Marlin’s will lose a lot of games, Dereck Jeter will continue to make Miami’s fan base angry, and the world will keep on spinning. That’s really all we need to know about Miami.
The Mets will finish right above the Marlins in fourth place, but make no mistake; the Mets are on the rise after adding Wilson Ramos during the offseason. Ramos provides the Mets with a major upgrade at catcher. Last year he hit .306/.358/.487 and provides stability for the lineup.
The Atlanta Braves are going to be lost in the shuffle and finish third. They aren’t a bad team, but it’s difficult to compete with the bullpen of the Nationals and firepower of the Phillies.
This year, the Nationals have a bullpen consisting of newly acquired starting pitcher Patrick Corbin, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg. Meanwhile, the Phillies added former MVP Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen. These two teams aren’t only going to compete for the top of their division, but they’ll likely compete for a trip to the World Series in October.
Look for the Phillies to take the division crown with Washington right behind them.
Bonus MLB 2019 World Series Prediction:
We just said that the Phillies would win their division over the Nationals because of their high-powered offense, but things are different in the playoffs. Pitching rules the day in a seven-game series.
Out of the East, we expect Washington to beat Philly in a hotly contested series.
In the West, it’s hard to imagine the Yankees not making it to the world series this year, but Boston tends to save their best ball for October. Look for them to beat the Yankees in the league finals and head to the World Series to take on Washington.
These Early MLB 2019 Predictions Could Be Wrong
Anytime you make predictions at the beginning of the year, there’s a good chance that something will happen that throws them off. A major trade that bolsters Minnesota’s pitching, for example, could place them firmly in the hunt for a World Series title. An injury to one of Washington’s pitchers would tilt the odds towards Philly winning it all. It’s too early to tell.
If you want up-to-the-minute predictions and information you can trust, check out our MLB packages today. We’ll provide you with all the information you need to maximize your ROI during the MLB 2019 campaign. Don’t wait for the MLB 2019 season to start; get it today and plan ahead to get the most out of this season!