Standings, Playoff and Awards Predictions – 2018

Well, we can’t wait forever for the remaining free agents to sign (as hard as we tried), so it’s time to roll out the predictions as rosters currently stand.  In previous years, we’ve correctly predicted breakouts of teams and players (nobody else had the Indians being good entering 2016 nor Trevor Story as their ROY candidate – he may have won had he not missed the season’s final two months: you can find those predictions here).

Our methodology is quite simple and has largely worked – save our prediction of Texas winning the World Series last year (oops!), especially considering how these things tend to go.

We also try to think outside the box, go with our gut on certain things but also rely on our freelance scouting and overall baseball acumen.  After all, seeing Story take only one at-bat in an early March spring game is how we predicted his breakout rookie season.

The NL East could look dramatically different in the next few seasons.  We’ll be looking for the same props afforded to Sports Illustrated after their Astros prediction since we’ve been saying for a few seasons now that it’s the Phillies in 2019 (stay tuned).  We just don’t have a cover to put it on.  As good as they might be, the Braves have a chance to be even better as their farm system is stacked with talent and we fully expect them to spend on free agents this coming winter.

There are several teams within the same division that appear to be very evenly stacked – the Diamondbacks and Giants (although San Francisco has a ton of “ifs”), the Orioles and Blue Jays, and Kansas City and Detroit.

A few other notes: it appears the White Sox are still at least a year away, the Rays just don’t have the bullpen or lineup to compete and the Yankees’ bullpen may be the scariest in history.

Regardless of all our hard work trying to see the future, there will be at least one team that outplays expectations and at least one that doesn’t live up to the hype that stand to blow up everything that follows.

NL East
Washington Nationals (96-66)
New York Mets (84-78)
Philadelphia Phillies (80-82)
Atlanta Braves (77-85)
Miami Marlins (57-105)

NL Central
Chicago Cubs (94-68)
St. Louis Cardinals (86-76)
Milwaukee Brewers (86-76)
Pittsburgh Pirates (81-81)
Cincinnati Reds (66-96)

NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers (93-69)
Colorado Rockies (88-74)
San Francisco Giants (85-77)
Arizona Diamondbacks (84-78)
San Diego Padres (70-92)

AL East
New York Yankees (92-70)
Boston Red Sox (90-72)
Baltimore Orioles (82-80)
Toronto Blue Jays (76-86)
Tampa Bay Rays (69-93)

AL Central
Cleveland Indians (91-71)
Minnesota Twins (85-77)
Detroit Tigers (73-89)
Kansas City Royals (71-91)
Chicago White Sox (67-95)

AL West
Houston Astros (93-69)
Los Angeles Angels (85-77)
Seattle Mariners (83-79)
Oakland A’s (78-84)
Texas Rangers (68-94)

Wild Card Games
Rockies over Cardinals
Angels over Red Sox

Division Series’
Nationals over Rockies
Cubs over Dodgers
Astros over Angels
Indians over Yankees

Championship Series’
Cubs over Nationals
Astros over Indians

World Series
Cubs over Astros

Awards
NL MVP – 1st: Nolan Arenado, 2nd: Bryce Harper, 3rd: Freddie Freeman
AL MVP – 1st: Mike Trout, 2nd: George Springer, 3rd: Jose Altuve

NL Cy Young – 1st: Clayton Kershaw, 2nd: Max Scherzer, 3rd: Aaron Nola
AL Cy Young – 1st: David Price, 2nd: Corey Kluber, 3rd: Dylan Bundy

NL ROY – 1st: Ronald Acuna, 2nd: Scott Kingery, 3rd: Colin Moran
With the spring Acuna had and the fact that he’ll probably be in the Majors for most of the season, he seems like the obvious choice, however, even without a clear spot on the roster, it’s easy to envision Kingery having a say. Others in strong consideration: Lewis Brinson, Mitch Keller, Walker Buehler, Jesse Winker, Alex Verdugo, Jack Flaherty, Jon DuPlantier, Tyler Mahle, Max Fried (he was very close to getting the third spot)
AL ROY – 1st: Willy Adames, 2nd: Austin Hays, 3rd: Franklin Barreto
The AL is much less “certain” than the NL but we’re going with Adames. High-upside guy on a presumably bad team. Others in strong consideration: Willie Calhoun, Francisco Mejia, Gleyber Torres, Chance Sisco

NL Manager – 1st: Joe Maddon, 2nd: Dave Martinez, 3rd: Bud Black
AL Manager – 1st: Aaron Boone, 2nd: Terry Francona, 3rd: Mike Scioscia

Now we just wait seven-plus months to see how it all plays out.

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