Standing, Playoffs and Awards Predictions – 2019

I have been confident; I have been cocky.  I have been attempting to go all “Sports Illustrated” and predict a 2019 World Series win for the Phillies several years out.  Shortly after they traded Cole Hamels to Texas in 2015, I looked at the farm system and declared Philadelphia 2019 champs.  Even as recently as last season, I was feeling like I had a decent chance to make good on those claims, despite their second-half collapse (in this very piece last season, I had them going 80-82, representing a significant step forward and a record they matched exactly).

There are two problems with that now, however.  1.) Much of that farm system hasn’t panned out, and, 2.) Atlanta has become relevant, Washington got better, and New York finally decided to surround its pitching staff with some offense.

The Phillies now find themselves in arguably the best division in baseball. All that said, I’ve run my calculations and with that, present to you the standings, playoff, and awards predictions for the 2019 campaign.

AL East
New York Yankees (99-63)
Boston Red Sox (94-68)
Tampa Bay Rays (85-77)
Toronto Blue Jays (73-89)
Baltimore Orioles (57-105)

AL Central
Cleveland Indians (91-71)
Minnesota Twins (90-72)
Detroit Tigers (72-90)
Chicago White Sox (72-90)
Kansas City Royals (61-101)

AL West
Houston Astros (93-69)
Los Angeles Angels (84-78)
Oakland Athletics (83-79)
Seattle Mariners (76-86)
Texas Rangers (65-97)

NL East
Washington Nationals (92-70)
Philadelphia Phillies (90-72)
New York Mets (89-73)
Atlanta Braves (83-79)
Miami Marlins (56-106)

NL Central
Chicago Cubs (94-68)
Milwaukee Brewers (88-74)
St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)
Cincinnati Reds (79-83)
Pittsburgh Pirates (73-89)

NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers (97-65)
Colorado Rockies (91-71)
San Diego Padres (77-85)
Arizona Diamondbacks (74-88)
San Francisco Giants (67-95)

Wild Card Games
Red Sox over Twins
Rockies over Phillies

Division Series’
Yankees over Red Sox
Indians over Astros
Dodgers over Rockies
Nationals over Cubs

Championship Series’
Yankees over Indians
Nationals over Dodgers

World Series
Yankees over Nationals

The Red Sox will still be good but could be subject to a little burn out from their deep playoff run. Speaking of deep runs, the Dodgers get to 97 wins only because of the weak division in which they play. They’re coming off two straight World Series appearances and already have trouble with their top two starters in Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw.

Even while writing this, I flipped flopped the Phillies and Mets several times. Finally, I settled on at least getting Philadelphia to the playoffs and the Mets will do a very Mets thing (exactly what that will be is one of the few things this piece won’t try to predict) and barely miss the playoffs. Atlanta not only appears to be the fourth-best team in the division, but I’m also factoring in some regression which is very common among teams the year following an unexpected breakout.

Realistically, I just can’t get there to have the Phillies win the World Series – BUT, if they do, remember you heard it here first over three years ago.

And, good news, Orioles fans. Your team will have a 10-win improvement from last season!

AL MVP – 1st: Aaron Judge, 2nd: Mike Trout, 3rd: Matt Chapman
NL MVP – 1st: Rhys Hoskins, 2nd: Nolan Arenado, 3rd: Anthony Rizzo

AL Cy Young – 1st: Chris Sale, 2nd: Gerrit Cole, 3rd: James Paxton
NL Cy Young – 1st: Max Scherzer, 2nd: Walker Buehler, 3rd: Jack Flaherty

AL ROY – 1st: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 2nd: Eloy Jimenez, 3rd: Danny Jansen
NL ROY – 1st: Victor Robles, 2nd: Nick Senzel, 3rd: Mike Soroka

AL Manager – 1st: Aaron Boone, 2nd: Rocco Baldelli, 3rd: AJ Hinch
NL Manager – 1st: Gabe Kapler, 2nd: Dave Roberts, 3rd: Dave Martinez

From a historical perspective, it may be a long time before we see something like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Juan Soto did last year, but Guerrero and Jimenez could give them a run for their money.

Like we’ve never been a fan of Carson Fulmer, the same goes for the Braves’ Kyle Wright so it’s another young Atlanta starter that gets our nod here (Soroka).

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