The long wait is over, MLB Opening Day is finally here.
What will I get wrong this year?
NL East: Washington Nationals
NL Central: Chicago Cubs
NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
Wild Card 1: Colorado Rockies
Wild Card 2: Milwaukee Brewers
NL Pennant: Chicago Cubs
I think the Cardinals have the better team than the Brewers, but injuries are always a concern. This has already begun, with three key pieces (Adam Wainwright, Luke Gregerson, Alex Reyes) already on the DL.
The Phillies will be a surprise and finish close to .500, I’m thinking 79-83. The pitching is not there just yet, but Jake Arrieta is a huge improvement over pretty much everything they had last season.
AL East: New York Yankees
AL Central: Cleveland Indians
AL West: Houston Astros
Wild Card 1: Minnesota Twins
Wild Card 2: Boston Red Sox
AL Pennant: Yankees
World Series: Yankees over Cubs
A.J. Puk going down is a huge blow, but I still think the Oakland A’s are the team to watch in the AL. They are young, which I think inevitably gives the Red Sox the edge in the Wild Card race, but I would not be surprised at all if they are the surprise team of 2018. Mike Trout is Mike Trout. I think the Angels are still a year away, but don’t be surprised to see them in the mix as well.
Rookie of the Year:
NL: Do you read my work? Then you know that I am on the Ronald Acuña, Jr. train. Scott Kingery and (I hope) Lewis Brinson make a push offensively, and I like Jack Flaherty making a charge.
AL: I am not picking Shohei Otahni. I just don’t believe in him right now. That said, it is a complete crapshoot after him in the AL. So let’s make a bit of a reach and say Willy Adames and Franklin Barreto get early call-ups and tear it up.
NL: Max Scherzer, for one simple reason. I joined a brand new fantasy league and was hoping to get Kershaw with the seventh overall pick and he went sixth. I took Scherzer with No. 7 and hope he has a season for the ages. Clayton Kershaw will be right there, and I will continue to throw Jon Gray into the mix. I still think he has Cy Young stuff.
AL: Luis Severino. I don’t see a huge Kershaw/Sherzer difference between the top five or six pitchers in the AL. I think Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and Justin Verlander are all in the hunt.
NL: Nolan Arenado. His defense alone gets him in the conversation, but that bat is fun to watch. Kris Bryant finishes second and I always throw my third place Freddie Freeman vote into the mix. The Braves are a 20-win team without him.
AL: This is tough. I want to say either Carlos Correa or Giancarlo Stanton, but how do you choose an MVP from teams that have two or three MVP candidates? Better stick with old reliable Mike Trout, with Correa and Stanton in the mix.