It's that time of year once again. Spring training is just about over, and the trucks will be heading north any day to get the baseball season underway. The Northern teams will be trading Florida and Arizona sunshine for much colder temps and drearier skies. A lot of teams will be starting games with temperatures in the 50s and even high 40s on Thursday. The Cubs will wisely trade Arizona sun for Florida sun, and the scum sucking Rat Bastard Red Sox stick around Florida for a few more days opening their campaign in Tampa.
Each year I make these projections, and in truth, we have done a pretty good job of getting division winners and a mixed bag at seasons start of picking the league and World Series titles, although I did have the Cubs in 2016. I do a little better job of the final four teams in the mid-year update. Had you been betting on division crowns and over/under with my picks you have made some money although I highly discourage betting, drinking alcohol and vice in all its forms. Having said that if you make some money with my stuff this year a bottle of good bourbon would be appreciated.
Another year, another dogfight. Everyone is picking the Yanks and its impossible not to join the crowd. This is not a good ballclub. It's potentially one of the greatest ever. Good pitching, fantastic bullpen, and a potentially legendary lineup. They have power; they have some speed and some guys who can put ducks on the pond for the big guns. Boston has the pitching to hang with them, but I don’t think they can put the runs up they will need to catch the Yanks. Toronto is projected third, but I am picking them for fourth with a battle for the basement with what is left of the Tampa Bay squad. The Orioles made some pitching pickups, and the rotation will be just good enough for me to stave off full-blown despair and cheap tequila until late August again this year.
New York Yankees
It will be a fail of epic proportions if they do not make the World Series never mind win the division. Vegas has them at 97 wins which is a no bet for me.
The Boston Red Sox
Just enough to keep the Yankees honest all year. If New York naps they can make a run. Vegas has them at 89. I am tempted to take the over since they get to play Tampa and Toronto a combined 36 times but it's not so obvious a bet that I will take it this early.
We have a Buck and Manny is playing for the big bucks. If Bundy and Gausman were ot magically live up to expectations, they could challenge for the wild card. Vegas has them at 73 wins, and I am taking the over.
Toronto Blue Jays
Too much can wrong here, and I suspect it all will. Take the under at 81 games
Tampa Bay Rays
There’s nothing left here after they dumped the roster during the offseason. There is some interesting young talent that will show flashes of potential and Chris Archer is still Chris Archer but this team. A strong contender for worst team in MLB this year. Take the under at 77.5
Cleveland is an easy ten games better than everyone else. The Tigers are fading into the sunset and are a full rebuild away from challenging. The White Sox are one year away from being a serious contender. The Twins will finish second, but they will be way back again this year. Kansas Cty is nowhere near the team that went to the World Series a few years ago.
Another division title even if Chief Yahoo is not along for the ride this time. Thye won 100 games last year and could do it again this year given that they should easily sweep all the division series. Still, no bet at 94.5 games. It’s a long year.
Young, fast, improved pitching, a good manager. No bet at 82.5 games. The White Sox will keep them in range all year, and they will struggle in out of division games
Chicago White Sox
One more mid-season fire sale should get it done. They are loaded with prospects and young talent, and we should see a 2019 rebirth of hope on the South Side of Chicago. Take the over at 68 wins.
Kansas City Royals
Ned Yost should consider taking up heavy drinking. No bet at 71 games
Gonna be a tough year in the D. Aging talent, suspect pitching and a bloated payroll at $129 million for a bad team. I think I would take the under at 68.5 games.
That’s all you need to know about the AL West. Ohtani makes for a nice sideshow, it is a lot of fo fun to watch Mike Trout play the game, but the Astros are a great baseball team. They have no weak spot that I can see.
Greatness awaits. The only thing that stops this team from becoming a dynasty is free agency in a few years and the New York Yankees incredible roster. I am taking the over at 96.5 wins. They are that good.
Los Angeles Angels
A solid ball club that unfortunately in a division with a great one. I lose a lot of sleep every summer staying up to watch Mike Trout play on the west coast. No bet at 84.5 wins
A good team with two better ones in front of them. They will make some runs and keep the fans in it until late August. The Orioles of the Western Division. Tempted to take the over as I think they win more than their share from the Rangers and A’s and do well outside the division but for now no bet at 82 games.
They will hit a lot of home runs. Unfortunately, so will their opponents. I suspect they lose a lot of 10-7 ball games this year. No bet at 76.5 wins
Lots of young talent but will need one more wave of trades to bring in more to compete. Take the under at 75 wins as the challenge Tampa Bay for worst team in the league
It’s the Nationals, and everybody else in the east again. If the Mets pitching staff remains healthy, they easily take a wild card spot. That’s a big If and a young, hungry Philadelphia squad will challenge them for the spot. Atlanta has a lot of young arms but they so far they are young unspectacular arms. Acuna, Swanson, and Albies are the future of the team, and they are not yet enough to win. They will be fun to watch, but they don’t challenge for the lead at any point. In Miami, I think Jeter is on the right track but it will be a long road to contend. On the upside, it will be easy for me to get tickets in Miami this year. Road trip.
One of the best teams in the nation past few years right up until October 1. Is this the year they break the curse of the postseason? Probably not but take the over on 92 wins.
I think they want it bad enough and adding Arrieta a big step forward. Take the over on the 75.5
New York Mets
They are, after all, the Mets. Not sure which snake will bite them but pretty sure one will. 81 wins sounds about right.
Exciting, fun to watch. Will frustrate some better teams at times but not often enough to be in consideration. No bet at 74.5 wins
There is nothing here this year. Tale the under no matter what it is. They lose 100 games easy so the 64.5 under looks solid.
Party on the North Side again this year. They actually got better in the offseason, and there will be no World Series hangover this year. The Brewers will challenge after a very productive offseason. The Cardinals are never a pushover and will make life interesting. Cincy is in the midst of the eternal rebuild, and I have no idea what the ll is going on in Pittsburgh.
I have to try not to piss my son in law off during the season, and he has the World Series tickets hookup, and their apartment is walking distance from Wrigley. Very tough division so no bet at 94.5 wins
Hank the Dog and the brew crew improved in the offseason and should take a wildcard spot. They win more than 84.5 so take the over.
St. Louis Cardinals
If the Brewers stumble the Cards will be ready to take the spot away. Almost but not quite. Probably come in under 85.5 wins but too close to wager.
Baseball is a better game when old school teams like the Reds are in the mix, but that’s going to be the case this year. This may be the year Votto insists on a trade. 73 wins sounds about right.
They just don’t look good coming into the year. Bet the under at 73 games
Many are picking the Giants to surge, but McCutchen and Longoria is not that big an upgrade. The Rockies and the Diamondbacks were much better than expected last year. Rockies a year away from big free agency concerns so look for them to try and make a move this year. The Dodgers take the division easily again this year
Los Angeles Dodgers
All you need to know is Clayton Kershaw. Then add Seger, Bellinger, Taylor and an improving Matt Kemp, and you have a team that will win a lot of ballgames. Vegas says 96.5, and that sounds right. No bet.
A big push to win this year. Lots of home runs for the home team and enough pitching to keep them around. They win more than 82 games so bet the over
They will be in it but fall just short. No bet at 85.5 wins
San Francisco Giants
Not this year. Bumgarner is out until sometime in late May at best, and by then it will already be too late. I like the under at 81.5 games
Boston Red Sox
I think Houston matches up well in a seven-game with Yankees if everybody is healthy on both sides. Picking a little with my heart here but I am taking Houston
Chicago Cubs. They didn’t like going home last year, and I think they play with a fury in 2018 to get back to the top
Cubs in 7 very close ballgames