Are there 29 other teams in Major League Baseball?

Disclaimer:  If you’re a gambler, stop reading this blog post immediately and go to People.com to read about how Kanye West likes L.A., but he’d consider a move to Chicago, or visit Snopes.com to see how former president Richard Nixon hid proof of an alien life form in a time capsule.  Channeling Shoeless Joe doesn’t want to steer you wrong.

The following information involves predictions for Major League Baseball’s 2019 season, based on nothing but sitting-on-the-couch-drinking-coffee-intuition. Each divisional alignment will be followed by three sentences or less of (pseudo) wisdom.

AL Central

  1. Cleveland Indians-Trevor Bauer, Corey KluberCarlos Carrasco, and Mike Clevenger; top heavy line up or not, they are going to dominate the AL Central in intra-division games.
  2. Minnesota Twins-This is a default pick. Nelson Cruz is old and Jonathan Schoop is coming off a subpar season.  The White Sox, Tigers, and Royals are just varying degrees of bad.
  3. Chicago White Sox-The Tigers and Royals are very, very bad.
  4. Detroit Tigers-Figure if Miguel Cabrera can put together 500 at bats, that will put the Tigers in position to win 60 games to the Royals’ 59.
  5. Kansas City Royals-Things to look forward to: Whit Merrifield and the number three pick in the 2020 MLB draft behind Baltimore and Miami.

AL East

  1. Boston Red Sox-They have Chris Sale, David PriceRick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, a healthy Nathan Eovaldi, and the best outfield defense in baseball. This adds up to two more victories than the Yankees.
  2. New York Yankees-Murderers Row 2.0, but who scares you in the starting rotation?  Injury risks James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka?
  3. Toronto Blue Jays-Marcus Stroman will rebound and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will light baseball on fire like Aaron Judge did in 2017.
  4. Tampa Rays-The baseball gods will poop on the Rays because of the ridiculous ‘opener’ thing they started.
  5. Baltimore Orioles-Who is on this team?

AL West

  1. Houston Astros-With Jose Altuve, Carlos CorreaAlex Bregman, and George Springer, this line up is every bit as good as New York’s.
  2. Los Angeles Angels-I just want Mike Trout to be on the second wild card team. Aside from Houston, no other team in this division has starting pitching.
  3. Oakland A’s-Sean Manaea’s absence is enormous. If he can comeback and start five or six games down the stretch, maybe Oakland slides in to the second wild card spot.
  4. Seattle Mariners-They’ll trade Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager, Jay Bruce, Dee Gordon, Mike Leake, and Edwin Encarnacion before season’s end.
  5. Texas Rangers-If Nomar Mazara and Elvis Andrus have a big season, maybe this team can win 70 games and pass Seattle in late September.

NL Central

  1. Chicago Cubs-It hurts as a White Sox fan to write this, but it’s crazy how many baseball sources have given up on the Cubs. They are still loaded with blue chip talent at the plate and on the mound. 
  2. Milwaukee Brewers-Why didn’t they get starting pitching in the offseason?! Dallas Kuechel is still available.  At midseason Leake, Stroman, Zack Greinke, Danny Duffy, and maybe Madison Bumgarner will be available?  Other than Bumgarner, are they upgrades over Kuechel?
  3. St. Louis Cardinals-Off season additions Paul Goldschmidt and a nearly 34 year old Andrew Miller aren’t enough. This is an 82-78 team.
  4. Cincinnati Reds-If Alex Wood, Tanner RoarkSonny Gray, and Yasiel Puig can gel around Joey Votto, Luis Castillo, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winkler, and uber-prospect Nick Senzel, flip the Reds and the Cardinals.
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates-They might as well move Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and Chris Archer. There’s a better chance of Donald Trump swearing off ad hominem attacks for Lent than the Pirates contending in this decade.

NL East

  1. Washington Nationals-Does pitching still win in the juiced ball, launch angle era? If so, the Nationals win the East.
  2. Philadelphia Phillies-How many World Series rings does Bryce Harper have? Did Harper drive the Nationals to the playoffs last year?  Have fun with that contract in 2027.
  3. Atlanta Braves-Mike Foltynewicz’s health is a prime concern for this team. If he is healthy for the entirety of 2019, it might be safe to flip the Braves and Phillies here.
  4. New York Mets-Edwin Diaz will be trade bait by late May when the Mets realize they have no shot at contention. Brodie Van Wagenen wins the WASPiest GM with the best hair award.
  5. Miami Marlins-Starlin Castro will be traded two minutes after a contender has a middle infielder go down with an injury.

NL West

  1. Colorado Rockies-The Rockies have the best young pitching staff in baseball (and the most underrated), plus Nolan Arenado. They are going to surprise people.
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers-A.J. Pollock was the worst overpay in baseball this offseason, Clayton Kershaw is breaking down, Justin Turner is 34 years old, and this team didn’t get better in the offseason.There is a lot of competition for the wild card spots in the National League, and the Dodgers aren’t a gimme to earn one of them.
  3. San Diego Padres-If the young players gel at the major league level and the farm system produces reinforcements, they’ll win 75 games or so and stay ahead of the Diamondbacks and the Giants.
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks-David Peralta is an attractive trade piece. Will anybody eat a healthy portion of Greinke’s remaining deal (95.5 million dollars through 2021)?
  5. San Francisco Giants-Any team delusional enough to give Jeff Samardzija a 90 million dollar contract deserves to become irrelevant fast. The Giants are completely irrelevant.

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