Entering the 2018 season, many experts were picking the New York Yankees to beat out the Boston Red Sox for the American League East crown.
It doesn’t seem like much has changed in the prediction department just one year following Boston’s World Series title.
MLB.com polled over 50 experts from the their site and the “MLB Network universe” to predict which teams will take home each division title, wild card berth, league pennant and the World Series. The AL East results favored the pinstripes in a major way with the Yankees tallying twice as many votes as the Red Sox.
“Despite winning 100 games last year, the Yankees had to settle for an AL Wild Card berth and couldn’t get through the eventual World Series champion Red Sox, falling to Boston in a four-game AL Division Series,” the report said. “With the additions of James Paxton, Adam Ottavino and Gio Gonzalez, and the re-signing of CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ and Zack Britton, the pitching staff is as deep as it gets. On the infield, the acquisitions of DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki provide depth and solve the issue of Didi Gregorius missing the first part of the season. Among our experts, the Yanks garnered twice as many votes as the Red Sox.”
The pool of experts has the AL East putting three teams in the postseason, with the Tampa Bay Rays and Red Sox taking both Wild Card spots, but they made sure to highlight the defending champions’ lineup and rotation, before noting Boston’s bullpen as its main question mark.
“Boston’s lineup remains loaded, led by perennial MVP candidates Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez. The rotation is headed by the dominant Chris Sale, followed by two former AL Cy Young Award winners, David Price and Rick Porcello,” the report added. “The bullpen, particularly in the late innings, is somewhat of a question mark, however, with the departure of Craig Kimbrel in free agency.”
The experts rounded out their American League picks with the Houston Astros winning the 2019 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers. If that were to come true, it would mean three straight World Series losses for Dodgers.
Yes, the American League remains loaded, but time will tell how the cards really fall.
Thumbnail photo via Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports Images