We have survived the lockout, we have survived Spring Training, and now we’re ready for a full season of baseball. The stars didn’t feel aligned for an MLB season, yet we have one and it is about time. There were some significant moves that went down in the offseason with major stars flipping teams. Let’s break down our predictions this season and see who will take home the season’s biggest MLB awards.
From our recent series, here are our division winners:
- AL East: Tampa Bay Rays
- AL Central: Chicago White Sox
- AL West: Seattle Mariners
- NL East: New York Mets
- NL Central: Milwaukee Brewers
- NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers
- AL Wildcard: Red Sox, Astros, Blue Jays
- NL Wildcard: Braves, Giants, Phillies
This year’s playoff format will be different. One extra team will be added into the playoffs in each league. The top two-seeds, the division winners with the best record, will automatically advance to the divisional round. In the wild-card round, the No. 3 seed will host the No. 6 seed for a three-game series. Similarly, the No. 4 seed will host the No. 5 seed. Then the winners will move on to the divisional round, where there is no re-seeding. The No. 1 seed hosts the winner of the 4-5 series, and the No. 2 hosts the winner of the 3-6 series.
In the ALCS, I have the Chicago White Sox taking on the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox added SS Trevor Story and have their same roster from last year intact. The pitching should be much better, and they made improvements to a bullpen that was overtaxed last year. The White Sox are a team deserving a spot in the ALCS with their young bats and potent offense.
For the NLCS, give me the Dodgers and the Mets. The Mets added P Max Scherzer this offseason who is a postseason savant and should have a better offense moving forward. Of course, the Dodgers are a lock nearly every year to play in the NLCS and the addition of 1B Freddie Freeman makes them a scary bunch.
In the World Series, I am predicting that the Dodgers take care of the White Sox in five games. This Dodgers lineup is full of incredible bats, but their starting rotation is what separates them from the White Sox.
AL MVP: Vladimir Guerrero Jr – Had it not been for a ridiculous campaign from P/DH Shohei Ohtani, Guerrero would have ran away with this award last season. He is so powerful and so talented with the bat and is also a decent fielder. If the Jays make a playoff push this season, he’ll have a lot to do with it.
NL MVP: Mookie Betts – He didn’t have his best season in LA last year, but the lineup is stacked, so there shouldn’t be a lot of pressure on him, and he is entering year three in Hollywood. I like Betts to take home his second MVP trophy.
AL Cy Young: Dylan Cease – The White Sox ace had a fantastic second half of the season and his spin rates were through the roof. The Sox have the offense, but they need a great pitcher and Cease is at the top of the rotation. If he keeps his high strikeout numbers up, anything is possible.
NL Cy Young – Walker Buehler – Buehler is a hard-throwing stud who has replaced Clayton Kershaw as the ace of the Dodgers. Buehler should get a ton of opportunities to show why he is the best pitcher in baseball this season.
AL Rookie of the Year – INF Bobby Witt Jr. – We’ve been waiting for the Royals star to hit the big leagues and the season has finally come. He should be one of the best hitters in baseball in just a few seasons and he has a shot to prove why he is one of the top prospects in the game.
NL Rookie of the Year – OF/INF Seiya Suzuki – The Cubs signed Suzuki to a big deal to come to America and play. He got $85 million to come over from Japan and at 27-years-old, he is hardly a rookie. He is a name to watch as a new shining star in the league.