American League Playoffs: New York, Cleveland, Houston – Boston, Minnesota
There are four elite teams in the American League. The Yankees, Indians, Astros and Red Sox are all World Series contenders. The Yankees are loaded and the New York media’s hype of the pinstripes is justified for once. Cleveland has the best pitcher in the AL and a great lineup meanwhile the Red Sox are almost as good as the Yankees at every position. The Astros, they just won the World Series and they’ve only improved.
The second AL Wild Card spot will be a fun race between Toronto, Los Angeles and Minnesota but the Twins went last year and Byron Buxton is a stud.
National League Playoffs: Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles – St. Louis, Colorado
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Cool, the Nationals make the playoffs again. Good for them. The NL East is tire fire. The Phillies will be much better and will contended in the Wild Card race for a long time. The Cubs are rested and relaxed. They should be the favorite for the pennant considering that they added a terrific hurler in Yu Darvish. The Dodgers, they were almost the best team ever last year and they have a lot of those pieces hanging around.
The Cardinals, with the benefit of health and development, should be right back into the playoffs and Rockies follow that as well. Arizona, and really anyone in the NL West, could contend for the Wild Card. Watch out for Milwaukee as well.
Cy Youngs: Jon Gray, Corey Kluber
I wrote yesterday why I’m picking Gray. Go check that out. Kluber is not an easy pick, just the de facto given he won it last year. Justin Verlander is going to have a huge year in Houston, Chris Sale was one bad outing at the end of the year from winning in 2017 and look out for James Paxton in Seattle.
The Cubs will be the best team in the NL and Kris Bryant is their best player. Bryant is an incredible overall player and that gets lost in the third baseman wars. He has one MVP to his name already and things are lining up to make that two.
Did you watch the World Series last year? Then you know Springer is a beast. In 2014, I wrote that Springer would someday be an MVP. That someday season starts today.