Yankee Stadium, New York
The 2018 MLB Schedule opened on March 29th, 2018 and all 32 MLB teams set their sights on a chance to win the World Series in October. Many of those clubs may not have a chance despite sitting tied with each of the other MLB clubs leading up to opening day based on their roster construction, starting pitching depth and more importantly the division they are in for the 2018 MLB season.
Our online sports magazine will take a look at both the American and National League and give you a quick preview of what to expect from the top teams that should round the bottom of the league and even a few sleeper teams that could surprise many during the 2018 MLB season.
2018 American League Preview
American League Favorite – New York Yankees
Entering the 2018 MLB Schedule, the Yankees are the favorites for many, as they look to continue their path to the World Series. They managed to resign CC Sabathia while adding Giancarlo Stanton through a trade with the Miami Marlins. Sabathia will help anchor a rotation that will include Sonny Gray and Mashairo Tanaka. Meanwhile Stanton will team up with AL Home Run champ Aaron Judge to form one of the best 3-4 combinations in all of baseball. Only question for the Yankees entering 2018 is whether or not first year MLB manager Aaron Boone can lead a MLB team to the World Series.
American League Team to Not Look Past – Houston Astros
As many experts look to the Yankees, the team we should all not look past is the reigning World Series Champs, the Houston Astros. This team is stocked with talent at the plate, in the field and on the mound. The core of this team is built around young stars like Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman and George Springer, while MVP Jose Altuve continues to be one of the best all around hitters in all of baseball. On the mound, the team is led by front of the line starters Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel, while having possibly the best 1-5 rotation in all of baseball to go in front of a great bullpen.
American League Team Sleeper Teams – Oakland A’s & Baltimore Orioles
Now these two teams are at different ends of their development paths, the A’s are the young and upcoming team while the Orioles may be in the last year of a playoff race before finding themselves amidst another rebuilding campaign. As we look at the A’s, this team has the young talent to surprise many in the American League West led by the Matt’s (Olson & Chapman). For the A’s, their success will really rely on the mound and even more so since losing Jharel Cotton to Tommy John. Meanwhile, the Orioles have star power led by Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop to be one of the best offensive teams in all of baseball especially if guys like Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis can repeat some of their performances of a few seasons ago. Add to that offensive power, the O’s added Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner to their rotation to round out a solid starting five that includes youngsters Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. The Orioles also took a gamble on Chris Tillman who struggled last season, as many believe he was battling injuries.
American League Playoff Picture Prediction
AL East – Boston Red Sox
AL Central – Cleveland Indians
AL West – Houston Astros
Wild Card Team – New York Yankees
Wild Card Team – Los Angeles Angels
American League MVP Prediction – Mike Trout
All eyes will be on the big two in New York, but the guy everyone can’t turn their back on is Mike Trout. Trout is still the best player in baseball despite turning another year older. While he might not have been in the top talk for AL MVP in 2017, the Angels outfielder missed nearly 50 games during the regular season while still finishing the season with a .306 batting average to go with 33 home runs, 25 doubles and 72 runs batted in over just 114 games. Another guy to look at is Manny Machado who is not only in his last year in an Orioles uniform but will be playing for a blockbuster contract next offseason.
American League CY Young Prediction – Dallas Keuchel
The list of top tier starters in the American League is star studded led by Chris Sale, Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber and even Justin Verlander. While all four of these options could take home the award in 2018, we are turning to Keuchel, who will not only look to pitch the Astros back to the World Series, but like Machado is playing for a blockbuster contract after the 2018 MLB schedule. Like Trout, Keuchel only pitched in 23 games last season but still managed to go 14-5 with a 2.90 earned run average.
American League Rookie of the Year Prediction – Willie Calhoun
One of our favorite awards each year is the Rookie of the Year award, as fans of the game get to watch the next wave of youngsters turn into stars. For us the list could include guys like Franklin Barreto (A’s) and Francisco Mejia (Indians), while Gleyber Torres (Yankees) might be in the best position. That said, Calhoun should be seeing significant playing time for the Rangers, hitting in one of the friendlier ball parks in all of baseball. Add that to the fact he has crushed nearly 60 home runs over two minor league campaigns.
American League Disappointing Teams in 2018
Minnesota Twins & New York Yankees
Now you might be saying how is a trip to the post season worth landing on this list? For us, the Yankees have the talent to contend but lack of managerial skills and the depth on the mound will have the Yankees fighting for a wild card spot despite being a favorite for everyone entering the 2018 MLB Season. An early loss in the Wild Card or even a chance to miss the playoffs will make this year a big disappointment and one that will cause the Yankees to spend on big names Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, this offseason. Meanwhile, after surprising many last season, we expect to see the Twins to take a big step back in the Central, as the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals both take steps forward while the Indians continue to reign as the top team in the division.
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