2018 MLB Predictions: The Division Champions
From first to worst in every division.
There are six divisions in Major League Baseball, and you want to know who’s going to win, don’t you? Enter the 2018 MLB predictions and our top-to-bottom look at the sub-divisions of each league.
We enter the year with a sense of the contenders in each league. In the American League, expect Houston, Cleveland, the Yankees, and Boston to lead the way. On the National League side, the Cubs, Dodgers, and Nationals have the inside track. Which of those teams do we predict will win their divisions?
Remember, during the season, we will update the league’s playoff picture.
2018 MLB Predictions: American League East
First Place: New York Yankees
Take one look at the Yankees’ lineup and marvel in it. Their projected two through six in the lineup is Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Gary Sanchez, and Didi Gregorius. Who do you pitch to in this bunch? Their rotation at least appears to be serviceable, and their bullpen holds the potential to be excellent. The Yankees are not a perfect team, but it’s playoffs or bust. Expectations, which are back for this team once again, are for a team that will push Cleveland and Houston for the pennant.
Second Place: Boston Red Sox
The AL East has a clear 1-2 at the top, in either order, with the other three teams a few lengths behind them. Boston is capable of winning the division, but enter 2018 without the hype of the Yankees. There is no reason to believe they will get worse per se, but the danger for the Red Sox is in getting lapped by their rivals to the southwest. Not to worry for Boston, however, because both teams are likely to be in the postseason barring an unforeseen meltdown.
Third Place: Toronto Blue Jays
Three through five in the AL East looks like a mess and it’s entirely possible that none of these teams will have winning records. Toronto is probably the best of the “other” teams, but that isn’t saying much. The Jays underachieved in 2017, going 76-86. Entering 2018, they did not lose anyone of particular note, and gained the serviceable Curtis Granderson. The middle of their lineup has some pop and there are at least two decent starters. Doubtful that it’s enough for a playoff push, but if they find themselves buying at the trade deadline, you never know.
Fourth Place: Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles have some of the power that the team predicted below them in the standings does not. Should Chris Davis be ready for Opening Day after nursing an injury, Baltimore will still have him, Adam Jones, and Manny Machado. It’s not the best lineup in baseball, but it’s also not the worst. Their rotation got marginally better with the addition of Alex Cobb, but it’s going to be an uphill struggle for a thin Orioles team.
Fifth Place: Tampa Bay Rays
It didn’t really seem to matter where we put the last three teams in the AL East, so at first, third place was our consideration for the Rays. Then we saw the projected lineup. Mercy, it’s bad. In terms of pitching, Chris Archer can’t do it all himself, even if he has a nice season. This looks like a long year.