The baseball season is THREE days away, so it is time for the do the UNTHINKABLE and pick division winners that I am definitely going to get WRONG. Outside of THREE teams, the League is WIDE OPEN and we could see some CHAOS during the Pennant races in the league. The way I am going to structure the blog is seeding the FIVE playoff teams. I am doing the SAME thing on the National League, which will drop tomorrow. I will have my OFFICIAL World Series pick coming on Wednesday leading up to Opening Day on Friday.
The ONE seed in the American League: AL East winner- New York Yankees
The objective for the Yankees is pretty SIMPLE this season, they HAVE TO win the AL East. I am not going to put World Series or BUST stipulations on them like other Yankee fans, BUT if they are NOT at least in the ALCS this year, then this season is a BIG failure for them. They have the BEST roster in the division, which should help them hold off the Boston Red Sox in the division race and starting the ALDS at Yankee Stadium against PROBABLY the Red Sox will be HUGE if they want to DETHRONE the DEFENDING World Series CHAMPS.
The Bronx Bombers have been PLAGUED with injuries throughout the Spring Training and I think that is their BIGGEST weakness this season. IF they can stay RELATIVELY healthy in August, September, AND October, there is NO reason to NOT believe that they SHOULD get to the World Series this season and that is why I have them as the TOP team in the American League this season.
I will have a FULL preview of the Yankee season coming on Wednesday.
The TWO seed in the American League: AL West winner- The Houston Astros
The Astros had a DISAPPOINTING season last year after winning it ALL in 2017. They are a DEEP team like the Yankees and I think those TWO teams along with the Red Sox will be the THREE best teams in the league all season. UNLIKE the Yankees, the Astros have a much EASIER division with teams like the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers who are rebuilding right now, which will HELP the Astros get some EASY wins and RUN AWAY with the division and be right there in the playoff race.
The THREE seed in the American League: AL Central winner- The Cleveland Indians
The AL Central outside of the Indians is a JOKE and if the Indians do NOT clinch the division by September 1, they should FIRE everyone. The Indians are NOT a great team with POSSIBLE trades coming in their rotation but they are STILL the best team in the division and should get to the Playoffs the EASIEST of any team in the American League.
The FIRST Wild Card in the American League: The Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are RIGHT THERE with the Yankees, it is going to come down to the NINETEEN games between the two clubs. Whichever teams wins that TENTH game will MOST LIKELY win the AL East and the other team will have to SETTLE for the Wild Card. It has been the Yankees that have had to SETTLE the last TWO years, I think the roles will be REVERSED this season. The Red Sox are a GREAT team but I think that they have NOT done enough to UPGRADE their bullpen, which is going to COST them a COUPLE of games and that will a BIG reason why they have to SETTLE for the Wild Card.
The SECOND Wild Card in the American League: The Los Angeles Angels
This is FINALLY going to be the year that we see Mike Trout RETURNING to the Playoffs. The Angels are going to BATTLE the Tampa Bay Rays for that FINAL playoff spot but I think that the Halos will come out on top. I think going AWAY from New York is going to be GREAT for Matt Harvey and he will pay dividends for them this season. I expect the Oakland Athletics to take a step BACK this season making way for the Angels.
Those are the playoff teams in the American League, I will PICK how they do in the playoffs in my World Series blog, so STAY TUNED for that on Wednesday.