Predicting the Final 2018 MLB Standings

UPDATE: CHECK OUT MY POSTSEASON PREDICTIONS HERE!

Ever since I was a young lad, baseball has been my favorite sport. In recent years, however, I’ve become more and more enamored by other sports (particularly football) due to my favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds, being…well…terrible. But they’ll always be my team, and baseball will always remain my sport of choice, even if I have to suffer until the Reds become good again. Is that possible next year? Probably not, but I figured I’d go ahead and predict the final standings for the upcoming MLB season. Let me preface this by saying: I am not a sabermetrician or MLB analyst, just a lifetime fan of the sport, and I don’t plan on including records or playoff predictions, just the final standings for each division. So, let’s get to it!

National League West

baseball-preview-nl-west

I feel like the NL West is going to be pretty cut and dry next season. The Dodgers are the clear favorites to win the division, having done so last year, as well as making the World Series. Their team is loaded with young talent: players like Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Chris Taylor all have the potential to improve. Also, their top-notch pitching staff led by elite starter Clayton Kershaw and closer Kenley Jansen will be hard to contend with. Here’s my breakdown for the NL West:

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Colorado Rockies
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. San Francisco Giants
  5. San Diego Padres

The only team here I don’t see making an impact is San Diego. I know, last year the Giants were the worst in the division, but they had an injured Madison Bumgarner and an injured Johnny Cueto, as well as a dreadful season from the usually fantastic Mark Melancon. With a healthy pitching staff, as well as the newest addition of Evan Longoria, this Giants team will be a lot better.

National League Central

NL-Central-Predictions-MLB-Betting-Season-Preview

Sadly, I don’t see my beloved Reds amounting to much this upcoming season. The rest of the NL Central, however, should be decent, and I anticipate the Cubs, once again, winning the division. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Cincinnati Reds
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates

Maybe I’m just a delusional fan, but I honestly believe the Reds will fare better than the Pirates in 2018. The Pirates have better starting pitching, with people like Gerrit Cole and Ivan Nova, but the Reds have an all-around better lineup. If the Gerrit Cole to the Yankees rumors are true, that even further improves the Reds’ chances of beating the Pirates. Also, I anticipate the Cardinals beating out the Brewers for the #2 spot.

National League East

 nl-east-logo

This division will be the worst in the NL next season, maybe the entire MLB. Teams like the Phillies, Braves, and Marlins are all undergoing rebuilding processes, and the only contenders I see here are the Nationals. The Mets have great starters, especially Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom, and a strong outfield with Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto. With a new manager, Mickey Callaway, the Mets could improve this season, but I don’t see them dethroning the Nationals. Here’s how I think the NL East will stack up:

  1. Washington Nationals
  2. New York Mets
  3. Atlanta Braves
  4. Philadelphia Phillies
  5. Miami Marlins

The Nationals possess one of the strongest rotations in the entire MLB, with pitchers such as Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Gio Gonzalez, as well as young slugger Bryce Harper and the consistently excellent Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon. Ryan Zimmerman and Trea Turner are other impact players at Washington’s disposal. Even though they got rid of Dusty Baker, a great manager who formerly led the Reds, I still think the Nats will win the NL East fairly decisively.

American League West

 al-west

The Astros, coming off a World Series win, are the favorites to win the division, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t do it again. An absolutely amazing young lineup, led by the impeccable Jose Altuve and young sluggers Carlos Correa and George Springer, as well as a rotation led by Dallas Keuchel, a former Cy Young winner, are a winning combination. The rest of the division? Here’s how I see it:

  1. Houston Astros
  2. Los Angeles Angels
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Texas Rangers
  5. Oakland Athletics

This is an exact repeat of last year’s standings. The Angels added an ensemble of new players, including Japanese dual-threat sensation Shohei Otani, solid shortstop Zack Cozart, and dependable second baseman Ian Kinsler. These additions, as well as a solid outfield led by the best player in baseball today, Mike Trout, will result in a solid team. I don’t see them beating out Houston, however. The Mariners also possess a decent lineup, but I highly doubt they go very far above .500.

American League Central

 al-central1

The Indians are a great team, and I believe they, once again, will win the Central. They have great pitching, led by reigning Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, and a solid lineup. Here are my predictions for the AL Central:

  1. Cleveland Indians
  2. Minnesota Twins
  3. Kansas City Royals
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Detroit Tigers

The Tigers, now without franchise player Justin Verlander, are in a transitional period. They do have some good players – namely, ace Michael Fulmer and the legendary Miguel Cabrera, but Miggy is on the back end of his career and it’s unclear just how much he has left in the tank. I don’t see the Royals amounting to much this year, and it’ll be interesting to see what the up and coming Twins do this season.

American League East

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The addition of Giancarlo Stanton makes the already outstanding Yankees so much more threatening. Their lineup now includes sluggers up and down: Gary Sanchez (33 HR in 2017), Aaron Judge (52 in 2017), Giancarlo Stanton (59 in 2017), Didi Gregorius (25 in 2017), and Greg Bird (20 HR in 94 career games). Now I don’t think all of these players will have as many bombs as they did last year, but, the way the Yankees are looking, they won’t need to. They also have great starting pitching: Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, and future hall of famer CC Sabathia. This Yankees team is a World Series contender, and a lock for the AL East champions. But how will the rest of the division end up?

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Toronto Blue Jays
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Baltimore Orioles

The Red Sox will falter a bit, but they should still be a wild card team due to excellent players such as Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, and Dustin Pedroia. Also, I see the Jays improving slightly due to the addition of former all-star Aledmys Diaz, as well as the continued presence of sluggers Troy Tulowitzki, Josh Donaldson, and Justin Smoak.

That’s it! There’s still quite a bit of offseason left, so it’ll be interesting to see how some of these teams develop in the upcoming months. Thank you so much for reading my MLB predictions. Disagree? Let me know in the comments. Also, be sure you check out all the other articles on Mid-American Culture, as well as our Weekly Waves Playlist. This week, the theme is songs that are 5+ minutes long. See you all next week!

UPDATE: Here are my predictions for the postseason!

 

3 thoughts on “Predicting the Final 2018 MLB Standings”

  1. I love this way too early prediction type article and I think you were pretty much spot on. The only thing I would change is put the Phillies maybe even as high as second in the NL East. It really look like they are trying to contend this year and with a bunch of young position players would could develop, who knows. I make one of these every year as well with the MVP, CY Young, etc. … give me a follow at offthewallbaseball.com

    Liked by 1 person

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