Philadelphia Phillies 78-84
It has been a rough five years in the City of Brotherly Love as the Philadelphia Phillies after five straight division titles, quickly descended into one of the worst teams in the National League. Finally, there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. The signing of Jake Arrieta gives the Phillies a frontline starting pitcher they could build around, while Carlos Santana gives them a big bat in the middle of the lineup. However, the Phillies seem more like a team a year away than a team ready to make their move. They should be able to hang around .500, but there are still holes to plug, with one or two more pieces they could be a team to watch in 2019..
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2018 MLB PREVIEW
EASTERN DIVISION
LEAGUE LEADERS AND AWARDS
National League
Joey Votto Reds
Joey Votto Reds

Kris Bryant Cubs
Billy Hamilton Reds
Charlie Blackmon Rockies
Joey Votto Reds
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
Noah Syndegaard Mets
San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals
Yoenis Cespedes Mets
Noah Syndegaard Mets
Amed Rosario Mets

Dinelson Lamet Padres
Evan Longoria Giants

Jake Arrieta Phillies
Todd Frazier Mets
Wade Davis Rockies
Kenley Jansen Dodgers
Ronald Acuna Braves
Andy Green Padres
Joey Votto Reds
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
Joey Votto Reds
Miami Marlins 50-112
WTF? That is the words on the lips of every fan of the Miami Marlins. In 25 years, the Marlins have had more fire sales than Dollar Tree. The Marlins may have destroyed the trust in the fans forever with this last one, as a team on the verge of contending as stripped it down to the bare walls and got little in return. Even their most famous fan Marlins Man has enough. The Derek Jeter regime has managed to alienate the entire fan base in just on off-season trading away their biggest stars, with the remaining familiar faces like Justin Bour and J.T. Realmuto likely to be gone next. There is no doubt they will lose 100, can they win at least 50?
Atlanta Braves 72-90
There is not much to like about the Atlanta Braves these days. They have some young talent beginning to fill the roster, led by Ozzie Albies but their pitching staff is about as bad as there is in baseball these days. Add the fact they moved from pitcher-friendly Turner Field to the new launching pad in SunTrust Park and you will have a team full of bloated ERAs. Freddie Freeman remains the Braves biggest star and is the pillar they hope to build around, by continuing to land top-level prospects. This will likely lead Atlanta being sellers at the deadline, with someone like Nick Markakis being able to fetch a few studs on the way to a contender.
Washington Nationals 99-63
It has been six years since the Washington Nationals rose to be a contender in the National League. They have now won the Eastern Division four of the last six years, but have nothing to show but heartbreak after losing in the NLDS each time they made the playoffs. The window may be closing on Washington with the upcoming free agency of Bryce Harper. There is no doubt they are the class of the division unless everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer headline a strong rotation, with Harper in the heart of a solid line up. The Nations will win the East, but their season will be an epic failure if they don't advance in the playoffs.
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St. Louis Cardinals 78-84
What have the St. Louis Cardinals done to improve off the team that went 83-79? Other than picking off Marcel Ozuna from the mess that is Miami, the Cardinals have not done anything. They have some good young talented hitters, but the pitching staff is a question mark at best especially with the loss of Lance Lynn. Adam Wainwright beginning the year on the disabled list also has to be a concern for the Redbirds. With Yadier Molina's age and health a big question, the Cardinals are entering a transitional period. Every year there is one perennial contender who fades out of the race early, the Cardinals will be that team in 2018.
Cincinnati Reds 75-87
The Cincinnati Reds hope this is the season they begin to turn the corner. After struggling mightily the last few years, the Reds hope they can get some of the young talent to respond to the leadership of Joey Votto. The Reds first baseman was a serious MVP candidate despite, finishing second in 2017 the Reds being one of the worst teams in baseball. The key for the Reds will be pitching, if they can get a full season of good health from Homer Bailey and find another pitcher to step up, the Reds should be able to improve enough to at least escape the central division cellar.
Houston Astros 99-63
As predicted by Sports Illustrated three years earlier, the Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series. The Astros come back and could be even better this year, as they have a good young talented lineup, balanced with strong starting pitching. This includes Justin Verlander who seemed to be rejuvenated after he was acquired from the Tigers. Jose Altuve may have been the MVP in 2017, but it is Carlos Correa who stirs the drink and is one of the best players in the game at the age of 23. The Astros also added Gerrit Cole. The only thing the Astros need to worry about is complacency and falling into the same trap the Cubs did in 2017 when they had their World Series hangover.
Chicago Cubs 95-67
After winning their first World Series in 108 years, the Chicago Cubs had the ultimate World Series hangover as they slept walk through most of the 2017 season. Despite their sometimes-lethargic play, the Cubs still won the Central Division and went to the NLCS for the third straight season. When the Cubs are at the top of the game, they are the best team in baseball, though the pitching staff is not as strong as it was two years ago. The Cubs lineup meanwhile remains one of the best in baseball. Expect to see Kris Bryant have a big season, as the Cubs remain one of the top teams in the National League.

Milwaukee Brewers 93-69*
Under the radar is where the Milwaukee Brewers like to play, as they came close to swiping a playoff spot in 2017. The Brewers made to quiet moves in the off-season picking up Christian Yelich from the Miami fire sale and signing Lorenzo Cain as a free agent both should help give the Brewers a lineup that is potent top to bottom, with players like Ryan Braun and Eric Thames providing the thunder in the middle. The Brewers pitching may not blow any team away, but it is strong enough to keep them in most games. Expect the Brewers to challenge the Cubs and to come up with at least a Wild Card spot.
Pittsburgh Pirates 67-95
Oh no, we suck again that is the words on the lips of all fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Just a few years ago, they rejuvenated hopes of long-suffering fans in steel town with three straight Wild Card appearances. However, with the departure of Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole, the Pirates are once again looking to rebuild. Do not expect those to be the last of the Pirates big-name departures as Josh Harrison remains firmly on the trading block with the Pirates looking for a cache of prospects as they start from scratch. Look for the Pirates to battle the Reds all season to avoid finishing in last place.  
San Francisco Giants 75-87
Last season was an epic disaster for the San Francisco Giants, who took struggling in odd seasons to new depths, posting the worst record in the National League at 64-98. To rebound the Giants will need to get the most out of their starting pitching with a bullpen that remains a question mark at best. A big key will be a health season out of Madison Bumgarner who missed most of the season last year after a dirt bike accident. The bad news has already begun for San Francisco as Mad Bum broke his hand on a spring training liner and will miss two months. For a team looking to rebound off a bad year, this is the worst news possible.
San Diego Padres 85-77
The San Diego Padres might be the most improved team in the all of MLB. With the signing of Eric Hosmer and the acquisition of Freddy Galvis and Chase Headley, the Padres are putting together a good veteran core to build around the Padres promising prospects. Most experts rank the Padres farm system the best in baseball with players like Cal Quantrill. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias on the verge of getting called up to the majors. While they remain likely, a year away from being true contenders the Padres will win enough games to keep things interesting until the start of September. Now if only they can get some more interesting uniforms.
Los Angeles Dodgers 101-61
After losing the World Series in seven games, the Los Angeles Dodgers come in the season with a set of missions all leading to get that one win they missed last November. A major key for the Dodgers will be to avoid any hangover from last year. Arguably, the best team top to bottom the Dodgers should again approach the century mark in wins. The Dodgers also have the money and the prospects to improve during the season, to add that missing piece. Look for the Dodgers to get a full season out of Clayton Kershaw as he tries to earn another big contract with free agency coming at the end of the year by winning another Cy Young Award.  


Arizona Diamondbacks 87-75
It was a largely successful year for the Arizona Diamondbacks as they captured the Wild Card last season. They got great pitching and terrific hitting all around, as the late-season acquisition of J.D. Martinez was the perfect final piece. However, the Diamondbacks were unable to keep Martinez, also losing their closer Fernando Rodney to free agency. Arizona did land Steven Souza to replace J.D. Martinez, but Arizona has big questions surrounding the bullpen. Despite the losses, Arizona remains set up for a good year as Zach Greinke should again be one of the top starters in the National League, while Paul Goldschmidt remains an MVP candidate to keep the D-Backs in the Wild Card hunt.
Colorado Rockies 81-81
The Colorado Rockies are the ultimate crapshoot in baseball. Everyone knows they will have one of the best offenses in baseball helped by the thin air and spacious outfield of Coors Field. The question is can they pitch well enough to contend? Last year they captured the second Wild Card in the National League, answering affirmatively. However, as the season wore on the Rockies pitching seemed to wear down. A big part of the Rockies was Greg Holland at the back end of the bullpen setting a team record with 41 saves. Holland excised a player option and remains a free agent, as the Rockies moved on to sign Wade Davis who will need to be just as good if not better.
New York Yankees 97-65
Just two years after becoming sellers at the trade deadline, the New York Yankees have emerged as one of the favorites to win the World Series. With a new group of strong prospects led by Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, the Yankees already had a top-notch lineup, add Giancarlo Stanton and it is downright scary. The Yankees starting pitching does have some question marks, but the bullpen is one of the best in baseball with three capable of closers combing to shorten every game.  The Yankees remain loaded with prospects any of who can fetch a big piece at the trade deadline to fill any hole they may have. The only worry has to be can Aaron Boone who has no experience as a coach or manager.

Boston Red Sox 95-67*
Here we go again, the New York Yankees are back to being the Empire and the Boston Red Sox are back to being the nation. Like the Hatfields and McCoys, the Red Sox and Yankees are once again the rivalry in professional sports. Both teams are capable of winning the World Series and both teams will battle all season for the American League East, with the Wild Card as the consolation prize. Do not be shocked if they battle ends up in another classic seven-game war in the ALCS. Where the Yankees have the edge in line up and bullpen the Red Sox edge is with the starting rotation. The biggest key for Boston will be not to burnout Chris Sale again too early.
Baltimore Orioles 69-93
The Baltimore Orioles have hit the iceberg water is pouring in and the passengers are scurrying to find all of the lifeboats before they go down in 2019. The Orioles have a strong lineup that is not as good as the Yankees or Red Sox. Even with Alex Cobb, the pitching staff is mediocre at best. Their top player Manny Machado goes home every night with a present from Aaron Judge one that is pinstriped and looks at himself in the mirror. Expect Machado and Adam Jones to be traded to a contender out of division as the Orioles try to hurt their division rivals before starting from scratch with Buck Showalter being the last off the ship.
Tampa Bay Rays 64-98
The Tampa Bay Rays being their third decade in 2018. The first decade was horrendous as they were bedeviled with 90 or more losses every season. The second decade was terrific as they dropped the Devil and went to the 2008 World Series. However, the Rays could not sustain their success as playing in the worst stadium in baseball, with all the charm of a Costco hurt attendance. With their revenue, limited Tampa could not afford to keep any of their stars, with Evan Longoria, whose arrival sparked the turnaround being the latest. Expect more departures as the Rays return to their first decade feelings of hopelessness, as they will approach 100 losses.
Cleveland Indians 97-65
It was a magical September for the Cleveland Indians as they set an American League record with 22 straight wins. However, that was all erased when the Tribe blew a 2-0 series lead to the New York Yankees in the ALDS. This coming after they let a 3-1 lead slip away in the 2016 World Series. Despite the loss of Carlos Santana, the Indians should have one of the best lineups in the American League. The key remains the starting rotation as Corey Kluber the reigning Cy Young winner needs to forget about a terrible postseason, while the Cleveland bullpen is set up once again with the two-head monster of Andre Miller and Cody Allen.


Detroit Tigers 59-103
This summer a day that fans of the Detroit Tigers have been waiting for finally arrives as Jack Morris and Alan Trammel are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is a great time to celebrate the summer of the "Bless You Boys" team that won the 1984 World Series. These years will not be remembered fondly as they are just starting a rebuilding project after starting to tear the team down last season with the trade of Justin Verlander. The Tigers would like to deal Miguel Cabrera, but his heavy contract hands like an albatross around Comerica Park, as his best days are behind them. The Tigers can only hope brighter days are not too far off.
Chicago White Sox 73-89
The good news for fans on the Southside, is the Chicago White Sox have a strong farm system with several good prospects that can one day make the White Sox a contender. The bad news is they will not have much of an impact in 2018, as the team appears to be employing the Astros model and building slowly and not panicking over a lost season or two. Jose Abreau ripping the cover off the ball might provide some sunshine for an otherwise gloomy situation. However, there is not much to cheer with the rest of the roster, as the White Sox will continue to take their lumps.
Kansas City Royals 74-88
The window has closed for the Kansas City Royals, as the team that won the World Series three years ago has begun to fade away, with the realities of small market baseball coming up to bite them once again. The death of Yordano Ventura was especially hard as he was expected to be their ace for years to come. With Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain taking free agent deals, the Royals are now thinking rebuild. They managed to bring back Mike Moustakas with a one year deal after he was unable to land a long-term deal elsewhere, but chances are that he will be gone before August, fetching some key prospects as they fall out of the playoff race.
Texas Rangers 78-84
There is no doubt that the Texas Rangers can hit with a lineup full of players like Joey Gallo, Rougned Odor, and Elvis Andrus. However, the Rangers pitching staff is a question mark at best. Cole Hamels is the only pitcher who is close to being reliable as the rest of the staff is hope and pray. This includes a bullpen, which was one of the worst in MLB last season. With a new stadium set to open in 2020, the Rangers need to hope they can begin to fill in the gaps when they finally get a stadium with a roof that will provide relief from the unforgiving heat in Arlington.
Seattle Mariners 82-80
Everywhere from Seattle to Tacoma fans are excited about the return of Ichiro Suzuki. While Ichiro is no longer an All-Star, he is still capable of getting clutch hits off the bench. The return fans of the Seattle Mariners really want however is to get back to the playoffs, as they now have the longest drought among the four major sports, not making it since they won 116 games in 2011. The Mariners lineup could be good enough as they added Dee Gordon to be a spark at the top of the order. However, unless Felix Hernandez can find his lost stuff it will be another season of Sleepless in Seattle without the postseason.
Oakland Athletics 70-92
There is one economic truth in baseball if you play in an awful stadium you have no hope of making enough revenue to compete. The Oakland Coliseum turning 52 this year is crumbling around the Athletics who just cannot seem to find the land to build a new ballpark in Northern California. This has caused them to lose every big name player that comes up as they grasp on to the scraps in free agency. This is the recipe for mediocrity. Making matters, worse Oakland their top pitching prospect A.J. Puk will need Tommy John surgery. Expect another forgotten season for the Athletics continue to play We Don't have any Money Ball.
NLDS
ALDS
                                   
Batting Crown

HR Leader 
RBI Leader 
SB Leader
Runs Leader
OPS
Win Leader
ERA Leader 
K Leader  
Surprise Team 

Disappointing Team
Comeback Hitter
Comeback Pitcher 
Breakout Hitter 
Breakout Pitcher 
Disappointing Hitter
Disappointing Pitcher
Best Acquisition
Worst Acquisition

Reliever Award
Rookie of The Year 

Manager of The Year
Hank Aaron Award

Cy Young
MVP
American League
Jose Altuve Astros
Ginacarlo Stanton Yankees
Carlos Correa Astros
Jose Altuve Astros
Aaron Judge Yankees
Mike Trout Angels

Chris Sale Red Sox
Marcus Stroman Blue Jays
Chris Sale Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Minnesota Twins
Jason Kipnis Indians
David Price Red Sox
Rafael Devers Red Sox
Lucas Giolito White Sox
Shohani Ohtani Angels
Shohani Ohtani Angels

Ginacarlo Stanton Yankees
Dee Gordon Mariners
Craig Kimbrel Red Sox
Jorge Mateo Athletics
John Gibbons Blue Jays
Ginacarlo Stanton Yankees
Chris Sale Red Sox
Carlos Correa Astros
Managers to be Fired
Jeff Bannister-Rangers
Kevin Cash-Rays
Clint Hurdle-Pirates
Mike Matheny-Cardinals
Don Mattingly-Marlins
Bob Melvin-Athletics
Scott Servais-Mariners
Buck Showalter-Orioles

 
 
 
2018 World Champions
New York Yankees
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World Series
CENTRAL DIVISION
WESTERN DIVISION
EASTERN DIVISION
CENTRAL DIVISION
WESTERN DIVISION
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NLCS
ALCS
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POSTSEASON
New York Mets 89-73*
There are bad seasons and bad teams; the New York Mets lost 92 games last year as they suffered through a surreal amount of maladies, injuries and misfortune. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong, did go wrong for the Mets in 2017. Enter 2018 and the Mets made a complete overhaul of their coaching staff and training staff. A fresh new take should help the Mets bounce back, as enough baseball people like Mickey Callaway a pitching coach as a manager and Dave Eiland and the new pitching coach, both should get the Mets top-notch rotation back on track, which should be enough to get them back to where they were in 2016 a Wild Card contender..
Toronto Blue Jays 88-74*
After two straight appearances in the ALCS, the Toronto Blue Jays had a disappointing 76-86 record in 2017. The Blue Jays hopes were damaged by a terrible April, with nearly the entire team getting off to a bad start. Don't expect to see the same this year. Look for the Blue Jays to get big seasons from Josh Donaldson on his way to free agency, while Marcus Stroman will make a case for the Cy Young. Look for Curtis Granderson to be a more than suitable replacement for Jose Bautista, who was among the most disappointing players in 2017. The Blue Jays also have some top-level prospects on the way led by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Minnesota Twins 83-79
Last year the Minnesota Twins were the biggest surprise in baseball, as they became the first team to make the playoffs the season after losing 100 games. The Twins of 2016 were not as bad as their record, so they should be able to sustain what they did last year. With players like Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier, and Byron Buxton, Minnesota is piecing together a nice starting lineup. On the mound, the Twins should get a boost from the addition of Lance Lynn to the rotation and veteran closer Fernando Rodney. However, if they want to return to the playoffs the Twins will likely need another piece or two as they still have holes to fill.
Los Angeles Angels 87-75
The Los Angeles Angels made one of the big splash moves of the off-season with the signing of Shohei Ohtani. Nicknamed the Japanese Babe Ruth for his ability to pitch and hit, Ohtani is expected to be the next sensation from the land of the rising sun. However, in Spring Training it was clear he has some catching up to do. The Angels may be better off starting Ohtani in AAA, while he increases his arm strength of a 2017 injury and learns to hit the curveball. Even if Ohtani fails to live up to the hype in 2018, the Angels should be in the Wild Card hunt as Mike Trout again makes a run at the MVP.
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Predicions Made on 4/3/17 at 12:00 PM ET.

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