Major League Baseball 2019: A Look Ahead

The following is a guest post by Becca Mayer.

It promises to be another rollercoaster year for Major League Baseball. 2018 saw underdogs come close to glory only to be thwarted by the favorites at the playoff stage. The reigning World Series champion Boston Red Sox are certain to have their work cut out by the other AL teams, and the LA Dodgers are hoping to emulate their NL run again despite a resurgent opposition this year, as professional baseball turns 150 years old.

American League

The New York Yankees will have something to say about the rise of the Red Sox and will be gunning to take their place at the top step of the AL podium. Their bullpen has depth and serious talent, so don’t be surprised to see them fend off challenges from Tampa Bay and Boston and take the loaded East division. The Red Sox may regret not building more over the winter, but shouldn’t be disappointed with a wild card to the postseason.

The Houston Astros are primed for another strong season and the predictions are favorable for the team to comfortably see off the LA Angels and Oakland Athletics out West, even though both had good results in 2018.

Cleveland Indians look set to dominate in the AL Central division, but seem too vulnerable to mount a serious challenge for the league title with holes in the outfield and at catcher.

AL players to watch:

Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox), Collin McHugh (Houston Astros), Luis Severino (New York Yankees)

National League

The Dodgers will be gunning to win the NL West for the seventh straight year, as well as their third straight National League pennant. They can expect no quarter from their opponents though, and should brace themselves to be pushed the whole way by the Colorado Rockies, who are themselves looking for a third consecutive postseason appearance. Keep an eye on a resurgent San Diego Padres as well - this may not be their season but they are pushing for progress towards 2020.

The NL Central should see the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals go toe to toe, with the Milwaukee Brewers hanging on their coat tails. If the Brewers can pitch outside themselves, they stand an outside chance of back- to-back postseason berths.

In the East, it’s a three-way shootout between the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals. The Braves are a youthful squad and were amazing in claiming the 2018 NL East title. However, a weak winter without adding anything to the bullpen won’t help them. The Nationals look much stronger than they did last year despite losing Bryce Harper in free-agency to the division rival Phillies.

NL players to watch:

Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers), Josh Hader (Milwaukee Brewers), Willson Contreras (Chicago Cubs)

Now that teams have made their offseason adjustments, another thrilling season of Major League Baseball is underway from now until October. Can the Red Sox maintain their winning run and beat the Yankees to the top of the AL? Can they win another World Series title? Or will the challengers from out west, the Dodgers, finally realize their potential and convert a National League title into a World Series win?

Stay tuned to find out if your predictions are right!

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