Spring is just around the corner and with that means we are inching closer to Opening Day. The 2019 MLB regular-season will officially kickoff on Thursday, March 28, which is the earliest start date in league history (not including international openers).
Typically we would make our predictions a lot earlier in the offseason, but there were just too many elite free agents that hadn’t signed with teams to make realistic projections. While there are still a lot of really good players still on the market, the two big guys are off the board with Manny Machado signing with San Diego and Bryce Harper joining the Phillies.
I’ve taken a close look at the projected rosters for every team and put together my projected win/loss records, which you are more than welcome to use for some expert advice on your 2019 MLB win totals. We will also be taking a closer look at the MVP betting odds, as well as the odds to win the Cy Young.
You can also check out the updated odds to win the World Series to get an idea of the oddsmakers power rankings going into the season.
I try my best to be as accurate as I can with these season predictions, but it’s a lot tougher than people think. My primary focus is on beating the daily MLB betting lines and providing my long-term clients as much profit as possible.
For those of you who are new to betting on the MLB, be sure to check out my MLB handicapping guide.
2019 Baseball Projected Win/Loss Records & Division Standings
Most are going to just pencil in the Red Sox to defend their AL East title, but my money is on the Yankees to finish on top. Nothing against Boston, as they will be absolutely loaded once again, but it’s not easy defending a title and New York is every bit as talented as their hated rivals.
Not only do the Yankees have a ton of promising young prospects in the field, they only got 112 games out of Aaron Judge last year and Giancarlo Stanton was no where close to his MVP season the year before. I think both of those guys rebound, as does Gary Sanchez, who had an atrocious .186 batting average. I also really like the rotation now that they added in James Paxton, who joins Luis Severino, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and C.C. Sabathia.
Just how good are Boston and New York? I got the Rays finishing 3rd in the division at 86-76 and making the playoffs as the final Wild Card, just ahead of the Twins and A’s. A lot of people forget how good Tampa Bay was last year. The Rays quietly won 90 games (didn’t make the playoffs) and look every bit as strong going into 2019.
No surprise that I got the Orioles picked to finish in the basement, but I do think Baltimore will be more competitive than they were a year ago. I got them improving by 11-games. While I have the Blue Jays a full 7-games ahead of the Orioles in my projections, it wouldn’t shock me at all if Toronto was a major disappointment.
No surprise here with Cleveland picked to win the AL Central, but I will say that I’m not as confident with the Tribe winning the division as I have been in years past. The Indians still have their dynamic duo in Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, as well as ace Corey Kluber, but they lost the anchors of their bullpen in Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. They also parted ways with Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion.
The fortunate thing for Cleveland is the play in arguably the worst division in baseball. However, I am big on the Twins rebounding after a bit of a down year in 2018. A lot of people forget this team won 85 games two seasons ago. They added in some legit power to the lineup with C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz. If the rotation can hold up and someone like Byron Buxton or Max Kepler takes that next step, this team can overtake the Indians.
As for the other teams, the Tigers, White Sox and Royals, I really don’t see a whole lot that separates these three. There’s some sneaky upside with Chicago, which is why I ranked them slightly ahead of the other two, but I just don’t trust that White Sox rotation enough to make them a contender.
No way am I picking anyone other than the Astros to win the AL West. Houston is coming off back-to-back 100+ win seasons, which includes a World Series title in 2017. The offseason losses were minimal and there’s more young stars poised to breakthrough, such as outfielder Kyle Tucker and starter Josh James. Oh and they added Brantley from the Indians to sure-up the outfield. I see another 100-wins on the horizon, as this is once again one of the best teams in the league.
You just never know with the A’s, which is why I was a bit hesitant to pick Oakland to repeat as runner-ups in the division. As you can see, I slotted in the No. 2 spot, but have them regressing quite a bit from their 97-win campaign in 2018. The Angels are a team that you just can’t count out with Mike Trout, but having the best player in the game simply doesn’t guarantee success. This team has proven that time and time again.
Maybe the biggest surprise is I got the Rangers picked ahead of the Mariners. I think both are non-factors, but Seattle is one of those teams that could be headed for a full on rebuild. The losses of Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and James Paxton will be tough to overcome.
Much like the AL East, the NL East looks to be loaded at the top. Last year the Atlanta Braves came out of nowhere to win the division, as just about everyone had the Nationals pegged to take home the crown.
I could be dead wrong, but I think Atlanta’s rise to the top was a bit of a fluke and we are going to see the Braves regress just a little. My pick to win the division has to be the Phillies after they landed Bryce Harper. They also brought in stud catcher J.T. Realmuto, as well as veterans Jean Segura and Andrew McCutchen. Even more important, is they have the starting rotation to take them all the way.
As for the Nationals, I don’t think all is lost after losing Harper. Washington has as good a 1-2-3 punch at the top of their starting rotation as you will find in Max Scherzer, Patrick Corbin and Stephen Strasburg. The offense might not be as potent, but it should be able to score enough to not only compete in the division, but also for one of the two Wild Card spots.
The Mets are once again one of the biggest Wild Cards in the league. New York could send out a starting five of deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, Matz and Vargas, but there’s just too many question marks for me to pick them ahead of any of the top three.
The one thing I am sure about is the Marlins finishing last. I think this team played inspired last year with everyone talking about how bad they are going to be. I think they could easily rival the Orioles 47-win campaign from a year ago.
This has to be the toughest division from top to bottom. You have three teams at the top in the Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers, who are all more than capable of winning the whole thing.
As much as I like what the Cardinals have done, I think the safest bet to be there in September is the Cubs and that’s why I got them on top. A lot of people forget that Chicago was the second best team in the NL last year with 95-wins. They just so happened to finish 1-game back of Milwaukee and lost to the Rockies in the play-in game. The lineup for the Cubs is as good as any and the starting rotation is better than people think, especially if Yu Darvish makes more than 8 starts.
As for St. Louis, they are definitely talented enough to overtake the Cubs. Not only did they land one of the best hitters in the game in Paul Goldschmidt, they added one of the best relievers in the game in Andrew Miller.
I got nothing against the Brewers, who are every bit good enough to repeat as division champs, I just don’t trust that starting rotation enough to pick them ahead of Chicago or St. Louis.
All the talk will be about the top 3, but the Pirates and Reds are not going to be pushovers. Don’t be surprised if Pittsburgh doesn’t make this a 4-way race. Pirates have the pitching and the offense is vastly underrated.
I really wanted to pick the Rockies to win the division, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I have to take the Dodgers. Los Angeles has figured out a way to win each of the last 6 division titles. All 6 times winning at least 90 games. My big concern with LA is the health of Clayton Kershaw. While still one of the more talented teams from top to bottom, they are not the same threat without their future Hall of Fame ace in top form.
Colorado is a really scary team. We know the Rockies are going to score runs with a lineup centered around Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, but they got the pitching to back it up. The starting five of Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Tyler Anderson, Jon Gray and Antonio Senzatela is as good as I can remember for this team. If these guys perform up to expectations, this race figures to go right down to the wire.
I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the bottom 3 teams in the league. I a mere 3-games separating the Giants, Diamondbacks and Padres. All have some nice pieces, but their rosters as a whole leave a lot to be desired. I know the Padres added Machado and there’s no question that makes them a better team, but he’s just one guy. More than anything, I’m not sold on San Diego’s starting rotation. The Padres allowed 767 runs last year. Only the Marlins and Reds allowed more.
MLB Postseason Predictions: Playoff Projections & World Series Winner
|Rays (5)||at||Red Sox (4)|
|Indians (3)||vs||Astros (2)|
|Red Sox||vs||Yankees (1)|
|Dodgers (3)||vs||Cubs (2)|
|WORLD SERIES WINNER|