2018 Baseball Predictions

2018 Baseball Predictions

It’s time for my annual predictions for the upcoming MLB season. Last year I did well, correctly predicting all six division winners, as well as predicting the Astros as the AL Champions. But I completely whiffed on my Wild Card picks, choosing the Mariners, Rays, Mets, and Giants, and I thought the Cubs would repeat as WS Champions. Oops.

As I do every year, I’m using the computer-based PECOTA projections from Baseball Prospectus as a guide. Let’s get started!

Related Podcast Episode 49: My 2018 MBL Predictions

AL East

New York Yankees (92-70)
Boston Red Sox (90-72)
Toronto Blue Jays (78-84)
Baltimore Orioles (76-86)
Tampa Bay Rays (75-87)

PECOTA loves the Yankees this year (picking them for 97 wins), and I can see why – they added the NL MVP to their already-playoff-caliber team. My hatred of the Yankees is so irrational that I simply can’t have them doing as well as PECOTA thinks. My hope is that their longstanding deal with the devil will finally evaporate and they’ll underperform like most teams do from time to time. But I still have them winning the division. Sigh. Ultimately, this is a two-team division.

AL Central

Cleveland Indians (95-67)
Minnesota Twins (87-75)
Kansas City Royals (73-89)
Chicago White Sox (71-91)
Detroit Tigers (65-97)

Last year I picked the Twins to finish in the cellar of this division, and they ended up getting a Wild Card. They won’t sneak up on me this year. This is another two-team division.

AL West

Houston Astros (97-65)
Los Angeles Angels (88-74)
Seattle Mariners (86-76)
Texas Rangers (76-86)
Oakland A’s (66-96)

The AL West is tough to predict. I think the Astros will win it, but other than the A’s, every other team improved this season. But how much?

NL East

Washington Nationals (94-68)
Philadelphia Phillies (84-78)
New York Mets (78-84)
Atlanta Braves (76-82)
Miami Marlins (60-102)

I don’t think I’ve ever predicted a 100-loss team before. But the Marlins worked hard this offseason to achieve that dubious distinction. The Phillies improved this off-season, but nowhere near enough to catch the Nationals. In fact, this year I have the Nationals breaking their playoff curse and going all the way.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs (95-67)
Milwaukee Brewers (88-74)
St. Louis Cardinals (85-77)
Cincinnati Reds (76-86)
Pittsburg Pirates (69-93)

My boldest prediction yet: my beloved Reds won’t be in the cellar this year. Dare to dream, I say.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers (97-65)
Colorado Rockies (85-77)
San Francisco Giants (82-82)
Arizona Diamondbacks (79-83)
San Diego Padres (69-93)

Both the Rockies and Diamondbacks were surprise Wild Card teams last year, but I think the Diamondbacks will regress. The Giants were killed with injuries last year, so I think they’ll bounce back just due to better health.

Playoffs

AL Division Winners: Yankees, Indians, Astros
AL Wild Cards: Red Sox, Angels

NL Division Winners: Nationals, Cubs, Dodgers
NL Wild Cards: Brewers, Rockies

Wild Card Winners: Red Sox, Brewers
ALDS Winners: Indians, Red Sox
NLDS Winners: Nationals, Dodgers

ALCS Winner: Red Sox
NLCS Winner: Nationals

World Series: Nationals over Red Sox, 4 games to 3.


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