OPENING DAY! Welcome in ball boys and ball girls! Welcome to the first of my division predictions; we just started the season, and I gave my first playoff prediction for the AL. These predictions will come out monthly, around the beginning of the month for the rest of the season. So please sit back, relax, grab a drink(soda, water, a beer you choose), and let's enjoy the season.
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Let's start with my FINAL division standings before the season starts.
Division Standings: AL East
Tampa Bay Rays: 94-68(3)
Toronto Blue Jays: 90-72
NY. Yankees: 88-74
Boston Red Sox: 80-82
Baltimore Orioles: 60-102
Division Standings: AL West
Oak. Athletics: 94-68(2)
LA Angels: 91-71(5)
Sea. Mariners: 88-74
Hou. Astros: 85-77
Tex. Rangers- 60-102
Division Standings: AL Central
Chicago White Sox: 95-67(1)
Minnesota Twins: 92-70(4)
Cleveland Indians: 85-77
Kansas City Royals: 70-92
Detroit Tigers: 61-101
The biggest upset is the Blue Jays missing out by one game to the Angels in the AL West. These will change as we go month to month based on what I see, injuries, and how that could affect my predictions on who makes it and their position in the finals standings.
The Wildcard is going to be a 1-game play-in, as we have seen traditionally. We would see the Twins(Kenta Maeda) v. Angels(Dylan Bundy). I could say that the Angels have the edge in this series because of one player. That player is the GOAT, Mike Trout. You put Trout in the playoffs for the first time since 2014; he will ball out and bring the hammer down! Maeda will be incredibly tough as I think he could and will be a Cy Young contender, but the offense and how clutch Trout can be. You give the edge to the GOAT, just like you never count out TB12.
-In round two, we will see the 1-seed vs. the wildcard winner. This series would feature the Chicago White Sox v the LA Angels. I feel the matchup pitching-wise would have to the White Sox when it comes to starters. The offenses would be extremely even up and down the board. I would give the edge in this series to the White Sox because of the rotation and Hendricks locking down tight games, and his familiarity with the Angels. I got the White Sox winning 3-1
-The second matchup in the ALDS will see the 2-seed Oakland Athletics vs. the 3-seed Tampa Bay Rays. We see the OG money ball system vs. the current data-driven money ball system. The rotations neither scare me too much, and I think it's an even series that will go to five games because both teams will get scrappy. I do, however, give game five to the Athletics because of how good their bullpen is. I also think the A's have a better defense that will give them no mistakes while fielding. The Athletics win 3-2.
The ALCS is a best of seven. We will see the Chicago White Sox v. the Oakland A's. Let's break this matchup down a little bit more:
Rotation- Advantage White Sox
Bull Pen- Advantage Athletics
Defense- Advantage Athletics
Outfielders- Advantage White Sox
Infielders- Advantage: TIED
Difference Makers: C Sean Murphy and C Yasmani Grandal are both starting the season with injuries. If either of those lingers, it will result in some early season losses that could completely change their positions in the final standings.
I got to give the overall edge and the series to the Chicago White Sox in 6games. I think the rotation edge can and will be the difference and the expected uptick in production from OF Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez. I got to give the AL to the White Sox in six over the Athletics.
Thanks for reading today, I am so grateful for your time reading, and I hope you enjoyed my first Playoff Prediction. I also want to thank my partners over at Repp Sports for RAZE Energy. Thanks to this clean and sufficient energy, I can have the intense focus to deliver content to you guys consistently. Click here to save 15% right now with the code "BALL BOY" at check out.