Preseason Predictions at the All-Star Break
In the Legends on Deck’s 2019 MLB Predictions post from March 28, I took a swing at predicting the 2019 season. After watching the Home Run Derby and All Star Game early this week, I had time to reflect on my predictions. Here’s my reflection on my preseason predictions and a look ahead to the remainder of the season.
NL East: I picked the Phillies. Currently, the Phillies sit 0.5 games back of the Nationals and 6.5 games behind the Braves. The Phillies started hot, but recently Bryce Harper and their strong lineup have under performed. If I were going to pick an East winner right now, I would say the Braves, but the Nationals or Phillies are not out of the question.
NL Central: I picked the Brewers. The Central is a toss-up division once again and perhaps the most interesting division in MLB. Brewers had a rough June, but sit only 0.5 games behind the Cubs. The Cardinals and Pirates are on their tail. They sent five players to the All Star Game, including possible repeat NL MVP Christian Yelich, who leads MLB with 30 homers. I’ll stick with this pick.
NL West: I picked the Dodgers. They are totally running away with the NL West and currently looks like the best team in baseball. They have a 13.5 game lead on Arizona, so barring total implosion, they should secure the division. Cody Bellinger will challenge Yelich for MVP. Hyun-Jin Ryu is the front runner for the Cy Young. Their goal clear, World Series Champs or bust.
NL Wild Card: I picked the Braves and Cubs. Most teams in the NL (withhold Miami) remains competitive enough to make a Wild Card run. I will stick with all 6 teams I predicted for the postseason (Phillies, Braves, Brewers, Cubs and Dodgers). I will take Phillies as the Wild Card and the Braves as NL East winners.
AL East: I picked the Yankees. I’m sticking with the Bronx Bombers. They’ve got a 6.5 game lead on the Rays and 9 game lead on the Red Sox. They set an MLB home run streak record (31 straight games), mostly without Judge and Stanton.
AL Central: I picked the Indians. The Tribe currently sits 5.5 games behind the Twins, who had an incredible season thus far. The Twins team are tied for MLB lead in hitting (.272) and lead the league in OPS (.833), HRs (166) and RBIs (489). It is possible the Twins have over performed and Indians have under performed. I am sticking with Cleveland.
AL West: I picked the Astros. I am sticking with the Astros, without hesitation. They have a 7.5 game lead on Oakland. They key for Houston will be seeding in the postseason.
AL Wild Card: I picked the Rays and Red Sox. I will stick with these picks, although the AL Central race will have an impact here, as will the A’s and the surprising Rangers.
AL Champs: I picked the Yankees. I think they will load up at the trade deadline and continue their run. The Astros pose the biggest threat.
NL Champs: I picked the Brewers. They just missed the Series last year and they could still do it. They may need to make some moves at the deadline and would benefit from winning the NL Central. Right now, the Dodgers are in the driver seat. The Braves are also in a strong position. It is really the Dodgers to lose and they have done it before.
World Series Champs: I will stick with the Yankees. Seven game series win over the Dodgers.
NL MVP: I picked Christian Yelich. It’s going to come down to Yelich and Cody Bellinger. They’re neck in neck in nearly every statistical category. While Bellinger may get the ad
NL Cy Young: I picked Aaron Nola. He’s having a good season for the Phillies, but as mentioned above, Hyun-Jin Ryu may now be the favorite. Max Scherzer could easily earn another as well.
AL MVP: I picked Aaron Judge. Injuries have disrupted his season, so that will not happen. Mike Trout is the likely winner.
AL Cy Young: I picked Justin Verlander. I will stick with this pick. Arguably, JV should have won Cy Young’s in 2016 and 2018. Since his arrival in Houston he’s been nothing short of dominant.