New York Yankees
Following a 100-win season that only earned them a second-place complete in the American League East, the New York Yankees did everything they had to in the offseason.
By re-signing J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia and trading to get James Paxton, the Yankees improved a starting rotation that posted a 4.05 ERA this past year. With Zack Britton back for longer and Adam Ottavino new to the combination, what was arguably the best bullpen ever looks even better for 2019.
The crime produced a single-season-record 267 homers this past year. Back in 2019, it should get more from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, and of course fellow slugger Gary Sanchez.
Another 100-win season and a return to October are very much in the cards for these Yankees.
Playoff opportunities: 90 percent
Boston Red Sox
The 2018 Boston Red Sox won 108 games plus the World Series with shocking ease.
Some of that was luck, however, and the Red Sox have not defended against regression as well as their rivals in the Bronx. They brought back Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce, sure, but their Joe Kelly-less and Craig Kimbrel-less bullpen looms as a massive weakness.
On the other hand, Eovaldi, Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello anchor among MLB’s greatest rotations. Likewise, reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez are back to direct what was the league’s best offense last season.
Even if the Red Sox do regress in 2019, it should not be so bad that they miss the postseason entirely.
Playoff chances: 80 percent
Tampa Bay Rays
Last year’s Tampa Bay Rays surprisingly won 90 games by all manners.
Their most innovative trick was to effectively strip their pitchers of labels and just use their abilities strategically. This led to a 3.50 ERA after May 18. Directed by reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and newcomer Charlie Morton, they have the products to keep this up in 2019.
The Rays also had a strong offense in the second half of 2018. New to the mix for 2019 are Mike Zunino and Avisail Garcia, both of whom have All-Star upside. Despite these words, the Rays look like the third-best group in the AL East. They might only have a shot in the AL’s second wild-card place, and they will face competition for it from outside the division.
Playoff opportunities: 40 percent
Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays have dropped 175 games because 2017, yet ahead progress needs to be produced in 2019.
It will not be long until Toronto boosts Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette from the No. 3 farm system. If Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar, Ken Giles and others live up to their recognized upsides, the Blue Jays may have a surprise playoff run inside them.
What’s more probable, however, is that the Jays will lag from the AL East forces and cut their losses with a fire sale in the trade deadline. The final result will be yet another losing season.
Playoff chances: 5 percent
The Baltimore Orioles dropped 115 games last season, which was despite having Manny Machado for half of it.
The Orioles concentrated their offseason on restructuring their leadership. Though this needed to be done and it must pay off in the long run, the drawback in the meantime is the roster doesn’t look better than it did at the end of 2018.
Frankly, it’s best not to give hope where there is none.
Playoff chances: 0 percent
Read more: https://conservativewatchnews.org/nfl