MLB 2018 Preview: Projecting the American League
Will the Astros overcome the World Series hangover? We preview the American League ahead of the new MLB season.
Any one of four teams could win the American League this season. The Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Box Red Sox got better this offseason, and they were playoff teams in 2017.
The Cleveland Indians had some key losses, but they still look as if they will win the Central — and if they get the right matchups in the postseason, they could very well go to the World Series.
Here is what Omnisport sees going down in the American League this season.
Projecting the American League in 2018
AL East: The Yankees added Giancarlo Stanton, but the Red Sox won the division last season and have brought in J.D. Martinez. Red Sox win it by a couple of games.
AL Central: No explanation needed. The Indians will run away with it.
AL West: The Astros could win the West by more than 10 games again.
Wild cards: The Yankees may not win their division, but they are no doubt getting into the playoffs. The surprise though is the Toronto Blue Jays will get back a healthy Aaron Sanchez and another Cy Young-worthy performance out of Marcus Stroman. It's an all AL East wild-card game.
AL champion: The Indians will knock off the Astros as they very well may have done had they faced them in the ALCS last season.
World Series: The Los Angeles Dodgers will send the Indians home disappointed once again. Los Angeles wins the championship in six games.
MVP: The Jays' Josh Donaldson is in a contract year, in the prime of his career in a hitter's ballpark. He could hit .330 with 45 homers and 140 RBIs.
Cy Young: Chris Sale should have won it last year if he had paced himself better. He will learn this season and take what is rightfully his.
Rookie of the Year: Shohei Ohtani is the popular pick, but if Michael Kopech comes up in April he will be the new favourite to win the award. It depends on how much seasoning the White Sox decide to give him though. By the way, his fastball was clocked at 105 mph in the minors. So when he makes his debut, get to a TV.
Comeback Player of the Year: Rougned Odor may have hit 30 home runs for the Rangers in 2017, but he batted .202 with a .252 OBP. If he just gets back to .260, .340 and plays good defence, he could easily be the favourite to win it.