By: Chandler Ragsdale
AL Division Champs
Opening Day is getting closer! We’re only THREE WEEKS AWAY. As the excitement grows, here are my predictions for who will win the AL divisions this season…
AL EAST- BOSTON RED SOX
The AL East is looking like it will pretty much be a two horse race this season between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees made a big splash in the offseason by signing Giancarlo Stanton, but the Red Sox recently countered by signing J.D. Martinez. The Yankees may have a slightly better lineup at this point, but I think that the Red Sox have a better pitching staff. In a potential 3-game series, you would be looking at Chris Sale vs. Luis Severino, David Price vs. Masahiro Tanaka, and Drew Pomeranz vs. Sonny Gray. The 3rd matchup to me is what separates the pitching staffs from one another. Sonny Gray didn’t perform well in New York last season, and Drew Pomeranz had a great season. Also with the bullpens, I give the edge in the closer position to the Red Sox (Craig Kimbrel over Aroldis Chapman, mlb.com). Overall, I believe that good pitching can beat good hitting, so by the 2018 postseason, I say that the Red Sox will have the AL East title for a 3rd year in a row.
AL CENTRAL- CLEVELAND INDIANS
The Minnesota Twins had a successful 2017, but when it came to their division, they could never truly compete with the Indians for the AL Central title. Until the Twins can prove to me that they can consistently beat the Indians, I cannot bet against Cleveland. The Indians have a complete team on paper once again this season, and they are managed by a seasoned veteran in Terry Francona. I see the Indians taking the AL Central yet again in 2018.
AL WEST- HOUSTON ASTROS
ThPhoto: Rick Scuteri, USA TODAY Sports)e defending World Series champs look poised to make another run at a World Series title in 2018. The AL West is one of the weaker divisions in baseball right now apart from the Astros, so I don’t think that they’ll be much of a debate here. The Mariners can catch some momentum with Ichiro Suzuki back in their lineup, and the Angels may be better than we expect with Shohei Ohtani now as a part of their team and with Mike Trout continuing to be Mike Trout, but I don’t think that this will be enough for either team to take the AL West back from the Astros in 2018 (mlb.com).