New York Yankees (30-17)
Considering that the Yankees could field a team of injured players, 30-18 is pretty good when you’re missing a lot of key players. Having the entire starting outfield on the IL isn’t always good. Especially when 2 of the 3 are superstars, Sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are the Bronx Bombers the Yankees need to make a run at the title. But having these young players step up is a good sign of the future.
Key Player: James Paxton (SP)
Acquired in the offseason for 3 prospects, Paxton is looking to prove that he is the piece the Yankees need for a World Series ring. In 7 starts this year, he has an ERA of 3.11 with 52 K’s through 37.2 innings of work. If they want to make a deep run in the postseason, he needs to settle in and make hitters miss.
Injuries: Miguel Andujar (3B), Dellin Betances (RP), Greg Bird (1B), Jacoby Ellsbury (OF), Didi Gregorius (SS), Aaron Judge (OF), Jordan Montgomery (SP/RP), James Paxton (SP), Luis Severino (SP), Giancarlo Stanton (OF), Troy Tulowitzki (SS)
The injury bug found the Yankees this year. With all of this talent on the IL, the Yankees have a lot to look forward too later in the season. Considering that they are 8 games above .500, when healthy this team can easily win the World Series. It’s just a matter if they all return to their former selves and play like they never were hurt.
Tampa Bay Rays (27-18)
With one of the best rotations in the Majors right now, Tampa is looking to prove that they aren’t just a hot April team. With a good 1-2-3 punch in Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow, and Charlie Morton. One more above average pitcher will elevate this team and take them over the top. But with Glasnow out, Snell and Morton will have to step up in his absence. They may be able to pitch well but hitting is what’s going to make or break this team.
Key Players: Infielders
The outfield is solid and the Pitching rotation is one of the best in the league. But what about the infield? With everyone in the infield being younger than 30 years old, they have no veteran leadership to show them the way. They’ll have to figure out how to play with one another and learn lessons as they go.
Injuries: Matt Duffy (3B), Tyler Glasnow (SP), Joey Wendle (2B)
Duffy and Wendle are players who are needed to be healthy in order for the team to be complete. Hitting is the weakness of the team and getting them back can be a boost to the lineup. One of the best starters so far this year just got hurt and it’s not looking good for the Rays. With Glasnow sidelined, other starters will have to step up in his absence.
Boston Red Sox (25-23)
The defending World Series Champions haven’t had the best start to the year, but there’s a lot of baseball left to be played. Loaded with talent, don’t expect the Red Sox to fade away while others keep winning. With possibly the best outfield in baseball, these boys can hit lots of bombs to produce runs. Losing closer Craig Kimbrel has shown significantly for the bullpen as that’s there weakest part on the team. Kimbrel’s still a free agent and if the Red Sox want to improve there team, signing Kimbrel would be the move to do.
Key Players: Mookie Betts (OF) and JD Martinez (OF)
The duo of Betts and Martinez back to back gives pitchers nightmares on the mound as they don’t want to face either. The two hit a total of 75 home runs last year as they look to top that this year. If each of them hit around .320 this year, the team will just be fine throughout the year.
Injuries: Nathan Eovaldi (SP), Brock Holt (Utility), Dustin Pedroia (2B)
With these guys slated to come back before the end of May, the Red Sox have nothing to worry about. Eovaldi is the one to be worried about. I’m not sold on him having dominating performances after surgery on his right elbow, his pitching arm.
Toronto Blue Jays (20-28)
A team that has made the playoffs twice in the last 25 years isn’t going to make it 3 trips in 26 years this year. In the next few years, the Blue Jays can contend for an AL East title with lots of young prospects. Vlad Jr. already up is going to be pivotal for the Blue Jays just on how well he can perform at the big league level.
Key Player: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (3B)
Even with the Blue Jays not going to compete this year, the long-awaited arrival of Vlad Jr. is here. So far, he’s 18 for 73 at the plate this year, a .247 batting average. Not the numbers you’d expect from the number 1 prospect in baseball. He’s heating up now, give him some time and he will be a legitimate candidate for Rookie of the Year.
Injuries: Matt Shoemaker (SP) and Devon Travis (2B)
Shoemaker was dominating on the mound this year but unfortunately tore his ACL. This year in 5 starts, Shoemaker will finish with an ERA of 1.57 with 28.2 IP and 3 wins under his name as well. He and other starters Marcus Stroman showed some hope for the Blue Jays this year, but with him out they have a slim chance of making the playoffs.
Baltimore Orioles (15-33)
The Orioles might well end up being the worst team in baseball in 2019. Letting all of there talent from 2018’s team walk in free agency and trading players away was a sign that they are rebuilding for the next few years. Expect the Orioles to win around 50-60 games this year.
Key Player: Trey Mancini (OF)
Being the only bright spot of the Orioles this year, Mancini has been tearing it up so far. With a .309 batting average, Mancini is looking to continue his hot start throughout the whole year. To win more than 50 games this year, the Orioles will need Mancini to produce day in and day out.
Injuries: Alex Cobb (SP), Nate Karns (SP), Mark Trumbo (OF)
Losing two starting pitchers to injury at the beginning of the year isn’t a good way to start the year. Already being one of the worst teams in baseball, the Orioles couldn’t afford to lose anyone. Especially Mark Trumbo, being a great hitter in the middle of the lineup, missing his bat is going to hurt until he fully recovers from knee surgery he had in 2018.
New York Yankees (101-61)
Tampa Bay Rays (99-63)
Boston Red Sox (95-67)
Toronto Blue Jays (77-85)
Baltimore Orioles (62-100)
The Yankees will prevail from the AL East but just barely squeak past both the Rays and Red Sox. All 3 of these teams will make it to the postseason with records well above .500.