Top five predictions for 2018
- The Yankees will win the American League East but fall short of the World Series
Yes, Giancarlo Stanton will be in the Bronx and the team is now a favorite by the media to win the division but don’t fool yourself this will not be an easy task. The Yankees were 51-30 at home, 44-32 against the American League East, and 16 games above .500 after the All-Star break. This performance is going to be very challenging to repeat, especially how the Rays and Blue Jays dominate the Bombers on their home turf.
On the bright side, the team went 15-5 against a weak National League Central following an unusual losing record in interleague play in 2016, was 18-26 in one run contests, 5-6 in extra-inning games, and 20-9 in September.
This year, New York will face a very weak NL East, so it’s crucial to take advantage of interleague play. Expect the 2018 Yankees to be much, much better in close games and extras. The bullpen is the best in baseball, and we will have better clutch hitting with our additions this offseason. Last but not least – the team finished on fire the previous month and a half of the season so look for that to carry over to a hot start.
Overall, the team should win the division but once again fall short of the World Series. Houston will be dominant still, the same with Cleveland, but you also never know about Seattle and the Los Angeles Angels as well. As it stands, Cleveland’s pitching and Houston’s depth make them the favorites.
- Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will combine for 100+ home runs
According to the Steamer projections, Judge (37) and Stanton (55) will combine for 92 home runs. This seems low given that Judge and Stanton both will have more protection in the lineup, thus giving them more pitches to hit.
- Gleyber Torres will be the American League Rookie of the Year
Write it down in bold and ink, Torres is going to be selected to multiple All-Star games in his career. He is going to start at second base for the Yankees, and that begins this year. This kid is for real, and he will prove me right by being the second consecutive Yankee to be named as the AL ROY.
- Greg Bird will have an impactful, healthy season
Bird could very well be the American League Comeback Player of the Year this season. Expect the first basemen to play in 130+ games finally and have over 550 plate appearances. He is going to hit for average, some power, and play stellar defense.
- Gary Sanchez will improve his defense, and finish the season with a 5+ WAR
Sanchez has been incredible, and somewhat underrated in his short career. No catcher has produced similar power numbers as the Dominican Republic native has. He has received a fair share of criticism for his defense, that will stop under Aaron Boone’s tutelage this season. Look for Gary to be named to his second consecutive All-Star team, and the slugger to be a force at and behind the plate in 2018.