MLB Season Preview: Phillies and Yankees poised for a big 2019

The Los Angeles Dodgers greet each other on the third baseline during team introductions on March 28, 2019. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

By: Jake Carrera | Sports Writer

March 29, 2019

With game 1 of 162 officially in the books, the 2019 MLB season has officially begun. After a long winter packed with trades, free agency signings, and major contract extensions, all 30 clubs are ready for the 2019 campaign. We’re looking forward to another great year of baseball as every team across the nation (and Canada) are hungry for that World Series title.

We saw plenty of re-shuffling this off-season, with the biggest team additions being the Phillies $315 million contract to Bryce Harper as well as Manny Machado’s $300 million Padres contract. This all of course was upset when the Angels decided to lock down Mike Trout with a 12 year $430 million extension– leaving Bryce Harper (a potential future team mate in Philly) and the baseball world stunned.

Senior Angels fan Kyle Stevens was thrilled with the news that broke just last week stating, “I didn’t think Trout was going to stay on the team once his contract was up considering he hasn’t had any luck getting a ring with the Angels. I assumed he was going to join Bryce over in Philly.” Among these record breaking deals, we saw a great number of significant moves. However, none were of the script flipping variety. The Dodgers signed veteran reliever and World Series menace Joe Kelly this winter all while the Phillies padded their now deep outfield with Andrew McCutchen. Jacob DeGrom has also been put away as a Met signing a five year $137.5 million extension.

Since it only is opening weekend, it is still very hard to say where the chips will fall come October 2019; but with prior knowledge and an understanding of each teams depth, it isn’t too tough trying to figure out who will be sitting on top by the time the post season rolls around. There is still a lot of baseball to be played, but right now it is easy to see how things will take shape.

The National League is still inferior to the American League, and that is just a simple fact. A lot of the teams in the NL are at the tail end of their re-building phases while many are still in the thick of it. The only teams truly ready to compete in the Fall Classic as of right now are the Dodgers and barely the Phillies. Los Angeles undoubtedly has the greatest lineup in the NL going into the season. However, their pitching is a little shaky, but with young arms such as Julio Urias and Walker Buehler there is no need to panic even with Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill starting the year on the disabled list. As for the Phillies, their new $315 million super star should put them over the edge enough to beat out the Atlanta Braves, but their pitching is what’s going to most hurt them.  There is definitely room for a couple sleeper teams to make a run for the pennant, but as for right now the competition in the NL is not looking very stiff all while the AL is the literal opposite.

The reigning champion Boston Red Sox definitely have their work cut out for them on their journey to defend their title this season. The American League boasts unlimited firepower and competition which should strike fear not only into the eyes of the National League but also towards each other. Right now, the AL pennant goes through Boston, but if you ask the Astros, Yankees, or Indians, they’ll tell you how much they really don’t care. The Astros had a slight hiccup last October and fell just short to the Red Sox in the ALCS and are coming into this season with the intent to solidify a dynasty. Their team is just as good if not better than they were in 2017 when they won it all, and this year their goal is the same: to go back and win a World Series. This is of course is if the Yankees don’t have anything to say about it. Right now the Yankees cannot physically fit another powerful home run hitter into their line up even if they tried. These 2019 Yankees have matured a lot as a team since coming together these past couple of seasons, and you can bet anything that they’re hungry. Stanton, Judge, Sanchez, and the rest of the Bronx Bombers are ready for action: and they currently fear absolutely nobody. Not even the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. The Sox are essentially the same team as last year which means they will more than be able to compete however it will all just fall on complacency and the infamous “World Series hangover” that plagues so many victors in the early months of the new season.

As of right now, it is anybody’s game. Even though we can already tell who is gonna have a good year or not purely based off of numbers alone (sorry Orioles), we still have no idea how the season will turn out. One of the greatest things about baseball is that no matter how hot a team seems, the season is so long that anything can really happen.

Right now, there are still 161 more games to be played and here is how are some predictions for the regular season:

AL West

  1. Houston Astros
  2. Seattle Mariners
  3. Los Angeles Angels
  4. Oakland Athletics
  5. Texas Rangers

AL Central

  1. Cleveland Indians
  2. Chicago White Sox
  3. Minnesota Twins
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Detroit Tigers

AL East

  1. New York Yankees
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. Tampa Bay Rays
  4. Toronto Blue Jays
  5. Baltimore Orioles

NL West

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Colorado Rockies
  3. San Diego Padres
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks
  5. San Francisco Giants

NL Central

  1. Milwaukee Brewers
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Chicago Cubs
  4. Cincinnati Reds
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates

NL East

  1. Philadelphia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. Washington Nationals
  4. New York Mets
  5. Miami Marlins

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