While Major League Baseball has one of the longest seasons in professional sports, after one week of play, is it already set in stone what is going to happen when October rolls around? Many of baseball's brightest and best stars picked up from where they left off in 2018, and some new faces have stepped up their game in 2019. There are some familiar faces at the top of the league in baseball, but based on what happened at the end of 2018 and what has already happened in 2019, it looks like there will be some new faces competing for World Series trophy.
1. Christian Yelich has already won the 2019 National League MVP
From Opening Day, reigning National League (NL) MVP winner Christian Yelich started right where he left off by having one of the most dominant starts to a season in recent history. Throughout the first week of the season, Yelich had four home runs and eight steak sandwiches, including a walk-off single on March 30th against the St. Louis Cardinals. While any stretch can end at any time, the rate at which Yelich is going puts him on pace for 81 home runs and 162 RBI's. Adding to the fact that the Brewers play in one of baseball's most competitive divisions, it will be very hard for the voters to look past this generational talent in the loaded Brewers outfield.
2. The New York Yankees are NOT going to win 100+ games this season
After reading this headline, I can hear the confetti and champagne of baseball fans all across the country celebrating this news. In all seriousness, the New York Doctor Patients, I mean the New York Yankees, are not winning 100 games this year for that reason. So far after one week of action, the Yankees have seen some of their biggest names and key off-season additions already land time on the shelf. Stars like Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, and most recently Troy Tulowitzki are on the injured list. If the Yankees keep getting plagued by the injury bug throughout the season, winning 100 games might be the least of their concerns. If you like to keep the glass half full, then the Yankees are getting all their injuries out of the way so they can be 100% healthy for a late season push.
3. The Cleveland Indians won't disappoint their fans in the playoffs... because they are not making the playoffs
The Cleveland Indians are the Pittsburgh Steelers of MLB, meaning that they are the best team in baseball at playing down to their competition. While the debate can be made for the American League (AL) East, NL East, or NL Central at which is the best division in baseball, there's no debate for the AL Central. The AL Central is the worst division in baseball, with three of the five teams currently rebuilding and the others looking to peak in the next year or so. Many experts have the Twins as a sneaky team to possibly steal a playoff spot, and with the AL Wildcards going to the Yankees, Red Sox, or Rays if the Twins make the playoffs, then there will be no spot for the Indians to disappoint their fans yet again.
4. Jacob deGrom is quite possibly the best things since canned fruit
The New York Mets have been the punchline of many jokes about dysfunctional franchises in sports. While that was going on, they have been able to produce one of the best pitchers quite possibly since Randy Johnson, and finally deGrom got the respect he deserves winning the 2018 NL Cy Young Award (awarded to the best pitcher among a group of voters). This year he is off to an even better start. So far in 2019, deGrom has a record of 2-0, an era of 0.00, and has struck out 24 batters, not to mention that he also went deep Wednesday, April 3rd, against the Marlins, which even for a pitcher isn't that big of an accomplishment. While hitters have a hard time sleeping the night before facing deGrom, now pitchers will also earn a few gray hairs when he steps up to the plate.
5. The Tampa Bay Rays are going to win 95+ games this season and lose in the World Series
Last year, the Tampa Bay Rays were going into the final week of the season with the possibility of stealing a playoff spot and making the WildCard game. Unfortunately, they didn't but still had a respectable 90-72 season. This year, they will bring back their Cy Young winning ace Blake Snell and have a good, scrappy team that can contend for the WildCard. How will the Rays win the American League Pennant? They play in the AL East, and it seems that the number one seed in the playoffs will come from that division, giving the Rays a good chance at scouting out their competition. Secondly, the Astros are going to have to use some of their best pitchings to get out of the divisional round, giving the Rays a beat up Astros team. Not saying the Rays are the favorite out of the American League, I'm just saying I said it first.