I am late to post my annual picks and predictions this year. Most teams have already played 4 games. The Orioles took two of three from the Yankees! The Red Sox’s starters looked hapless in Seattle. The new look Phillies swept the Braves. Interesting stuff all over the league, but none of it affected how I expect the season to end, which is as follows:

Playoff Picks

Here are the 10 teams I think will make the playoffs, the league champions, and the world series winner:

East Central West Wild Card 1 Wild Card 2 League Champions World Series Champion
AL Red Sox Cleveland Astros Yankees Rays Astros Astros
NL Nationals Cubs Dodgers Cardinals Braves Dodgers

The Yankees-Red Sox race in the American League East should be thrilling again. The Yankees offense is terrifying and so is their bullpen, but I don’t think they have the starting pitching depth to beat the Red Sox for the division crown. I don’t expect things to be close in the other American League divisions.

The National League has the two most interesting divisions in the game this year. The races in the East and Central should be fascinating. Other than the Marlins, all of the teams in these two divisions are trying to win. I took my stab at predicting the final order, but I would not be too surprised by any ordering of the non-Marlins teams in the East, nor how the Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers align in the top three spots of the Central.

Award Picks

I have never fared well in picking the winners of the major awards. Here goes another shot:

American League

Award My Pick
Most Valuable Player Mike Trout (OF, Angels)
Cy Young Gerrit Cole (SP, Astros)
Rookie of the Year Eloy Jimenez (OF, White Sox)
Manager of the Year Kevin Cash (Rays)

National League

Award My Pick
Most Valuable Player Ronald Acuña Jr. (OF, Braves)
Cy Young Max Scherzer (SP, Nationals)
Rookie of the Year Victor Robles (OF, Nationals)
Manager of the Year Dave Martinez (Nationals)

As always, I am excited that baseball is back and will revisit these predictions after the season.