March 28th, 2019 cannot come soon enough. Now that we’re in the single digits of the countdown, we figured it was a great time to bring you the BarnBurner’s 2019 MLB Projections. The dust of free agency has mostly settled (I can’t believe I’m even typing that we’re still waiting on a team to sign Kimbrel) and a professional baseball player won the lottery. Oh, wait that last part didn’t happen? I thought I read Mike Trout got a $430 million-dollar contract (personally, I think it was completely worth it BTW). Anyway, before I get to sidetracked, let me get to the real reason why anyone’s here. 2018 was a fun year for sure (unless you were a Yankees or Orioles fan). Good news Baltimore Fans! I have the Orioles winning more than 50 games! And even better news for you Yankee fans, but you’ll need to read below to find out why.
2019 NL East Prediction (Braves Stay Hot)
After surging to the 2018 NL East crown by a comfortable margin, the Braves look to repeat with another NL East division title. Aided by bonafide stars Ronald Acuna Jr, Ozzie Albies, and Freddie Freeman, it’s hard to see a team right now challenge for that division title. Plus Donaldson? If healthy, that $23 million contract is good, but if he’s hurt at all, ouch. While the Nationals will miss having Bryce Harper, they’re guaranteed to remain competitive with a rotation that remains elite. While the Mets I believe will get better, the team to watch is the Phillies. I still think with the addition of Harper, they’re a couple pieces away, but man that lineup combo of Bryce Harper – Rhys Hopkins is going to be nasty. Finally, the Marlins are the Marlins and we’ll just move on from there.
2019 NL Central Prediction (Cubs Right the Ship)
Simply put, 2018 was the year of the Brewers. Christian Yelich was just unstoppable and the Brewers clicked in every facet of the game; however, I see 2019 going a little different. The Cubs were one of the biggest underachievers last year and still made the playoffs and I think they get back to the team they should be and win this division. They might get a push from the improved Cardinals and Brewers, but I expect the Cubs to take the lead in the division come June and not surrender it for the rest of the year. My team to watch is the Reds. Yes, they were terrible in 2018, but they made some trades in which I really think they got better. They have a fanbase that is just dying for something to go their way and as long as they have Joey Votto at first base, they’re always capable of playing good baseball. The Pirates, well simply put, they peaked years ago and who knows when they’ll compete for a division title again.
2019 NL West Prediction (Dodgers Repeat)
The defending NL champions will win their division again (yawn). In all the years I’ve watched baseball, I truly think I can count the number of Dodger fans I’ve met on one hand. That said, they’re still a great baseball team that will win their division. But give me a fun, energetic team like Colorado. They’re my darkhorse in this division and with the best third baseman in baseball, they’re always dangerous. After signing Manny Machado and making a few other moves that make them better, I expect an improvement from the Padres, while the Diamondbacks trend the other way after trading their franchise-player Paul Goldschmidt. Lastly, is this an odd year? Yes? Ah ok, the Giants will be bad. Got it. Maybe next year.
2019 AL East Prediction (Yankees Slay Sox)
Earlier when I said everything went right for Milwaukee in 2018, it pales in comparison for the Red Sox. Every possible thing broke well for the Red Sox in 2018, and not because they didn’t deserve it either. They were the best team in baseball and rightfully were world champs. However, that was then, and this is now. The Yankees will win the AL East this year. They’ve been getting better every year for the past handful of years, and this is the year they finally bear the fruit of their labors and slay the Red Sox. I like the Rays a lot as a team, but it’s just a darn shame they are in this division. They’re a great team that I think will host the wild-card game, but will there even be 10,000 fans to watch them? Unfortunately, the Blue Jays are tanking and don’t even realize it, and the Orioles are in for…well who knows. On the bright side, I have them winning more than 47 games this year because they have to, right?
2019 AL Central Prediction (Please make this interesting Minny)
As much as I want to just simply say this is going to be the most boring division in baseball and move on to the AL West, I want to at least try…ah forget it I can’t. At least make this somewhat close Minnesota. Please???
2019 AL West Prediction (Hint: Astros Again)
I love this Astros team. I think they will suffer a little as they’ve lost some key pitchers to free agency (how has nobody signed Dallas Keuchel either?) but this division is still theirs for the taking. The Angels have always been that “is this their year” team that underperforms, but with that Trout contract situation resolved, I think this is going to be a good year for them. I’m sure that Oakland will pull some “Moneyball Magic” out and beat the projection I have for them, but I don’t believe that’ll be the case for the Mariners and Rangers, as who in the world even knows what they’re doing.
2019 Wild Card Predictions
Rockies at Cardinals
After dispatching the Brewers in a tiebreaking 163rd game, I think the mustachio’d hero Miles Mikolas stymies the Rockies offense as the Cardinals advance to face the Dodgers in the NLDS.
Angels at Rays
Give me a Blake Snell-Mike Trout matchup in the AL Wild Card game. At the end of the day, Angels beat Rays and move on to face the Yankees.
2019 Division Series Predictions
Dodgers vs Cardinals
As much as teams should be afraid of facing the best team in their league and arguably the best pitcher of the modern era, I think this is a matchup the Cardinals would want. Clayton Kershaw is great against 28 teams in the MLB and bad against one. You know who that one team is? St. Louis. Fortunately for Kershaw, I think the Cardinals will find it difficult to hit well of the other starters and lose this series in five.
Dodgers in 5
Cubs vs Braves
This will be fun…I hope. I’m really counting on the Braves to score more runs than last year’s playoff run, but I think they will be running into a white-hot Cubs team that is ready to take vengeance for the stinker they put up in 2018.
Cubs in 4
Yankees vs Angels
If it hasn’t been conveyed at this point, I like the Yankees a lot this year. I think Stanton, Judge, and co. hit the ground running and don’t look back. Simply put, it’s just business and let’s move on here.
Yankees in 4
Red Sox vs Indians
I think this is going to be a fun series to watch…if you like the Red Sox. I think they matchup better than Cleveland at every position and this is our only sweep of the Division Series.
Red Sox in 3
2019 Championship Series Predictions
Dodgers vs Cubs
I like this series a lot for the Cubs. They’ve had this exact matchup come up in the past and I think the entire city of Chicago will relish the opportunity to get back to the World Series. I think the Cubs continue that hot streak and battle off a strong Dodgers team.
Cubs in 6
Yankees vs Red Sox
The greatest rivalry in baseball gets another chapter in its book with a World Series birth on the line. I think from a neutral standpoint, we might see one of the best ALCS matchups of all time with the Yankees winning Game 7 after being down early.
Yankees in 7
2019 World Series
Yankees vs Cubs
Talk about a perfect matchup for the media. The Yankees versus the Cubs is a matchup that everyone should want to see as I think it would cap off a perfect season. I think each game would break the previous TV record for the World Series and be the perfect opportunity to get people back into watching baseball. Call me a sucker, but people need to watch, appreciate, and recognize that baseball is fun; and these two teams are going to put on a spectacle that could go either way.
Yankees in 7. Yankees win the World Series.
So, there you have it. The Yankees win the 2019 World Series over the Chicago Cubs in 7 games. Get ready world for all the Yankee fans to tell you about how great they are and how they’ve been lifelong fans. It’s been too long and they’re primed for a championship.
I’m sure when we revisit these predictions in November, we’ll see some “oh man, dead on” and some “what were you thinking” moments, but without a doubt, the Orioles will not win the World Series (knowing my luck, Cal Ripken Jr. will come back and they’ll win 162 games).
On the bright side, we’re so close now, and all we can do is wait for Opening Day. Then the real fun starts.
— Matt Dixon
Feature Image: Sporting News