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Predicting The Playoff MLB Teams 2019


The MLB season will be upon us very soon. Everyone rejoice in not having to watch the NBA regular season anymore! The start of every MLB season is a fresh start, 162 opportunities for a team to make a difference. 162 times for Mets fans to think they have an actual chance at winning something. On Bovada, you can go in and make future bets on whether teams are going to make the playoffs or not. There isn’t a point in highlighting some of the teams (Marlins, White Sox) as it would be a modern miracle if these teams were able to sneak into the playoffs. The idea of this piece is to highlight the teams that have value in making or missing the playoffs. Let’s chat about some of the more interesting teams in the league this upcoming season.

Cincinnati Reds

Make the Playoffs +400 / Miss the Playoffs -600
The Cincinnati Reds have the unfortunate privilege of playing in the hardest division in baseball. The Cardinals, Brewers and, Cubs represent 60% of the division and all of them have star-studded rosters. The Reds have added a number of good pieces in Alex Wood, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig. They added Sonny Gray, and Tanner Rorark as well but they don’t push the needle as much for me. The addition of these three pitches and Luis Castillo gives the Reds a nice rotation.

The Reds lineup has a number of bright spots. Puig and Kemp will mash alongside Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez. That’s a nice core four in the middle of a lineup. Nick Senzel should start producing at the Major League level this season. He is one of the top prospects in all of the baseball. Their offense is good enough to hit with anyone. If the rotation can stay consistent, mainly from Rorark and Gray, the Reds could be a threat when September rolls around.

PICK: Make the Playoffs +400

Minnesota Twins

Make the Playoffs +230  / Miss the Playoffs -290
The Twins are in the opposite scenario as the Cincinnati, having a huge benefit of playing in the worst division in baseball. The Twins will compete with the Cleveland Indians for the division banner, while the lowly Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and Detroit Tigers struggle. The Twins surely added a ton of talent to their team this offseason, including Nelson Cruz, Lucas Duda, Marwin Gonzalez and C.J. Cron. The Indians lost so much talent that it opens the door for the Twins.
The rotation is what looms for the Twins. Jose Berrios is a great piece, and Kyle Gibson proved that he can be an asset to any rotation. The bullpen certainly needs some work, but these holes can be overcome as the division is just so weak. The Twins won 78 games last season.  They gained a couple more wins through their moves this offseason, as the Indians lost a top of wins from their lack of movement this offseason. One would hope that the Twins could snag another pitcher before the season begins. Either way, the value is still great on this squad.


PICK: Make the Playoffs +230

Cleveland Indians

Make the Playoffs -700 /  Miss the Playoffs +475

As mentioned in the above breakdown of the Minnesota Twins, the Indians lost a ton of talent this offseason. Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller, Josh Tomlin, Edwin Encarnacion, and Lonnie Chisenhall all found new homes this offseason. The Indians rotation is still one of the best in the league. Corey Kluber should compete for another Cy Young award, Carlos Carrasco will continue to be great under the radar, and Trevor Bauer will remain insufferable. Losing Miller will be a huge hit in the bullpen

Despite having one of the worst outfields in the MLB (Leonys Martin, Tyler Naquin, and Jordan Luplow) the Indians should still skate into the postseason. Again, the division is just THAT bad, and the Indians have future MVP Francisco Lindor, partnered with Jose Ramirez, who finished third in MVP voting in 2018. The Indians won 91 games last season and got much worse over the offseason. They were 13 games ahead of the Twins, in the worst division by far. The Indians could drop that win total down to 85 and drop the division to the Twins. Cleveland will then have to outpace the Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees/Tampa Bay Rays, the Oakland Athletics, and the Los Angeles Angels for that Wild Card spot.The Indians will most likely make the playoffs and lose in the first round again, but +475 to miss the playoffs seems like a really good bet.

 PICK: Miss the Playoffs +475

Oakland A’s

Make the Playoffs +200 / Miss the Playoffs -260

The A’s were one of the hottest teams during the 2nd half of last season. They won an astounding 97 games, and continue to churn talent despite their minuscule pay role. Unfortunately, they ran into the New York Yankees in the wild-card game, which didn’t end well for Oakland.

The A’s don’t bolster a talented rotation. They don’t have the luxury of doling massive contracts to aces. They signed crafty veterans Marco Estrada and Brett Anderson to help solidify their rotation. Oakland’s game plan seems to plug a player in and get the absolute most out of that guy. For the payroll they possess, it’s shocking to see how successful the A’s are year in and year out. Even though Oakland lost Jed Lowrie to the Mets, but still retain Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Khris Davis, Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien. This is an ultra-powerful lineup that can slug 150 home runs for sure. This offensive production will keep Oakland in contention

The A’s employ one of the best bullpens in the league. They lost Jeurys Familia to the Mets but got Joakim Soria onto the staff. Blake Trenien was amazing last year, recording historic numbers. Fernando Rodney is somehow still good at pitching, and Lou Trivino should continue to throw gas. The A’s should compete for a wild card spot and the division as the Astros lost 3 of their starters. Either way Oakland’s looking good for a playoff run.


My Pick: Make the Playoffs +200

Philadelphia Phillies

Make the Playoffs +100 / Miss the Playoffs -130
The Phillies have been relatively quiet this offseason…kidding. They ended last season horrendously, which concluded with Philadelphia missing the playoffs. The NL East has gotten better over the offseason, as the Nationals, Braves and Mets all made moves to increase their playoff odds. A team that signs Bryce Harper in the offseason, and still is +100 is too good of value to pass up. Harper is now rocking a new color red, and will face off with his old team for the next 13 seasons. I was sad to see that Washington wasn’t even in consideration for Harper over the offseason. On top of Harper, the Phillies acquired J.T. Realmuto, the best catcher in baseball at this moment, and Jean Segura, who had been amazing for the Mariners during his stint in Seattle. Philadelphia finished their offseason moves by low-key signing Andrew McCutchen, making their lineup extremely formidable.

The rotation is great as well. Aaron Nola is the ace of the rotation, and if he can improve upon a season where he posted 10.0 wins above replacement, the Phillies will be extremely hard to beat. The rest of the rotation consists of Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Zack Eflin and Vince Velasquez, making their rotation more than serviceable. David Robertson was added to the bullpen. Pat Neshek, Hector Neris, and Seranthony Dominguez will sure up that part of Philadelphia’s rotation. The NL East crown will be a battle all season, but the Phillies amazing moves this offseason immediately puts them in the playoff conversation


MY PICK: Make the Playoffs +100

Chicago Cubs

Make the Playoffs -130 / Miss the Playoffs +100
The Cubs 2018 season did not end the way that they had hoped. They lost their grasp on the division lead in September and ended up dropping game 163 to the Brewers. The next game they played, a one-and-done with the Rockies didn’t go the Cubs way, and they were sent home early.

The Cubs didn’t make any huge moves in the offseason and are just hoping to get consistent production from their internal players. Kris Bryant and Yu Darvish will have bounce-back seasons, as injuries ravaged their campaigns. The Cubs offense struggled in the second half of the season, as two of their outfielders are downright unusable at the plate. Albert Amora Jr. and Jason Heyward are both great fielders, but for this team to succeed, these two guys need to contribute more at the dish. Heyward might be too late to get true offense out of, but Amora Jr. still has time to develop. The lack of additions to the rotation and bullpen for Chicago is a cause for concern. Their rotation is ancient, and the bullpen is inconsistent at best. Closer Brandon Morrow will make more appearances this season, as he only pitched in 35 games. The Cubs are unfortunately in the hardest division in baseball, they didn’t get better and there’s a ton of question marks on the roster.


MY PICK: Miss the Playoffs +100

St. Louis Cardinals

Make the Playoffs -115 / Miss the Playoffs -115
Vegas is essentially saying the St. Louis Cardinals have a 50-50 shot of making it into the playoffs this coming season. Easily the biggest, if not second biggest move this offseason was the Cardinals poaching Paul Goldschmidt away from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Goldschmidt is better than Bryce, come fight me if you think otherwise. Goldschmidt is the best first baseman in baseball. He can hit 45 home runs, steal 20 bases, play gold glove type defense, and hit .300.

The Cardinals have other great bats in the lineup. Matt Carpenter was a fringe MVP candidate last season as he mashed during the beginning part of the 2nd half of the season. The rotation boasts Michael Wacha, Miles Mikolas, and Carlos Martinez. These are the for sure contributors, they also have top prospect Alex Reyes who will soon be an ace. St. Louis front office didn’t stop there, they added Andrew Miller, who is a beast in any situation that he is pitching in. He dealt with some injuries last season but should bounce back to full power this campaign. Jordan Hicks is the anchor in the bullpen and he can throw baseballs very fast. He projects to be one of the best closers in the league for years to come. The Cardinals are simply too good to miss the postseason.

My Pick:Make the Playoffs -115


Washington Nationals

Make the Playoffs +120 / Miss the Playoffs -150

The Nationals did their best to fill the Bryce Harper void this offseason. First off, they signed Patrick Corbin, the best pitcher on the market. He will join Max Scherzer, the best pitcher of our generation, and Stephen Strasburg as probably the best 1-2-3 rotation in the league. Anibel Sanchez was also brought on to help solidify the back end of the rotation.The lineup obviously takes a hit when a player of Harper’s magnitude leaves the organization. Anthony Rendon has quietly been a top-5 player in the National League, posting a combined 13.0 wins above replacement over the last two years. Trea Turner and Juan Soto should continue to progress as young studs, who will both steal a ton of bases. Washington also added Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes, both backstops give the Nationals some consistency behind the plate.

The bullpen looks good as well led by Closer, Sean Doolittle. Kyle Barraclough and Trevor Rosenthal both can set-up at a high level and Koda Glover has shown he can produce. The rotation is going to propel this team all season. If the other team cannot score, it will be easy for the Nationals to win.

My Pick: Make the Playoffs +120


National League

East Champion – Phillies (+100)

Central Champion – Cardinals (-115)

West Champion – Dodgers

Wild Card 1 – Nationals (+120)

Wild Card 2 – Reds (+400)

American League

East Champion – Yankees

Central Champion – Twins (+230)

West Champion – Astros

Wild Card 1 – Red Sox

Wild Card 2 – A’s (+200)

Missing the Playoffs

Indians (+475)

Cubs (+100)

Sam Friedman
Sam is a sports writer that utilizes a sense of humor when offering opinions. He offers unique insights into various sports, and knows all of the ins and outs of the NFL, NBA and College Sports. He enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying statistics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level.