Cubs: Predicting the MLB standings heading into the regular season
MLB standings: Can Aaron Judge, Yankees bring a title back to the Bronx?
First Place: New York Yankees (95-100)
On paper the Yankees have one of the best teams in all of baseball. Sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton can mash balls further than just about anyone else. Former Cubs farmhands DJ LaMahieu and Gleyber Torres can swing great sticks as well. This will be the first 162-game season for Gerrit Cole in New York, who is among the favorites to win AL Cy Young. The issue is this team has battled so many injuries over the years, but if they are healthy they are among the top-five in World Series favorites.
Second Place: Tampa Bay Rays (88-94)
The defending American League champs continue to develop great players. Their farm system is still beyond loaded, topped off with baseball’s number one prospect Wander Franco. One might look at the current roster and wonder how this team has been so good and how they can maintain it, but they consistently find ways to contend. Brandon Lowe is a nice looking player and there is a lot of excitement around Randy Arozarena. With more top prospects waiting in the wings they can continue to surprise people.
Third Place: Toronto Blue Jays (82-86)
One of the biggest offseason splashes came in the form of the Jays landing free agent slugger George Springer. Rising star Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernandez and newcomer Marcus Semien give the lineup a lot of thunder. Topping off the pitching rotation is former All-Star Hyun Jin Ryu who pitched very well in his first years as a Jay in 2020. This team has the potential to be competitive and fun to watch, but there are some questions in the rotation below Ryu, and could be a year or two away from being a legit World Series contender.
Fourth Place: Boston Red Sox (78-82)
This team has said goodbye to a number of key players over the past few years. Sox fans’ hopes for a Mookie Betts reunion were dashed when the Dodgers gave him a big extension. Andrew Benintendi was traded to the Royals and Jackie Bradley Jr. left in free agency. The notable addition for the Red Sox was former Dodger Enrique Hernandez. That will not make up for a questionable rotation, which will not have Chris Sale back until closer to the end of the season. At least J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts can still hit some long balls for the BoSox.
Fifth Place: Baltimore Orioles (62-65)
If it were 2013 the Orioles would have an amazing 1-2 punch in their starting rotation with Felix Hernandez and Matt Harvey. Sadly it is not 2013 and the O’s are looking at another miserable season. A few notable veterans on the team include Maikel Franco, Freddy Galvis and Yolmer Sanchez. One thing worth watching is the return of Trey Mancini who is coming back from a battle with colon cancer.