Major League Baseball is BACK. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t feed you guys the definite 2019 MLB season primer that you guys deserve.
This preview will predict who will win the awards, who will lead the league in stats and which teams will win the division. All of that good stuff. Inject this preview directly into your cranium to prepare yourself for the next 162 games.
Lets start with AL Hitting Triple Crown Leaders:
- Batting Average: Mookie Betts
The Red Sox sneaky had an awful offseason which tends to happen to every team that wins a
But I think last season’s historic offense is going to regress, most notibly, JD Martinez, which means Mookie Betts is going to need to carry Boston on his back. He will.
- Home Runs: Aaron Judge
You’re going to see Aaron Judge’s name pop up a lot on this list. 2019 is going to truly be his coronation. Everything has lead up to this moment. The breakout in 2017. The injury setbacks in 2018. The disappointing loss to the Boston Red Sox and getting clowned after for playing New York, New York after a win.
- RBIs: Alex Bregman
Alex Bregman is on the mission to make baseball fun again. You know, that thing Brye Harper used to say while simultaneously being the least fun human on Earth. Well Bregman craves attention (not in a sad Anna Nicole Smith way) and this is the season he steps up and snatches MVP votes from guys like Mike Trout and Betts.
NL Hitting Triple Crown Winners:
- Batting Average: Christian Yelich
Christian Yelich finished the second half of last season hitting .367. Out of nowhere. He figured out what pitchers were attempting to do with him and he devoured them. This spring training he hit .439. Yelich might finish 2019 with a .500 average.
- Home Runs: Paul Goldschmidt
After being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals and signing a huge contract extension, Goldschmidt’s bat is about to explode. He is fully healthy and he’s in a lineup where he’s protected by guys like Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong (who does not at all look like a guy named Paul DeJong).
- RBIs: Trevor Story
This was a coin toss between Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story but it came down to the fact that Story bats 4th in the order behind Charlie Blackmon, Arenado and Daniel Murphy, three guys who will 1000% be on base when he steps into the box. Last season, Story was three RBIs behind the leader, Javy Baez. Story is going to drive in runners every single game.
AL Pitching Triple Crown Leaders:
- Wins: Masahiro Tanaka
Most people agree that the Yankees will have the most wins this season so now it’s a matter of picking which pitcher will be recording those wins. I don’t trust James Paxton’s health. Severino and Sabathia are already hurt and eyeroll at JA Happ. Tanaka has been the most consistent starter in the Bronx since his arrival and he’s going to rack up those W’s easy.
- ERA: Gerrit Cole
Typically, pitchers who have swing and miss stuff like Cole, don’t tend to lead the league in ERA because they often times lack control of the strike zone. They rely on their deceptiveness over painting corners. Nolan Ryan gave up so many home runs but also struck out the world. All that being said, Cole had a 12.4 K/9 rate and 2.88 ERA last season. No one is scoring on this man.
- Strikeouts: Corey Kluber
These AL pitching leaders were tough because the right answer for all of three Triple Crown stats is Justin Verlander but fuck that guy so now I have to run through a bunch of
NL Pitching Triple Crown Leaders:
- Wins: Aaron Nola
As much as I hate to fall into the obvious trap of predicting Philadelphia’s success based off of the acquisition of varying levels of free agent talent but I get the feeling that every five days, the stars are going to align for Nola. Harper and McCutchen are going to hit for the cycle every time that man steps onto the mound.
- ERA: Jacob deGrom
I hate this. I really do. This isn’t a creative pick. This isn’t a smart pick. This is my New York bias. At least when I praise the Yankees, I recognize that I’m just being an asshole fan. But I’m not even a Mets fan. I can’t even explain why I’m predicting that 31-year old deGrom will replicate his historic season again. I just like watching him play and I have the
- Strikeouts: Max Scherzer
I could get cute here and think of an outside of the box name but Max Scherzer had 300 fucking strikeouts last season. 300. Who is coming close to that this season? Max Scherzer and Max Scherzer alone.
AL Award Winners:
- Rookie of the Year: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Vlad Jr. might fuck around and win the AL MVP award. He should’ve been called up last season. He’s already one of the best hitters in the league and he hasn’t even played in the majors yet. Vlad Jr and second place isn’t even close.
- Cy Young: Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole > Everyone else.
- MVP: Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge has had 1,000 career at-bats. He’s put in his Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hours. This is the season where we put aside the narrative that he strikes out too often. He is about to put up Barry Bonds level on base numbers and home runs. It’s time.
NL Award Winners:
- Rookie of the Year: Peter Alonso
Victor Robles is going to get a lot of Rookie of the Year hype and depending on how well the Nationals play this season, he might win by default. But I think Peter Alonso’s games are going to lead
I really wish I could take that antiquated reference back but I need to get this MLB preview out before the season actually starts so I’m not backspacing a thing.
- Cy Young: Aaron Nola
Have I mentioned that the Phillies are going to ball out when he’s on the mound? Last season deGrom was out of his mind and I don’t think he’ll be able to repeat that but fun fact: Aaron Nola still had a better WAR than deGrom did.
At only 25 years old, Nola is only going to improve. He was second in ERA and was sneaky keeping pace with all of the records deGrom was setting. Add all of the wins his team is going to help him rack up and Nola 4 Cy 2019.
- MVP: Ronald Acuna
Yo, the NL East is going to be an absolute bloodbath. There are so many young stars ready to take over the league. Also, Bryce Harper’s bitch ass is there too. But Ronald Acuna is the most talented and gifted amongst them all
And now for some quick loose ends before the World Series predictions:
- Biggest Surprise Team: Cincinnati Reds
The Reds randomly decided to ball out this summer on talent acquiring Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp
- Most Disappointing Team: Cleveland Indians
Yes, Cleveland objectively has the best starting rotation in the AL but I question this team’s health. Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor are already injured and guys like Michael Brantly, Andrew Miller and Edwin Encarnacion are gone.
This team was once the young up and comers but they may have peaked too soon. Don’t be shocked if Minnesota win the division.
- Most likely to be traded: Marcus Stroman
Madison Bumgarner is the obvious choice but he’s too expensive and won’t stay healthy. Marcus Stroman is the best player on one of the worst teams. It makes zero sense for Toronto to keep this guy.
- Most likely to spend the year on the DL: Clayton Kershaw
Yea, it’s a wrap for ya boy. You only get so many back injuries until you just don’t have a back anymore. It’s been fun, man.
- Worst player in the league: Chris Davis
Crush Davis is the worst baseball player EVER and that will forever be hilarious. I cannot wait to see Davis break all of the awful records he sit last season. He’s my favorite player.
And the Top 10 random players to keep an eye on this season:
- Rhys Hoskins: I have a fetish for gigantic first basemen. Hoskins isn’t a right-hander so he isn’t necessarily my type but he hit .246 with 34 bombs last year. If that batting average ticks up to .275, I imagine those home runs explode to like, 45.
- Noah Syndergaard: Noah Syndergaard is an asshole on Twitter. But he’s funny(ish) so it’s fine. But he’s about 6 months away from going full Trevor Bauer so keep an eye on Syndergaard ‘BUT WHAT ABOUT
- Yasiel Puig: I’m genuinely excited to see how Puig performs for a team where everyone doesn’t hate him for being Spanish. Although, nothing about Joey Votto makes me think he’s the most welcoming of guys. I get the feeling Votto wears a red hat even on his off days if you know what I mean.
- German Marquez: In his last 17 starts of 2018, Marquez went 9-3 with a 2.47 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 113 innings. Wait, am I a Rockies fan?
- Shane Bieber: Bieber put up a gross 4.55 ERA in his rookie season. He was the opposite of Walker Buehler who had
a lightsout rookiecampaign. But Bieber’s 5-1 strikeout to walk rate shows everything about what’s about to go down in 2019.
- Ryan McMahon: The Rockies have hitters on hitters on hitters and McMahon is just the next man up ready to hit 30 homers and 100 RBIs. That’s just what you do there.
- Tommy Pham: Twitter is an annoying place that I visit whenever I need to feel better about myself. Read the thoughts of idiots to make yourself feel superior, the Lester Lee story. Tommy Pham finished 11th in MVP voting in 2017 and now he plays on the Devil Rays. The ‘who is Tommy Pham’ tweets that I’ll be drowned in when he single-handedly beats the Yankees in June are already annoying me.
- Bryce Harper: I
reallyyyyhope he sucks this year.
- Fernando Tatís Jr: All eyes on Manny Machado in San Diego but Machado might not even be the best player on his side of the infield. Darkhorse Rookie of the Year. (Do you like how I’ve given 3 NL ROY winners? I can’t lose).
- Gary Sanchez: I’ve said this from the moment he snatched Brian McCann’s career away, Gary Sanchez is the best hitter on the Yankees. After suffering from injuries and from
sortof buying too much into his own hype, I thikGary is finally comfortable enough to prove me right.
And FINALLY (I’m going to skip the division-by-division nonsense and wildcard stuff) who will be in the World Series?
New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
If you can tell from my obsession with Crush Davis, I love losers. Nothing would bring me more joy than seeing the Dodgers continue to bring the most stacked rosters to the World Series and lose year after year. It’s my favorite movie.
Congratulations to the 2019 World Series Champs. New York Yankees or die.