It’s Opening Day of the 2018 MLB season. Early odds have the Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians among the favorites in Vegas, but the DC Sports staff will give its predictions for the 2018 World Series champions in this week’s edition of the Roundtable.
This may sound like a boring answer, but I just do not see anyone dethroning the Astros this season. They’ve got the reigning AL MVP José Altuve, WS MVP and former UConn standout George Springer and star shortstop Carlos Correa who is coming off the best season of his young career. Their already formidable pitching staff that was headlined by Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander has added another star pitcher in Gerrit Cole, creating a terrifying three-headed monster for the rest of the league. Houston spent a lot of time rebuilding and it was certainly not for just one World Series victory. They want a dynasty and I believe they have one.
Rachel Schaefer, Staff Writer
It’s going to be the Astros. We all know that. I could spend a lot of time making an argument as to why that’s the case, but it’s obvious. Their roster is incredible, they’re young and they’re overflowing with talent. Barring any kind of serious injury to the majority of the staff, they are going to be nearly impossible to defeat. The Astros are ruining baseball.
It’s the Pirates year. One-time Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole? Don’t need him. They flipped him, among others, for Colin Moran, a former first round pick who was just stuck behind the fraudulent Alex Bregman hype machine. It is a breakout year for the strong hitting corner man. Former MVP winner Andrew McCutchen? He was dead weight. Enjoy those high rents in the Bay Area, buddy. Us Bucs fans have Austin Meadows, previously a top-five prospect in all of baseball. The southern boy from Georgia is now No. 45 on MLB’s Prospect Watch. This is the year he combines his raw physical power with some contact prowess and becomes a stud while everyone sleeps. James Taillon, a great guy with great stuff, was sandwiched between Bryce Harper and Manny Machado in the 2010 MLB Draft, is owed a healthy season to showcase his stuff. A Cy Young is on tap. You heard it all here first folks.
The Boston Red Sox have been AL East champs for the last two years, yet with back-to-back exits in the ALDS, the 2018 Sox are ready to show the rest of the league just how hungry they are for a deep October run. Headlined by the rising stars known as “The Killer B’s” – Benintendi, Betts, Bradley Jr. – in the outfield, along with newly-acquired veteran power hitter J.D. Martinez, this team may have the most complete offensive lineup in baseball. Sorry Yankees fans. The offense isn’t the only area to be excited about. Two of the first three starting pitchers in the rotation are recent Cy Young winners – David Price and Rick Porcello. Not aforementioned is Chris Sale, last year’s runner up who led the AL in strikeouts last year and is now the MLB’s career leader in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 5.12. Boston fans expect a championship this year, and we can expect the Red Sox to deliver in winning their fourth World Series in the last 15 years.