March 29, 2018

2018 MLB PREVIEW: Parity has disappeared in Major League Baseball

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Picks

While certainly anything can happen, it feels like we’re starting to see some true separation between the top contenders and the lower teams in baseball again.

Since the luxury tax came in, we’ve seen a more even playing field when it comes to the playoffs. But now, with more and more teams looking to build through the draft and emulate the World Series successes of the Cubs and Astros in the past two years, we’re going to see a lot of teams tanking it in 2018.

Just looking at some power rankings and it’s very clear that the bottom 10 teams in the league have made more moves trending downwards than up.

It’s one of the reasons why so many good free agents found it so hard to get a good contract this off-season: There a more teams than ever that would rather pick higher in the draft than ultimately fall short of the second wild card and have nothing to show for it. And worse, top teams are more and more unwilling to part with compensatory picks to sign veteran free agents.

You can bet that there will be plenty of teams looking to deal their stars for prospects around the deadline, too.

And when you look towards the top of the standings and at predictions, it’s a pretty boilerplate bunch. Most division champions from last year shouldn’t have too much issue retaining their crowns. And the ones that could fall off will likely grab a wild-card spot.

While there certainly will be some surprises this season – there always are – right now it feels like we’re going to be in for long season without too much craziness in store.

But I hope I’m wrong.

AL EAST: Boston Red Sox

AL CENTRAL: Cleveland Indians

AL WEST: Houston Astros

AL WILD CARDS: New York Yankees, L.A. Angels

ALCS: Red Sox over Astros

NL EAST: Washington Nationals

NL CENTRAL: Chicago Cubs

NL WEST: L.A. Dodgers

NL WILD CARDS: Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks

NLCS: Nationals over Cubs

WORLD SERIES: Red Sox over Nationals

AL MVP: Mike Trout, LAA

NL MVP: Bryce Harper, WAS

AL CY YOUNG: Chris Sale, BOS

NL CY YOUNG: Max Scherzer, WAS

BLUE JAYS RECORD: 77-85, third in the AL East.

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