Baseball season is right around the corner, with the top teams from last season looking to maintain the status quo while the rest of the league hopes to catch up. With so much competition, especially in the American League, picking a champion is no easy task. But there is one team that just might have an edge over the rest.
American League Picks - New York Yankees
This might be the most loaded field in the history of the American League, with three teams putting up 100 wins or more in 2018. The Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees proved that they were head and shoulders above the rest of the American League. But in 2019, expect the Yankees to make the World Series.
Most MLB predictions will put the Boston Red Sox ahead of the Yankees after Boston won the World Series last year, but our MLB picks see the Yankees' improvements in the offseason as a key factor that will win them yet another pennant. And oddsmakers have the Yankees at a best price of +700 to win the title, just behind the Red Sox (+550) and right there with the Astros (+600) and Los Angeles Dodgers (+750) on the shortlist of title challengers.
In terms of roster improvement, the addition of Adam Ottavino to a bullpen that was already one of the best in baseball may be enough to put the Yankees over the top alone. Ottavino had a breakout year in Colorado last season, with a 2.43 ERA in a hitter-friendly Coors Field, and will join a bullpen headlined by Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, shortening every game in which the Yankees have a lead.
World Series Picks - New York Yankees
Not only should the Yankees win the ALCS, but they are at the top of our World Series predictions as well. Their players' return to full health, as well as the signings of players like Ottavino, have made their roster the most intimidating in the game.
Specifically, the return of Aaron Judge is what will push the Yankees over the top. Judge battled injuries throughout last season. He was healthy enough to participate in the playoffs, but wasn't at full strength and still managed to hit .375 in the Division Series against the Red Sox. With Judge healthy again, the Yankees lineup will have their top weapon back for the games that matter most, making them a more appealing option than the Red Sox.
This year's World Series picks are difficult, given how much talent is concentrated among the top five or six teams in the league, but the Yankees should be able to rise above the rest.