The Guilfordian

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Competition strong in 2019 MLB season

After the chaotic 2018 Major League Baseball season, there is much anticipation about what will happen in the 2019 season. Last October, the Boston Red Sox beat the L.A. Dodgers in the World Series to win their fourth World Series title in the 21st century. However, the teams that were great last year may have a run for their money from some notable new forces in the MLB.

In the American League East, last year’s champions will be challenged for a postseason spot by the New York Yankees and possibly the Tampa Bay Rays. Both the Yankees and Rays have made changes in the offseason, with Tampa sending some players to the minor leagues and New York changing their pitching staff.

All three teams will be competing against each other throughout the regular season, but New York may have the upper hand when it comes to both pitching and hitting. J.A. Happ, James Paxton and Adam Ottavino are going to be good additions to the pinstripe arsenal, while big league hitters like Aaron Judge, Luke Voit and Giancarlo Stanton backing up their pitchers.

As for the American League Central, the Cleveland Indians will most likely end up on top, as they did last season with a notable lead ahead of the Minnesota Twins and the rest of the AL Central.

In the AL West, the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics’ will most likely fight it out for the top spot, with the Astros seeking their third season in a row with more than 100 wins. Oakland will be hoping to replicate last season, as they surprised many with a 97-win season and a trip to the postseason.

In the National League East, anything could happen. Last year, the Atlanta Braves took advantage of the underwhelming regular season to claim their title, but this year could be different. The Philadelphia Phillies may have a chance this year, obtaining outfielder Bryce Harper in one of the largest contracts in sports history.

“The Phillies are going to have their first chance in a while to actually get somewhere,” says Early College junior Robert Kobrin. “With the addition of Bryce Harper and some pitching changes, (the Phillies) might make it to the postseason.”

As for the rest of the division, the New York Mets, Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins have all made changes to their rosters, fortifying their chances of making it to the postseason this fall.

In the NL Central, the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers will be battling it out again as they did last season, but the St. Louis Cardinals may join the fight this year, with the development of their young roster and the addition of Paul Goldschmidt.

Lastly in the NL West, the L.A. Dodgers are hoping for a third consecutive World Series run, although they will be facing significant competition from the Colorado Rockies with a surge in hitting talent on the team, although the pitching staff may not work in their favor.

The Dodgers and Red Sox’s will look to repeat appearances in the World Series, but the Yankees, Phillies and Astros are also favorites to make it there.

At the beginning of the baseball season, it is difficult to determine who will earn their way into the postseason, but it will not be an easy journey for any team to make it to October.

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