Baseball season is back!!!! Ever since that ground ball to Altuve won the Astros their first world series in franchise history, I've been waiting for opening day to come. Now that the start of the 2018 MLB season has come, here are some predictions that I have for the upcoming season.

Orioles and Jays tie for 3rd

The Yankees and Red Sox are obviously the top two teams in the AL East, and it's improbable that any of the Jays, Rays or Orioles can dethrone them of the top two spots meaning those three teams are vying for third. While the Rays are likely to finish last especially with a rebuild underway, the Orioles and Jays are going to end the season with identical records and tie for third.

This could very well happen especially with the fact that the O's and Jays have similar teams on paper

Archer wins AL Cy Young

You probably think I'm crazy just from reading the headline but let me explain as I truly do think that Archer is going to get that Cy Young award this year. The Rays are planning on using a four-man rotation for the season consisting of Archer, Blake Snell, Jacob Faria and one more pitcher that has yet to be named. With Archer leading the rotation, he will get the most starts and will start more games than anyone in the big leagues this year. Archer is a strikeout machine as for the past three seasons he has gotten at least 230 strikeouts. The most strikeouts he has gotten in a season is 252 and with the Rays using a four-man rotation instead of the typical five-man rotation, expect him to surpass his career high in strikeouts in a season which will be one of the reasons why he gets the Al Cy Young award.

Angels miss the playoffs

The Angels had a fantastic off-season by landing two-way player and the most coveted free agent of the off-season in Shohei Ohtani, re-signing Justin Upton for the next five years, signing Zack Cozart and trading for Ian Kinsler which may have made the Angels the best defensive team in baseball. They also possess one of the best players (if not the best player) on the planet in Mike Trout which makes the Angels a solid team.

While all these moves were made to contend for a playoff spot, the Angels will be experiencing the playoffs yet again from their televisions as they will miss out on a playoff spot. With the AL West all but guaranteed to go to the reigning champs in the Astros, the only chance they will have to make the playoffs is the wild card which will go to two different teams in the AL.

Mariners extend playoff-less drought to 17 seasons

The Mariners are in the same situation as their fellow division rivals in the Angels. They were buyers this off-season to contend for a playoff spot by bringing in Dee Gordon, Ryon Healy, and others but they will miss out on the playoffs. As mentioned before with the AL West all but guaranteed to go to the Astros, the Mariners will be competing for a wildcard spot which will go to two different teams in the AL. While it will suck for the players that when it comes to October, they won't be playing baseball, it will hurt the most for Mariners fans who haven't experienced playoff baseball since 2001.

Giants miss out on playoffs

The Angels and Mariners both built their teams as contenders in the off-season, but I expect them to both miss the playoffs.

I'm adding one more team who built their team as a contender in the off-season that will also miss the playoffs, and that is the San Francisco Giants. The Giants gave up a ton including then top prospect Christian Arroyo to land 3B Evan Longoria. They also traded part of their future away to get Andrew McCutchen who becomes a free agent at seasons end. With Dodgers most likely to clinch the NL West again this year, the Giants will have to compete for a wildcard spot with many teams including the Rockies and Diamondbacks who are in the same division. With their ace Madison Bumgarner sidelined with a finger injury for six to eight weeks and Jeff Samardzija out with a pectoral injury, their chances of grabbing a wild card spot only got worse.

Bobby Evans(GM of the Giants) gets fired at seasons end

With the Giants not making the playoffs, the Giants will be saying goodbye to current GM Bobby Evans as he will get fired and the Giants will be looking for his replacement. With Bobby Evans building the Giants as a contender in the off-season by trading for Longoria and McCutchen, people will start realizing that it was a mistake to acquire those guys which will put all the blame on him. He is also responsible for shelling out lots of money to some players on the current Giants roster as he gave Jeff Samardzija $90 million over five years, Johnny Cueto $130 million over six years, Brandon Belt $72 million over five years and other notable signings that he overpaid the player he signed.

For your information, none of those guys are worth anything near what they signed for.

Straily wins Gold Glove

The Marlins have something to look forward to. Actually, maybe not, since nobody cares so much about gold glove awards. Dan Straily will come away with the NL Gold Glove award for the pitcher position. In his six-year career in the majors, he has only made two errors which both came last year. With the Marlins undergoing a rebuild by trading anyone they possibly can for prospects that will help them in the future, Straily winning a Gold Glove Award won't increase his value which will mean that he will most likely remain with the Marlins which Straily said he's fine with.

White Sox finish less than five games out of WC spot

Last season at this time of the year, everyone had meager expectations for the White Sox who traded away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in separate deals for a massive haul of prospects. One of the prospects they received for Sale was Yoan Moncada who has already made his debut for the White Sox. Moncada is expected to be a huge contributor for the White Sox as they aim to have a juggernaut team in the future. Another player they received for Sale is Michael Kopech who can routinely touch 100+ MPH on the radar gun. Kopech is expected to make his Major League Debut sometime this season and will be the future ace of the White Sox as he is being compared to Noah Syndergaard who is one of the best pitchers in the game.

Last season near the trade deadline, the White Sox shipped Jose Quintana crosstown to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, and two others. Jimenez is a top prospect in baseball as his power is off the charts. In a brief way to explain how good his power is, last season in batting practice he hit a HR which hit the stadium lights which were at least 100 ft high off the ground. Some people expect Jimenez to make his major league debut this year and if he does, the White Sox will display to their fans and teams around the league how good their future will be. Cease could also possibly make his major league debut this year, and he is expected to be a strong contributor to the White Sox rotation in the future.

With Kopech and maybe Jimenez expected to make their major league debuts this year along with Moncada, Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia, Lucas Giolito and others, the White Sox will make a push for a wild card spot which they will finish less than five games from clinching one. While it probably won't happen, they could even secure a wildcard spot and make the playoffs with a very young team with minimal to no playoff experience.

Cron becomes a surprise player

C.J. Cron spent the past few seasons playing DH and 1B with the Angels. He wasn't a regular though as he averaged 102 games a season. In the off-season, the Angels traded Cron to the Rays as he was expendable since the Angels were going to give more playing time to Albert Pujols and Luis Valbuena at 1B due to the signing of Ohtani who will DH for the Angels.

He had his best season in 2016 as in 116 games; he got 113 hits 16 HR and 69 RBIs. With Cron receiving regular playing time with the Rays, expect Cron to set career highs with 20+ HR and, 80+ RBIs and a 2018 season that will see him get more than 113 hits.

Reed finishes the season with more SV than Rodney

With the Twins' unexpected appearance in the wildcard game last year, the Twins front office went into the off-season as buyers to improve the team. What they needed to improve in is their pitching staff, both in the bullpen and rotation. They did so in the rotation as they signed Lance Lynn to join the club. They also beefed up their bullpen as they signed relievers Fernando Rodney and Addison Reed.

They brought in Rodney to close games as he has years of experience as a closer at the highest level, but he's 41-years-old, and he struggled in the ninth inning with the Diamondbacks last season. Reed who is a reliable RP and saved some games last year with the Mets would be second in line for save opportunities if Rodney were not able to close games. Expect Rodney to blow saves early on in the season which will force Twins manager Paul Molitor to turn to Reed to close out games for the Twins. By seasons end, Reed will have more SV than Rodney.

Other predictions

- Mickey Callaway wins NL manager of the year

- Cardinals land one of Machado or Donaldson at the deadline

- Arenado has the best season of his career and wins NL MVP

- Red Sox and Twins grab AL wildcard spots

- Mets and Cardinals get NL wildcard spots

- Astros and Dodgers meet again in the World Series, and Astros win in six

- Nationals finish with the best record in the NL and win a playoff series

- Aaron Sanchez wins AL comeback player of the year award

- Syndergaard wins NL comeback player of the year award

- Kopech wins AL Rookie of the Year

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