In the infamous song "Go Cubs Go" which is chanted after every Cubs victory at Wrigley field, it starts with ''Baseball season's underway." Well, the season has already gotten underway as the Athletics and Mariners played a two-game series in Japan on March 20 and 21 with the Mariners taking both games to start the season 2-0. With every other team's opening day on March 28, here are some predictions for the 2019 MLB season.

Max Muncy doesn't replicate last season's success

Last season, Muncy broke out of nowhere and hit 35 homers for the Dodgers.

What was so surprising about this is that no one saw this coming as Muncy was claimed by the Dodgers off waivers as the Athletics released him back in 2017. Before he played in Dodger' blue, he played 96 games for the Athletics across 2015 and 2016 where he only hit five homers and batted a horrendous .195 (44 for 215). Those are the kind of numbers that get you released in the major leagues which is exactly what happened with Muncy in 2017. The Dodgers struck gold with their signing of Muncy last season but don't expect Muncy to put up numbers anywhere close to last season's.

There's a good chance he'll find himself on the bench midway into the season.

Royals are the major leagues fastest team

The Royals aren't going to win too many games this year, but from the wins they get, most of the wins will come from their aggressiveness on the basepaths. The Royals have three insanely fast guys in Whit Merrifield who led the league in stolen bases last season with 45, Raul Mondesi who's expected by many to take huge strides forwards this season and Billy Hamilton who's a perennial threat to steal 50+ bases every season but struggles to get on base.

On the bench, they've got Terrence Gore who's a run specialist as he's only known for his speed and that's it (he has more stolen bases than plate appearances). Merrifield, Mondesi, and Hamilton are the types of guys that can turn a single into a double and a double into a triple which will be crucial for the Royals if they hope to win some ballgames. Opposing teams are going to have to play their best defensive catchers against the Royals, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the first three batters of the game be, Hamilton, Mondesi and then Merrifield.

Athletics miss playoffs

Last season, the A's surprised everyone by winning 97 games and making the playoffs as the second wild-card team. This year's team has weakened from last year's as the Athletics have one of the worst rotations across the league. Manaea is out for the season, and Cahill departed to the division rival Angels in free agency. They were replaced with Marco Estrada who posted a 5.64 E.R.A.

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last season, and they brought back Brett Anderson who typically gets hit hard by opposing teams due to his below-average velocity.

The A's also lack a reliable option behind the plate as they're currently rolling with Josh Phegly and Nick Hundley as the game callers. The bullpen remains strong but last year's bullpen was better, and the lineup isn't one that amazes people. The Athletics will be participating in the postseason by watching from their couches.

Two players in their thirties win Comeback Player of the Year

In the major leagues, when you get into your thirties, that's the time when you start to regress which is why so many teams are hesitant to hand out large contracts to free agents. Every year, an award goes out to one player from each league who struggled the year before but bounces back to have a better season the next year. This year, the two Comeback Player of the Year recipients will be two players who are in their thirties and are also players that many believe have regressed and that their best days are behind them.

In the American League, the Comeback Player of the Year award will go to Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera, 35, only played in 38 games last season due to a biceps injury but slashed .299/.395/.448. Cabrera could very well bat anywhere from .280-.300+ with 25 homers if he stays healthy. In spring training this year, he played 19 games and slashed .348/.426/.739 with five home runs. Will Leitch of mlb.com has Cabrera finishing top 10 in batting average in the major leagues.

In the National League, the Comeback Player of the Year award will go to Josh Donaldson. Donaldson, 33, only played in 52 games last season due to calf and shoulder injuries and was traded to the Indians at the now extinct August waiver trade deadline.

With the Jays and Indians combined, he slashed .246/.352/.449 with only eight home runs. When he came back from his injury with the Indians in September, he did much better as in 16 games with the Tribe; he slashed .280/.400/.520. Now that he had a whole offseason to rest and get healthy, he will get back to his former self and wreck havoc in the National League with the Braves who signed him to a one-year, $23 million this offseason.

Encarnacion fails to hit 30+ HR for the first time in seven years

For the past seven seasons, Encarnacion has hit 30 or more home runs including two occasions where hit 42 homers in one season.

Over those seven years, he's averaged 37 homers a year and also averaged 109 RBIs. For the past three seasons, his HR and RBI totals have decreased as in 2016, he hit 42 HR and 127 RBIs, 2017 saw him hit 38 HR and 107 RBIs and last season, he hit 32 HR and 107 RBIs. He is now playing in his first season with the Mariners who play half their games in a pitcher-friendly park. Since he plays half his games at Safeco Field, for the first time in seven years, he won't hit 30+ HR, and there's a good chance he'll fail to reach the 100 RBI mark as well.

Cardinals win NL Central

After missing out on the playoffs for the past three seasons, the Cardinals are doing everything they can to get back.

The Cardinals made a huge move by trading for Paul Goldschmidt in December and then just recently extending to him to a five-year contract. The Cardinals also brought in Andrew Miller on a two-year deal who when healthy, is one of the most dominant relievers in the game. The Cardinals also have the most pitching depth of any major league team which will be extremely beneficial down the stretch. With the additions they made this offseason and the team they have, the Cardinals will get back to the playoffs by taking the division title and securing themselves a ticket to the NLDS.

Jimenez wins AL Rookie of the year

All the hype is surrounding number one prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr of the Jays but he is currently sidelined with an injury, and the Jays are keeping him in the minors to get an extra year on his contract. Meanwhile, the number three ranked prospect Eloy Jimenez signed a six-year, $43 million deal which put him on the opening day roster for the White Sox.

Most people are projecting to have Guerrero Jr take home Rookie of the Year honors, but the award will go to Jimenez and spending the whole season in the majors only helps his case. Guerrero Jr will be the better player in the future, but Jimenez will be the better player this year.

Big names win MVP and Cy Young award

Every year, there are perennial candidates for the MVP and Cy Young award in each league. This year, both MVP and Cy Young will be won by players that lots of people expect to win. In the American League, the MVP award will go to Mike Trout who just recently signed the richest contract in sports history. Trout will have an amazing season and win the award and show everyone that he's worthy of being the highest paid athlete in the world and he will try and push his Angels to the playoffs.

The MVP award in the National League will go to Nolan Arenado who also signed a contract extension this offseason.

Despite having a career slash line of .291/.346/.539 with four all-star appearances, four Silver Slugger awards and six Gold Glove awards, he has yet to win an MVP award, but he'll get that prestigious award this season.

With Cy Young awards, the American League winner will be Chris Sale. For the past few seasons, Sale has done well for the first three-quarters of the season but falters in August and September. With a weak bullpen, Sale will be tasked with pitching deeper into games. For a pitcher like Sale, more innings pitched means more strikeouts which will get him his first career Cy Young award.

In the National League, Max Scherzer will take home his fourth career Cy Young award as he will be heavily relied on to win ballgames for the Nationals now that their division is much tougher. The Nationals are also hoping to return to the playoffs after missing out last season, and the Nats will need Scherzer to pitch for as long as he can every fifth game.

Yankees and Phillies meet in World Series

The American League's and National League's deepest teams will meet in the World Series and put on a matchup that will be remembered for a long time. For the past two years in the National League, it's been the Dodgers who have made the World Series who lost both times, but with the Dodgers looking more vulnerable, it will be the Phillies who will take over as the best team in the National League.

After missing out on the playoffs last season, the Phillies revamped their roster by adding Harper, Realmuto, Segura, Robertson, and McCutchen which made their roster stacked and dangerous. The rotation may have some question marks after Nola and Arrieta, but a trade deadline trade for a starting pitcher would only make their roster more dangerous.

The Yankees made it to the ALCS last season but lost to their longtime rival in the Red Sox which left the Yankees bitter so they improved their roster by adding Paxton, LeMahieu, Ottavino, Gio Gonzalez and brought back Sabathia, Happ, and Britton. The Yankees have the most depth of any team and if any of their players were to go down with an injury, they always have someone to replace them with. Their bullpen is hands down the best bullpen in the major leagues, and their lineup remains stacked one through nine. Their rotation has improved from last season, and their depth for all positions on the diamond is really deep. Also, four ESPN baseball experts have the Yankees reaching the World Series.

Cubs miss the playoffs

Ever since they ended their 108-year drought of winning a World Series in 2016, the Cubs have seemed to have faded [VIDEO] as a team. Their rotation has tons of question marks as Lester is past his prime and is 35 years old, Quintana has never panned out the way the Cubs hoped he'd be, Chatwood was a disaster, and lots of question marks surround Darvish after his injury-plagued year last season.

Their outfield isn't an area of strength, Baez is expected to regress by many, and they don't have such a deep bench which would put them in trouble if one of their starters went down with an injury. This offseason, they only added Daniel Descalso and Brad Brach which is nothing to be happy about after the Cardinals added Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller and the Brewers improved their roster by adding Grandal and now have Moustakas for a whole season. With a much-improved division, the Cubs will find themselves without October baseball, and this also could mean the end for Joe Maddon.

Other predictions

  • Rocco Baldelli wins AL Manager of the Year in his first season as manager of the Twins
  • Mike Shildt wins NL Manager of the Year in his first full season managing the Cardinals
  • Red Sox and Twins grab AL Wild card spots
  • Brewers and Rockies gran NL Wild card spots
  • Brad Hand wins AL Reliever of the Year and leads the majors in SV
  • Kirby Yates wins NL Reliever of the Year
  • Yankees beat the Phillies in the World Series in six games
  • McCutchen leads all of MLB in runs scored
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