As the calendar approaches April, the sporting world will slowly start to shift its attention to the baseball diamond for another season of Major League Baseball. Oddsmakers have already released the early expected win totals for each MLB team, but today we will be focusing strictly on the American League.
There is no way around it. The American League is absolutely STACKED in 2019. The Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and of course, the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox all have projected win totals above 90. To compare, the National League only has one team projected to win more than 90 games in 2019.
Toronto Blue Jays Under 76.5 wins
Until Vladimir Guerrero Jr. surfaces in the majors, Toronto is smack-dab in a rebuilding phase. Their organization is loaded with talent, but a lot of their potential is still developing in the minor leagues and won’t make an appearance in the majors this season.
They lost Russell Martin, Troy Tulowitzki, and Yangervis Solarte, while also trading away Aledmys Diaz. They collected Clayton Richard and Matt Shoemaker to add to their rotation but these two are both middle-of-the-road starting pitchers at best. Both pitchers had an ERA around 5.00 in 2018 and have struggled to stay healthy. The future is bright for Toronto, but it will likely take a few years before all of their young talents can truly manifest.
Oakland Athletics Under 83.5 wins
Oakland seems to be due for some negative regression in 2019. In 2018, the A’s went 31-14 in one-run games. Most teams tend to go roughly .500 in those contests, so regression is almost certainly coming this season.
While their bullpen remains in-tact, can you name even one pitcher in their starting rotation without having to Google it? Most people cannot. Their lineup will keep them in games, but I won’t be bullish on this team until they make some drastic changes to a well below-average starting rotation.
Cleveland Indians Under 91 wins
This is my favorite over/under future wager for the upcoming 2019 season. I truly do not understand what the Indians are doing. They traded away Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes and let Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley, Josh Donaldson and many more walk in free agency. It’s also been rumored they’ve been trying to move Corey Kluber. I have a hard time envisioning this team improving on their 91-win campaign in 2018 when they have shipped off so much of the talent that got them their last season. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are studs per usual, but Lindor will likely start the season on the DL and there is a pretty drastic drop-off in talent in the lineup after these two.
Minnesota Twins Over 84 wins
If the Indians are due to negatively regress, that will likely mean that someone else in the AL Central will improve. I think the Twins are the best bet to do so. They have a vastly improved lineup with the addition of C.J. Cron, Marwin Gonzalez, Jonathan Schoop, and Nelson Cruz to add to an already potent power-hitting bunch. Their lineup is backed by an above-average bullpen and a budding ace in Jose Berrios. They shouldn’t have any issues racking up wins against the lowly Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and Chicago White Sox.