Boston Red Sox: By winning the World Series and basically bringing back the same roster from last season, the Red Sox will be the team to beat in 2019. Mookie Betts won the American League MVP award with an incredible statistical season, and he leads a lineup that includes talented players like J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers, while the rotation will be anchored by studs Chris Sale and David Price.
New York Yankees: Even though the team didn’t break the bank for free agents Bryce Harper or Manny Machado as some expected, the Yankees have a strong team returning in 2019. After winning 100 games in 2018, Brian Cashman went out and traded for Mariners ace—and bald eagle badass—James Paxton to bolster the pitching rotation and also signing DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki to help support a lineup that already includes talent like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, and Miguel Andujar.
Houston Astros: Just one season removed from winning the World Series, the Astros remain a force to be reckoned with in the AL. With Cy Young runner-up Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole leading the rotation and the young core of Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, and George Springer all returning, a repeat of 2017’s World Series win could be in the cards.
Los Angeles Dodgers: With back-to-back World Series appearances, the Dodgers are looking to make a trifecta behind one of the deepest pitching staffs in baseball with Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Rich Hill, and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the rotation. Shortstop Corey Seager is returning from injury and the addition of A.J. Pollock should add another solid bat to the lineup.
Milwaukee Brewers: After making a surprising run to the NL Central division title last season, the Brewers bring back a solid core that includes reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich, outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun, and first baseman Jesus Aguilar. The team also added catcher Yasmani Grandal on a free agent deal to shore up that position, giving the team another strong bat in their lineup.
Philadelphia Phillies: Adding Bryce Harper was icing on the cake for the Phillies, who were one of the most active teams in baseball this offseason. Before signing Harper, the team brought in players like Jean Segura, J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, and David Robertson, while also signing an extension with ace pitcher Aaron Nola. After missing the playoffs for a number of years, the Phillies could be back this year.
Other potential contenders: The Atlanta Braves come into the season after winning the NL East last year, while the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, and Colorado Rockies could make noise in the National League. In the American League, the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians are coming off of playoff appearances in 2018, while the Los Angeles Angels have the best player in baseball with Mike Trout and could make a run.
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