MLB Preview: 30 Teams' Scouting Reports, Odds

March 28, 2019 - 10:46 am

The longest five months of the year, aka winter, aka when there's no baseball, are over.

Opening Day is here, not counting the Seattle Mariners' pair of victories over the Oakland A's last week in Tokyo.

A bitterly cold Hot Stove season eventually produced some superstars in new uniforms (Manny Machado to the Padres, Bryce Harper to the Phillies), followed by a run on nine-figure contract extensions (Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Sale, Jacob deGrom). 

The defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox can expect to get their biggest competition for the American League pennant from the rival New York Yankees and the 2017 champion Houston Astros. The Los Angeles Dodgers are bidding for their third straight World Series appearance out of the National League, which should feature tight multi-team races in the East and Central divisions.  

Here is a quick look at all 30 teams:

AL East

New York Yankees
2018 record: 100-62, lost ALDS
2019 over/under*: 96.5

Last chance to get a title this decade (gasp). Aaron Judge headlines a powerful, patient lineup. Can Luis Severino and newcomer James Paxson stay healthy at the top of the rotation? Baseball's best bulllpen. (WFAN)

Boston Red Sox
2018 record: 108-54, won World Series
2019 over/under: 94.5

What can reigning MVP Mookie Betts or Alex Cora, who didn't push one wrong button as a rookie manager, do for an encore? The bullpen is the consensus weak link, and Craig Kimbrel remains a free agent. (WEEI)

Tampa Bay Rays
2018 record: 90-72
2019 over/under: 84.5

A team with just three starting pitchers, in the conventional sense: Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Tyler Glasnow. Another 90 wins would be quite the feat.

Toronto Blue Jays
2018 record: 73-89
2019 over/under: 74.5

Emotive right-handed ace Marcus Stroman is the best reason to watch ... until the arrival of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., a 20-year-old hitting prodigy.

Baltimore Orioles 
2018 record: 47-115
2019 over/under: 59.5

First-year manager Brandon Hyde: good luck. The rebuild is on, and the next wave of prospects begins arriving at Camden Yards this summer. (105.7 The Fan)

AL Central

Cleveland Indians 
2018 record: 91-71, lost ALDS
2019 over/under: 90.5

Can afford to start slowly in baseball's softest division, which is good because star shortstop Francisco Lindor starts the year on the shelf. Will a trade of ace right-hander Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer, discussed all offseason, come to fruition? (92.3 The Game)

Minnesota Twins
2018 record: 78-84
2019 over/under: 84.5

A fringe wild-card contender after adding depth to the roster in free agency. Meet backup catcher/infielder Willians Astudillo, a GIF waiting to happen who's listed at 5-foot-9, 225 pounds. 

Chicago White Sox 
2018 record: 62-100
2019 over/under: 74.5

Manny Machado is not here. Eloy Jimenez is. The rookie slugger will get the Opening Day start in left field. Will one (or more) of the young starting pitchers figure it out? (670 The Score)

Kansas City Royals 
2018 record: 58-104
2019 over/under: 69.5

This team will run: Billy Hamilton, Adalberto Mondesi and Whit Merrifield could spring for 50 steals apiece. Salvador Perez leaves a large void at catcher. (610 Sports Radio)

Detroit Tigers 
2018 record: 64-98
2019 over/under: 68.5

Will we see the revival of Miguel Cabrera, who hasn't been an elite hitter (or healthy player) since 2016? (97.1 The Ticket)

AL West

Houston Astros 
2018 record: 103-59, lost ALCS
2019 over/under: 96.5

Could make it two rings in three years. A lineup of All-Stars adds Michael Brantley to the outfield. The questions are in the back of the rotation, with the likes of Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh becoming starters again after stints as relievers. (Sports Radio 610)

Oakland A's 
2018 record: 97-65, lost AL Wild Card game
2019 over/under: 83.5

One of the higher-end defensive teams in baseball got Jurickson Profar to replace Jed Lowrie at second base. Kendrys Morales comes over to temporarily replace Matt Olson at first. Blake Treinen is the best closer we never talk about. (95.7 The Game)

Los Angeles Angels
2018 record: 80-82
2019 over/under: 82.5

OK, you have the best player in the sport signed through 2030. Now what? Mike Trout's hopes of sniffing the playoffs in 2019 depend on a funky rotation of fragile arms, including Mets washout Matt Harvey.

Seattle Mariners 
2018 record: 89-73
2019 over/under: 71.5

GM Jerry Dipoto flipped the roster. Again. Gone: Robinson Cano, Jean Segura, Edwin Diaz. In: Domingo Santana, Tim Beckham, Jay Bruce, Yusei Kikuchi. Felix Hernandez is the fifth starter now.

Texas Rangers 
2018 record: 67-95
2019 over/under: 71

Come for the Joey Gallo moonshots. Stay for the Elvis Andrus-Rougned Odor middle-infield high jinks. (105.3 The Fan)

NL East

Philadelphia Phillies 
2018 record: 80-82
2019 over/under: 89.5

Put the cherry on top of a bold offseason by landing the best player in baseball at his position to anchor the lineup. And they got Bryce Harper, too. J.T. Realmuto does wonders for the lineup, as does Rhys Hoskins moving to first base. There's also upside in the rotation after Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta. (94 WIP)

Washington Nationals 
2018 record: 82-80
2019 over/under: 88.5

How would you like to see Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and prize free agent Patrick Corbin in a playoff series? First they have to get there, out of a loaded NL East. Juan Soto, the Childish Bambino, did amazing things as a teenage rookie, and he's now joined in the outfield by Victor Robles. (106.7 The Fan)

Atlanta Braves 
2018 record: 90-72, lost NLDS
2019 over/under: 86.5

Could easily repeat as division champs or finish fourth. All eyes on stud sophomore Ronald Acuna Jr. in left field. The starting rotation is overflowing with young talent, though injury issues persist. (92.9 The Game)

New York Mets 
2018 record: 77-85
2019 over/under: 85.5

Jacob deGrom got his generational wealth, and the rotation should be excellent. The intrigue comes from a lineup that's trending younger: Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto in the outfield corners, an emerging Amed Rosario at shortstop and rookie slugger Pete Alonso at first. (WCBS 880)

Miami Marlins 
2018 record: 63-98
2019 over/under: 63.5

Year 2 of the Derek Jeter era. Don Mattingly leads a patchwork team with Curtis Granderson, Starlin Castro and Neil Walker. They're still wearing teal, though. (WQAM)

NL Central

Chicago Cubs 
2018 record: 95-68, lost NL Wild Card game
2019 over/under: 88.5

Weird vibes over here. An early playoff exit segued into an offseason of more scandal (Addison Russell, Joe Ricketts) than spending. Joe Maddon is a lame duck at manager. But the roster remains top-shelf. How about a Yu Darvish bounce-back? (670 The Score)

St. Louis Cardinals 
2018 record: 88-74
2019 over/under: 88.5

Paul Goldschmidt adds thump to a very complete lineup. Dexter Fowler and Marcell Ozuna need comeback years, to varying degrees. Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright are still here. (KMOX)

Milwaukee Brewers 
2018 record: 96-67, lost NLCS
2019 over/under: 86.5

Came within one game of the World Series. Christian Yelich has a surprise MVP award to defend. Yasmani Grandal was a savvy addition at catcher, and Mike Moustakas signed to play second base. Asked a lot of their bullpen last September and October; now it's the rotation's turn. (105.7 The Fan)

Pittsburgh Pirates 
2018 record: 82-79
2019 over/under: 77.5

There are solid pieces all around, especially on the pitching side (Jameson Taillon, Chris Archer, Felipe Vazquez), but little to suggest they can crack this tough division's top three. (93.7 The Fan)

Cincinnati Reds
2018 record: 67-95
2019 over/under: 79

Yasiel Puig brings his stylings to southern Ohio, and could hit a lot of home runs at Great American Ball Park. Joey Votto could lead the world in on-base percentage, like most years. 

Los Angeles Dodgers
2018 record: 92-71, lost World Series
2019 over/under: 93.5

Is this the year they break through in October? A good player everywhere on the field -- Corey Seager returns at shortstop, phew -- and another backing him up. Clayton Kershaw is a wild card, but Walker Buehler and Julio Urias are aces in waiting.

Colorado Rockies 
2018 record: 91-72, lost NLDS
2019 over/under: 84.5

The wild-card race will be a dogfight. Nolan Arenado is the cornerstone entering his age-28 season. Daniel Murphy takes over at first base. Kyle Freeland and German Marquez are under the radar as an elite rotation 1-2.

San Diego Padres 
2018 record: 66-96
2019 over/under: 78.5

The most exciting left side of the infield in baseball: $300 million third baseman Manny Machado and rookie shortstop phenom Fernando Tatis Jr., who gets the Day 1 nod. There's real buzz around these Padres. Their Opening Day starter is also someone named Eric Lauer. (97.3 The Fan)

Arizona Diamondbacks
2018 record: 82-80
2019 over/under: 75.5

If the Snakes find their way to another winning season, it will come thanks to a deep rotation led by Zack Greinke. The lineup is underwhelming.

San Francisco Giants 
2018 record: 73-89
2019 over/under: 73.5

An older roster (Pablo Sandoval!) that could have used the injection of a prime-age hitter such as Bryce Harper. Madison Bumgarner becomes a popular trade target if this goes south. (95.7 The Game)

over/under totals via OddsShark

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