2019 MLB playoffs will feature rebuilt teams

Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park on September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

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Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Nationals Park on September 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Brandon Downs

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A week into this MLB season, there is a lot to be excited about; especially old faces in new uniforms and top prospects beginning their career in the pros. It’s too early to predict anything, but let’s do it anyway by looking at four of the most interesting divisions and speculating who will win MLB’s top awards this season.

National League East:

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Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies is congratulated after coming out of the game in the third inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 09, 2019 in Clearwater, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

So far, the Philadelphia Phillies have got what they paid for in Bryce Harper. Harper has started hot with a .500 batting average, 3 home runs, and 7 walks.

if the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves stay healthy, the Phillies are in for a struggle but will still win the NL East easy enough.

The New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom will win back-to-back Cy Young awards. In two starts, deGrom has not allowed a run in 13 innings of work. He has struck out 24 batters with a career-high 14 against the Marlins Wednesday night. DeGrom even hit a home run against the Marlins and has allowed just as many homers this year against him with one.

American League East:

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Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on September 29, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The Red Sox pitching is a mess to start the season. The defending champs seem to be in trouble-the bullpen isn’t the same without closer Craig Kimbrel. Chris Sale is 0-2 with an ERA of 8.00. David Price has the lowest ERA at 6.00 for Red Sox starting pitchers.

With the Red Sox struggling right away, it seems that the Tampa Bay Rays have a good chance at gaining a precious early game lead in the AL East.

The Rays won 90 games in 2018, yet missed the playoffs. They have an American League Cy Young winner, Blake Snell. They have two relief pitchers that throw 100 mph in Jose Alvarado and Deigo Castillo. They have won three of four against the 2017 World Series champs, the Houston Astros. I expect the Rays to jump up to a 100 plus wins in 2019.

The Yankees are currently hurt and have battled injuries the last few years. A healthy Yankees team battles with the Rays but ultimately take a wildcard and lose a five-game divisional series against the Astros.

National League West:

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Fernadndo Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres, right, celebrates with Eric Hosmer #30 after scoring during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park March 29, 2019 in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

This might seem out there, but the San Diego Padres will take a wildcard spot this season. Top prospect Frenando Tatis Jr. has shown nice defense and a bit of offense as the Padres are 4-3 to start off.

Don’t forget, the Padres have a gold-glove and silver slugger, Manny Machado at third base. Wil Myers has two home runs and a .391 average so far. A lot will have to fall into place, but the Padres will stay excited and win 90 games, sneaking in a wildcard spot.

The Dodgers will win the NL West for the seventh straight season with a late-season push, but this year the Dodgers will fall short of a third straight World Series. 2014 MVP Clayton Kershaw is currently on the disabled list. They are going to need to get some more pitching and a solid bat at the trade deadline to make it back.

National League Central:

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Christian Yelich #22 of the Milwaukee Brewers hits a fielder’s choice to beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3 at Miller Park on September 3, 2018 in Milwaukee. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

I came into the season questioning the Milwaukee Brewers 2018 success, but they quickly shut me up. This team owns the best record in the MLB at 6-1. Reigning NL MVP Christan Yelich is proving that 2018 was not a one-season performance. Yelich leads the team with a .375 batting average, 4 home runs, 8 RBI’s, .531 on-base percentage, and 9 hits.

 

 

MLB awards:

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Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim makes a leaping catch at the wall as he steals a home run from Kyle Seager #15 of the Seattle Mariners in the seventh inning at Angel Stadium on July 27, 2018, in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

In terms of awards this season, I believe Yelich will win back-to-back NL MVPs just like deGrom with the Cy Young.

Mike Trout is going to get back on top for his third MVP. Despite the Angels missing the playoffs, Trout bats over .300 for the sixth time in his career. Trout will hit 40 home runs for the second time in his career.

For AL Cy Young, the Indians Trevor Baur wins. Through 14 innings this season, Baur has allowed one hit, one run and struck out 17. Baur leads the Indians to an AL Central title for the fourth straight year.

AL Rookie of the Year goes to the No. 1 prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. During spring training, Guerrero hit .351 and expects to be in the MLB in the coming weeks.

NL Rookie of the Year goes to the Padres Tatis. Tatis will duel it out with Nationals outfielder Victor Robles, but in order for the Padres to win 90 games, Tatis performs and lives up to his expectations.

In the World Series, the Brewers will face the Astros and Houston will win their second title in three years with great pitching and defense. Once the season gets rolling, the Astros have experience and talent on their side. A few trade deadline moves will win them the World Series in six games.

Brandon Downs can be reached at [email protected] or @downsbrandon2 on Twitter.

 

 

 

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