PSN Picks the MLB Season: Ricky’s Picks

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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Playoffs:

American League:

 East: Yankees

 Central: White Sox

 West: Athletics

 Wildcard: Rays, Astros

The AL East is pretty clear this season, as the Red Sox are likely not going to be the team they have been in recent years. As for the Central, a young White Sox team is primed for a breakout in a division that’s as up for grabs as any in baseball. With Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Jose Abreu providing power at the plate, and new additions Dallas Keuchel and Yasmani Grandal, this White Sox squad boasts the highest talent ceiling in the division.

The West is where things get more interesting, as the Athletics could edge out the Astros in the division, as their balance could stabilize them in a very unbalanced season. The two wildcard teams are just going to be a matter of the best, non-winners, which is what the league will have with the Rays and Astros. All of the teams are going to be contenders, which is what will make the AL fun to watch this season.

National League:

East: Braves

 Central: Reds

 West: Dodgers

Wildcard: Phillies, Diamondbacks

To start off easy, the Dodgers don’t really need much of an explanation. They have won the NL West seven straight seasons, and now have Mookie Betts, so we can chalk that up as eight straight. However, the other two divisions are where it gets interesting. The NL East was explained above, however, the Braves seem to just be the most overpowered going into the season. The Phillies can easily edge out the very competitive Nationals and Mets, simply because their young core thrives in shortened settings as proven the past couple of seasons.

It’s not often that a World Series team does not make the playoffs the following year, but this season could be full of a ton of weird things. The Diamondbacks could edge out the Nats as they are an excellent defensive team anchored by shortstop Nick Ahmed, a star in Ketel Marte, and a potentially top rotation with Madison Bumgarner, Robbie Ray, Zac Gallen, Luke Weaver, and Merrill Kelly.

As for the central, the Reds signed big bats Mike Moustakas and Nicholas Castellanos over the offseason and has plenty of incumbent talent in Eugenio Suarez, Joey Votto, Derek Dietrich, Nick Senzel and Aristides Aquino, each of whom is capable of rattling off a home run at any moment. 

Rest of the Playoffs:

AL and World Series Champ: New York Yankees

NL Champion: Atlanta Braves

Boo me now, Phillies fans.

This may be the harsh reality of this season. Kevin Pulsifer of ESPN said it best:

“Atlanta approached 100 wins last year and arguably improved this offseason, adding solid vets (Marcell Ozuna, Travis d’Arnaud, Cole Hamels) to one of the best young talent cores in baseball. The Braves also end the year with 10 of 20 games against Miami and Baltimore. With sneaky depth to take advantage of the new DH, they’re a top-five talent right now and are the team best equipped to take on the Dodgers in October.”

The Braves are going to be a good team, and make it to the World Series. However, they will come short of winning it.

The Yankees have the ability to win the World Series this season, plain and simple. In this 60 game season, depth will be easily the biggest factor. Every game is going to matter, and the Yankees have the manpower to rest their starters every now and then and still win games. It really wouldn’t surprise me to see the Rays in this position either, as they fall into the same category. The Dodgers may have more depth but will run into the young and dominating Braves team, who will likely be riding a very hot streak going into the playoffs. The Yankees are clearly the better team in comparison to the Braves, which would give them the edge in the World Series. Yankees take the COVID-chip in six games over Atlanta.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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