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My Very Early Playoff Predictions - Part 1 The American League

So, we are not even one third of the way into the regular season with still so much baseball to play we really can’t predict anything.

So, let’s do some ridiculously early predictions about which 12 teams will make the playoffs.

Before we do this lets just recap the updated since 2022 playoff format that now gets us to an extended 12 teams. All 6 division winners will automatically qualify for the expanded playoff format irrespective of their win loss record, basically you win your division your in. The top 2 division winners based of records will be seeded 1 and 2 and will automatically reach the divisional series stage of the playoffs. The divisional winner with the lowest win loss record will be seed number 3. The next 3 playoff teams will be made of the best of the rest no matter what division the next 3 best teams by win loss record. Although highly unlikely due to the number of inter league games theoretically 4 teams from the same division can make the playoffs.

I am writing this on 20th May 2024 and will include current records to look back on come playoff time. I am going to predict a winner for each league but not order the playoffs and we can look back at this come October.

American League East Winners – New York Yankees current record 33-15. The Yankees have started phenomenally in 2024 and I put this down to two main things Juan Soto and the starting pitching rotation. Soto has brought a calmness and confidence into what was in 2023 quite frankly barring a few players a quite limp offense. In spring training when news came out that both Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole were injured it looked like the season was over before it began and the one year (only so far) of Soto would be wasted. However, this was a bit premature with Judge’s injury just being minor he is now back to his formidable best. The key highlight though is the rotation, all five starting pitchers have been at least as good as we hoped they could be and in the case of Luis Gil vastly outperforming expectations. In an era where a lot of starting pitchers only expect to last five innings the fact the rotation is regularly going much deeper means the bullpen is not being used as much and closer Clay Holmes is still yet to concede an earned run 2 months into the season. It will be interesting to see what the Yankees will do when Gerrit Cole is back from injury and ready to play.



American League Central Winners – Kansas City Royal current record 29 -19. From bottom of the division in 2023 to top in 2024. Well that’s my prediction. This year’s Royals are night and day from last year where they were bottom and poor they have already surpassed more than half of last years wins already and we are still in May. The jewel in the crown is Bobby Witt Jr who has now signed the long-term extension and the team is now set to be built around him in years to come. Players like Maikel Garcia at the top of the order are already out preforming their 2023 seasons and the young core is now a much better team than that of the last few years.



American League West Winners – Seattle Mariners current record 25-22. The Mariners currently sit atop of the AL West and that’s where I predict they will stay. Although its still early this division has started very strange. The Houston Astros started horrendous, and the Oakland Athletics started tremendously. These teams seem to have reverted to what we would expect. The Mariners are the team I think will come up on top though. After a so so start George Kirby looks to be the pitcher we all continue to think he will be and Julio Rodriguez continues to be one of the most fun players to watch in MLB in the outfield, his home runs have dried up in 2024 but I think this is only temporary he is too good a player for this to be temporary. His average and hits are still there so I have no concerns. My big prediction as you will see in the wildcard predictions is that I believe reigning World Series champions the Texas Rangers will fail to make the playoffs.



Wild Card Race – In Alphabetical Order Baltimore Orioles current record 29–15. The Orioles continue to be what the Orioles are and that is a consistent young very productive baseball team with players that are getting better every year. The one thing they needed coming into the year was the one thing they got in Corbin Burns an experienced and very reliable ace to be at the top of their starting rotation. Players like Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman continue their trajectory into being players that will likely be regular all-stars each season (Rutschman made his first all-star appearance in 2023). Ultimately, I think they will fall short to the Yankees in the AL East but will be comfortable in being one of the best of the rest.



Cleveland Guardians current record 30-17. The AL central will be a very close race between the Guardians and the Royals who are clearly the best two sides in the division. The Guardians continue to be a very similar team to their 2023 counterparts very solid pitching, very solid defending and very solid contact hitting that breeds the consistency needed to make the wild card playoff race. Led by face of the franchise Jose Ramirez the Guardians are the basically a continuation of the 2023 Guardians however this the division being less competitive the inter league wins will push the Guardians into a wild card berth.



Houston Astros current record 21-26. 3 weeks ago I don’t think I would have been predicting this the Astros started the season in dreadful form most of the starting rotation was injured or not preforming and players like Jose Abreu just down right awful. Abreu got sent to the minors for the first time in his whole career. The Fact of the matter is form is temporary class is permanent and the Astros have too many good players to be down for too long. Starting with their victory at Yankee stadium they are currently running 9-2 in their last 11 and I can only see a playoff ready team with a wild card push heading towards October and the extended season.

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