Preview: The Astros have been World Series contenders for the past few years now. It’s not looking like that is going to change anytime soon. They have added outfielder Michael Brantley (.309 BA and .832 OPS in 2018) to what was already a deadly lineup consisting of all-stars Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer, and Carlos Correa. Last season, the Astros had the best starting pitching rotation in baseball. While they could potentially have that title again, the rotation is going to look a little different this year. The Stros have already lost Charlie Morton to free agency and Lance McCullers is out for the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery. Also, it is still unclear whether Dallas Keuchel will remain in Houston as he is testing out free agency as well. Even with the changes, Houston looks to have a very solid starting rotation led by right-handers Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, both among the best pitchers in the league. The Astros added lefty Wade Miley to the rotation this offseason. Miley had a solid, but limited, 2018 season in Milwaukee with a 2.57 ERA in only 80.2 innings pitched. The Astros bullpen has improved over the past couple of years; the addition of closer Roberto Osuna late last season being one reason. The Astros are also looking for productive seasons from relievers Chris Devenski, Will Harris, and Ryan Pressly. The Astros remain one of the top contenders in the league and are undoubtedly eyeing a return to the World Series.
The Red Sox have the offensive power to go the distance this year; no question about it. Sadly for the loyal fans in Boston, the consistent problems in the bullpen may prevent them from any post season accomplishments. While the Sox have over 100 wins on the season with 5 games to play, the only team this season to reach that mark thus far, the bullpen struggles have become even more severe in the 2nd half of the season. The Sox own an MLB worst 12 bullpen blown saves since the All Star break. Time is running out in Boston to fix this issue; the Yankees, Astros, and Indians will surely capitalize on this weakness if it isn’t turned around. See All Teams Here!
30. Chicago White Sox (21-41) Previous Ranking – 26
Chicagoans continue to claim this White Sox squad is built for the future, which I hope has some truth to it; the present isn’t looking to hot… Pitching is the main problem of this ballclub, but it also could be time for some coaching changes. The long season continues for White Sox fans.