Aaron Judge levels out
This is not a knock on Aaron Judge. It’s simply an acknowledgement of the effect that a 162 game season has on a young player. MLB.com Fantasy Projections foresee Judge hitting .259 with 14 home runs and 40 RBI down the stretch. I think that’s fairly accurate. If it were to come true, Judge would end up batting .299 with 44 homers and 106 RBIs, which is definitely an AL Rookie of the Year campaign, and leave him in serious contention for AL MVP.
The Red Sox pull away
The Sox entered the All-Star break having won 10 of 15 games. Aside from multiple matchups against New York and Cleveland, Boston has a fairly favorable schedule, and almost surely will add pitching depth at the trade deadline to secure their spot atop the AL East.
The Cubs come around
The defending champions currently trail Milwaukee by 4.5 games in the National League Central. Given their experience, leadership, return to health, and a very favorable schedule Chicago will more than likely bridge the gap. There are only two matchups between now and the end of the regular season that pit Chicago against playoff teams (August home and road series against Arizona, home series against Washington).
The Brewers snag an NL Wild Card spot
Though the Cubs will likely take the NL central, a nice consolation for the Brewers would be an previously unexpected berth in the NL Wild Card Game, where they’d more than likely face whoever emerges from the Rockies-Diamondbacks dogfight for second in the NL West. It’d be huge for player development in Milwaukee, and is a testament to true parity in the MLB.
Predicted Final Standings
AL West Central East
1 Houston 105-57 1 Cleveland 93-69 1 Boston 92-70
2 Texas 83-79 2 Kansas City 82-80 2 NY Yankees 90-72
3 Seattle 76-86 3 Minnesota 81-81 3 Tampa Bay 82-80
4 LA Angels 74-87 4 Detroit 73-89 4 Baltimore 76-86
5 Oakland 63-99 5 Chicago Sox 72-90 5 Toronto 75-87
NL West Central East
1 LA Dodgers 109-53 1 Chicago Cubs 86-76 1 Washington 94-68
2 Colorado 86-76 2. Milwaukee 84-78 2 Miami 77-85
3 Arizona 83-79 3. St. Louis 81-81 3 Atlanta 76-86
4 San Diego 70-92 4. Pittsburgh 76-86 4 New York 73-89
5 San Francisco 68-94 5. Cinicinnati 67-95 5 Philadelphia 59-103