White Sox: Predicting AL Central and other 2021 MLB division winners

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

It’s hard to believe, but Opening Day is here Chicago White Sox fans! I have no idea why it isn’t a national holiday but in the meantime, it’s time for fans of every team to get excited about their team’s prospects for the season. Unfortunately, some of you will be disappointed as I lay out my predictions for each division winner, starting with the American League East. Even if you don’t like the results, you can still take them to the bank.

AL East: New York Yankees

No team in the American League has as good of a lineup as the Yankees when healthy. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu make this lineup arguably the best in baseball. Their pitching isn’t as good but they do have Gerrit Cole to start things off. The Toronto Blue Jays may have a better future long-term but for now, the AL East belongs to the Yankees.

AL Central: Chicago White Sox

With Eloy Jimenez’s injury, you might think that the Minnesota Twins are a favorite over the White Sox. History shows that the rivalry between these teams usually ends with the Twins out on top. However, the Sox are much younger than the Twins are so I believe they have more potential.

In 2008, MVP candidate Carlos Quentin (who is a very similar player to Eloy Jimenez) was injured and the White Sox still managed to squeak out a division title against the Twins. The same will happen this year. Losing Jimenez isn’t ideal but I’m confident the White Sox will find someone good enough to fill the void in the lineup. Underrated shortstop Tim Anderson may emerge as an MVP candidate.

AL West: Los Angeles Angels

Last season, the division was won by the Oakland Athletics but they lost a lot of good players in free agency, especially Liam Hendriks and Marcus Semien. The battle this year will likely come down to the Astros and the Angels. It’s a tough call but I’m going to pick the Angels. Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and even Albert Pujols will have better years this year. Now that this team is going to hit, the only question is can they pitch? I’m guessing just well enough.

NL East: Atlanta Braves

Though the Braves are my pick to win the division, I think that the Mets, Nationals, and even Phillies could be decent competitors for it. I just think the Braves are the best and most well-rounded team. The Mets talked a big game coming into the offseason, which makes their additions of Fransisco Lindor and James McCann somewhat underwhelming in what would otherwise be a great offseason.

The Mets are a great contender for a wild card spot, which might not be a bad thing with Jacob DeGrom on the mound. The Phillies have some nice stars but don’t have the depth to be better than a second or third-place team.

NL Central: Milwaukee Brewers

A lot of people would pick the Cardinals but outside of Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, their lineup isn’t that good. The Brewers have made the playoffs in the past three seasons. They are the only team in the NL Central who can say that. Look for Christian Yelich to have a bounce-back season.

The Chicago Cubs could be very good but they could also be very bad. I’m going to predict them finishing with a losing record which could cause their core four (Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Wilson Contreras) to split up after the season.

Related Story. A look at the 2021 Chicago White Sox roster. light

NL West: LA Dodgers

The Dodgers have won this division for the past 8 seasons and are the defending World Series champions. They may win it again which would make them the first team to repeat in over twenty years. They are talented enough to do it. The Padres made a lot of exciting moves this winter, (adding Yu Darvish and Blake Snell to an already good rotation) but I’m not ready to say they’re better than the Dodgers yet.