Tristan Beckmann’s Ultimate 2018 MLB Season Preview And Predictions

It’s one of the most exciting times of year. Baseball is here. It’s back! The MLB kicks off its season on Thursday, March 29th. We are in for a treat this season and baseball fans around the world will gather in a few days to start watching the long journey from Opening Day to the World Series. So since it’s almost Opening Day, I decided to throw together my ultimate preview and predictions for the 2018 MLB season. I’ll predict each award, regular season standings, breakdown the divisions, and predict the entire postseason. Obviously, no one quite knows whether these predictions will be right, but I think I’m a good enough expert about baseball to where these predictions could be reasonably accurate. I hope you agree with them and even if you don’t, be sure to hit me up on Twitter @TBeckmannPSF and give me your thoughts on my predictions. I’m always up for some debate. But enough talking, let’s get right into this Ultimate 2018 MLB Season Preview!

Table of Contents:

PG.1: Introduction.

PG.2: Standings And Divisoon Breakdowns.

PG.3: Playoff Predictions.

PG.4: Awards Predictions.

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Money talks, but signs show Bryce Harper likes Chicago.

Unless you’re living under a rock, most baseball fans know that Bryce Harper is a free agent after the 2018 season. Talk has already started on who he will go to. Will he stay with the Nationals? Will the Yankees pay him the biggest contract ever? Obviously, money talks, and I’m guessing Harper is the guy who cares about money more than where he plays. But, has he been giving out hints that Chicago is where he wants to go?

Let’s break down what we already know. Bryce Harper, and Cubs star, Kris Bryant, both grew up in the Las Vegas area. They’ve played with, and against each other since they were 13 years old. Now, they still keep in very good touch. Even their wives do as well.

Kris Bryant’s wife (left) posted this on her Instagram story yesterday sitting next to Bryce Harper’s wife (right) during the game. Also with a subtle, #HarperToTheCubs, hashtag. Sure, we’ve known they’ve been friends for a long time but, did you know Bryce Harper’s dog’s name is Wrigley? Makes you think.

This picture Bryce Harper posted in June with Kris Bryant and each of their wives, caused an MLB media uproar.

Hm, #Back2BackOneDay? Either Bryce loves to throw out hints, or he just loves watching the media go insane. Now let’s see something more recent. The Cubs just finished their series with the Nationals today in Chicago. Bryce, again, loves dropping the hints.

#WhatAPlace, like a place you would like to live? And play baseball? And go #Back2BackOneDay? Hm.

I mean, he’s not wrong.

Who does this? He’s obviously saying “see you soon”.

By any means, I’m not saying he’s going to be a Cub. Money wise, it’s hard and he wants a lot of it. But could he possibly look past the money to play for the franchise he’s dropping hints on? I don’t know. Again, money talks. But, you know who also talks? Theo. Theo is the only guy I can trust with this. I literally can’t say, “this is never going to happen,” because Theo is the guy. Bryce Harper and his hints.

#Back2BackOneDay #WhatAPlace #HarperToTheCubs

twitter/ @1N2W_

Cubs take 2 of 3 against the Cardinals at Wrigley. 

As Willson Contreras said after the Orioles series, “We’re Back” I guess it is safe to say that the champs are back to its winning ways and it is also safe to say that Maddon has the offense and pitching back on track. With the help from their star players including Bryant, Rizzo, Contreras, Zobrist and the revamped pitching staff the Chicago Cubs were able to take two out of three games at home in front 40,000 plus fans all weekend. Jose Quintana allowed three runs and struck out seven in six innings in his Cubs home debut Sunday against the Cardinals. Since the all star break the Cubs are 8-1 with a whopping 20 home run just though 9 games. With that addtion of pitcher Jose Quintana it seems that it has most definitely sparked a surge in the Cubs clubhouse. The two players that standout most to me is Contreras and Bryant. Contreras has been seeing the ball like to a beachball, he’s been hammering homers left and right. As for his catching abilities I put him up there as a young Molina, no doubt in my mind he will always be an All-Star. As for Kris Bryant, he’s back to his MVP ways, whether it’s him getting clutch hits, cranking homers or just heads up base running he seems it be in the right state of mind when it comes to it. Now the next 4 days for the Cubs will be the crosstown classic. Two at home (Monday and Tuesday) and two away (Wednesday and Thursday). I believe that Quintana will pitch Thursday, wouldn’t that be something to watch him face his old and hopefully muster a win for the Cubs. As for trade rumors the Cubs are eyeing, Yu Darvish, Jonathan Lucroy, Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander and Alex Avila. The smart move would to acquire Darvish and Lucroy for the simple fact that they both are from the same team, they know signs and they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It will be interesting to see how the next couple of weeks play out when it comes down to the trade deadline. 

Is Justin Verlander Headed to Chicago or Milwaukee?

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander has been on a lot of teams radar lately, but are the Cubs and Brewers up there?
According to @anthonyfench who is a free press sports writer, covering the Tigers states, “that the Brewers are interested, … and the Cubs are said to be monitoring the situation.” 
I do not believe that the Cubs will go after Verlander that hard, but I could see the Brewers going after him. If the Brewers have any desire to make the postseason, they will have to be active this trade deadline and make some splashes and Verlander could be that piece. The Brewers could really use an experienced pitcher who could bring some leadership into their clubhouse.
Verlander has posted a 4.54 ERA so far this year.

Follow us on twitter to keep up with all the trade deadline news @1N2W_

Is Zach Britton Headed to Chicago In the Near Future?


News has just been reported that the Cubs have interest in Zach Britton and he may be coming to Chicago.

Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand on twitter) who is a executive reporter at MLB.com states that an industry source believes the Cubs will trade for Britton.

Jesse Rogers at bleachernation.com stated “Not to get too hyped that this is something that will actually happen, but I do think  – particullary given that the Orioles are probably serious about trading Britton right now if they can get good return – this bears watching.” Rogers basically states that this is something that could happen, but don’t be suprised if it does not.

If this does end up happening what do the Cubs do? Currently they Have Candelario and De La Cruz that could be an interest for the Orioles (IMO).

Britton has a 1.93 ERA on the year out of the bullpen with a WHIP of 1.71.

Stay with us on twitter @1N2W_ as we follow the news.

@Jteeter67

 

Jose Quintana’s Historic Start in Cubs Debut

Jose Quintana’s was traded from the Chicago White Sox to the Chicago Cubs last Thursday for 4 Cubs prospects. Two of  the four prospects traded to the White Sox were listed as the top two prospects within the Cubs organization. Shortly after, Quintana was added to the Cubs rotation and set to start verses the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

The trade of Quintana was the first time in 11 years that the Cubs and White Sox had conducted a crosstown trade. After the trade many fans were exited to see if Quintana would be able help steer the struggling Cubs in the right direction. Quintana’s much anticipated start on Sunday did not disappoint.

In his first start with the Cubs, Quintana proceeded to have one of the best games of his career. He went 7 innings, gave up 3 hits, walked zero and struck out 12 Baltimore Orioles hitters. His performance made the Cubs line up look like it was 2016 all over again, propelling the them to win 8-0.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Quintana has joined Randy Johnson in being the only pitchers to have double digit strike outs with two different teams in the same season since 1900.  After the game Quintana said “This one is special for me. First one with the Cubs. I’m really happy.”

Cubs players are happy to be back to baseball, and grateful for Quintana’s work on the mound. Catcher Wilson Contreras said “We are back to where we were last year.” He also praised Quintana on an outstanding start, “We knew that he could pitch pretty good, but today was his day,” Contreras said ” After the game, I thanked him.”

The Cubs have gotten off to a hot start since the All-Star Break, outscoring the Orioles 27-11 in 3 games. If the Cubs line up can continue giving run support  to their pitchers then we may be in for a treat for the second half of the season.

 

 

Could The Cubs Be Out On Sonny Gray?

Rumors have been surfacing the past few days saying that the Cubs could be one of the teams to acquire Gray, well it might not be that way any more. 
Brett Taylor at BleacherNation.com stated that @KenRosenthal believed the Cubs will not go after Gray anymore. Rosenthal stated that Gray would cost the Cubs “Ian Happ or one of the other top young position players on the big league roster.” 
The Cubs could still make a move for Gray, but it is now looking more unlikely. Rosenthal says the Cubs will probably stick what they have and explore free agency. 
Do you believe the Cubs will still make a move? Let us know on twitter @1N2W_
                                                        @Jteeter67

It’s time to get weird, get hyped, and get our morale back in the 2nd half.

Bandwagon fans don’t read this

#WeAreBack

The 2nd half is starting tonight and the Cubs are 43-45. Forget it. This is the way I’m looking at it:

The season starts tonight, but there are only  74 games. The Cubs have to start off 2 games below .500 because they are the World Series champions. Even better now, there is only 1 team they need to focus on. The Brewers. Which are 5.5 games ahead of the Cubs because of course, they need a head start. 74 games, 5.5 games back, and one championship caliber team. Who’s believing?

Sure, if you don’t look at it my way then look at it this way. The Cubs started to crawl towards the All-Star break last year. Mostly because of injuries. Guess what? Our injuries came early and our slump came early. We just needed to be refreshed. 88 games and a break should be enough time to get rid of a hangover. If you think this is a dumb way to look at it then look at this.


Imagine not thinking that Joe Maddon is one of the best managers in the game. This team is way better than the 2015 Cubs and look what they did. The only thing I still doubt is Joe’s random decisions so far this year. It seems like he was picking the lineup out of a hat sometimes, but sure I’ll trust him.

I’m going off the title. It’s time to get weird again. Bring a whole zoo into the club house. Bring a magician. More random outfit days. Have Joe drive his 1976 Dodge Van before every game. I love when this team is having fun. So let’s get weird. Not too weird though.

Get hyped. We aren’t out of it yet. 5.5 games back is nothing for this team. Everyone is asking when the Cubs will ht their stride and I think they understand that this is their last chance. There’s not too much to say to get everyone pumped. Just be pumped. This team will be electric this half, and for years to come so don’t think it’s over. It’s just getting started. If this article didn’t help you at all, check out this sweet 2nd half hype video by @WindyWrigley

 

The last thing we need to have a great 2nd half is morale. Believe in the team. A lot of us have given up hope already, and the one’s who haven’t are actually reading this article. Morale is everything. It keeps hope flowing. The DOM, or Stool Fred, has given us the Spanish Cubs, the dickballers, and the slumpbusters. The ultimate believer. Believe in our guys. Now I’m not writing this to say we’re going to repeat this year. This is just to keep morale alive. We are competitors. 5.5 games out and 2 games under .500, but we’re still in it. One game at a time. We aren’t out yet. #WeAreBack #WeAreGood

Oh, it’s #CubsTurnAroundszn

 

Thanks to @WindyWrigley for letting us use his video!

Subscribe to his YT: Windy Wrigley Highlights

Our twitter: @1N2W_

Heads Up! The Cubs Are Still Going After Sonny Gray

sonny-gray.jpg

According to @JonMorosi at MLBN the Cubs are still interested in RHP Sonny Gray, even after the Jose Quintana trade.

Gray has not had a great year, but he has the potential to be a great picther. He currently has a 4.00 ERA, but back in 2015 he posted a 2.73 ERA in 208 innings pitched. I believe Gray would be a good get for the Cubs, and it would also keep the division leading Brewers from getting him.

Chicago has some talent that they might be able to get him with. Some of these players include Jeimer Candelario, Addison Russell, and maybe even Javier Baez.

Do you believe the Cubs will make a trade, and if so who do the Cubs trade for Gray? Let us know on our twitter @1N2W_

@Jteeter67

 

The Cubs Could Be Adding Another Pitcher In Brad Hand

Today the Cubs acquired Quintana from the  White Soxs and it seems they are not done.

@Jonheyman at Fanrag sports’ reported that the Cubs are one of many teams that are believed to show interest in Brad Hand.

Hand has posted a 2.30 ERA In 42 games out of the pen this year, and he was selected to this years all star game.

I believe that the Cubs bullpen is doing fine, but another good piece would not hurt. Who do you think the Cubs would give up if they were to go after Hand?


Here is his contract for the next few years. Let us know what you think about this on our twitter @1N2W_

@Jteeter67