Postseason and Season Awards: Baseball Essential Staff Predictions

American League Champions

Toronto Blue Jays (79%)

Also receiving votes: Kansas City Royals (15%), Texas Rangers (3%), New York Yankees (3%)

As the hottest team since August 1st, the Blue Jays were the most popular choice, and for good reason. The Blue Jays’ lineup is as dominant as any in recent memory, with Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, and Troy Tulowitzki (if healthy). The addition of David Price has been pivotal to give the Jays a lockdown Game 1 starter, which the team was sorely lacking in the first half. Marcus Stroman who has been strong since coming back from a ACL injury, should be good for a Game 2 start. The Royals, who came tantalizingly close to winning their first World Series since 1985 last year, should be contenders, and having home field could prove crucial. As teams learned during last year’s playoffs, the K is not terribly hospitable to visitors. The Rangers are an intriguing choice. With Cole Hamels headlining the rotation, the Rangers could continue to ride their hot streak to an AL pennant. The Yankees, meanwhile have veterans looking at what could be their last chance at glory, along with young players such as Luis Severino, Greg Bird, and the like looking to prove themselves.

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