Here are the Globe staff predictions for the 2019 baseball season
AL East — Yankees. Boston vs. New York once again is like USA and Russia circa 1962. Both will win at least 100. Yanks will win a few more than Sox.
AL Central — Indians. Tito’s Tribe takes a step back, but still better than the rest of the bums in this division.
AL West — Astros. A power on a par with Red Sox and Yanks. Making American League Great Again.
AL wild cards — Red Sox, Athletics. 100 wins easily gets the Sox in the postseason. Oakland because the rest of the American League stinks.
NL East — Phillies. Gabe Kapler issues tie-dye T-shirts and Grateful Dead tapes.
NL Central — Cubs. “I’m glad the Red Sox finally admitted they [expletive] up,’’ says Jon Lester.
NL West — Dodgers. “We miss Manny Machado,’’ says No One.
NL wild cards — Cardinals, Giants. It’s been a while, but Cardinals always seem to be part of the NL playoffs. Giants makes no sense; I just like the Giants.
ALCS — Astros over Red Sox. Sox file complaint about the ’Stros stealing signs.
NLCS — Cubs over Dodgers. “Nice to win the JV championship,’’ says Theo.
World Series — Astros over Cubs. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.
AL East — Red Sox. It isn’t easy to repeat in baseball, but with these pitchers, Sox will edge out the Yanks again.
AL Central — Indians. Best of a bad division, but miles away from the league’s top teams.
AL West — Astros. Rounding out baseball’s big three along with the Red Sox and Yankees. So. Much. Talent.
AL wild cards — Yankees, Athletics. With that lineup and bullpen, the Yankees will battle the Sox to the very end. Oakland’s last team standing gives an embattled city something to cheer for.
NL East — Nationals. The Bryce Harper curse moves to Philly.
NL Central — Cubs. Too much talent to not get another crack at a title.
NL West — Dodgers. Fueled by World Series loss, Dodgers charge back to the playoffs.
NL wild cards — Mets, Giants. Solid pitching finally carries Mets to something meaningful. A healthy Buster Posey anchors a bounce-back season in San Fran that ends the lean years.
ALCS — Astros over Red Sox. Alex Cora tastes disappointment in this round for first time in three seasons.
NLCS — Dodgers over Cubs. Losing Manny Machado won’t stop this LA train.
World Series — Astros over Dodgers. Third straight year of disappointment for Dodgers, who can’t keep up with Astros’ offense.
Christopher L. Gasper
AL East — Yankees. The Pinstripes are the archetypical MLB team in 2019: power hitters and power relievers.
AL Central — Indians. Terry Francona & Co. ride the AL’s best rotation to a fourth straight division crown.
AL West — Astros. Nothing will interfere with Houston hitting it out of the park here.
AL wild cards — Red Sox, Twins. There’s a World Series hangover in the Hub.
NL East — Mets. On the 50th anniversary of the Amazin’ Mets, the Mets shock baseball again.
NL Central — Cubs. Theo Epstein makes a midseason move for a starter.
NL West — Dodgers. Who needs LeBron James when you have Walker Buehler?
NL wild cards — Nationals, Brewers. The Nats are better off without Bryce Harper, the Marvin Lewis of MLB (no playoff wins).
ALCS — Indians over Astros. In Tito I Trust.
NLCS — Dodgers over Cubs. Dodgers make it three straight World Series.
World Series — It’s all coming up Cleveland, from Baker Mayfield to OBJ to the Indians ending MLB’s longest current World Series drought.
AL East — Yankees. The Red Sox will keep it close but settle for a wild card.
AL Central — Twins. Somebody is going to take advantage of the Indians taking a step back.
AL West — Astros. There are some cracks in Houston’s foundation but not enough for them to fall out of first.
AL wild cards — Indians, Red Sox. Terry Francona vs. Alex Cora in a win-or-go-home game.
NL East — Nationals. They will be better off without Bryce Harper.
NL Central — Cubs. There’s a lot at stake in Chicago, starting with Joe Maddon’s job.
NL West — Dodgers. The division doesn’t have a team good enough to dethrone the Dodgers.
NL wild cards — Cardinals, Phillies. Two teams added prominent players and improved. What a concept.
ALCS — Red Sox over Astros. Experience and starting pitching depth will pay off for the Sox once the postseason starts.
NLCS — Cubs over Phillies. Old Las Vegas pals Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper slug it out.
World Series — Red Sox over Cubs. It’s 1918 all over again, and the Red Sox repeat as champs.
AL East — Red Sox. Probably a makeup call, since it felt pretty silly by the end of October not to have picked them in ’18.
AL Central — Indians. Again. Wake me up when September ends.
AL West — Astros. This is not a golden era for divisional parity.
AL wild cards — Yankees, Rays. The odds of either the Red Sox or Yankees missing the playoffs seem remote. Rays added offense to a pitching staff that has become a nightmare for opposing teams.
NL East — Nationals. Maybe Juan Soto will be the consistent superstar that Bryce Harper never became.
NL Central – Cubs. Healthy Kris Bryant transforms the struggling offense.
NL West — Dodgers. As ever, a ridiculously deep team built to withstand the schedule.
NL wild cards — Padres, Mets. The best minor league systems (San Diego) tend to coalesce at the big league level a year ahead of schedule. Mets is an East Coast bias.
ALCS — Indians over Yankees. My stuff doesn’t work in the playoffs.
NLCS — Nationals over Dodgers. I remain committed to picking a Nationals-Indians World Series until one of them ends its Sisyphean quest.
World Series — Nationals over Indians. Craig Kimbrel, signed on the Fourth of July, records the final out.
AL East — Red Sox. Leaps forward by Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Rafael Devers will make up for slight regression from 2018 hitting stars.
AL Central — Twins. New manager Rocco Baldelli (37) is a year younger than new slugger Nelson Cruz (38). Both will be ideal fits.
AL West — Astros. Mike Trout and Mookie Betts are the league’s two premier players. Alex Bregman is better than everyone else.
AL wild cards — Yankees, Rays. The AL East is a beast. Good thing they all have the Orioles to punt around.
NL East — Phillies. Bryce Harper is the new face of the Phils, but it’s ace Aaron Nola who will lead them to October.
NL Central — Cubs. Jon Lester’s three most similar pitchers statistically: Justin Verlander, Andy Pettitte, and Dwight Gooden.
NL West — Dodgers. Changing of the guard: Walker Buehler, and not Clayton Kershaw, will be the must-watch ace at Chavez Ravine.
NL wild cards — Braves, Padres. They’ve met once in the playoffs, when the Padres won the 1998 NLCS in six games. Ronald Acuna Jr. turned 1 two months later.
ALCS — Red Sox over Astros. If A.J. Hinch doesn’t already regret teaching Alex Cora his managerial methods and ways, he will now.
NLCS — Cubs over Phillies. Joe Maddon defeats Harper in the Annoying Bowl.
World Series — Red Sox over Cubs. The lovable losers turned 21st century juggernauts have to collide one of these years.