With the 2017 MLB season off to a start, the sports crew breaks down each team and predicts the playoffs.
- Red Sox- With the addition of Chris Sale the Red Sox now have another elite pitcher in their rotation along with young offense that led the league last year. If the Sox have a weakness it would be their bullpen, which will become important especially during the postseason.
- Blue Jays- The Jays have always had the bats but the Jays have developed a good rotation as well led by Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez. Even with Encarnacion going to Cleveland, Kendrys Morales will be a fine replacement.
- Yankees- The Yankees were the hottest team in baseball at the end of last season, led by young their bats, most notably Gary Sanchez. Ultimately their subpar rotation will be the team’s downfall and keep them out of the postseason.
- Orioles- While the rest of the MLB has developed the Orioles have remained the same team. They’ve yet to address their rotation which has been their downfall for years.
- Rays- The Rays are a team rebuilding in probably the most competitive division in baseball. The Rays should look to develop their young players.
- Indians- The Indians upgraded at first base by acquiring Encarnacion which will add a needed power bat in the middle of their lineup. The Tribe also has one of best rotations and bullpens in baseball. You have to consider the Tribe frontrunners to win the division again.
- Tigers- The Tigers are a team that I think will keep things close in the AL Central with an experienced lineup and rotation. My main concern for the Tigers is that their roster is getting older, so I question if the team will consistently stay healthy as the year goes on.
- Royals- The untimely of death ace pitcher Yordano Ventura will hurt the Royals rotation which was already weakness even with him on the team. The Royals bullpen also doesn’t have the same dominant pitchers they had when KC won it all two years ago.
- Twins- The Twins have two of the brightest prospects in baseball in Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. It’ll be exciting to see these two develop, but their weak pitching rotation will keep them under .500.
- White Sox- The White Sox have one of the best farm systems in baseball headlined by Yoan Moncada, who’s the 2nd best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com. The future’s bright but this year they won’t be able to compete at all.
- Rangers- The Rangers have one of the top rotations, when healthy with Cole Hamels headlining the staff. They also have a great mix of young and veteran bats in their lineup which could make these Rangers a strong contender coming down the stretch.
- Astros- The Astros have the best up and coming player in baseball, Carlos Correa. With him, Jose Altuve, and George Springer in the 1, 2, 3 spots the Astros have a powerful lineup. My glaring issue with their team is their rotation which will ultimately be thier downfall.
- Mariners- Seattle is still a strong squad all in all. They’ve got elite batters in Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager along with an ace in Felix Hernandez. Don’t sleep on the Mariners they can unexpectedly win this division.
- Angles- They’ve got the best player in baseball in Mike Trout. After that, there’s not much there. A storyline to follow is whether or not manager Mike Socia stays with the club. He’s had plenty of years to prove himself but has yet to win a ring.
- A’s- All around a bad team. I bet you that the A’s would love to have Addison Russell to rebuild their franchise but he’s right now in Chicago looking to win back to back rings.
- Nationals- With the loss of Denard Span, the Nationals needed a new centerfielder. Over the offseason, the Nationals acquired Adam Eaton for their top prospect, Lucas Giolito. With Harper at the center of the lineup and Scherzer and Strasburg at the helm of the rotation, the Nationals will look to be a contender this season.
- Mets- Mets fans did not have a lot to cheer about this offseason. They will have the exact same starting 25 man roster they did last year. Having said, this is a promising squad that qualified for the playoffs with a Wild Card spot.
- Marlins- The new ace for the Marlins is going to be former Orioles pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen. With a weak rotation, the Marlins make up for it with their bullpen with the acquisitions of Tazawa and Ziegler. Mostly a contact and speed team, the Marlins will rely on Giancarlo Stanton to provide most of the power.
- Braves- The Braves went out to get two veterans to add to their rotation, both who have seen success in the National League. Bartolo Colon had a successful 15 win season last year. The other addition was knuckleballer R.A. Dickey who won a Cy Young Award with the Mets in 2012.
- Phillies- The Phillies are team that is looking to rebuild. They have two promising young players in J.P. Crawford and Odubel Herrera. They Phillies will also be looking for newly acquired Clay Buchholz to eat up some innings in the rotation.
- Cubs- The Cubs are the perfect definition of a success story. They have a young group of players that all could have won rookie of the year in their rookie year. At the helm, they have the reigning National League MVP, Kris Bryant.
- Cardinals- After rookie shortstop, Aledmys DIaz, had a breakout season, the Cardinals will rely on him and their offense to carry them through the season. Yadier Molina and the Cardinals just agreed on a long term extension that will keep him with the Cardinals organization for an additional three years.
- Pirates- For the past few seasons, the Pirates have always seemed to be a playoff contender despite the amount of injuries they sustain late in the season. During the offseason, the Pirates talked to other teams and mentioned trading the face of the franchise, Andrew McCutchen. However, he has not been traded yet and is assumed to be in the Pirates’ Opening Day lineup.
- Brewers- The Brewers added some power in their lineup with the acquisition of Travis Shaw. Shaw was traded from Boston in a deal that sent reliever Tyler Thornburg to Boston. Otherwise, the Brewers will be looking for contributions from promising second baseman, Jonathan Villar.
- Reds- The Reds have two major speed threats at the top of their lineup in Hamilton and Peraza. With Votto in the three hole, the Reds will be looking for their younger players to come through at the bottom of the lineup.
- Giants- Entering last season, the Giants were expected to have the best rotation, after the acquisitions of Cueto and Samardzija. Before the trade deadline, they also added lefty Matt Moore to this deep rotation.
- Dodgers- Dodgers rookie sensation, Corey Seager, had an outstanding season last year. Winning rookie of the year, Seager went on to carry the Dodgers to the postseason. In addition to him, the Dodgers have arguably the best pitcher in the majors right now, Clayton Kershaw.
- Rockies- Rockies shortstop, Trevor Story, kicked off his career by hitting a homerun in his first three games. Story will look to add to his own story and be a key player in the Rockies lineup. The Rockies also added former Royals closer, Greg Holland to their bullpen during the offseason.
- D Backs- The Diamondbacks were rather quiet this offseason. Greinke and Miller will be looking for bounce back years at the helm of the rotation. Pollock will also be coming back from the DL this year, after missing all of the 2016 season.
- Padres- The Padres are currently undergoing a rebuilding process. After trading away their ace, Drew Pomeranz, they will be dependent on their young stars to fill in. For their lineup, Meyers and Solarte will be the heart of it.
AL MVP: Mike Trout LAA
NL MVP: Kris Bryant CHI
AL Cy Young: Corey Kluber CLE
NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg WAS
AL ROY: Andrew Benintendi BOS
NL ROY: Dansby Swanson ATL
AL Wild Card:
NL Wild Card:
- Indians over Blue Jays
- Rangers over Red Sox
- Cubs over Cardinals
- Nationals over Giants