March 31, 2017

MLB 2017 season preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

The greatest curse in sports history ended in 2016. So what does Major League Baseball have in store for the 2017 campaign?

Seeing the Cubs win the World Series for the first time in more 100 years shows that just about anything can happen in baseball. So what’s in store for the encore? Could we see the Mets rise to glory? Will the Indians end their drought? Could the Giants win in an odd-numbered year? For once, it really seems that anything is possible.

Of course, there are still the big spenders out there. The Red Sox, for one, threw their weight around in the off-season, landing Chris Sale in blockbuster move and solidifying an already-top-notch rotation. The Dodgers threw a whole load of cash to keep some of their key players, too, and the New York Yankees brought back Aroldis Chapman after trading him to the Cubs mid-season.

Oh, and the Atlanta Braves decided to sign two starters, R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, who have a combined age of 85.

Baseball is one of the harder sports to predict, especially when it comes to looking at the playoffs from this far back. There are 162 games to be played by each team and season-ending injuries could happen any day. Your ace could throw a couple of innings and then be lost for more than a year due to Tommy John surgery. A hot hitter in April and May could tail off greatly after the all-star break, while some guys get better as the season rolls on.

With such a long season ahead, anything can really happen. There are very few things we do know, but there are some trends that are apparent. Pitching rules the league right now due to the rise in “three true outcome” hitters that will most likely either strike out, walk or go long.

Oh, and Moneyball doesn’t really work anymore when you have the 29 other teams in the league all pouring over stats and looking for the same inefficiencies. When everyone is looking for the same thing, you can’t really veer the other way, Oakland.

Finally, the biggest thing we can expect is that a team we think will be great will let us down, a team we expect to flounder will reel off a 10-game winning streak out of nowhere and the playoff races will come down to the last day or two.

The baseball season may be too long and will have its slogs through the dog days, but it usually comes through in the end.


AL East: Boston Red Sox

AL Central: Cleveland Indians

AL West: Houston Astros

AL wild cards: Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles

ALCS: Red Sox over Astros

NL East: New York Mets

NL Central: Chicago Cubs

NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers

NL wild cards: Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals

NLCS: Mets over Cubs

World Series: Red Sox over Mets

AL MVP: Mookie Betts, BOS

NL MVP: Anthony Rizzo, CHC

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander, DET

NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw, LAD

Worst team: Chicago White Sox

On the rise: Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies, Seattle Mariners

Disappointing: San Francisco Giants, Miami Marlins, Kansas City Royals

Biggest star to be traded: Joey Votto.

The Blue Jays: 85-77, third in the AL East, two games out of the wild card.

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