2017 MLB Predictions

baseball

Let’s start with this; I’m never really accurate with predictions when it comes to any of the four major sports, but baseball is the one sport I’m generally the closest with. I’m really excited about this upcoming season for my Phillies and just the game itself, especially after the Cubbies broke the 108 year title drought. Here are my predictions, starting with the division finishes, wild card, division and NLCS/ALCS, as well as the World Series. Some might come as a surprise, some might come as  “Alex, you know nothing”.

AL East:

  1. Red Sox*
  2. Yankees (WC)
  3. Blue Jays
  4. Orioles
  5. Rays

There’s no doubt the AL East will be one of the more interesting divisions this year in baseball. The Red Sox loaded up adding Chris Sale to the rotation, although David Price’s elbow injury has become quite a concern. The Sox still have a ton of firepower in their lineup to get them the division crown. I’m high on the Yankees this year. If their young bucks stay healthy, they could make a huge push. The Jays still have a great lineup and young arms to make some noise, but I see this being the year they just fall out. The O’s and Rays just don’t have enough to keep up in this division.

AL Central:

  1. Indians*
  2. Tigers
  3. Royals
  4. Twins
  5. White Sox

This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Indians were the World Series runner up and added some nice pieces this winter, most notably Edwin Encarnacion who will definitely provide a power boost in the middle of the lineup. The Tigers still have Miguel Cabrerra and Justin Upton to anchor their lineup as well as a formidable pitching staff so I expect them to hang around in the division race. The Royals are a little bit of an enigma. The 2015 champs regressed a year ago and I’m not sure they can contend this season unless they make a splash at the deadline. The Twins and White Sox are out of the picture as they are in rebuild mode.

AL West:

  1. Astros*
  2. Rangers (WC)
  3. Mariners
  4. Athletics
  5. Angels

I am one of the biggest fans of what the Houston Astros have in both their lineup and pitching rotation. They’re loaded with a lot of young, stud players and can really make a serious run this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make a huge deal at the deadline to add more firepower to separate themselves in this division. The Rangers have, like the ‘Stros, have a lot of young players and a nice rotation with Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels at the top. The Rangers should be able to hang around and compete with their roster. Seattle is a question mark. They have some strong bats in their lineup and King Felix Hernandez as well as other young arms but with Houston and Texas being as strong as they are, I don’t think the Mariners will be able to keep up. The Athletics rely on their moneyball approach and while I think they have some nice pieces, they’re not ready to get back to the postseason yet. The Angels, finally, just don’t have enough at all. Mike Trout is good enough to carry them to a respectable season, but with their lack of young players, especially in the farm system, it might be time for the Angels to consider blowing up their current nucleus to rebuild their minor league affiliates.

NL East:

  1. Mets*
  2. Nationals (WC)
  3. Phillies
  4. Braves
  5. Marlins

The Mets have baseball’s best rotation, there is just no disputing that. Noah Syndergaard, Jake de Grom, Matt Harvey and Zach Wheeler give the Mets enough to “pitch” their way to the postseason and NL East crown. It helps too that they have a formidable lineup with some savvy veterans like Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce and Jose Reyes. I’m the biggest critic of the Nationals given that they have all the talent in the world, but can never make it out of a postseason series. As good as the Nationals are, I think the Mets can go toe-to-toe with them in crunch time even with the Nats having Max Scherzer and Stephen Strausburg. Bryce Harper, as always, is an MVP candidate although with his contract expiring soon, one has to wonder if he’ll be showcasing his talents for other teams and not worrying about the overall team play. The Phillies, in a non-biased tone, have a lot of reason to be optimistic. They have a ton of young hitters looking to improve from a year ago and a rotation that is still coming together. With even more pieces down in the minors, the Phillies have a lot to look forward to and new sense of optimism that I believe with help them this season. The Braves did a fine job landing some young players and building a more respectable team, one that looks like it will be centered around shortstop Dansby Swanson. The Marlins sadly lost stud pitcher Jose Fernandez several months ago due to his unexpected death, and I believe that will really hinder the Fish from making a splash this year, although I think Giancarlo Stanton will be one of the top three NL players in the MVP race.

NL Central:

  1. Cubs*
  2. Cardinals
  3. Pirates
  4. Brewers
  5. Reds

The defending champs absolutely win this division especially getting Kyle Schwarber back full time. There’s not much else to say about the Cubbies other than the fact they’re loaded and looking to repeat. The Cardinals are a team that always surprise people (just ask the 2011 Phillies) so I wouldn’t be surprised if they came together to push the Cubs. The Pirates have a strong nucleus but you have to wonder, if they begin falling out of playoff contention, does that make Andrew McCutchen available at the deadline? Beyond that, the Brewers and Reds are rebuilding and really don’t have a chance in this division.

NL West:

  1. Giants*
  2. Dodgers (WC)
  3. Rockies
  4. Diamondbacks
  5. Padres

I can’t get behind the Dodgers winning this division, let alone the World Series this year. Sorry LA fans, but until the Dodgers break this postseason curse of getting in with one of the best records and getting booted out, my expectations are low on the Dodgers until I’m proven wrong. It might be an “odd” year but the Giants still have a veteran loaded lineup and one of the better rotations in the league that I think will carry them to another divisional crown. The Rockies have a chance to surprise people this year. With a nice core of older and younger hitters and a pitching staff that is up and coming, they have a chance to finally start coming back into the race. The Diamondbacks need to prove me wrong on this list, given they were a popular postseason pick a year ago and really disappointed. The Padres are really the odd man out here with this division being dominated by the Giants and Dodgers the the Friars not having much to lean on.

AL Wild Card:

Rangers over Yankees

NL Wild Card:

Dodgers over Nationals

ALDS:

Astros over Rangers

Indians over Red Sox

NLDS:

Cubs over Dodgers

Mets over Giants

ALCS:

Indians over Astros

NLCS:

Mets over Cubs

World Series:
Indians over Mets

 

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