Monday, April 3, 2017

2017 MLB predictions


   
  Out of all the major sport leagues, the MLB has the longest season, with all 30 teams playing 162 regular season games every year. That leads to many, many predictions for the season. I have already previewed all 30 teams, predicting their outcomes in 2017, and which players will breakout, or bounce back. So, I've gathered my predictions here. First, we'll start with the divisions. For a more detailed preview, click the team that you want (also, the *s mean wild card teams).

      AL East:
      1. Boston Red Sox
      2. Toronto Blue Jays*
      3. Baltimore Orioles*
      4. New York Yankees
      5. Tampa Bay Rays

      This division is very competitive. The Red Sox have star pitchers Chris Sale and
Rick Porcello. Manager John Farrell will fill out the lineup card with stars Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. They seem to be a lock to win the division. The Jays and the O's tied for second last year. The Jays have power hitters Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki, while the Orioles have last year's HR leader Mark Trumbo, who is joined by Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Adam Jones in a stellar lineup. Both teams have below average rotations, with the O's best two pitchers being Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman, who are your average number 3 pitchers. The Jays young duo of Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman will give them the advantage. The Yanks will be very exciting with youngsters Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird and Aaron Judge playing big roles. Though they have star relievers Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, Masahiro Tanaka is the only dependable starter they have. The Rays, with ace Chris Archer, will struggle. Logan Forsythe is gone, Matt Duffy is injured, and Logan Morrison is a lock to start. This team isn't going places this year.

      AL Central:
      1. Cleveland Indians
      2. Detroit Tigers
      3. Kansas City Royals
      4. Chicago White Sox
      5. Minnesota Twins

      This division is much weaker than the AL East. The Tribe were great last year, and nearly won the World Series. Now with star Edwin Encarnacion on the club, they can do even better in 2017. They'll also get Michael Branley back. Don't forget about 2016 breakouts Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, either. Jason Kipnis is also solid. Their rotation is led by stars Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. They also have a top reliever in the game in Andrew Miller. Yep, they're stacked. The Tigers got back on the winning track in 2016, only to miss the playoffs. Older guys like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Justin Upton need to produce. Michael Fulmer won AL ROY in 2016. Justin Verlander nearly won Cy Young. They should come in second. The Royals seem to have fallen off since their 2015 WS win. Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas are entering walk years. They are also hurt by the passing of Yordano Ventura. The White Sox sold Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in the offseason. But, Todd Frazier, Jose Abreu and Jose Quintana are still around. They'll help the club finish 4th. The Twins are looking for Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Jose Berrios to produce. Besides them and star 2B Brian Dozier, this team isn't good.
 
        AL West:
        1. Texas Rangers
        2. Seattle Mariners
        3. Houston Astros
        4. Los Angeles Angels
        5. Oakland Athletics

        The Rangers were ready for a long playoff run. But, they had the worst offseason out of any team (in my opinion). OFs Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran are gone, and so is 1B Mitch Moreland. But they still have potent hitters in Rougned Odor and Adrian Beltre. Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish are solid pitchers. They'll most likely win the division. Stars Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura and Kyle Seager lead the Mariners offense. They'll need their rotation to come through. Jose Altuve, George Springer and Carlos Correa are all really good for the Astros. They have a chance if Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Lance McCullers can bounce back. The Angels have reigning Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but that's about it. The A's roster speaks for itself. Khris Davis is the only player who will most likely have a positive WAR on their team.

        NL East:
        1. Washington Nationals
        2. New York Mets
        3. Miami Marlins
        4. Atlanta Braves
        5. Philadelphia Phillies

        The Nats lineup is stacked, with Trea Turner, Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy hitting top 4. Max Scherzer is also a top pitcher. They're destined for success. With Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom, the Mets can compete for the playoffs. Without Jose Fernandez, the Marlins season will be tough. But, Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Dee Gordon make the lineup special. The Braves lineup is led by rookie Dansby Swanson, OF Ender Inciarte and 1B Freddie Freeman. Julio Teheran is also a solid pitcher. The Phillies are pretty bad. They'll need Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco to have solid seasons, while Aaron Nola breaks out.

         NL Central:
         1. Chicago Cubs
         2. St. Louis Cardinals*
         3. Pittsburgh Pirates
         4. Cincinnati Reds
         5. Milwaukee Brewers

         The Cubs are coming off a WS win. They are led on offense by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks lead a really good rotation. The Cards now have Dexter Fowler. He and Matt Carpenter make this a nice lineup. Carlos Martinez isn't a bad starter, either. The Bucs have a great outfield, with Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte. Gerrit Cole is a good ace. The Reds only bright spots on the current roster are power hitters Joey Votto and Adam Duvall, and prospect Jose Peraza. The Brewers only solid player on the current roster (who isn't a prospect) is Ryan Braun.

          NL West:
          1. Los Angeles Dodgers
          2. San Francisco Giants*
          3. Arizona Diamondbacks
          4. Colorado Rockies
          5. San Diego Padres

          The Dodgers are stacked, with Clayton Kershaw leading a solid rotation. Corey Seager can win MVP this year. Kenley Jansen is the best closer in the game. The Giants are lead by Madison Bumgarner. Mark Melancon is also a great closer. Buster Posey is always great. Brandon Belt, Joe Panik and Hunter Pence are also solid players. The D-backs need pitchers Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin and Shelby Miller to bounce back. Paul Goldschmidt will be Paul Goldschmidt this season. The Rockies have a top offense, with Nolan Arenado, Ian Desmond, Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and the list goes on. But, their rotation is ugly. The Padres bright spots are 1B Wil Myers, and OF prospects Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe. That's about it.

          I also have prediction for the awards.

          MVP:
          AL Jose Altuve, NL Corey Seager

         Cy Young:
         AL Corey Kluber, NL Clayton Kershaw

         Rookie of the year:
         AL Yoan Moncada, NL Dansby Swanson

         Comeback player of the year:
         AL Tyson Ross, NL Chad Bettis

        Manager of the year:
        AL Scott Servais (Seattle), NL Mike Matheny (St. Louis)

        Every year, people write their bold predictions for the season. Bold predictions are things that seem unlikely to happen but that person thinks it could. I have some bold prediction for the 2017 season.

        1. Reds closer Raisel Iglesias will become the first Reds pitcher to record 40 saves in a season since Francisco Cordero in 2010.
        2. Though he hit 20 HRs in just 2 months last season, Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez will fail to hit that amount in 2017.
        3. In 2017, Mariners shortstop Jean Segura will join the 30/30 club.

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