New Year's Predictions
Happy New Year everyone! To celebrate the New Year I decided to make 2017 predictions. I'm not going to do a playoff bracket but I'm going to state my predictions for who's going to win each division and why. So here you go, my 2017 MLB predictions:
AL East: Red Sox- For arguably the most competitive division in baseball, I say the Red Sox will repeat as victors of the division. The Red Sox have lost their leader and a star player in David Ortiz, but they've added some pieces to make up for that. The Sox's rotation is one of the best in baseball after adding Chris Sale, and if David Price can return to form the rest of the AL may be in trouble. The Red Sox have also added to their bullpen which was a weaker spot for them last year, and if Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez can do what they did last year, the AL East should be easy for the Sox to win.
AL Central: Indians- The Tribe took home the AL pennant last year and only got better. They're going to have a full year of Andrew Miller, a healthy, young rotation, and they're adding Michael Brantley back into their line up and getting Edwin Encarnacion. The reigning AL champs have only gotten better from last year so don't be surprised if they win the Central again, but the Tigers may have other plans so the tribe must be careful of Detriot.
AL West: Astros- In 2013 the Astros lost over 100 games. 2 years later however they made the postseason, winning the wildcard game. Now a full season after that I believe the time for Houston to win the West has come. The reigning champ Rangers have lost a lot this season, and look to be a wild card contender at best. With losing Ian Desmond and Derek Holland, depth has become a big issue for the Rangers and I believe their current roster won't be able to contend for 162 games. The Astros made some big pick ups in Brian McCann, Josh Reddick, and Carlos Beltran, and with the talent that was already in Houston I believe this team can finally win the West.
NL East: Nationals- The NL East in my mind isn't very competitive any more. The injury plagued Mets have to stay healthy to have a chance and the Marlins have to do a little more work before they can be more than just a wildcard threat, and the Braves and Phillies are just rebuilding. This is why I pick the Nationals. Adam Eaton will be very good for them, not only for a great defensive outfielder, but a good lefty bat in the Nats lineup. Their pitching rotation is deadly with the reigning NL Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strausburg returning, the Nationals have a great shot and if Bryce Harper has a bounce back year, the NL East should be a given for the Nationals.
NL Central: Cubs- C'mon do I really have to justify this pick? The Cubs are the reigning World Champions, and have only gotten better with the offseason. The Cubs offense is one of the best in baseball with reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, etc, and their rotation has 2 of the top 3 pitchers for the NL Cy Young award and that's not even including Jake Arrieta. The Cubs are a great young team and they've added Wade Davis from the Royals, and a little more bullpen help just for good measure. This talented club all being managed by a mastermind in Joe Maddon, the Cubbies should win the Central, even if the Cardinals stay healthy and play well.
NL West: Giants- In recent years the NL West has been a battle between the Giants and the Dodgers with the Dodgers always coming out on top (in the NL West not overall because we know how most even years in the recent past have ended). I believe this year the Dodger's streak will be ended. The Dodgers will not only have to pay a lot of money in luxury tax, the Dodgers are missing key pieces. The Dodgers lost Chase Utley and Josh Reddick to free agency (Now talks for the Dodgers getting Brian Dozier form the Twins have been heating up but until that happens my prediction still stands). The Giants biggest problem last year was the 9th inning. The closer role not only kept changing between Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo, but both of those guys are free agents, so the Giants went out and got Mark Melancon. The Giants now have one of the best closers in the game, and the Dodgers aren't as strong so I think this will be the odd year out for the Giants (see what I did there). I believe the Giants will finally take the NL West title this year!
I hope you enjoyed my predictions. I'd love to hear everyone's opinions and predictions for the New Baseball year. I hope everyone has a happy and healthy New Year and 43 days till pitchers and catchers report!