Monday, April 3, 2017

Cousin Jason's 2017 Predictions

AL East
Boston- These Sox should wear out opponents offensively, let’s hope the pitching staff gets healthy and does the same
Tampa Bay- Why not the Rays? They pitch as well as any of the other AL East teams, maybe they finally can hit to match
Toronto- The Jays have plenty of pieces, can John Gibbons correctly put the puzzle together
New York- We’re a couple of years away from the next great chapter in the Sox/Yankees rivalry
Baltimore- The O’s seemingly overachieve every year, but this pitching staff will need to use more smoke and mirrors than the Great and Powerful Oz to repeat that feat in 2017

AL Central
Cleveland- Can the Lake Erie Warriors replicate 2016? Playing in the Central will help their chances, current slew of injuries will not
**Detroit- The Bengals got the band back together for one last tour, are they Hot-N-Ready to memorialize Mr. I with a pennant? Motown would go crazy, crazy if so
Minnesota- The Twins have a young nucleus that will surprise many by being consistently competitive
Chicago- The rebuild has already netted lots of future stars, a strong 2nd half from Moncada, Lopez, Giolito, and Kopech leap the South Siders out of the cellar
Kansas City- It may be more of a reload than a rebuild but the Royals sell off their potential free agents and it’s like 2007 in KC

AL West
Seattle- The M’s sniffed the playoffs last year, a better offensive unit gets them over the hump
*Houston- The ‘Stros could be MLB’s best team in 2018...which means they are a year away
Texas- The Rangers have too many question marks on their pitching staff to hang with their counterparts in a tough division
Anaheim- Halo fans will again enjoy watching Mike Trout be one of the best players in all of baseball, sadly his teammates are only mediocre at best
Oakland- The A’s could easily finish 3rd in this division if their usual off-season free agent shopping spree at Marden’s pays off and their young pitchers continue to mature, not sure that happens enough in 2017

Post Season
Wildcard Game: Verlander and the Upton’s (a pair of bombs each) lead the Tigers over the Astros
ALDS: Red Sox over Tigers in 6, Mariners over Indians in 7
ALCS: Red Sox over Mariners in 7 as home team wins each game

AL Awards
MVP Mike Trout
Cy Young Justin Verlander
Manager Scott Servais
ROY Mitch Haniger, picking Benintendi is too easy (probably correct though) so I’ll go out on a limb
HR Champion Edwin Encarnacion 44
Comeback Jacoby Ellsbury

NL East
Washington- The Nats appear to be the best team in the an improving division
**Miami- Improved pitching staff allows Marlins to jump up one spot from 2016
Philadelphia- The Phils get help from their farm system throughout the year to stay ahead of Mets and Braves
New York- The Mets have talent but the health of their pitching staff is littered with red flags
Atlanta- The Braves will be competitive but still need more seasoning

NL Central
Chicago- The Cubbies are still a juggernaut and the rest of the Central division seems to be regressing
*St. Louis- The Cards play over their heads all year, it’s still not enough to catch the Cubs
Pittsburgh- The Buccos play inconsistently but it’s good enough to finish 3rd
Milwaukee- The Brew Crew is better than the Reds but only slightly
Cincinnati- The Reds make some improvements but not enough to stay out of the basement

NL West
San Francisco- Giants break their trend of making the post season every other year
Arizona- Mike Hazen and Torey Lovullo quickly bring the Rattlers up to respectability
Los Angeles- The Dodgers can’t buy their way to the top of the west this time
Colorado- The Rockies could be much better than expected but it’s a tough division
San Diego- The Padres make strides to catch their competitors but are not quite there yet

Post Season
Wildcard Game: Cardinals over Marlins
NLDS: Cubs over Cardinals in 5, Giants over Nationals in 6
NLCS: Cubs over Giants in 7

NL Awards
MVP Matt Carpenter
Cy Young Jameson Taillon
Manager Torey Lovullo
ROY Manuel Margot
HR Champion Paul Goldschmidt 41
Comeback AJ Pollock

World Series
In the epic World Series, almost one hundred years in the making, the Cubs and Red Sox play a 7 game series for the ages with the Cubbies repeating, solidifying Theo Epstein’s shrine in Cooperstown

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