OPENING DAY from The Cheap Seats
It is OPENING DAY! A brand new year, and the ArmChair QuarterBacks' weekly dose of the Cheap Seats is back too. Each week we'll dive into the world of baseball and other things relevant. So, let's get our feet wet, by jumping into pool and make our 2017 predictions for the world of MLB.
AL East- Boston Redsox
Assuming David Price is ok, that's a nasty 3 headed monster in Boston, along with Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and new-comer Chris Sale. Craig Kimbrel will bounce back to solidify the bullpen and that offense will RAKE! Even Pablo Sandoval is hitting.353 this spring.
AL Central- Cleveland Indians
Essentially, they were 1 inning away from winning their 1st World Series since 1954. That was all without the help of their most talented hitter (Michael Brantley), and their #2 AND #3 starting pitchers in Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazaar. Add the 40+ homers by Edwin Encarnacion and you have a recipe for a talented and motivated 2017 Indians team.
AL West- Texas Rangers
A healthy Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels will make for one of the better 1-2 punches in all of baseball. Adding Mike Napoli to Adrian Beltre and company will make for some good offensive production. The biggest question will be the Texas Bullpen. Sam Dyson will get the first crack at the closer role. Texas is never afraid to be aggressive come the trading deadline. Should be a great race.
AL Wildcards- Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays
Seattle is loaded top to bottom, and this looks to be the year that Robinson Cano, Felix Hernandez and Nelson Cruz put it all together and get the great northwest back to the playoffs.
Toronto lost Encarnacion, but there is still a great core of offensive producers in that line-up. The Bluejays also have one of the deeper rotations.
NL East- New York Mets
That starting rotation, top to bottom, is the best in baseball. The bullpen is strong. The biggest question will be offense. Look for the Mets to add something come trade deadline time to help them score runs. Stopping runs won't be the problem.
NL Central- Chicago Cubs
A World Series hangover is possible, but the talent is too deep here. Good pitching and great young hitters will have Wrigleyville dancing all summer. The back end of the bullpen is a concern, but Theo Epstein has proved he'll deal for a closer come the deadline.
NL West- SF Giants
The bullpen will be the biggest concern. 30 blown saves in 2016, and still they made it to the NLDS. Melancon was added via free agency, but they still need more depth. The NL West is wide open this year, but the the Giants will prevail.
NL Wildcards- St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers
No big shake up here. St. Louis adds Dexter Fowler and Michael Wacha appears back. Can Wainwright be Wainwright again? That will be key.
The Dodgers offense will produce, and the bullpen stays in tact. Biggest question going forward, the starting rotation. Will Rich Hill be worth 80+ million and can Ryu find his former self while Urias is on a pitch count. Sleeper picks-
AL- Houston Astros. They need pitching help, but the offense is real!
NL- Colorado Rockies. It's the second coming of the Blake Street Bombers. Arenado is top notch. The season hangs in the balance with their starting pitchers. Jon Gray can't do it alone.
AL MVP- Mike Trout. Best in the game!
NL MVP- Nolan Arenado. He might hit 50 HR's.
AL Cy Young- Corey Kluber
NL Cy Young- Noah Syndergaard
ALCS- Cleveland vs. Boston (Cleveland in 6)
NLCS- Chicago vs. SF
(Giants in 7)
WORLD SERIES- Cleveland vs. SF
CLEVELAND INDIANS WIN THE 2017 WORLD SERIES!
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