Goz’s 2017 MLB Predictions
This Sunday, the Major League Baseball regular season officially gets under way. The next six months with hopefully bring an end to the mentions of the Arizona Fall League and spring training baseball. (I pray that's true). Below are my thoughts on each division finish, the playoff qualifiers and the World Series. Which predictions do you agree with? Who do you have in your World Series? Let us know below.
*-Wild Card team
3) NY Yankees
5) Tampa Bay
Overall: There is just too much talent on this Boston Red Sox team to not pick them to win the AL East. I know some fans are concerned about the pitching staff and injuries but no injury yet has been deemed serious enough to derail Boston's season. It was close for me between the Blue Jays and Yankees but the difference is starting pitching in favor of Toronto. Last season, Toronto's starting rotation led the AL in ERA, innings pitched and opponents' batting average. The Yankees in comparison are still trying to piece together their forth and fifth spot. The Yankees barely miss the playoffs this season.
2) Chicago White Sox
4) Kansas City
Overall: Cleveland will finish with the most regular season wins in the MLB this season. The franchise was one win away from a World Series last year and they are better this season. The Tribe gets Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion back to boost the offense, plus the starting rotation is one of the best in the AL. Look out for the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central this year. Similar to the Yankees in the AL and Atlanta Braves in the NL, the White Sox have some great young talent. (Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech). They could show emerging as soon as this season. Don't forget that White Sox team was one of the best early on in the 2016 regular season.
4) LA Angels
Overall: I'm a huge believer in the Houston Astros this season (more on that later). This lineup has a potential MVP in Jose Altuve, a soon to be multiple time All Star in George Springer and a CY Young award winner in Dallas Keuchel. All of those guys are hitting the prime of their career. I loved Seattle two years ago as a dark-horse in the AL West. It's not that Seattle is a bad team, it's more due to the fact that the AL West has some really good offenses. Texas and Seattle will battle for the final wild card spot and the Rangers because of a huge season from Yu Darvish get the spot.
2) NY Mets**
3) Miami Marlins
Overall: Back and forth with me on this division. The past three years I have taken the Mets to win the NL East (The past two seasons I have had them in the World Series). The difference is that offense for Washington. The 1-2 punch of Harper and Murphy is solid. I had a chance to cover Trea Turner in the minors and I know he can have a huge 2017. The Mets starting rotation is as always a huge question mark. New York benefits from a still rebuilding NL East and gets in the playoffs.
1) Chicago Cubs
2) St. Louis
Overall: Buster Olney told us earlier this week that if you didn't pick the Chicago Cubs to win the NL Central then you are a "idiot". I agree with Buster. The Cubs top to bottom are the best team in the NL Central. The uncertainty with Gregory Polanco in Pittsburgh forced me to bump the Pirates under the Cardinals in the NL Central standings. The Cincinnati Reds will be the worst team in the 2017 season.
1) LA Dodgers
2) SF Giants**
5) San Diego
Overall: It's a two horse race here in the NL West. I give the edge to the best every day player in the division (Corey Seager) and the best starting pitcher in the division (Clayton Kershaw). The Giants don't win in seasons ending with an odd number tho right (World Series champions in 2010, 2012 and 2014). San Francisco is still good enough to get that wild card spot with Madison Bumgarner.
One game Wild Card Round:
AL Wild Card: Toronto over Texas
NL: Mets over Giants
ALDS :Houston over Boston, Cleveland over Toronto
NLDS: Cubs over Mets, Nationals over Dodgers
ALCS: Houston over Cleveland
NLCS: Cubs over Nationals
World Series Houston over Chicago in 6 games
That's right give me the Houston Astros as the 2017 World Series champions! Sports Illustrated years ago printed a cover that read "Houston Astros 2017 World Series Champions" The pieces are there to have this team to live up to the hype and win the Fall Classic.