The Otter Room 2017 preview is coming to you a week late since my computer decided to poop the bed. People always say the playoffs are decided in the first week of the MLB season so my apologies.
- Red Sox
- Blue Jays
The Red Sox are loaded with dependable young talent that excels on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Adding Sale to an already stacked pitching staff over the off-season makes the Sox the team to beat in the AL East. Hot take alert: I think Tampa Bay will surprise some people. Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi have established themselves in the starting rotation and people forget CF Kevin Kiermaier is the best defensive player in the game. They won’t make the playoffs, but will make more noise than the “Triple-A team” established media outlets have referred to them as.
- White Sox
I really don’t think there’s even a fight to be had in the AL Central. The Indians should run away with this one, I don’t have to remind you they went to extras with the Cubs in Game 7 of the World Series last year.
This one is going to be interesting. I’m an Astros fan so there’s definitely some bias, but I think they get it done this year. They’ve got the right mix of veteran leadership and young talent and have been on the cusp the past couple seasons. I expect to see Dallas Keuchel return to his 2015 form, will he be a Cy Young candidate again… probably not, but he’ll recover from his disasterous 2016. The Rangers were the luckiest team in baseball last year and came out victorious in one-run games at a clip that made stats nerds heads spin faster than a Game of Thrones season finale. I just can’t see them keeping up that pace in 2017.
Just like the past few seasons the NL East will be a slugfest between the Nationals and Mets. Both have outstanding pitching staffs, but I have more faith in the Nationals core of: Harper, Murphy, and Zimmerman than I do in the Mets: Cespedes, … (?), … (?) … The Phillies sit in the same seat as the Rays and White Sox, expect this to be the year you start to hear about them going on a streak sometime during the summer.
The Cubs repeat as NL Central champions. They won’t win a 100 games again (Vegas has the O/U at 96 wins, pound that under), but you don’t have to win a hundred games to win a division. People forget the Cardinals organization committed a felony and I expect the baseball gods will enact their wrath on them this season.
Once again the NL West is a coin toss between the Dodgers and Giants, but wow this is going to be a fun division for the foreseeable future. The Rockies could score five million runs a year and the Diamondbacks aren’t respected like a team with Paul Golschmidt, Zach Greinke, and Shelby Miller should be. The Padres are rebuilding, but they’re doing it shamelessly. If they follow the path of similar rebuilds in recent years (think Cubs, Astros)… the NL West will be the division to watch until 2025. This season though, look for the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw to get it done.
AL Wild Card Game
Rangers vs. Tigers
NL Wild Card Game
Giants vs. Mets
No playoff predictions because that’s a stupid thing to do before a 162 game season and I don’t want to jinx anything.