2017 MLB Predictions – American League and Post-Season Picks
April 2, 2017
Dahday’s CEO has made his MLB predictions for the National League:
— Michael Collazo (@MCollazo215) April 2, 2017
Now check out his American League and post-season predictions. What do you think? Tweet @Dahday.com or @mcollazo215 and let your voice be heard! Sign up for Dahday’s email list for future baseball offers.
Happy Opening Day!
The Sawwx: Boston will likely finish first because they made The Trade. It takes ganas because to get ace Chris Sale, Boston let go a potentially franchise-changing talent and other prospects. But Boston is putting all their chips in the middle of the table. The team is loaded even without David Ortiz — who is CHILLIN’ by the way…
Mookie Betts is an MVP candidate. Young stars Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Anthony Benintendi could round out the best outfield in baseball. Xander Bogearts and Dustin Pedroia anchor a solid infield. Now you could argue the injured David Price is the staff’s third-best starter, since Seton Hall Prep grad Rick Porcello had a tremendous 2016. The Trade may prove to be even more important because Price’s return is uncertain and the bottom of the rotation could be shaky. With Craig Kimbrel leading the bullpen, this club is poised to win 90-plus games in a tough division. I think they squeak out a division crown.
The Weeknds: Toronto are not the “Bombers North of the Border” as they once were. The Blue Jays front office has done a nice job fielding a contender though bashing is not really their strength at this point. The core now are the starters Marco Estrada, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez. Yes, Toronto re-signed Joey Bats and Josh Donaldson is a perennial MVP candidate. But Edwin Encarnacion is in #TheLand now and Ezequiel Carrera is not hitting 40 homeruns. Defense and pitching run the show here now more than ever. If anything, Joey Bats is key because if he returns to his 30-40 homerun routine, that could make or break the season. Otherwise, this team might be a bat or two short of overcoming Boston. This division is strong and will produce a great pennant race.
The O’s: Buck Showalter’s squad always gets poo-pooed in the off-season and during spring training. But as always, Baltimore can totally win the division or clinch a playoff berth again. What separates Baltimore from the rest of the division is the perception of lacking a deep pitching staff, despite having maybe the best bullpen in the game. However, if Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman matures into a top of the rotation starter, that lack of starting pitching perception will get challenged. Baltimore knows when not hurt Chris Tillman is solid. The offense is absolutely there. Manny Machado is maybe the best infielder in baseball. Adam Jones is a star. Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo hit bombs. J.J. Hardy and Jonathan Schoop have pop playing in the middle of the diamond. So quite simply, if Baltimore gets a career year like Boston got from Porcello or Toronto got from Happ in 2016, Baltimore will win the division.
Ybor City: Things didn’t go well in 2016 but I still think this roster can be competitive. They lost over 90 games because Chris Archer and the starters didn’t perform well. I would think Archer bounces back. Meanwhile, Alex Cobb and Jake Odorizzi are solid. That top three is really no worse than the Yankees’ top three or Baltimore’s and could compete with Toronto’s top three if Archer returns to ace status. So then it comes down to the rest of the team. Their lineup has Evan Longoria, Brad Miller, Corey Dickerson and players who give value with their glove more than their bats. The outfield of Mallex Smith, Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza, Jr. will steal lots of base hits. The bullpen is solid, with Alex Colome and Xavier Cedeño among others. So when looking at it I just don’t see much difference between Tampa and the Yankees. I think they both fall in the 75-80 game range.
Los Yanquis: Ok, Yankees fans won’t be happy where I predict the Yankees to finish here but this is not to say the organization is heading in the wrong direction – and nor is last place in AL East the same as last place in other divisions. Gary Sanchez is going to be excellent. Maybe not Babe Ruth excellent, but definitely a really good catcher. I really like Greg Bird. I hope he gets over 500 ABs as he should instead of sharing time with Chris Carter. However, the strong farm system is not yet ready to contribute to the big league roster so the guys getting the playing time include vets like Brett Gardner (isn’t he a great fourth outfield at this point?), Jacoby Ellsbury (basically similar bat production than Tampa’s Kiermaier but not as good with the glove), Chase Headley (league average at best), Didi Gregorius (good player, currently hurt) and Starlin Castro (he’s ok). Aaron Judge could turn into Lucas Duda or someone like that, but he has to prove that. Only outfielder Clint Frazier has a good shot of playing in the Bronx this summer. I am a fan of Masahiro Tanaka but again, is C.C. Sabathia and Miguel Pineda any better than any of the second or third starters on the other teams in this division? The Bombers’ bullpen with Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances will be excellent but you have to have leads to use those guys. It is going to be a dog fight but I am thinking the Yankees are floating in the 75-80 wins range which won’t get you past the elite teams in the division.
The Tribe: I got it right last year so I am going with the Cleveland winning the division again this year. Cleveland has a chance to be the best team in all of baseball. Francisco Lindor and the rest got to Game 7 of the World Series WITHOUT Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco and (for the most part) Danny Salazar. Now Carrasco and Salazar are healthy and Brantley is on the opening day roster. The Tribe were a top five AL team in many key offensive categories and have since added Edwin Encarnación. Lindor is a legit MVP candidate who is a tremendous defensive player and developing more power as he gets more MLB at-bats. This is a juggernaut. Don’t be surprised the Curse of Rocky Colavito is the next one to go.
Motown: The rest of this division is thatclose to blowing things up. The Chicago White Sox already started. Detroit has a bunch of excellent veteran players – Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Justin Verlander and Ian Kinsler among them – but I find it hard to believe Detroit can overcome the Indians and the wild card competitors. So if GM Al Avila keeps it together, yeah the Tigers could win 83 to 86 games or so. But since likely that won’t be enough – and their best case scenario is hard to bank on – I think then Avila starts to trade off some parts later in the summer. I think the entire division besides Cleveland will likely play under .500 baseball because of the current landscape. So some of this Tigers roster could key to the playoff chances of others if Avila starts moving things this year.
Royals: Kansas City now sits on the other side of the winning slope. They got that World Series but the contracts for cornerstones like Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer will be up sooner than later. K.C. may not contend this year so GM Dayton Moore may have to stay close to the eject button. Danny Duffy looks good and the rest of their pitching staff including Jason Hammel and Ian Kennedy should keep them in games. Their bullpen no longer is the best out there but Kelvin Herrera and Joakim Soria and the rest are ok on paper. We are getting old – Raul Modesi’s son is starting at second base! Cleveland is too good so I don’t think the Royals are a threat this season.
Twinkies: Minnesota has a bunch of young offensive talent so though they are not contenders the roster is very intriguing. Byron Buxton hasn’t proved he can hit enough to be a superstar but he can do everything else already. Miguel Sano may have that breakout year, showing his raw power. Max Kepler finished well in 2016 so that should carry over. I am a fan of Eddie Rosario’s skills. But Twins pitching is so bad. Ervin Santana should be your fourth starter not your opening day starter. Phillip Hughes? Kyle Gibson? Hector Santiago? Not a dominant bunch needless to say. Jose Berrios has an electric arm but got beat up in his MLB stint last year. He will need to figure things out in the minors first. I don’t see this team winning more than 70-74 games because their talent hasn’t matriculated on the mound.
Pale Hose: Don’t cry for the Southsiders, man. This team will bring up the rear most likely but good days are coming. What a trade GM Rick Hahn made to get great value in exchange for Chris Sale. Yoan Moncada is a special talent and Michael Kopech throws over 100 mph. It seems a good chance Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera all could be next on the trading block. Second baseman Tim Anderson is 23 years old. Right fielder Avisail Garcia is 25. Even Jose Abreu is just 30. The pieces they will eventually get back hopefully for White Sox fans will get them a Cubbies-like return down the road.
Tejas: I am going to try the Rangers again atop AL West. I know the sexier pick is the talented Astros reclaiming the top spot. Still, Texas also has young talent on which they will rely to win this division. Joey Gallo will get more at-bats, so he has to start bashing. Nomar Masara will start in right field. Delino DeShields, Jr. will play left field. Jurickson Profar, coming off his play with Team Curacao-&-Aruba-With-Dutch-Pitchers, will push to play more. Rougned Odor signed a big check the other day to stick around for a while. It’s their team. No more Prince Fielder. Adrian Beltre is still very good but aging. Another key is the health of Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish. To overcome the underbelly of the rotation, the aces need to pitch like aces. The Rangers farm system is very strong so a trade can be made when needed – just as GM Jon Daniels did to acquire all-star catcher Jonathan Lucroy in 2016 and Hamels in 2015.
The Mighty Mariners: Another streak will end! This time in Seattle! Ok, one can think this is a stretch but hear me out. Offensively there is no question about the middle of their lineup: Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. The team’s issue has been overall pitching beyond Felix Hernandez and defense. Through a flurry of moves by GM Jerry Dipoto, the Mariners now have a really good defensive trio in the outfield including Jarrod Dyson, Leonys Martin and young Mitch Haniger. New second baseman Jean Segura gives them speed and offense. The Mariners bullpen settled in much more once Edwin Diaz took over the closer role late last summer. The rotation now also has some depth, with James Paxton, Yovani Gallardo (who will love the fly ball outs in Safeco Field) and Drew Smyly who is out likely until late May. Seattle has gotten close before so I will predict the Mighty Mariners sneak into the last wild card spot.
The Astros: I love the Astros roster but I just do not like their pitching. Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve lead the most exciting double-play combination in baseball. I am fascinated to see how cubano Yulieski Gurriel plays as the starting first baseman. Alex Bregman is a big part of Houston’s future. Bringing in Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick made a lot of sense. Still, Astros starting pitching is why I have them finishing third. King Felix even with less velocity is an ace. Hamels and Darvish can be aces this year as they have before. Dallas Keuchel is the key because he has to be the ace. He is not a hard thrower like many other elite starters. Maybe his 2015 Cy Young season was an aberration? Lance McCullers, Jr. could be that ace too. He could change the race in Houston’s favor. So even if those two perform on their highest levels, I still don’t like the injured Colin McHugh, Craig Morton and Mike Fiers. Remember, one of them has to perform like a third starter when I would say none of them are. Ken Giles hasn’t been the elite closer Houston has hoped so he has something to prove. Indeed Houston has prospects to acquire that elite starter, so such a move could change this season’s fortunes for sure.
Mike Trout and The OC: Sorry, I just don’t feel I need to break this team down too much. Mike Trout is the best player in the world. Please go see him in person. Awesome talent. Beyond that, I don’t see how the team can compete with the top three in this division. The Angels would need Garrett Richards to look like he did a few years ago and have all their meddling starters kick major butt. Then the club outside of Trout and an aging Albert Pujols – guys like C.J. Cron, Kole Calhoun, Cameron Maybin and Andrelton Simmons – would have to find a way to score and win tons of close games. I doubt that happens.
Oaktown 357s: Maybe GM Billy Beane is losing his mojo. It could be simply the big market clubs have learned from past mistakes and can use the same winning tricks he used during the Moneyball days to build a winner. He may no longer have a competitive advantage. This team doesn’t have much to look forward to this year. I like Khris Davis and Marcus Semien. Oakland’s outfield starters would be better suited to be good fourth outfielders or platoon players. Two young arms of note are Jharel Cotton and Sean Manaea but with Sonny Gray hurt for probably for most of the year, Oakland fans will likely suffer through a long summer. Let’s not even talk about the Raiders moving to Vegas, either…
NL East: Washington Nationals
NL Central: Chicago Cubs
NL West: L.A. Dodgers
Wild Card I: Pittsburgh Pirates
Wild Card II: San Francisco Giants
Pirates over the Giants.
Pirates defeat the Cubs. Nationals defeat the Dodgers. Pirates defeat the Nationals.
AL East: Boston Red Sox
AL Central: Cleveland Indians
AL West: Texas Rangers
Wild Card I: Toronto Blue Jays
Wild Card II: Seattle Mariners
Blue Jays defeat the Mariners. Indians defeat the Blue Jays. Red Sox defeat the Rangers. Indians defeat the Red Sox.
World Series: Indians defeat the Pirates.
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