Thursday, March 30, 2017

Who Wins What? Awards And Divisions

With spring training behind us, and Opening Day upon us, it's time to take a stab at how the 2017 Major League Baseball season will shake out. At the current juncture, hope is renewed and every team starts with a clean slate. Before the first pitch, each organization has, if for just a moment, the same standing when looking to end the year with a trophy.

A season ago, I simply posted my award and Postseason picks on Twitter. I wanted to have the thought a little more fledged out this year though, so I figured I'd go with a full post. With that being said, let's get into it.

American League:
West- Astros
Houston has a lot to like. They have a glut of young stars, and I think the pitching is there to carry them as well. I'll miss Tal's Hill, but this club is going to be really good in 2017. I think the Rangers can hold serve with them, and the Mariners are a bit overrated in my opinion, but I have the Astros taking the division.

Central- Indians
Cleveland should again be good, but they also shouldn't really be challenged. The White Sox and the Twins aren't very good, while the Royals are fading, and the Tigers are old. The Indians should run away with the division.

East- Red Sox
If there's a team that went out and did something this offseason in the AL, it's the Red Sox. I love the Chris Sale move, and think Pablo bounces back nicely. Combine that with another stud outfielder in Benintendi, and you have a pretty nice recipe for success.

National League:
West- Dodgers
The Dodgers just have so many weapons at their arsenal. They have the best pitcher in the game, and a lineup that has good hitters up and down it. Add in Bellinger at some point, and this club is going to be fun to watch. I think one team of intrigue here is the Rockies, and they could play spoiler in the Postseason, even if they don't top the West.

Central- Cubs
I'm not picking against the reigning World Series champs. They have the best lineup in baseball, a great rotation, and a bullpen that should have a lockdown closer for more than just the final few months. Joe Maddon's team is in full repeat mode, and everyone else is chasing them.

East- Nationals
There should be some real concern with the Nats pen. Dusty Baker is going to have to get big performances out of whoever closes for him, and he's going to need the starters to hold serve. That said, the lineup is still potent, and Bryce Harper should be on a revenge tour this season. The Mets should be in play here, but I just don't think they have enough.

Postseason:
AL Wild Card- Rangers, Blue Jays
NL Wild Card- Rockies, Mets

World Series- Cubs over Astros
When the dust settles, the talent gap between Chicago and the next best team is just a little bit too wide. They'll likely pick up a piece or two down the stretch, and they still have Ian happy to add along the way. I have some concerns about Almora being an every day player, but Maddon should navigate and once again have Wrigleyville rockin.

Awards:
AL ROY- Andrew Benintendi
NL ROY- Dansby Swanson

AL Cy Young- Chris Archer
NL Cy Young- Clayton Kershaw

AL MVP- Mike Trout
NL MVP- Bryce Harper

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