Yep, check it out, I’m trying to get back into the blogging game.
AL East: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays.
I feel good about the Red Sox. To me, they’re the pick in the AL, with a high floor due to their deep offense and a high ceiling due to the potential of their rotation. Beyond that… I dunno. There is no order of the other 4 teams that would surprise me. I mean that. I like the Yankees and Rays both more than other people seem to. The Blue Jays have a really high ceiling, but also a low floor — I wouldn’t be surprised by 75 or 95 wins from them. I could easily see the Rays contending for a Wild Card.
AL Central: Indians, White Sox, Tigers, Royals, Twins
Only slightly less confounding. I’m not crazy about KC or MIN; those two were pretty easy picks for me. The other three? Yeahhh, we’ll see. I just don’t like the depth of the Tigers’ lineup at all, or their bullpen, or their rotation after the top 3 spots. They certainly could squeeze one more division title out of this, but I think the bust potential is extremely high. The White Sox, I feel like they’re still one year away, but I won’t be shocked if it works this year. That leaves the Indians, who I don’t love, but I think have the fewest weaknesses.
AL West: Angels, A’s, Mariners, Rangers, Astros
Seriously, the AL is just baffling. Could the Rangers challenge for the division? Yep. Could the Astros finish second or third? Yep. Could the A’s just not work? Definitely. Could the Angels suddenly get old? You bet. I am really high on the A’s, and not nearly as high on the Mariners as a lot of people are. In the Angels, I see a team that has a lot of depth on both sides of the ball, has the willingness to tinker in-season and has the game’s best player.
AL Wild Cards: A’s, Orioles.
But seriously, y’all, there are at least 12 teams in the AL that I wouldn’t be shocked to see in the playoffs.
AL awards: Mike Trout MVP, Felix Hernandez Cy Young, Bob Melvin manager, Carlos Rodon rookie (I know, bold)
NL East: Nationals, Mets, Marlins, Braves, Phillies
I really don’t have much read on the Mets or Marlins. I feel like one of them is likely to be pretty good, and the other will not, but I’m not sure I could tell you which is which. I just think I like the Mets a little more. I’m not sold that Washington is a super-team, but they’re the most complete team by a good bit, and should win the division pretty handily. I’m just saying I think 92-94 wins may be more reasonable than 100. The Braves, I think are better than they’re getting credit for. There’s some notion that they’ll be out-and-out bad, and I don’t buy that.
NL Central: Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, Reds, Brewers
This is one division that I found pretty easy. I like the Cardinals more the more I look at them. They’re deep, they’re complete, I don’t see a whole lot to worry about as long as Wainwright stays healthy. The Pirates are also very good, and a pretty clear choice for second. The Cubs are getting there, and their long-term future is very, very bright… but I don’t think they’re there just yet. Could be a long year in Cincinnati and Milwaukee.
NL West: Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks, Rockies
The Dodgers are as clear a favorite in their division as the Nats and Cards are, IMO. So much talent, so many ways they can win. I’d say the highest ceiling in the NL, even above Washington. The Giants and Padres I could go either way on, but I just think the Padres are more a collection of pieces than a well-assembled team. They won’t catch the ball well at all.
NL Wild Cards: Pirates, Mets
NL Awards: Andrew McCutchen MVP, Clayton Kershaw Cy Young, Kris Bryant rookie, Terry Collins manager (again, bold… as for Collins, if I’m right and the Mets make the playoffs, he’ll likely win the award)
With the reminder, as always, that picking postseason series is a fools’ errand even when you know who’s playing in them, this is part of the deal so I may as well go on record. Typically when I pick the postseason in March, I pick the teams that I think are most likely to be in the postseason in the first place, so let’s go with Dodgers over Red Sox.