With the MLB season right around the corner I will give my preview for the season and a few awards as well as prospects to watch for.
New York Yankees – Division winner
Toronto Blue Jays – Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
I wont be putting record guesses but this is the projected standings for the record at the end of the year. As you can see the top two teams in this division get into the playoffs behind the bullpen and vastly improved offense of the Yankees. I see Castro going back into 2013 form and becoming good again. Toronto has few pitching threats behind Marcus Stroman but do have a elite offense with Joey Bats, Tulo, Melky and others. The Red Sox improve slightly and could have a over .500 record. The Orioles are right on the cusp of the playoffs and could get in if one of the other teams has a down year compared to last. Lastly, the Rays will hover around .500 but will boast a great pitching staff but not much offensively so they will end the year at the bottom of the division around even.
KC Royals – Division Winner
Chicago White Sox
This division can look completely different from this it really depends on how the young guns on the Twins, Indians, and Tigers play. The reigning World Champs come back and win the division for the second year in a row behind great defense and solid offense. The Twins could either win the division or be at the bottom or in the middle it really depends on Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. If they perform up to expectation the Twins could win the division, with the Indians it really depends on Michael Brantley and Shortstop prodigy Francisco Lindor, if they play well they could fight for a playoff spot. Both the White Sox and Tigers wont contend unless both teams hitters go on a huge hot streak, I do not see that happening.
Houston Astros – Division Winner
Los Angeles Angels – Wild Card
Starting at the bottom on this division both the A’s and Mariners have star starting pitchers going to waste (Sonny Gray and Felix Hernandez respectively). Neither of these teams have great or even good offensive teams, I do not see either team going above 75-77 wins. The Rangers are the odd man out of the playoff race even after winning the division next year, they could sneak in if Yu Darvish returns to his top form right away. The Angles have just enough around Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to get into the playoffs but could be ousted if either Andrelton Simmons or either corner outfield go on a prolonged cold streak. Lastly, the Astros have too much young talent and playoff experience to not get to the playoffs again. They could have the last three years of AL rookie of the years if a young piece gets going hot like Correa last year.
New York Mets – Division Winner
Washington Nationals – Wild Card
Again starting at the bottom the Braves and Phillies are in the midst of rebuilding and have almost no chance of competing unless their young guns get hot and stay hot all year. Miami really goes the way of Giancarlo Stanton they also will have a full year of Jose Fernandez and Christian Yelich again. If Stanton is healthy they have a great chance of competing but he hasn’t played a full season yet. The Washington Bryce Harpers will get a bounce back year from Stephen Strasburg as well as the rest of the starting staff. How they still have closer Johnathon Papelbon after he straggled Harper last year I don’t know. Bryce Harper will have another great year and if they miss the playoffs as a wild card I would be surprised because of the lack talented teams in the NL.
Chicago Cubs – Division Winner
St. Louis Cardinals – Wild Card
So again the Brewers and Reds are in full rebuild as they traded every good pieces except three players combined. This will be the first year that the Pirates wont get into the playoffs in the last four years, it is still possible that they will but the Nationals looks strong this year. Obviously the Cardinals are not winning this division for the first time in what seems like 50 years. They will still get into the playoffs but they have too much deteriorating talent to still hold onto the division crown. Lastly, the Cubs and their amount of young talent infused with a little veteran leadership they have all the pieces to get back to the World Series again.
Los Angeles Dodgers – Division Winner
San Fransisco Giants
San Diego Padres
Really this is a two horse division between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. The D-Backs has a lot of pitching and some good pieces on offense with both Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock leading the charge. The Dodgers, on the other hand, do not have depth at starting pitching and have a high ceiling, low floor offense. It really depends on how the team figures out the lack of depth pitching wise as well as what they do with their top prospects. The Padres dismantled their team and are not really trying to contend. Lastly, the Rockies have really good young players in Nolan Arenado one of the best third basemen in the game and top prospect Shortstop Trevor Story. Outside of that they have no other good thing going for their team.
NL MVP: Bryce Harper- Duh did you see his season last year? He should top that or at least match it. Arenado could also contend if he plays like he should but playing on a bad team
AL MVP: Mike Trout- Again he has won it for two years in a row and I don’t see that streak being broken any time soon.
Top 5 prospects to watch:
5. Trevor Story SS Rockies
4. Byron Buxton OF Twins
3. Lucas Giolito SP Nationals
2. Corey Seager 3B Dodgers
1. Julio Urias P Dodgers