The Brock Press 2017 MLB predictions

Nick Brayford – Sports Editor 

American League East: Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox returned back to the top of the AL East last season, and despite losing David Ortiz to retirement, they should have no problem staying on top this year. Mookie Betts broke out offensively, putting up an astonishing .318 batting average with 31 home runs and 113 RBI. With Rick Porcello taking home the AL Cy Young award, they have arguably the best starting rotation in baseball that also includes David Price, Drew Pomeranz, Steven Wright and newly acquired ace, Chris Sale.

American League Central: Cleveland Indians

The Tigers will look to challenge the Indians again for the top spot, but they did nothing to improve their squad from last year, while the Indians brought in Edwin Encarnacion to man the first base position. A full year with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen at the back end of the bullpen will give them a one-two punch that will be hard for teams to score against in the late innings. If they can get Michael Brantley healthy, they will have another piece of the puzzle that could give them a chance at making it back to the World Series.

American League West: Seattle Mariners

The AL West will be the biggest toss up in baseball this year. The Mariners, Rangers and Astros should be in a three-way race for most of the season for the top spot, but ultimately I have to give the edge to the Mariners for what they did in the offseason. Bringing in Drew Smyly will give them depth behind King Felix in the rotation. Jarrod Dyson and Jean Segura will give them a solid top of the order that will lead into Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager. The Mariners definitely made a major step in the right direction this offseason and it should pay off.

AL Wild Card: Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros

National League East: Washington Nationals

With another stellar season from ace Max Scherzer, the Nationals were able to make it back to the top of the NL East last year. With Stephen Strasburg and top prospect Lucas Giolito potentially playing a full season in the majors, the Nationals will have no problem with starting pitching. Their only problem will be finding a closer, as they failed to replace Mark Melancon. However, after winning the division with what was a down year from Bryce Harper, they should be able to beat the Mets to the finish line.

National League Central: Chicago Cubs

The Cubs were the best team in baseball last year and were able to make a comeback in the World Series to narrowly take home their first championship in over 100 years. Losing Dexter Fowler won’t be an issue as they have plenty of talent to replace him in center. Kyle Hendricks broke out last year and another strong season alongside Jon Lester will give them all they need on the mound. The Cubs improved their roster from last year so they should have no problem winning over 100 games again and finishing with the best record in baseball.

National League West: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers did exactly what they needed to this offseason: prevent losing Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen. Having a starting rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill and Julio Urias will give them the best rotation in their division. Despite being able to pull off a deal for someone like Brian Dozier or Ian Kinsler, bringing in Logan Forsythe will give them an improvement at what was probably their weakest spot in 2016. With the other teams in the division not doing much to improve their clubs, the Dodgers should repeat as NL West champs.

NL Wild Card: San Francisco Giants and New York Mets

Satbir Singh – Editor-in-Chief 

American League East: Boston Red Sox

David Price, Rick Porcello and now Chris Sale. Red Sox have the best top three in the entire division. Steve Wright is a solid 4-5 starter and young Drew Pomeranz is getting better. And their offense will only get better with Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts leading the way.

American League Central: Cleveland Indians 

I’m agreeing with Nick again. No body in the AL Central will be able to compete with the World Series runner-ups from a year ago. Edwin Encarnacion is a huge get for their offense and the backend of their bullpen for 162 games is scary. I’m also a huge Boone Logan fan, so the Indians bullpen doesn’t just stop at Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

American League West: Houston Astros

Is this the best team in the AL West? No, but 2017 will be the year Houston gets over the hump. With Jose Altuve as a MVP candidate every year, the best second basemen in the game is ready to see his Astros team be a division winner. With the veteran additions of Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick, Houston is ready.

AL Wild Card: Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers

National League East: New York Mets

There’s a lot of ‘ifs’ on this team. If David Wright is healthy… If Matt Harvey is healthy… If Curtis Granderson can turn the clock back. I think the Mets will get some love from the baseball gods and 2017 will be a good health year for them. I’ll take the Mets over the Nationals.

National League Central: Chicago Cubs 

This is the best team in baseball, in 2016 and 2017. Do I think they repeat as World Series champions? No. I do think they have another 100-win season in them though because of all the talent they have from offense to pitching. This is an all around talented group.

National League West: Los Angeles Dodgers 

I came very close to picking Colorado, but this division is just too tough. The Dodgers have a lot of offense in Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, Logan Forsythe, Yasmani Grandal and Adrian Gonzalez. The issue, however is the lack of pitching depth in the rotation. But I think their offense carries them to the top.

NL Wild Card: San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals 

 

 

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