The Boston Red Sox will win over 100 games.
Lets face it: the Red Sox offense last year was unstoppable, that is until the playoffs came around. Nonetheless, the Red Sox have a recipe for success.
Their outfield is by far the best in baseball, touting youth, speed and the
ability to hit above .300. Do not be surprised if you see Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the All-Star game, with Benintendi having a strong showing as well. Ortiz may be gone (and he will be missed), but the veteran presence of Dustin Pedroia will take control of the clubhouse.
On top of all of that, their top three pitchers are Chris Sale, David Price and reigning Cy Young Rick Porcello. Few teams will be able to match the top three of the Red Sox as all three of these guys are number ones. If Pablo Sandoval puts together a healthy year and is able to hit above .275 there is no doubt they are going to win more than 100 games this year. The only flaw I see is that the Red Sox still lack a bullpen. If you look at the recent World Series winners, they all had terrific bullpens. Look for the Sox to make a mid-season deal.
Can the New York Mets Make a Run for the NL East Title?
The starting pitching staff for the New York Mets is young and from top to bottom, they are absolute studs. With Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler the Mets have the pitching to make some noise in the NL. Where the Mets struggle is in the hitting department. Last season, the Mets ranked 25th in Batting Average and 23rd in on base percentage. For the Mets to recapture the NL East title, the team’s secondary hitting will need to be significantly better. Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda are two players who have the ability to boost the Mets batting line-up from lower tier to stellar. Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera, along with Neil Walker, will need to take strides forward as well. The Nationals may be the team to beat heading into the season, but if the Mets batting heats up in combination with its star-studded rotation, watch out D.C.
The Braves will make noise in the East.
After a terrible 2016 showing, the Braves went out and made some moves on some ancient talent. They brought in former Mets R.A Dickey and Bartolo Colon, and also added Matt Kemp. For some reason, I absolutely love these moves. These guys may be old, but they all bring a veteran presence to a very young team. Speaking of youth, Dansby Swanson is legit. His defense is outstanding and he has an impressive composure for such a young hitter. Look for him to win the NL Rookie of the Year. The Braves will also be shifting from their former home of Turner Field to SunTrust Park. The Braves will hope to move past its woeful last season at Turner and make a splash in their new home.
The Chicago Cubs will repeat.
Wow, what a bold prediction! Yes, it is easy to pick the Cubs to repeat, but it is also the smartest move. They are too talented and, barring any major injuries, they will repeat as champs in 2017. Jake Arrieta will come back strong, Kris Bryant will knock ‘em out of the park, and I genuinely believe Jason Heyward will have a return to greatness. The main reason though? Kyle. Schwarber. Is this dude legit? Beyond. His postseason performance was legendary. NL MVP? Maybe, but definitely expect for him to be an All-Star.