2017 MLB Season Predictions

The Padres will not be as bad as most people think

As the old saying goes, hope springs eternal … and no time is that more true than on Opening Day.

Monday is the first day of the 2017 Major League Baseball season. The real opening day, not the 3-game appetizer MLB gave us on Sunday. The Padres are expected by many to be the single worst team in the big leagues.

I understand the concerns of most national prognosticators. San Diego has six rookies on the club, including three Rule 5 draftees. The Padres are the 2nd-youngest team in baseball at an average of 27 years and seven days (16 days older than the Cincinnati Reds) but Jered Weaver and Erick Aybar are busting the curve there.

The Padres have 14 players on their Opening Day roster age 26 and under. But all those guys are extremely talented. Hunter Renfroe (25 years old) and Manuel Margot (22) should both challenge for the NL Rookie of the Year award and Luis Perdomo (23) led the team in wins a year ago. I’m thinking they’ll take their lumps this year but they won’t have the #1 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.

So here is how I see the 2017 MLB season playing out, division-by-division, with the World Series champs and major post-season award winners.

National League West

1)    Los Angeles Dodgers
2)    San Francisco Giants (Wild Card)
3)    Colorado Rockies
4)    Arizona Diamondbacks
5)    San Diego Padres

The Dodgers and Giants might be interchangeable and I see both of them making the playoffs. The Rockies could have the best lineup in baseball but their starting pitching rivals the Padres in awfulness. The Diamondbacks have pieces but not enough and no hope on the horizon. The Padres are looking to 2019.

National League Central

1)    Chicago Cubs
2)    St. Louis Cardinals
3)    Pittsburgh Pirates
4)    Cincinnati Reds
5)    Milwaukee Brewers

The Cubs are the most talented team in baseball and the reigning World Series champs. It will be interesting to see how they handle trying to stay on top. The Cardinals are always in contention because they’re the Cardinals. The Pirates will be competitive but don’t have the horses to run with the rest of the division. The Reds and Brewers will fight the Padres for the worst record in baseball.

National League East

1)    New York Mets
2)    Washington Nationals (Wild Card)
3)    Miami Marlins
4)    Philadelphia Phillies
5)    Atlanta Braves

The Mets and Nationals have pitching coming out of their ears. They’ll both be in the post-season. The Marlins will scare a few teams and create havoc with a lineup that has a lot more weapons than just Giancarlo Stanton. Miami is a dark horse Wild Card contender. The Phillies and Braves are in rebuilding mode.

American League West

1)    Houston Astros
2)    Texas Rangers (Wild Card)
3)    Seattle Mariners
4)    Los Angeles Angels
5)    Oakland Athletics

The Astros and Rangers are, like the NL West, almost interchangeable. They’re both stacked. But unlike the NL West there is a 3rd legitimate threat here. Seattle is going to be in the playoff mix this year. The Angels have Mike Trout and ... the Angels have Mike Trout. Oakland is rebuilding again.

American League Central

1)    Cleveland Indians
2)    Detroit Tigers
3)    Kansas City Royals
4)    Minnesota Twins
5)    Chicago White Sox

This is the most clear-cut division in baseball. The Indians are going to run away and hide. The Tigers and Royals might be able to stay in contention for a Wild Card but nobody is catching Cleveland in the Central. Minnesota has young pieces but they aren’t ready to make a playoff push yet. The White Sox have a few great players with zero support.

American League East

1)    Boston Red Sox
2)    Toronto Blue Jays (Wild Card)
3)    Baltimore Orioles
4)    Tampa Bay Rays
5)    New York Yankees

The Red Sox adding Chris Sale to the staff made them the easy favorites in the East. They have a younger but wildly talented lineup, too. The Blue Jays will once again club their way to the playoffs just ahead of the O’s. I put Tampa Bay ahead of New York mostly because I want to see a team with a near-$200 million payroll finish last.


NL Wild Card Game: Giants over Nationals
AL Wild Card Game: Rangers over Blue Jays
NL Division Series: Cubs over Giants, Dodgers over Mets
AL Division Series: Indians over Rangers, Astros over Red Sox
NL Championship Series: Cubs over Dodgers
AL Championship Series: Indians over Astros
World Series: Indians over Cubs

The Cubs and Indians are the two most complete teams in the game. This time the Game 7 thriller goes to Tito and his Tribe.


NL MVP: Bryce Harper, Nationals
NL Cy Young: Madison Bumgarner, Giants
NL Rookie of the Year: Hunter Renfroe, Padres
NL Manager of the Year: Terry Collins, Mets
AL MVP: Carlos Correa, Astros
AL Cy Young Award: Chris Sale, Red Sox
AL Rookie of the Year: Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
AL Manager of the Year: A.J. Hinch, Astros

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