American League West
Keeping with our trend of picking new contenders, we see the Astros returning to the promised land with the Mariners on their heels. 2017 may very well be the year Angels manager Mike Scioscia is fired.
Biggest Additions DH Carlos Beltran
Biggest Losses: OF Colby Rasmus
Achilles Heel: Pitching
Kandy says: The Astros loaded up on veteran leadership this off-season to mix with their young stars. Joining Beltran in Houston is former Yankees teammate catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Josh Reddick. The Astros are primed to win if the geezers can hold up and the pitching staff finds its groove.
Biggest Additions: P Drew Smyly
Biggest Losses: P Drew Storen
Achilles Heel: Team chemistry. GM Dipoto was extremely active this postseason, mixing and matching pieces as he saw a chance to capture the 2017 AL West crown.
Kandy says: A lot of new faces have the Mariners competing for the division crown. If the Astros geezers falter the Mariners will be there to take the crown.
Biggest Additions: 1B Mike Napoli
Biggest Losses: Carlos Beltran, Ian Desmond, Colby Lewis
Achilles Heel: Bullpen Depth
Kandy says: No soup for you this year Rangers fans.
Biggest Additions: OF Rajai Davis
Biggest Losses: Danny Valencia
Achilles Heel: Home field
Kandy says: One more year A’s fans. 2018 should begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Los Angeles Angels
Biggest Additions: OF Cameron Maybin
Biggest Losses: P Jhoulys Chacin
Achilles Heel: Mgr Mike Scioscia
Kandy says: Scioscia was locked in a power struggle previously with GM Jerry Dipoto and won. They added Cameron Maybin but he is a natural centerfielder, the same position the best player in baseball plays on this club, Mike Trout. Nice player, hope he knows how to play left field.
There you have it. Our 2017 Major League Baseball preview. Get back to us in October and let us know how we did by dropping an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
American League Central
Speaking of the AL Central, surprise surprise! We love the Tigers this year but would not be shocked if the Indians repeated.
Biggest Additions: 2B Omar Infante
Biggest Loss: OF Cameron Maybin
Achilles Heel: Centerfield.
Kandy says: The Tigers squeeze past the Indians for the division crown.
Biggest Additions: DH Edwin Encarnacion
Biggest Loss: 1B Mike Napoli
Achilles Heel: Expectations. How can the Indians possibly surpass last years results? The odds are stacked against them winning the 2017 Series but if they stay healthy, 2018 is looking good.
Kandy says: Runner-up to Tigers and another AL Championship appearance.
Kansas City Royals
Biggest Additions: OF Jorge Soler
Biggest Losses: P Wade Davis
Achilles Heel: Grieving over the death of pitcher Yordano Ventura.
Kandy says: A lot of new faces in the Royals clubhouse but talented faces. We would not be surprised to see the Royals back in the postseason.
Biggest Additions: None
Biggest Losses: Trevor Plouffe
Achilles Heel: Defense
Kandy says: When do the Twins move Brian Dozier? It will be a long season Twins fans, thankfully the White Sox are in your division.
Chicago White Sox
Biggest Additions Yoan Moncada
Biggest Losses: P Chris Sale
Achilles Heel: Rebuild. Look at the names that have left since the end of season – Sale, Jackson, Eaton, Avila.
Kandy says: They are rebuilding the team on the south-side of Chicago and it will be a couple years before the White Sox return to competitive baseball.
Before we wrap up our 2017 MLB preview have you noticed a pattern in our predictions? We’ve only predicted one team to repeat as division champions – the Chicago Cubs. We would be crazy to pick against them to repeat as champions. In addition, you may have noticed in the American League only one playoff team from 2016 – the Cleveland Indians.
American League East
Raise your hand if you have Red Sox repeating? Live a little. Too many intangibles say they don’t repeat and why we love the Orioles this year who will be led by AL MVP candidate Adam Jones.
Biggest Additions: P Logan Verrett
Biggest Losses: C Matt Wieters
Achilles Heel: Outfield defense. Someone has to catch the ball when it is hit to someone other than Adam Jones.
Kandy says: AL Championship run on the legs of 2017 AL MVP Adam Jones.
New York Yankees
Biggest Additions: Closer/P Aroldis Chapman
Biggest Losses: 1B Mark Teixeira
Achilles Heel: Starting Pitching. The Yankees bullpen is lights out but can the starters go deep enough in games so the bullpen can close it out.
Kandy says: Yankees farm system is loaded with young talent and the 2017 season offers a peek at that talent. They may surprise this year but 2018 is the year they announce their arrival to MLB.
Boston Red Sox
Biggest Additions: P Chris Sale
Biggest Losses: DH David Ortiz
Achilles Heel: Loss of Big Papi. This year we find out how valuable Big Papi was in the lineup. His loss is immeasureble and the Red Sox hitters whom he protected last year find out it is a whole different ballgame with him not anchoring the batting order.
Kandy says: No big Papi means no playoffs and no joy in mudville for Red Sox fans.
Toronto Blue Jays
Biggest Additions: Kendrys Morales
Biggest Losses: Edwin Encarnacion
Achilles Heel: Confidence
Kandy says: The Blue Jays play in what may very be the toughest division in all of baseball.
Tampa Bay Rays
Biggest Additions: C Wilson Ramos
Biggest Losses: Logan Forsythe
Achilles Heel: Fan Support
Kandy says: The Rays are the East Coast Padres, playing in front of empty stands. Too many good teams puts them in the basement.
Call us crazy! We love the Rockies and we think they are going to shock the West. We believe the Dodgers will collapse and the Giants will be battle the Rockies for the NL West crown.
Biggest Additions: Ian Desmond
Biggest Losses: Boone Logan
Achilles Heel: Pitching but isn’t it always.
Kandy says: The Rockies thump their way to the NL West crown and shock ESPN’s experts.
San Francisco Giants
Biggest Additions: Mark Melancon
Biggest Losses: OF Angel Pagan
Achilles Heel: Starting Pitchers 4/5
Kandy says: Manager Bruce Bochy is one of the game’s best and he’ll find a way for the Giants to sneak into the postseason.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Biggest Additions: Logan Forsythe
Biggest Losses: Howie Kendrick
Achilles Heel: Sophomore Slump
Kandy says: Too much hype on this team, look for shortstop Corey Seager and manager Dave Roberts to suffer sophomore slumps.
San Diego Padres
Biggest Additions: P Trevor Cahill, Jered Weaver, Jhoulys Chacin
Biggest Losses: P Tyson Ross. His departure is bigger than most people realize.
Achilles Heel: Empty Petco Park. It is tough for a team to stay motivated playing in an empty stadium.
Kandy says: Don’t read too much into Spring Training but the Padres bats have been thumping all Spring.
Biggest Additions:P Taijuan Walker
Biggest Losses: 2B Jean Segura
Achilles Heel: Bullpen
Kandy says: One more dismal season in the season sets the Diamondbacks up for a rebound in 2018.
National League Central
Most experts expect the Cubs to repeat as NL and World Series champions. 2016 went nearly perfect for the Cubs; we see a bumpier 2017 season leaving the Cubs shy of their goal.
Biggest Additions: P / Closer Wade Davis
Biggest Losses: CF Dexter Fowler
Achilles Heel: Complacency. After winning it all last year a hangover could be in order.
Kandy says: NL Championship Series rematch against the Mets from two years ago, same result.
St. Louis Cardinals
Biggest Additions: CF Dexter Fowler
Biggest Losses: 1B Brandon Moss
Achilles Heel: Depth
Kandy says: Runner-up to Cubs and watching the playoffs from home.
Biggest Additions: P Neftali Feliz
Biggest Losses: 1B Chris Carter
Achilles Heel: Rebuild.
Kandy says: The Brewers are in midst of a rebuild but after the Cubs and Cardinals the NL Central is weak so a finish anywhere from third to fifth is possible.
Biggest Additions: P Drew Storen
Biggest Losses: 2B Brandon Phillips
Achilles Heel: Rebuild.
Kandy says: As is the case with the Brewers, the Reds are in midst of a rebuild. After the Cubs and Cardinals, the NL Central is extremely weak so a finish anywhere from third to fifth is possible.
Biggest Additions: None
Biggest Losses: P Neftali Feliz
Achilles Heel: Pitching
Kandy says: The Pirates have a good outfield nucleus but the rest of the team could be candidates for Survivor. Probably will wind up third in the NL Central but we’ll say the S.S. Minnow sinks and the Pirates fall to the depths of Davy Jones locker.
America’s national pastime is back! And we absolutely love it. Not for the reasons you might think but for the sole reason that last year we correctly predicted the Chicago Cubs over the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. No big deal you say? Every sports book had the Cubs as pre-season favorites. That may very well be but not one, not one, ESPN baseball expert had the Cubs playing the Indians in the World Series. As a matter of fact, only one ESPN baseball expert had the Indians in the World Series but up against the Giants. No, my loyal Kandy reader, when it comes to baseball, Kandy knows best. And, we have the proof to back it up. Download the April 2016 issue to read for yourself.
So, what does our crystal ball tell us for this season? Read on to find out who we say will be playing in this year’s Fall Classic.
2017 MLB POSTSEASON PREDICTIONS
In a remake of the 1969 World Series, the Amazin’ Mets defeat the Baltimore Orioles. Just remember we put the ESPN baseball experts to shame last year when we predicted last spring the Cubs over the Indians in the 2016 World Series. Cha-ching!
NL East – New York Mets
NL Central – Chicago Cubs
NLWest – Colorado Rockies
Wild Card 1 – San Francisco Giants
Wild Card 2 – Washington Nationals
AL East – Baltimore Orioles
ALCentral – Detroit Tigers
ALWest – Houston Astros
Wild Card 1 – Cleveland Indians
Wild Card 2 – Seattle Mariners
NL Wild Card Game
Giants over Nationals
AL Wild Card Game
Indians over Mariners
NL Division Series
Mets over Giants
Cubs over Rockies
AL Division Series
Indians over Astros
Orioles over Tigers
League Championship Series
Mets over Cubs
Orioles over Indians
Mets over Orioles
Photo Credit: Debby Wong / Shutterstock