The 2017 Major League Baseball season is nearly upon us, and around the sports world there is only one question on the minds of fans: who will win it all?
To help answer that question, we’ll be offering our predictions for which teams will make the playoffs in 2017, and which players will help them as they strive to get to the promised land.
1 Los Angeles Dodgers
2016 Record: 91-71
Key Additions: Vidal Nuno
Key Losses: Howie Kendrick, Josh Reddick, Carlos Ruiz
The Dodgers went into the offseason worried that they could lose a significant piece in either Jacob Turner or Kenley Jansen, and they ended up keeping both of them despite significant free agent dollar signs dancing in front of their eyes. With their stacked lineup, ridiculous pitching staff, and incredible prospect depth, the Dodgers are not only the team to best in the West, but they could also be the best team in the National League (sorry Cubs fans).
2 San Francisco Giants
2016 Record: 87-75
Key Additions: Mark Melancon
Key Losses: Gregor Blanco, Angel Pagan, Sergio Romo
The Giants are a team that is always a contender, so long as they have Bruce Bochy on the bench. Their infield is incredible, with Brandon Crawford anchoring things at shortstop and players like Brandon Belt and Joe Panik manning their positions as well. Add Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey to that mix, and the Giants have the potential to challenge the Dodgers and make some serious noise in the National League.
3 Colorado Rockies
2016 Record: 75-87
Key Additions: Ian Desmond, Mike Dunn
Key Losses: Jorge De La Rosa, Mark Reynolds
The Rockies are a team with a ton of young talent, and they got even better in the offseason thanks to the addition of Ian Desmond. With Nolan Arenado holding down the hot corner, Trevor Story (hopefully) playing a full season, and a strong and deep outfield, this team will have plenty of offensive firepower, and the big question boils down to how well their pitching staff can handle things in the hitter’s paradise at Coors Field.
4 Arizona Diamondbacks
2016 Record: 69-93
Key Additions: Fernando Rodney, Taijuan Walker
Key Losses: Welington Castillo, Jean Segura
There will be two keys for the Diamondbacks this season, and if they can get affirmative answers on both fronts, they could make a huge step forward from last season. First and foremost, they’ve got to get better pitching out of the top end of their rotation, with Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller both needing to step up in a big way. The other key is that they need to keep key guys healthy, and that means AJ Pollock needs to stay on the field. If both of those things happen, they should win a good number of games, and they could be a dangerous team to watch.
5 San Diego Padres
2016 Record: 68-94
Key Additions: Jhoulys Chacin, Miguel Diaz
Key Losses: Jon Jay, Derek Norris, Tyson Ross
With such a beautiful ballpark, it would be great to see the Padres launch themselves back into baseball relevance, but it really looks unlikely this season. This team still has a lot of tearing down and regrouping left to do before they can really make any noise in the West, and their status as one of the worst teams in baseball in the eyes of many experts is a well-earned distinction.