TwitterFacebookTumblrPintrestVimeoInstagram

PLAY BALL - A LOOK AT THE 2017 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON

0417sportsmosaic

PLAY BALL - A LOOK AT THE 2017 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SEASON

By Howard T. Brody

For the first time in 108 years, the Chicago Cubs will open a Major League Baseball season as the defending world champions breaking the longest drought in professional sports history when they defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games to win the 2016 World Series.

 

 

The question now is can they do it again?

While Las Vegas sports books have made the Cubs the early odds-on favorite to repeat as Major League Baseball world champions, that might be easier said than done.  Only two National League teams have been able to win back-to-back world championships since the Cubs last did it in 1907 and 1908 – the New York Giants in 1921 and 1922 (defeating the New York Yankees), and the Cincinnati Reds in 1975 and 1976 (beating the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees).  

While the Cubs finally beat the odds last year, is there enough momentum for them to win two in a row? Or will this be the year that the Cleveland Indians finally break their dry spell and win the World Series for the first time since 1948?  Perhaps we will see a team that has never won a World Series, like the Houston Astros, experience the thrill of victory.  Or maybe the time has come for the Seattle Mariners or the Washington Nationals, the only two franchises who have never appeared in a World Series, to make their Fall Classic debut.  

While other publications and websites are making their predictions, STRIPLV is doing the same and here’s how we see the 2017 Major League Baseball season unfolding.

National League Projected Finish

Eastern Division

Washington Nationals

New York Mets*

Miami Marlins 

Philadelphia Phillies 

Atlanta Braves

Central Division

Chicago Cubs

St. Louis Cardinals

Pittsburgh Pirates

Milwaukee Brewers

Cincinnati Reds

Western Division

San Francisco Giants

Los Angeles Dodgers*

Arizona Diamondbacks

Colorado Rockies

San Diego Padres

American League Projected Finish

Eastern Division

Boston Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles*

New York Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays

Tampa Bay Rays

entral Division

Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals

Detroit Tigers

Chicago White Sox

Minnesota Twins

Western Division

Houston Astros

Texas Rangers*

Los Angeles Angels

Seattle Mariners

Oakland Athletics

NL EAST

With the Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies all coming off of disappointing seasons (all three finished below the .500 mark), the rebuilding process continues in those cities.  Despite some roster moves here and there, none of the three pose a threat to capture the division crown, but they can play spoiler. 

The biggest setback for the Marlins has to be the loss of pitcher José Fernández, who was killed in a boating accident last September.  In an era when quality pitchers are a commodity, Fernández will be hard to replace as he was 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA.  While catcher J.T. Realmuto and outfielder Christian Yelich are ready to become breakout stars, it just won’t be enough for the Marlins to climb higher than third place. 

This leaves the New York Mets and Washington Nationals to battle it out for the top spot in the division.  The great Mets teams of the past have always had great pitching, and heading into spring training the Mets have three solid starters in Noah Syndergaard, Jacob DeGrom, and Matt Harvey.  But will that be enough to unseat the Nationals who remain virtually unchanged since last year, and who had the second-best record in the NL after the Cubs?  Perhaps if Zack Wheeler can finally return after two years on the shelf following Tommy John’s surgery the Mets would be the favorite, but that might be wishful thinking.

Bryce Harper, the potential comeback player of the year, could help the Nationals once again win the NL East—this time in the final week of the season, just squeaking by the Mets.   But, even though the Mets won’t win the division, they will earn one of the two NL Wild Card spots.

NL CENTRAL

The defending world champion Chicago Cubs, who won 103 games last season, are poised for another 100-win season.  With the exception of outfielder Dexter Fowler, the team returns for the most part intact. If outfielder Kyle Schwarber stays healthy all season and performs even close to what he did in last year’s Fall Classic, that can be the stuff MVP seasons are made of.

Unless the Cubbies completely fall apart this season, the only team that has the potential to give them a run for the division crown is the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that signed Fowler, but the division crown will be based solely on their pitching.  Top prospect Alex Reyes’ future looks bright, and Carlos Martinez is pretty solid as the ace of the staff.  If Adam Wainwright can return to form like he was in 2013 and 2014 where his ERA was under 3 (last year it was 4.62), and he won 19 and 20 games respectively, and if Lance Lynn, who missed all of last year, can return with even a decent showing, then the Cardinals could make a run for the playoffs in a Wild Card spot.

Like the Braves, Marlins, and Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds all finished under .500 last year, and despite making some roster moves, none of these three (except perhaps the Pirates) are expected to reach the .500 mark this year.

With all things considered, look for the Cubs to be the only Central Division team heading to the playoffs.

NL WEST

Last year the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants were the only two teams in the Western Division to finish above .500.  At the end of the season, only four games separated the two teams, with the Giants ending up taking a Wild Card spot.

The San Diego Padres finished 23 games off the pace last year in the cellar of the NL West.  With Andrew Cashner, Matt Kemp, James Shields, and Melvin Upton Jr. all gone, young players like Luis Perdomo and Hunter Renfroe will lead the charge, but it just won’t be enough.  The Padres are rebuilding, and for 2017 the best role they can play is spoilers.

While the Arizona Diamondbacks have the nucleus of a solid team behind starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, while their young, everyday players are overall getting better.  However, they are still a year or two away from gelling as a serious playoff threat.

The Colorado Rockies, led by third baseman Nolan Arenado who tied for the league lead in home runs in 2015 and 2016, have all the makings of a potential Cinderella team.  With outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon returning after career making years and shortstop Trevor Story getting in a full season after his 2016 NL “Rookie of the Year” bid was cut short due to injury, their batting lineup 

Right-hander Jon Gray, righties Tyler Chatwood and Chad Bettis and left-hander Tyler Anderson, and you have four twenty-something starters who are coming into their own.  However, like Arizona, their roster is a year or two away, so unless they mature faster as expected, expect the Diamondbacks to finish third.

That brings us back to the Dodgers and Giants. Reminiscent of the battles these two franchises had throughout the 1950s when they both played on the East Coast in the shadow of the Yankees, look for the Dodgers and Giants to once again slug it out for first place in the NL West. However, this year should be a reversal of fortune as the Giants will take the division title while the Dodgers get a Wild Card spot. 

AL EAST

While the Tampa Bay Rays finished their 2016 campaign strong, they still finished 25 games out, and they’re going to need more than a good defense led by shortstop Matt Duffy and a decent but questionable pitching staff that includes Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly, and Blake Snell.  They’re going to need some oomph in their lineup.  Unfortunately, perennial All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria and the ever-improving outfielder Kevin Kiermaier just aren’t enough. 

For the first time in several seasons, youth will be the name of the game in the Bronx as catcher Gary Sanchez, and outfielder Aaron Judge are two of the question marks for the New York Yankees.  Starlin Castro at second base and Didi Gregorius at shortstop give the Yanks a solid tandem up the middle, but pitching remains the biggest question mark for the Yankees, and if they are going to have any chance at all of making the playoff, they need more than Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia and Chad Green. Much more.

While some are picking the Toronto Blue Jays to return to championship form, they will be hard pressed to do so.  Heading into spring training it was thought Joe Biagini could be a strong starter for the Jays to go along with their projected rotation of Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, J.A. Happ, and Marco Estrada, but a strong spring by Mat Latos could change that.  With Edwin Encarnación going to the Cleveland Indians and Michael Saunders going to the Philadelphia Phillies via free agency, the Blue Jays lose a lot of run production, although they still have former AL MVP Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista.

If third baseman Manny Machado, first baseman Chris Davis, and designated hitter Mark Trumbo provide as much power this year as they did in 2016 – they all hit over 30 homers – the Baltimore Orioles will once again make a run for the AL East title.  However, their big question mark is pitching.  While they may have Zach Britton as their closer, their starting pitching is nothing to write home about as Kevin Gausman is their only potential starter who had an ERA last year under 4.  Baseball being the game it is, 2017 could easily see the O’s go from a potential Wild Card spot to the AL East cellar.

Expect the Boston Red Sox to repeat as AL East champs.  In addition to a pitching staff that includes starters David Price, Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and closer Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox return with a balanced offense that includes outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, designated hitter Hanley Ramirez, and shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

AL CENTRAL

Last year the Minnesota Twins had the worst record in the Major Leagues.  With a team whose 40-man roster with just one pitcher who had an ERA under 3 (Buddy Boshers 2.65 in just 34 innings) and not one hitter with a batting average over .300 last year, despite some potential home run power behind second baseman Brian Dozier and third baseman Miguel Sano Twins fans can expect to see more of the same in 2017. 

For the most part, the Chicago White Sox played a lot better last year than their stats would lead you to believe.  And while they seemed to have made some improvements over 2016, they only have one bona fide winning starter on their pitching staff with Jose Quintana, a decent closer in David Robertson, and two above average bats in the lineup with first baseman Jose Abreu and third baseman Todd Frazier.  Perhaps if outfielder Melky Cabrera has a stellar year, the best the South Siders can hope for is a third place finish in the AL Central.

Like most teams in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers don’t seem to have the pitching to make a playoff run.  Justin Verlander was the only starter with a winning record (13-9) on the team, and while closer Francisco Rodriguez may have had 33 saves in 2016, his ERA was 3.76.  Only Detroit setup reliever Justin Wilson had an ERA under 3 (2.95).  So as much as Tigers fans are hoping for a playoff spot in 2017, you simply can’t win a championship by giving up nearly four runs a game.

That leaves the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals and the defending American League Champion Cleveland Indians to fight for the AL Central title.

The Royals went from winning back-to-back league championships in 2014 and 2015 to playing .500 ball last year.  The Indians were just the opposite.  They went from playing one game over .500 in 2015 to winning the Central Division by eight games over the Tigers in 2016. 

While there’s no reason to believe the Indians will falter— because if anything their team has gotten stronger with the addition of Edwin Encarnacion to their lineup— many Vegas odds makers have picked Cleveland to win the AL crown.  We believe the Royals will bounce back to give the Indians a run for their money.  Although the team looks nothing like it did in 2015, the Royals have consistently put a competitive team on the field the last four seasons.  However, if their pitching, which is questionable, does not get the job done, they can easily return to the form we saw them a few years ago when they would finish 20 or more games out.  At the end of the day look for the Indians to repeat their division title while the Royals just miss a Wild Card spot.

AL WEST

While the Seattle Mariners finished nine games out last year behind the Texas Rangers, unfortunately they will not have enough steam to battle for first in the AL West.  This is despite a batting lineup that includes designated hitter Nelson Cruz, second baseman Robinson Cano, and third baseman Kyle Seager, as well as a  pitching staff led by starter James Paxton and closer Edwin Diaz. Relievers Steve Cishek and Tony Zych are coming off injuries, and they put two big question marks in the Mariners’ roster. 

Both the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are in the rebuilding process and and are probably a year or two from making a serious run at the playoffs.  Of the two, the A’s have no chance whatsoever.  Aside from outfielder Khris David, who slugged 39 home runs last year, the team lacks players who hit for average or who have decent on-base percentages.  Their pitching is abysmal.  On the other hand, if the Angels can find some pitching, their bats could carry them toward a Wild Card spot.  Any lineup that has outfielder Mike Trout and designated hitter Albert Pujols (even if he is in the latter part of his career) is a dangerous one, and they would certainly need to get another bat aside from third baseman Yunel Escobar to hit over .300. 

Instead expect the Houston Astros to step up and challenge their cross-state rivals, the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers will be tough to beat behind starters Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish, setup men Matt Bush and Jeremy Jeffress, closer Sam Dyson and a starting lineup that includes first baseman Mike Napoli, second baseman Rougned Odor, third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Norman Mazara.  Starting pitcher, Tyson Ross is expected back from rib surgery sometime before the All-Star Game, and shortstop Elvis Andrus might or might not be ready for the start of the season.

However, the Astros are poised to take down the Rangers.  The Astros pitching staff is solid with starters Collin McHugh, Lance McCullers, and Dallas Keuchel, reliever David Paulino, setup men Luke Gregerson and Will Harris, and closer Ken Giles.  There is also a lot of talk about pitching prospect Brady Rodgers cracking into the starting rotation, but pitching isn’t their only strength.  The Astros have a great balanced offense led by shortstop Carlos Correa, outfielders George Springer and Josh Reddick, catcher Brian McCann, second baseman Jose Altuve and designated hitters Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran, who split the 2016 season between the Yankees and Rangers and last played for the Astros in 2004.

Not only will the Astros challenge the Rangers, but they will take the AL West title, while the team from Arlington takes the Wild Card spot.

THE PLAYOFFS

In the National League, the Mets will travel to Los Angeles for the Wild Card game only to have the Dodgers beat them.

The Division Series will see the Cubs top the Giants while the Nationals beat the Dodgers.

And in the League Championship, playing in their 13th season in Washington since the franchise moved from Montreal following the 2004 campaign, the Nationals will upset the Chicago Cubs and go to the World Series for the first time in their team’s history.

In the American League, the Texas Rangers will continue to slide as the Baltimore Orioles will upset them in the Wild Card game.

The Division Series will witness the Cleveland Indians beating the Boston Red Sox, while the Houston Astros will top the Orioles.

And in the League Championship, the Indians will be denied a return to the Fall Classic in their bid for their first World Championship since 1948 as the Astros will become the first team ever to make the World Series having represented both the National and American League. 

THE WORLD SERIES

In 2005 the Astros, representing the National League, were swept in four games by the Chicago White Sox.  Their appearance in this year’s Fall Classic would no doubt be historic simply for the fact that no team has ever even won the championship from one league and then won the championship from the other league.  The only other team in baseball that could do that aside from the Astros would be the Milwaukee Brewers who represented the American League in 1982, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games and now play in the National League Central Division.

But the past is the past, and the present is the present.

And so at the end of the season, it will be the Houston Astros that will forever seal their place in history as an American League team by defeating the Washington Nationals in a World Series that will go six games, making them the 2017 Major League Baseball World Champions.

 

Best Free amazingporns Videos on the incest videos porn Watch Free HD Quality Porn movies. Thanks For visit. deutsche mobile pornos And more fuck movies want to watch? oh okayy i now sending you.. Sending... yes yes i have sended. gay teen bieber.
pornl pornofilme r57 shell