The Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister has won the AL West in both of his first two seasons at the helm. They have been a tour de force on offense and has gotten by with their pitching. Their bullpen has actually been one of the best in the Majors and have bailed out the back-end of their rotation many times a year ago.
The Tampa Bay Rays are stuck in the wrong division. They are clearly just trying to get younger and rebuild, but the rest of the AL East are stocking up for possible a playoff run. The Rays are the odd team out.
The Rays have a roster that will make them competitive in most games, but they should probably start moving some assets and stock up on young players. They could get a nice return for flamethrower Chris Archer. I doubt they would move Evan Longoria, but they could get the biggest return with him since he has team-friendly contract. Probably another reason why the Rays will never move him.
Will the Rays be sellers at the deadline this season or will they keep adding role players?
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Tampa Bay Rays.
For the first time since 2010, the St. Louis Cardinals found themselves sitting at home watching the playoffs. They fell a single-game short of a Wild Card spot. St. Louis knew they had to make some changes if they were going to keep up with the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals.
The Cardinals needed to get some new faces on the team, so they let outfielder Matt Holliday and pitcher Jaime Garcia both walk via free agency. That freed up a spot to sign Dexter Fowler, who is fresh off willing the World Series. Also, Garcia’s departure opens up a rotation spot for a young arm.
Do the Cardinals stand their ground or do they try to make a big move in an attempt to stay with the Cubs?
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the St Louis Cardinals.
The San Francisco Giants are one of the most well-run sports franchises in American sports. They always seem to be competitive, you never hear about them having a barren farm system and they always get the most out of their roster.
The Giants will battle the Dodgers for a playoff spot this season. Neither team has a glaring weak spot. If you’re pressed to find one, the Giants bullpen was a problem last year, but they made some big additions this offseason.
They have one of the best ballparks in the country. I need to make it out to see a game at AT&T Park before that area gets too gentrified and I can afford the cheapest hotel.
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the San Francisco Giants.
The San Diego Padres are currently in the dead period during the rebuilding process. They have bottomed out and now they have to wait until some prospects advance up to the Major League squad.
The Padres made some interesting signings this offseason. They bought low (really low) on some starters with hopes of them getting the Padres through a season…or there’s always an outside shot of one of them developing into a trade chip at the deadline. The odds of that happening with this group of guys is quite low.
Will any of the Padres young hitters develop into someone that can help protect Wil Myers in the lineup?
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the San Diego Padres.
The Pittsburgh Pirates won 98 games in 2015, but then went on a backslide and won only 78 last season. A handful of players regressed and they made a few trades at the deadline to add to their farm system.
All was not lost for the Pirates as a player they traded for in August became a crucial part of their future. The Yankees traded pitcher Ivan Nova to the Pirates for the equivalent of a used 1975 Ford Pinto. He went on to pitch 64 innings for the Pirates and had a 3.06 ERA. Pittsburgh re-signed him this offseason for three more years.
The NL Central is expected to be controlled by the Cubs for the next few years. Can the Pirates hang with them and possible earn a Wild Card spot this year?
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Manager Pete Mackanin did a great job last season and the young team was actually extremely competitive for the first-half of the season. Things kind of hit the skids after that, but that happens a lot with young teams. Can they put together a full season without the young arms hitting a wall?
Will Clay Buchholz resurrect his career in Philly?
Here is the 2017 MLB season preview for the Philadelphia Phillies.