We are nearing closer and closer to opening day. Spring officially is here, according to the calendar, however, depending on where you are, mountains of snow still exist, and the possibilities of another snow event could linger. But let’s choose to ignore this, let’s think of better things, like baseball!!
Here is some early insight on how teams from both the National and American League could fare this season. All win total predictions will be based on Bovada.com projections:
The Diamondbacks are blessed with one of the best pitching rotations in the league. Zach Greinke and Robbie Ray are the anchors of the staff, they will be followed up by some of the best “number 3,4,5” pitchers the league has to offer. Depth wise this rotation can stack up against any team.
Losing outfielder J.D. Martinez won’t hurt them as much as some are led to believe. Again the Diamondbacks will fall on depth-David Peralta, A.J. Pollock, Steven Souza, Jarrod Dyson and Yasmani Tomas will all get playing time to fill three outfield positions. They are losing lots of power with the departure of Martinez, but this outfield group is more than capable of being productive.
Atlanta Braves 74.5/ Pick-under
This is a really young team. A rebuild movement has taken place and it will continue for the foreseeable future. Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson are very young and still need to prove themselves at the big league level. Other then Freddie Freeman, production throughout the whole rest of the roster might be lacking.
It may be another three to four seasons until the Braves can really capitalize on the young talent throughout their organization.
Chicago Cubs 94.5/ Pick- over
The Cubs did well to replace starting pitcher, Jake Arrieta. The addition of Yu Darvish is a great signing. Darvish, when healthy, posses some of the more dominant stuff in all of baseball. Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Tyler Chatwood round out a very solid rotation.
The offense will be lead by all-star corner infielders, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. Even though the Cubs are mostly a young team, they have already proven that they are championship caliber. Expect emergences from second baseman Javier Baez and outfielders Albert Almora jr, and maybe even Kyle Schwarber.
The only concern here might be the bullpen. Wade Davis and Aroldis Chapman have moved on to new teams. Carl Edwards Jr, Pedro Strop and Brandon Morrow will now be looked upon out of the pen. This is still a good group, that has lots of potential.
Cincinnati Reds 73.5/ Pick under
Offensively the Reds were very good last year. Scott Schebler, Adam Duvall and speedster, Billy Hamilton formed the outfield. Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett led the infield. No question, this team can hit.
Where the weakness lies is in the pitching. Homer Bailey is average at best, Anthony DeSclafani starts the season with a strained left oblique. Other than closer Raisel Iglesias, pitching as a whole seems like it will be lacking again.
Lets put the pitching aspect to the Rockies game aside, the Rockies are an offensive-minded ball club, there is no hiding that. Wade Davis and Bryan Shaw will bolster the bullpen a great deal. It is the offense that will lead this team to compete with the Diamondbacks for the division and at worst a wild-card spot.