American League team previews continued. Make sure to check the rest of our team by team overviews to get a better understanding of what to possibly expect for the upcoming 2018 Major League Baseball Season.
Minnesota Twins 82.5/ pick-over
Things seem to be turning around pretty quickly for the Twins. Last year was a big improvement to what we are accustomed to seeing out of Minnesota. The lineup will only get better with additions of first base/designated hitter Logan Morrison. Brian Dozier has been one of the more consistent players and is good for at least 30 homers. Miguel Sano at third has finally lived up to expectations. One of the biggest keys to success will be the continued emergence to highly touted center fielder, Byron Buxton. This is the type of player every manager dreams about. He is only gonna improve and the Twins will likely improve as well. What is really to like about the Twins outlook is the added pitching. Jake Odorizzi and Lance Lynn will be extremely valuable to them. Steady pitching is always hard to find, these two added to a rotation that includes Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson/ Phil Hughes make up a very formidable starting five.
Oakland Athletics 74.5/ pick-under
It seems like this organization is amongst one of the more difficult to get a full understanding of what to expect. They will have to get contributions from players that we may have never heard before, and we all know that General Manager Billy Beane is totally fine with that. The rotation becomes a little merky after Kendall Graveman and Sean Manaea.Gossett, Mengden and Triggs will toe the rubber every fifth day. Offensively the A’s should be fine. A player to watch that has everyone excited is first baseman Matt Olson. He along with Khris Davis should provide ample power for a lineup that is otherwise underwhelming. Would love to take the easy route and call a push, so tread with caution.
Seattle Mariners 81.5/ pick-over
It seems like it has been forever since the last time the Seattle Mariners have reached the post season. They seem to be hovering around mediocrity and we will probably see more of the same this season. The rotation is only decent at best. Felix Hernandez isn’t the same dominant pitcher. James Paxton has only given us one year of really solid season long pitching(last year, career high 24 games started). After these two the talent level seems to drop off. Having said this, the Mariners will manage to score their fair amount of runs.Veteran leadership and really good production have become the norm for second baseman Robinson Cano, designated hitter/right fielder Nelson Cruz and third baseman Kyle Seager. Dee Gordon was brought in to wreak havoc on the base paths, he should steal a ton of bags and provide adequate defense in center field. Mike Zunino is the real interesting player on this team. Always a power first player, last season was a potential turning point in his career. He managed to hit .251 in 124 games. If he continues with this new-found approach the M’s could be headed for a winning season.
Tampa Bay Rays 77.5/ pick-under
The Rays, similar to the Blue Jays and Orioles are at a disadvantage playing in the American League East. Heavyweights Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees seem to spend at will in order to compete, the Rays have no where near the payroll. This could be a trying season if nothing else. Third baseman Evan Longoria was shipped off and his consistency in the middle of the order will be missed dearly. A couple nice players won’t be nearly enough for them to compete in this division. This total seems way to high to take the over.
New York Yankees 94.5/ pick-over
It’s hard not to like the Yankees this year. They are truly deep all the way through the roster. Stanton and Judge will mash dingers all season long. Their shouldn’t be a shortage of run scoring with a lineup this talented. 1 through 9 the argument can be made that this is one of the most impressive batting orders in recent memory. What we tend to forget with the Yankees is that they are very talented pitching wise as well. A very good rotation and an even more impressive bullpen could see the Yankees reach 100 wins.
Texas Rangers 77.5/ pick-under
This seems like a very generous win total. The Rangers will have to rely on their offense very heavily in order to get over the total. This type of production may be hard to rely on for the entire season. Cole Hamels as the ace of the staff isn’t all that bad, after him however it gets a little iffy. At the very least the Rangers will be very entertaining to follow. Expect high scoring games to be prevalent for most of the season.
Toronto Blue Jays 81/ pick-over
This could be the surprise team of the season. A healthy Josh Donaldson will go a long way in aiding the team to a plus .500 season and perhaps a wild card birth. Randal Grichuck, will man right field taking over for now free agent Jose Bautista. Grichuck has the potential to hit 40 homers, as well as first baseman Justin Smoak. No lack of depth either for the Jays as they have multiple solid options all over the diamond, including left field and up the middle in the infield. The Jays also posses one of the more intriguing rotations in all of baseball. Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez will only get better. J.A.Happ, Marco Estrada and new comer, Jaime Garcia make for a very good and almost underrated starting five. Improvements were also made to the bullpen, Tyler Clippard and Seung Hwan Oh will only improve an already good unit.