If you’re looking for the teams most likely to succeed in 2017, we’ve done the scouting, number crunching, and prognosticating for you. Some of our selections may surprise you, but we think you’ll find the reasoning behind them to be sound. Of course, with a 162-game schedule that spans seven months just about anything cam happen.
We’ve all seen it where the team that everyone thinks will finish last wins it all. At the same time, we’ve seen that club that has everything they need to succeed end up out of the postseason. Here’s how we see each division in our 2017 American League Preview.
The AL East has three, or maybe even four, teams that can make the playoffs. The Boston Red Sox, with a dominant pitching rotation, solid relief, and some great, young hitters, seems poised to win the division. At the same time, the always pesky and determined Baltimore Orioles will most likely be in the game throughout the season. The weakened Toronto Blue Jays may struggle more than expected, but they are still a sound club. Finally, the Yankees could fool everyone and grab a wild card. Yet, that does not seem likely. Tampa Bay needs more pitching and hitting to be a viable playoff team.
The Indians are even better than they were last season. Manager Terry Francona has proven to be one of the best and with a solid pitching staff, and a re-enforced offense Cleveland looks to have the best chance of winning this division. The Detroit Tigers will be a major competitor and have a real shot at a wild card berth. After that we look to the Kansas City Royals. They will need to find something extra to be a playoff contender. After that, it’s the Chicago White Sox, who may be looking to rebuild rather than compete for the division crown, and the Minnesota Twins who are severely undermanned.
This division should be a supreme battle between the two teams from Texas, the Astros and Rangers. When push comes to shove we like Houston. That is as long as their pitching staff can perform as projected. Texas has some fine hitting power, but their farm system is depleted and injuries could be a major factor. The Seattle Mariners are lacking in the outfield and last season their pitching staff suffered from fatigue. Finally, both the Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics have major questions when it comes to pitching
2017 American League Preview Final Word
Our 2017 American League Preview sees the Boston Red Sox as the team to beat in the league. The Cleveland Indians are close behind when it comes to skill, talent, and depth. In the West, we think that the Houston Astros will be the top team. Others to watch include the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays in the East, the Detroit Tigers in the Central, and the Texas Rangers in the West. The two most likely wild card teams are the Orioles and Rangers.