Our Cactus League coverage presses on all around the Valley of the Sun, taking a look at four more teams in person and offering opinions on what we knew and what we are seeing.
Listed below are projections and MLB odds for each team for divisions, the league they play in, World Series considerations if applicable and season win totals from 5Dimes. Let’s get to it.
Colorado Rockies (4th in NL West, 9th-best NL odds) O/U 81
Colorado had a sensational start, tired late in the season but at least made the playoffs and won 87 games. Manager Bud Black massaged a very young starting staff a year ago. If Black can get a full season of production out of ace Jon Gray, that might cover up a few holes in other starters. Credit GM Jeff Bridich for being on the ball by remaking the back end of the bullpen with Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, and Jake McGee. With the other pensters, this will ease the pressure on starting pitchers. It is a given the Rockies will score and if Ian Desmond rebounds from an injury-plagued season and Trevor Story can reduce strikeouts and make more contact, this team could be a Wild Card team again. Bet Over.
Kansas City Royals (4th in AL Central, 14th-best AL odds) O/U 70
After decades of mediocrity and waiting a long time for the farm system to finally produce, Kansas City went to back-to-back World Series, won one and is back where they started this decade, a really crummy team. Salvador Perez is the most useful name left in the field and Jorge Bonifacio looked like a keeper, until 80-game ban for PED’s. For pitchers, it’s Danny Duffy and Jakob Junis and a whole bunch of warm bodies with major league experience. Having Mike Moustakas back and OF John Jay is a positive, but how much? Maybe the Royals go Over, but I wouldn’t bet on it.