GM Dayton Moore expertly built Kansas City into a championship franchise and while it was worth it to make two World Series and winning one, the door is quickly shutting as the Royals are likely to miss the playoffs again and could have a number of players leave via free agency soon. For Kansas City to return to the playoffs, their core group needs big years again and that includes Eric Hosmer, Salavador Perez, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar. A return to health and production from Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon would really help and maybe a change of scenery will help former Cub Jorge Solar. Two previous strengths got away from this team last year, patience and contact at the plate and defense. The other aspect that carried the Royals was adequate starting pitching and a great bullpen. That is no longer the case with Danny Duffy and Ian Kennedy the only reliable starting pitchers and the bullpen a shell of its former. With enough K.C. players seeking big money, they could have big years which could make the Royals a .500 club again and nothing more. Play OVER
The last time Colorado had a winning record was 2010 and oddsmakers have posted a number in which the Rockies could surpass. For the first time in memory, the Rockies enter a season with a solid starting staff. Starters Jon Gray, Chad Bettis, Tyler Anderson and Tyler Chatwood put together a combined 41-33 overall record last season. Bettis is sadly out indefinitely battling testicular cancer, but Colorado has good young arms that could step in. Last year the bullpen had the highest ERA in baseball and blew 28 saves. They are counting on new acquired Mike Dunn and new manager Bud Black to solve the bullpen. It is a given the Rocks will score runs led by 5-tool all-star Nolan Arenado. Colorado has suffered some bad breaks, literally, in losing catcher Tom Murphy and 1B Ian Desmond to broken or fractured bones, but both should be back by early May. If the bullpen improves as expected, the Rockies should exceed .500 this season. Play OVER
The Dodgers would be considered a good upper end pick to win the National League or even the World Series, with the talent they assembled. The offense is in place, especially if Corey Seager and Joc Pederson make adjustments and continue to improve. Talked to a few people this week and nobody is enamored with Yasiel Puig, thus, if a couple of young Dodgers outfielders prove ready in June, look for Puig to be traded.
My concern about the Dodgers is the starting pitching and inability to come through in the postseason. I think the L.A. will come up just short of 94.5 wins and I would not bet on them for futures, since they have not proven they can come through in the clutch.Play UNDER
If you live in SoCal, there has been quite a bit of optimism emitting from the baseball team in Anaheim during the offseason for a team that won only 74 games. Run Prevention – is big deal with the Halos and given the lack of offense outside of an occasional C.J. Cron outburst, the infield is going to have prevent a lot runs because the lack of offense could not be more apparent. Other than Cron, there just is not close to enough bats to stir the pot on even a weekly basis and this will be among the worst infield offense in the American League.
We all know Mike Trout is the best player in baseball and how he will perform and Troy Calhoun is above average right-fielder. Left field has been a revolving door of under achievement and with what the Halos are paying aging Albert Pujols, still Josh Hamilton, they cannot just go out and find suitable replacement and will again have a void at that position.
Save still on the mend starting pitcher Garrett Richards, the pitching staff does not figure to shine in run prevention. Richards is the only starting pitcher that would be labeled above average, which means the bullpen will get a ton of work in 2017. Nothing heavenly about the Angels who are UNDER 79.5 play.
Right now, San Diego is where the Chicago Cubs were often for decades, clueless; dysfunctional and rebuilding. The first two years of GM A.J Preller’s regimehave been filled with curiosity and losing. If you look at the Padres roster, even to the more ardent baseball fans, there are not many familiar names. The everyday lineup will struggle to score runs consistently, the starting pitching staff is laughable and the bullpen lacks talent and will be overworked by the All-Star break. Having to face the Dodgers, Giants, possibly improving Arizona and Colorado, plus the other top teams in the NL, I cannot think of why San Diego does not lose 105 games and is a great UNDER play.