Tag Archives: Houston Astros

Early Award Predictions

Winter is beginning to fade away and spring is just around the corner. The light at the end of the tunnel is finally approaching and I could not be more excited. Spring Training games have commenced, albeit they most likely bore you to tears after the third or fourth inning, so let’s give you guys something to look forward to. How do predictions for the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP sound?

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This year there are two distinct favorites for the Rookie of the year award. Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves will run away with this award in the National League. Swanson played just 38 games after being called up at the end of the 2016 season. In his limited time in the Big’s, Swanson showed exactly why he was drafted first overall in 2015. The 23 year old does it all. Swanson is smooth in the field, can hit for average, steal bags, and has shown some pop in his bat. Swanson debuted in the middle of August and still finished with a .302 Avg., 3 home runs, 17 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases in just 38 games. Another year of experience will be extremely valuable for Swanson and should propel him to the next level of stardom.

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From the American league I see Red Sox young stud, Andrew Benintendi taking home the Rookie of the Year award. Most Red Sox fans fell in love with Benintendi last season after his debut on August 2nd. Benintendi hit .295 with 2 home runs and 14 RBIs, in just 34 games. These numbers aren’t jaw-dropping but they show the potential that Benintendi has. At the age of 22, he is poised to take over the everyday role in Left field, with the Green Monster looming over him.

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In 2016 Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello took the league by storm, receiving the Cy Young Award in their respective leagues. This year I see the honor going to Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber. Kershaw is an extremely safe pick, seeing that he is constantly dominant year in and year out. Last season was an enigma for Kershaw. He suffered through a nagging back injury that kept him to just 21 starts. With that being said, Kershaw still finished with a 12-4 record and an outrageous 1.69 ERA. If Kershaw can stay healthy, there is no question in my mind that he can win his 4th Cy Young in 7 years.

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Corey Kluber took the bull by the horns last year, finishing in third place for the Cy Young just behind Justin Verlander and Porcello. Kluber took his amazing statistics into the playoffs where he continued to dominate, leading the Indians to the World Series. Kluber has been a silent killer for the past three years. Staying out of the headlines, Kluber continues to produce amazing numbers as the ace of one of baseball’s best rotations.

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Now the moment you have all been waiting for; the MVP award. It would be a safe choice to pick Mike Trout and Kris Bryant but this year is going to be different. These players will obviously have sensational seasons but in 2017 Nolan Arenado and Jose Altuve will take home the award. Arenado doesn’t get much attention playing in Colorado but has been one of the best players in the MLB for the past two seasons. At 25, Arenado is a 4 time Gold Glove winner and 2 time Silver Slugger. Arenado will be turning 26 this year, baseball players prime. Over his four seasons, his statistics have continued to escalate. This year will be no different. Even though the Rockies are going nowhere fast, Arenado has certainly earned his spot as one of baseball’s best players.

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Jose Altuve has owned the American League for the past three seasons. Standing at just 5’6” and weighing 165 pounds, you would think Altuve would be better suited as a jockey rather than a MVP candidate. Altuve has proven that he is a 5 tool player. Altuve has 600+ hits over the course of the last three seasons and can still hit the long ball, racking up 24 last season. The Astros are poised to have a bounce back season this year, giving Altuve a better chance at winning the MVP award.

Keep an eye out for these players. All of them are stars or stars in the making. This year is going to be a fun one, make sure you strap in for the long ride.


Who Will be the Best in the West?

The American League West has been an extremely confusing division over the past five years, having a different winner in 4 of the last 5 seasons. In 2016 the Texas Rangers ran away with the wild, Wild West and have been the reigning champs for the past two seasons. Will the Rangers reign continue or is there another team that is poised to knock off the defending American League West champs?

My predictions are as follows:

  1. Houston Astros 92-70
  2. Texas Rangers 90-72
  3. Seattle Mariners 86-76
  4. Los Angeles Angels 80-82
  5. Oakland Athletics 76-86

There it is everybody. My very early predictions are in and I have the Houston Astros winning the American League West for the first time in team history. Why the Astros you ask? Let me explain.

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In 2016 the Houston Astros finished in third place, and found themselves watching the postseason on their couches, a far cry from their Wild Card berth in 2015. The Astros are one of the youngest teams in the MLB. Their inexperience has been their kryptonite and has led them to underperform in pressure filled situations. During this offseason, the Astros front office addressed this issue head on, signing veterans Brian McCann, Josh Reddick, and Carlos Beltran. These three players will certainly add the veteran leadership and guidance that the young Astro players need.

On top of the veteran additions, the Astros have easily the greatest middle infield in the MLB. Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve lock down the middle of the diamond as well as the middle of the lineup. At the ripe age of 21, Correa blasted 20 home runs and compiled 96 RBIs. Altuve, who is just 26 years old, is a 3 time Silver Slugger and has accumulated over 200 hits in each of the past 3 seasons. The Astros don’t stop there. At the hot corner the Astros have Alex Bregman, who is an extremely promising young player. In their rotation, the Astros will be hoping for the resurgence of 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, Dallas Keuchel. If Keuchel and Bregman can perform to their potentials in 2017, then the sky is the limit.

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The Texas Rangers are still a team that has the potential to make a playoff push.  The Rangers will be a Wild Card team in 2017 but should not be taken lightly. The Rangers have a shutdown rotation, headed by Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels. On the offensive side of the ball, the Rangers have a solid core. Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, and rookie Joey Gallo will lock down the middle of their lineup. The Rangers and the Astros have constructed their rosters very similarly. Both rosters have a veteran presence with a multitude of young talented players. Things are going to start to heat up in Arlington so grab your sunscreen and a beach chair and get ready for a wild ride.

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The Seattle Mariners have been an enigma to be for many years.  Their roster is full of award winning candidates, but seems to never put it all together. The Mariners front office has done very little to improve this offseason because many believe they can make a push with their current roster. Unfortunately, this year is going to be no different. The Mariners will stay afloat for a while but will ultimately flounder in the dog days of August.

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The Los Angeles Angels have been terrible for the past two seasons because of the huge contracts offered to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. This has deterred them from making a big push for free agents over the past few years. This year’s Angels team will have to suffer through another year of dismay. Once Pujols’ and Hamilton’s contracts come off the books, look for the Angels to become a team that can make a playoff push, unfortunately that is not going to be in 2017.

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The Oakland Athletics will be sellers by the July 31st trade deadline. The A’s are a team that needs to start a rebuilding process immediately. Look for stud pitcher Sonny Gray to be dealt to a contender come July. This year is a chance to build their farm system and develop some of their young promising players.

The Wild, Wild West is going to be a very competitive division and is worth keeping an eye on. In the end, I believe the Houston Astros are poised to be the best in the West.

Call Me Nostradamus!

It’s that time of year that all of us baseball fanatics have been waiting for. Opening day baby! Looking around the league, I see many teams who have immense potential and a chance to shake things up in their respective divisions. In this article I am going to give my American League predictions for this upcoming season.

A.L. East

Let’s start with the AL East. Typically this division is extremely competitive. In the past six years a different team has won the division. This season I think it’s going to be much different. To be honest, many of these teams are very mediocre. Here are my predictions:

  1. Boston Red Sox 88-74
  2. Toronto Blue Jays 85-77
  3. New York Yankees 82-80
  4. Baltimore Orioles 78-84
  5. Tampa Bay Rays 75-87

Trust me, I’m not being a homer here. The Red Sox have a deeper and much more talented team than any of their competition in the AL East. Last year, the Toronto Blue Jays owned the division racking up 93 wins on their way to an appearance in the ALCS. Unfortunately for them, they lost their ace, David Price to the Red Sox this offseason. Going down the standings, I see the Yankees continuing their pedestrian ways. Their team is full of overpaid and overrated talent and the pitching staff is inconsistent at best. The only thing that I see keeping the Yankees in games is their outstanding bullpen. The Yankees may have one of the best three headed monsters in the game with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. Bottoming out the league I have the Orioles and the Rays. Let it be known, the Orioles have a dangerous lineup but their pitching is putrid. If they want any chance of making the playoffs, their unproven pitchers will need to step up. Lastly, we have the Rays back at the bottom of the AL East again. This team is a joke, end of story.

A.L. Central 

Moving on to the A.L. Central. The 2015 World Series champion, Kansas City Royals received their rings on Sunday night. It will be interesting to see if anybody in this division can compete with these guys in 2016. In fact, I do believe there is a team that will put a scare into the reigning World Series champs.

  1. Kansas City Royals 93-69
  2. Cleveland Indians 91-71
  3. T3. Detroit Tigers 85-77
  4. T3. Chicago White Sox 85-77
  5. Minnesota Twins 74-88

The Kansas City Royals are the most talented team in this division. Their young talent and solid set of core players are back for another deep run into the playoffs. The pitching staff took a hit when Johnny Cueto signed with the San Francisco Giants this offseason. Even with the loss of Cueto, I see the Royals edging out the Indians for being the AL Central champions. The Cleveland Indians are my sleeper team this year. The pitching rotation is full of talent with former Cy Young Award winner, Corey Kluber heading the rotation. Following Kluber comes Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Both of these guys have lively arms and exceptional ability. With Terry Francona running the helm, I see the Indians making a huge push toward a playoff appearance, grabbing one as a Wild Card team. As for the Detroit Tigers, I see them tying with the White Sox in third. Both teams lack the pitching necessary to win a division as competitive as this one. The White Sox made huge strides this offseason with the acquisitions of Brett Lawrie and Todd Frazier. Putting these big bats into the middle of this lineup has made Chicago a concern for opposing pitchers. In the cellar of the AL Central I have the Minnesota Twins. The Twins improved last year but didn’t show me enough to believe they will keep that trend going.

A.L. West

The A.L. West is a division that is full of talent and is always fun to keep an eye on throughout the season. Here are my predictions:

  1. Houston Astros 98-64
  2. Texas Rangers 88-74
  3. Seattle Mariners 84-78
  4. Los Angeles Angels 80-82
  5. Oakland Athletics 78-84

I have the Houston Astros as the beast of the American League. I love this team! The Astros have risen from the depths of the AL West a few years back to become one of the most promising teams in all of baseball. They have young talent all over the field, starting from their stud short stop, Carlos Correa. Their staff is full of young arms headed by the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner, Dallas Keuchel. This team is going to go far, I guarantee that. Houston is not the only team in Texas that is going to be pushing for a playoff spot. The Texas Rangers are fully equipped to give the American League a run for their money. The Rangers made a huge splash during last year’s trade deadline, scooping up Cole Hamels from the Philadelphia Phillies. Having Hamels in the rotation gives this pitching staff great depth. The Rangers put Yu Darvish on the DL to start the year but once he is ready to return, this rotation becomes one of the best in the league. The Rangers rotation puts them over the top for me, and will receive the other Wild Card spot in the American League. Going down the division we have Seattle, Los Angeles, and Oakland finishing third, fourth, and fifth respectively. These teams don’t have nearly enough fire power to put a scare into either the Astros or Rangers.

Once the playoffs start, crazy things will certainly ensue. It is hard to predict who will come out victorious from the American League. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on the Houston Astros. Watch out for this team. Last year they made huge strides, and with another year of experience, this team could be American League champions.

Next week I will give my opinions on the National League and who I believe will face the Astros in the World Series.