January 25, 2018

Street & Smith's Likes The Yankees In 2018

The first baseball preview magazine of the spring is out. Here are some of the things that Street & Smith's has to say about the 2018 Red Sox and the Yankees:

Brief Comments

Red Sox: "A three-peat in the AL East won't be easy. Especially if injuries hit key players again. You can never count out the Red Sox, though, especially with such a deep farm system."

Yankees: "There's no reason this team can't be the best in the majors in 2018 and for years to come. All the ingredients are there. Adding superstar slugger Giancarlo Stanton ... was just the icing on the cake."

AL East Prediction (& Postseason And Awards)

Red Sox
Blue Jays

WC: Twins over Red Sox / Diamondbacks over Cardinals
ALDS: Astros over Twins / Yankees over Cleveland
ALCS: Yankees over Astros
NLDS: Nationals over Diamondbacks / Dodgers over Cubs
NLCS: Nationals over Dodgers
World Series: Yankees over Nationals

MVP: Carlos Correa, Astros / Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Astros / Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
Rookie: Willie Calhoun, Rangers / Ronald Acuna, Atlanta
Manager: Aaron Boone, Yankees / Dave Martinez, Nationals

Team Reports

Red Sox:
The Red Sox have a tremendous nucleus of talent, both experienced ... and youthful ... They have a hefty payroll, a deep farm system and an aggressive team president, Dave Dombrowski, who has shown the willingness to take risks in order to build a potential champion.

So, what could possibly go wrong for [manager Alex] Cora and the Red Sox in 2018?

Despite his reputation of being a smart baseball man and a people person, the 42-year-old Cora is inheriting a team of high-paid veterans, and it's his charge to make sure they are all working together. That didn't appear to be the case under [John] Farrell, who had to deal with several controversies during his time with the Red Sox ...
The New York Yankees didn't simply announce that they were back.

They shouted it from Bronx rooftops in 2017 - and it was loudly and clearly heard throughout baseball ... And it became eardrum-piercing this winter.

The [Stanton] trade doesn't just shift the balance of power in the A.L. East, it topples it.
An Opposing Scout's View

Red Sox:
On paper, they still have a good team, but I don't think it's a championship-quality team unless they add more. They need one more forceful bat and their starting pitching needs to be as good as it is on the back of their baseball cards, especially David Price and Rick Porcello. ... [Dustin] Pedroia gives you leadership ... The presence is still there, but others need to step up. Their shortstop [Xander Bogaerts] needs to do that. ... That outfield has speed, athleticism and produces offensively in meaningful ways.
It's a good team. It's a really good team. I saw it coming in their minors. I saw Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Chance Adams, who people aren't talking about yet but could be a top-end [starting pitcher]. They've done a great job with development. ... Aaron Boone has all the pluses. A great baseball guy, great baseball family, knows the game. But none of that may play into it, because someone else may be pulling all the strings. ... Judge has shown me he can make adjustments, and not just one time. He'll keep making adjustments to get better.
Bottom Line

Red Sox:
There's no reason this team shouldn't contend, but there is a sense the Red Sox have significantly fallen behind New York, Houston and Cleveland in the A.L. hierarchy. If their veterans maintain consistency and the young players continue to improve, however, there should be more playoff baseball in Boston this year.
There are some excellent clubs in the A.L., including the most recent pennant winners in Houston and Cleveland. But the addition of Stanton could make the Yankees the favorite to represent the league in the Fall Classic - this season and beyond.

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