February 8, 2018

Predictions For 2018: Lindy's & Athlon

Two more baseball annuals are out.

Lindy's

Yankees
Red Sox (WC)
Blue Jays
Rays
Orioles

World Series: Dodgers versus Yankees

MVP: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland; Corey Seager, Dodgers
Cy Young: Justin Verlander, Astros; Carlos Martinez, Cardinals
Rookie: Francisco Mejia, Cleveland; Ronald Acuna, Atlanta
Rookie Pitcher: Shohei Ohtani, Angels; Walker Buehler, Dodgers
Manager: Mike Scioscia, Angels; Dave Roberts, Dodgers

Capsules

Red Sox
The road to the East title still goes through Boston. The Red Sox, who have won the division the past two seasons, have the requisite 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation (Chris Sale and David Price) to be formidable in playoff series. It's a good situation for new manager Alex Cora.
Yankees
The new look Bronx Bombers will be one of the sport's focal points this summer with Giancarlo Stanton joining Aaron Judge in a power-packed lineup. The pitching is first-rate, too; they yielded the second fewest runs in the American League last season.
Scouts

Red Sox
Cora played in Boston. That should give him a good idea of what it takes to manager there, but it is not enough. He's going to have a tough time this year. He's smart and will learn, and be better in his second year. ... The first thing Cora has to do is get Pedroia on his side. Pedroia runs that clubhouse. Farrell lost Pedroia and was finished from there on out. ... They really missed Big Papi last year. Nobody is that lineup really hit for power. You can't win playing 81 games in that ballpark with a bunch of Judy hitters. ... Bogaerts should do some damage in that park. He hits too many grounders. Pull the ball in the air; and he'll get 50 doubles. ... Price's command was terrible last year. He used to throw strikes with everything, but only the fastball worked for him.
Yankees
Things must hve really gotten bad in the clubhouse for Cashman to fire Girardi. He's an uptight guy, but he won and did a good job with that club. ... I get that Boone's a great guy and relates well to people, but there's more to the job than that. ... It's the type of lineup that can go into a funk without warning for a week or so because everyone is striking out.
Athlon Sports

Yankees
Red Sox (WC)
Blue Jays
Orioles
Rays

ALCS: Astros over Yankees
NLCS: Nationals over Cubs
World Series: Astros over Nationals

MVP: Mike Trout, Angels (Giancarlo Stanton #2, Aaron Judge #6, Mookie Betts #7, Didi Gregorius #9); Bryce Harper, Nationals
Cy Young: Chris Sale, Red Sox (Luis Severino #3); Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Rookie: Shohei Ohtani, Angels; Ronald Acuna, Atlanta

Scouts

Red Sox
The Yankees, on paper, have passed them. ... You don't know what you'll get from David Price with that elbow. And that market is all wrong for him. I bet he wishes he'd signed somewhere else, but he does have the chance to opt out after the season. ... Their young core is impressive. Andrew Benintendi has a lot of ceiling left, Jackie Bradley Jr. is a fabulous defender, and Mookie Betts can do it all. I'm excited to see Rafael Devers for a full year. He's got great hands at the plate, he plays loose, and he knows the strike zone.
Yankees
They're primed to make a deep run. There's nowhere for a pitcher to breathe against that lineup. ... Stanton and Judge can be pitched to; like most big guys, they have a hole up and in. ... But only the best of the best have the command to consistently exploit that weakness, and of course those guys hammer mistakes. I have a lot of confidence in Luis Severino; he's found his footing now, and he'll be one of the best pitchers in the game for the next decade.
Final Analysis

Red Sox
Two years ago, after a season that saw every New York regular post a below-average OPS, it appeared the Red Sox would dominate their rivals for at least five years. Instead, the Yankees once again look ready to rule, and it's fair to wonder if the Red Sox can keep pace. ... If they don't, we'll be wondering how this all fell apart so quickly.

1 comment:

Jim Goodale said...

The strangled FA market makes pre-season predictions more precarious than usual. One tidbit that I'm looking for (but not expecting to see) is for a scribe to suggest that maybe Judge the Great is a 1-year wonder. After all, he went a couple of long stretches last season where he looked like shit--and that is some gigantic swing and miss. Wishful thinking, I know ....