- Dodgers: 95-67 Only weakness may be the bridge to Jansen as Morrow is now a Cub. They will have to depend on another great season from Wood or a great season from another starter to backup Kershaw. However, a mid-season return from Urias could be perfect timing as the Dodgers schedule gets tough the last 3 months.
- Rockies: 89-73 A second season with Black at the helm of this young talented pitching staff and add Davis and Shaw to lead the bullpen, while the massive lineup supporting them is just too much to look away from. In addition young superstars like McMahon could possibly make an impact as well.
- Giants: 84-78 Possibly the team with the most “if’s” in baseball. For example, if Cueto has a comeback season, if Bumgarner can get healthy soon, if the front office is aggressive at deadline to build bullpen; and on and on. However, Bochey is at the helm, the front office had a nice offseason showing they want to win, and the fan base is loyal.
- D-backs: 81-81 Very tough schedule down the stretch of the last month and a half, especially the last couple weeks. Certainly Lamb has the pop and so does Goldy, but will Goldy be able to put his team on his back enough in the end to climb over the Giants whom have 3 superstar leaders in the lineup? However, their bullpen is solid, but not playoff good, and their starting rotation is a high risk very high reward type.
- Padres: 73-89 Great job during off season, but still the lineup isn’t anywhere near the level of LA, COL, or AZ. Yes Hosmer was a great sign, but there isn’t a lot of protection for him in that lineup. However, they are in the NL, nevertheless the NL West, meaning pitching is key, and what do the Padres have, a below average staff.
- Cubbies: 90-72 Will be a tougher division this year with the Cardinals looking better after a good off-season and the Brew-Crew stacking up their roster. Other than the tough competition, the Cubs will have to deal with some obstacles of their own such as banking on Morrow to be the man they signed him to be after having two elite closers in Chapman and Davis or banking on Darvish to deliver and Lester to have another 2017 type campaign.
- Red Birds: 89-73 The Cardinals always have really good pitching that will be even better this year when phenom Reyes returns in May and St. Louis sees a full season out of Weaver. Marcell Ozuna is now in the lineup to amp up the power in the Cardinals lineup to add to veteran hitters like Carpenter and Molina.
- Brew-Crew: 85-77 After the addition of Cain and Yelich the Brewers now have arguably one of the top 5 lineups in baseball. However, despite a lethal bullpen, can the starting lineup put together enough quality starts to bridge to that bullpen to make a difference?
- Reds: 72-90 The Reds have been rebuilding their team for some time now and the young stars like Castillo and Peraza are ready to make their mark as full-time all-stars. And of course Votto is still in a Red uniform. However, its not much of a roster to guac at compared to the teams above.
- Buckos: 69-93 After trading away their ace and slugger its pretty clear the Pirates are entering some kind of rebuild mode. Yes, their are some nice pieces on the pitching staff like Tallion and Rivero and in the lineup like Bell and Marte, but its clear that the McCutchen period is over.
- Nats: 98-64 Possibly the most stacked team in the bigs, but there are two concerns. How will the team perform under a new manager and how will he use the bullpen, which has three closers?
- Phillies: 86-76 Its been a long time coming for the Phillies to be competitive again. The rebuild is finally over and they have bought themselves a new manager, slugger, and ace. Other than the Nats Philly has equal competition in the division. There is a lot of excitement swirling around this organization and sometimes in baseball that is enough.
- Mets: 79-83 Sure the pitching staff looks healthy through Spring Training and two games of the regular season under their new manager, but they still are the Mets. They have some nice pieces, but they are overrated and average pieces. They will make some noise if the pitching stays healthy, but that is a big “if.”
- Braves: 77-85 Nice team, but there are also some big “if’s” with this team. Of course Julio Tehran is still the ace, but under him are some “hopefulls” is a nice way to put it. Good lineup still without Kemp, but nothing special. The thoughts were that they were going to be like the Phillies and be buying now, but guess not.
- Marlins: 62-100 Welcome to the beginning of a massive rebuild.