MLB Top 10 Teams Entering Opening Week
Another MLB offseason and spring training session have gone by and, it seems to go faster and faster every year. MLB Opening Day begins on Thursday and baseball fans feel like it is the holiday season for them.
Baseball is a marathon and not a sprint. Here are the top 10 MLB team's entering the 2018 regular season:
10. Los Angeles Angels: The Angels got a lot better during the offseason by signing Zack Cozart, Ian Kinsler, and Shohei Ohtani. They have one of the best baseball players in the world in Mike Trout. Albert Pujols will continue to produce this season at the age of 38. The Angels will be one of the most improved teams in the MLB in 2018 and they will contend for a playoff spot.
9. New York Mets: The Mets had a rough 2017 season and they missed the playoffs. Because of that, Terry Collins decided to resign as the Mets manager and general manager. Sandy Alderson hired Cleveland Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, as the new manager.
Callaway hopes he can influence the Mets pitching staff to perform at a high level in 2018. New York has the talent to get back to the postseason, but will they put it together and can they stay healthy?
8. Colorado Rockies: The Rockies could have the best offense in the MLB heading into the 2018 season. They have Charlie Blackmon Jr., Nolan Arenado, D.J. LeMahieu, Trevor Story, and Carlos Gonzales. It will depend on the starting pitching whether or not the Rockies get back to the postseason in 2018.
7. Washington Nationals: Second baseman Daniel Murphy, will be on the DL to start the MLB season. It could affect their lineup a little bit, but they still have Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, and Bryce Harper.
Harper will be a free agent at the end of the season and will see if it affects his play or not. Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg could be one of the best 1-2 punches in the starting rotation in all of baseball. Dusty Baker isn't back as the Nationals manager and they hired Chicago Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez to be the new manager.
6. Boston Red Sox: Boston decided to move on from manager John Farrell in the offseason and hire Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora, to be the new manager. This is an interesting move because the Red Sox made the playoffs the past two seasons, but failed to get out of the first round.
Boston did win a World Series with him, but the Red Sox might have made a mistake because they lost to better teams in the ALDS in 2016 (Cleveland Indians) and 2017 (Houston Astros). Chris Sale will be a headache on the mound this season, but can David Price bounce back? Third baseman Rafael Devers is going to be a star for them.
5. Chicago Cubs: If Kyle Schwarber shows no signs of rust, the Cubs lineup will be very potent in 2018. Chicago has reached the NLCS in the past three seasons and they have no reason why they should not get back there again in 2018.
Jake Arrieta left for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago signed Yu Darvish to be the ace of the rotation. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will continue to be the heartbeat of this team.
4. Cleveland Indians: The Indians have the best pitching rotation in the American League, but will they have another offense to get past the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees in 2018?
Infielders Jose Rameriz and Francisco Lindorn, will spark this team offensively, but they are going to need power from unlikely sources in 2018. Cleveland won an American League record 22 straight games last season, which was originally set by the 2002 Oakland Athletics at 21 games.
As long as Terry Francona is the manager, the Indians have a chance to win it all.
3. New York Yankees: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton will be tough to pitch to this season. They are a threat to hit the long ball everytime they step up to the plate, but they also strikeout a lot.
Health is also a concern for the both of them. New York also has catcher Gary Sanchez, in the lineup and he is very dangerous as well. Can the supporting cast give those guys a hand when they are off?
New York doesn't have a strong starting rotation, but they might have the best bullpen in baseball.
The Yankees were one win away from reaching the World Series in 2017, but it didn't stop them from not bringing back Joe Giradi and hiring Aaron Boone as the new manager.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers had the next man up mentality in 2017. It worked very well for them as they won 103 games in the regular season and they went all the way to the World Series, but they lost in game 7 at home to the Houston Astros.
The Dodgers return the same lineup in 2018 and they are probably the favorites to repeat as National League Champions. Manager Dave Roberts will challenge his team to stay hungry during the season and they have unfinished business to take care of.
1.Houston Astros: The Astros won the World Series for the first time in franchise history in an epic seven-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. George Springer was the MVP in that series and Jose Altuve was the American League MVP in 2017.
Justin Verlander was the biggest acquisition Houston made in 2017 because Verlander was untouchable once he arrived in late August. Verlander was 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 34 innings and only walked five batters and struck out 43.
Houston is the favorite to repeat as World Series Champions. They will have a target on their back once the season begins.