One of the reasons why baseball season is so great is because it always offers some surprises. Which five teams are poised to exceed the expectations of MLB fans this season?
If there’s one team that can give the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants a run for their money in the National League West it’s the Colorado Rockies.
The Colorado lineup includes Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Carlos Gonzalez, D.J. LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond and David Dahl and playing at Coors Field gives them an edge, but it also makes us wonder if their pitching can hold up?
A rotation that includes Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood and Jon Gray can help them get far and there are plenty of reasons for optimism. The same can be said for their bullpen, which now has Adam Ottavino and Greg Holland at the back end.
Any 5Dimes sports betting review mentions that they offer MLB futures. Right now 5Dimes has the Rockies at +1050 to win the National League West.
Time will tell if they can have a better record than the Dodgers and Giants but this team will improve enough to have a winning season.
The Seattle Mariners almost reached the postseason in two of the last three years and it looks like 2017 is when they finally end MLB’s longest postseason drought.
The Mariners have one of the best starting rotations in the majors and the additions of Jean Segura and Danny Valencia to an already potent offense that has Nelson Cruz, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager will make them even more dangerous.
One small problem for them is that the Rangers and the Astros are also in the American League West but the Mariners should be able to at least take one of the wild card spots.
Overall the Seattle roster is one of the most complete and they don’t seem to have glaring flaws. Look for the Mariners to reach the postseason for the first time in 16 years
Last season the Minnesota Twins were a disaster but they were able to build a solid foundation. Brian Dozier will be back at second base and he is a star and they will also get Max Kepler for the whole year. He’s still developing but he did hit 17 home runs in only 396 at-bats last year.
Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios struggled in 2016 but they’re young and they have enough talent to bounce back. There’s a reason why they were among the highest-rated prospects in the country. The Twins are loaded with talent and they have what it takes to emerge as a team to watch in years to come.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays come into 2017 with three straight losing seasons. The worst of them was last year, when they finished 68-94. Their current roster has a lot of talent and it’s hard to imagine them struggling as much as they did last season.
The Rays have a decent lineup that includes Evan Longoria, Steven Souza Jr., Kevin Kiermaier, Logan Morrison, Corey Dickerson, Matt Duffy and Colby Rasmus.
This team also has a decent starting rotation that includes Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Blake Snell and Alex Cobb. It’s time for the Rays to at least be more competitive than in recent years.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox seem to be on rebuild mode. They traded their ace Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox and their leadoff hitter Adam Eaton is now with the Nationals.
Losing two of the best players from a team that finished 78-84 is tough but the White Sox are not hopeless. Rookie shortstop Tim Anderson showed real potential last season and the team also brings back Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier, who combined for 65 home runs last year.
Chicago has a loaded farm system and four of their top five prospects are expected to make their major league debuts this season.
There’s great potential on this team. They might not make the postseason but the White Sox will have a better record than in 2016.