Drei’s 2017 National League Forecast

Leading Off…What Drei Said Last Year

NL East…

“The Nationals, last year’s favorites among many of the experts to win the WS, still posses a pretty potent all-around lineup to compliment their strong rotation, anchored by Stephen Strasburg. Injuries and the lack of team unity played key roles in the Nats late season meltdown, costing Matt Williams his job… It is hoped that proven skipper Dusty Baker will be able to keep this team completely focused…”

In his first season as the Nationals skip, Dusty Baker restored some order in leading the Nats back to the post-season, to be eliminated in 5 games by The Blue. While Dusty may be one of the finest managers of the game, going back to the 2002 World Series his teams have lost 9 straight post-season series clinchers. He can say what he wants about some of Dave Roberts moves in Game 5, fact of the matter is, once again, he was simply out-managed when it counted.

NL Central…

“Many are picking the Cubs to not only go deep into October but to also win that big Fall Prize that has eluded them the last 108 years. This could just be their year…Much of the attention will be focused on their pitching, considered to be one of the deepest with the top 3 in the rotation of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey.”

Much of what was said here and by the pundits came to full fruition last year for the North Siders, ending a 108 year drought without a World Series title. The Cubs, even with the loss of Dexter Fowler, are once again primed for another deep post season run.

NL West…

“Much has been made of the off-season moves within the division and it is expected to be a 3 team race between the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks…in spite of our early season worries, not every Dodger got hurt during Spring Training. The top 3, led by Kid K with Scott Kazmir and off-season addition Kenta Maeda, will give the Blue a formidable front end of the rotation. My concerns however are how will Maeda, coming off a solid spring,  hold up in his first big league season…”

Once again, the Dodgers are being picked by many to win another NL West crown. This would mark their 5th consecutive division title. During this stretch, only the St. Louis Cardinals have more regular season wins than The Blue. 

Last year, Drei said The Blue would win 91 games…Check. Drei also said the Dodgers would meet the Cubs in the NLCS…Check. Drei said the Blue would take down the Blue Jays in the Fall Classic. Oh how Drei wishes he could trade in the first two for a better final result…

Here We Go…

East…

The Nats and Mets should once again be the class of the division, with both featuring some of the games deepest rotations. Miami, even with the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez, still has a lot of young talent and could be the divisions sleeper. Atlanta and Philly should also see continued improvement from last season. 

Central…

Much of the Cubs roster, minus Dexter Fowler, remains intact as they are once again expected to make a deep run in October. St. Louis, though without any true impact players, came within one game of a post-season spot. A mad run by the Giants in the final week including a 3 game sweep of The Blue in the final weekend would undo the Red Birds post-season hopes. The Bucs can’t really be considered a post-season sleeper. Should they avoid any prolonged injuries they still have a formidable pitching staff that can carry them into October. 

West…

Last year, Dave Roberts managed to will the Dodgers to the NLCS in spite of the numerous injuries to the rotation. While it is expected to be a 2 division race between the Dodgers and Giants once again, Colorado may not be too far behind and may even be not only the division’s but the leagues sleeper as well. If the Rockies highly touted young arms can maintain their composure in hitter friendly Coors Field, the Rockies just may make a legitimate run at the post season…

NL Wild Card

Giants over the Mets

NLDS

Cubs over the Giants. 

Like last year, this will be a tight series that this time will go the full 5 games

Dodgers over the Nationals. 

This could also go the full 5 again. Dusty Baker could also throw shade at Dave Roberts after being out-managed again…

So, in virtually a repeat of what happened last year in the Senior Circuit to this point…

NLCS

This time around, it’s the Boys in Blue…Dodger Blue, that is, that ends a World Series appearance drought. 29 years may not be as long as 71 years, but for a generation or two of Dodger fans born from 1989 on, it’s time…

And finally…

World Series

Dodgers over Blue Jays in 6. I had these two last year, both came within a combined 5 games of making your truly look the part of a genius. Why change? 

Some of Drei’s concerns…

  • The health of our rotation. Last year, the rotation was literally a mash unit. 
  • Can Kenta Maeda endure a full season this time around
  • Can Corey Seager avoid a sophomore jinx?
  • How much will the Dodger depend on the bullpen
  • How much does Adrian Gonzalez still have left
  • Will Puig’s potential finally be fully realized. Will he be on his best behavior between now and October/November ?
  • Does Andre, the longest tenured Dodger, finally get his World Series ring? 
  • Will Andre still be wearing Dodger Blue in October?

ITS TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL !!!

 

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