Tag Archives: MLB

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 !!!

 

Drei’s 2017 American League Outlook

Leading Off…What Drei Said in 2016

In the Junior Circuit…

“ Boston has a good mix of veterans along with some up and comers in Mookie Betts and Xander Bogarts and the addition of David Price to their rotation should help them contend in the east…”

“ Cleveland has a pretty formidable rotation of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Will off-season additions Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis, Juan Uribe and Marlon Byrd, players not exactly in their prime make a difference ? Having said that, I still feel Cleveland is ready to challenge for the division.”

“The Astros, last season’s biggest surprise, is ready to make more noise this season. A full season with Carlos Gomez certainly can’t hurt the lineup. The Mariners, picked by many last season to represent the Junior Circuit in The Fall Classic after an 87 win campaign in 2014, regressed last season, something that could be of concern in Houston with expectations being higher. The M’s strength is still pitching, led by Felix Hernandez. I expect the Mariners to bounce back and be the sleeper in this division….”

Last season saw Drei pick the AL Central Division winner correctly, while the Blue Jays would take the wild card and Drei’s sleeper from last year, the Seattle Mariners, would see their playoff hopes diminish on the 2nd to final game of the season. Last season’s picks also saw Drei picking Toronto over Seattle in the ALCS.

Drei’s AL Outlook for 2017…

East

The AL East will once again be the toughest division to fully grasp. Boston, with the addition of Chris Sale to their rotation, is everyone’s favorite to win the East. The Blue Jays, coming off 2 straight ALCS appearances, have lost some offensive firepower with Edwin Encarnacion heading to Cleveland but they still boast a formidable rotation. The rest of the division is capable of claiming one of the two WC spots.

Central

The Tribe came within one game of bringing the city of Cleveland it’s second championship in a 5 month stretch. While The Tribe made it to the Fall Classic on the strength of their rotation, they’ve added some offensive punch by adding Edwin Encarnacion from Toronto.

West

After surprising many in 2015, the Astros somewhat regressed last season, starting off 15-28 before finishing off with a respectable 84 wins.  The Astros, led by Jose Altuve, are being picked by many to win the AL West. With the teamwide  so-called “sophomore jinx” now out of the way, this could very well be their year they take over the west. Seattle has a pretty formidable lineup themselves especially the heart of the order, where Cano, Cruz and Kyle Seager combined for a total of 95 home runs last season. Felix Hernandez by his standards had an off season last year but is expected to lead the rotation once again. 

Wild Cards

Boston over Houston

ALDS

Cleveland over Boston

Toronto over Seattle

ALCS

Toronto over Cleveland

Last season I picked Toronto to win the ALCS with Seattle being the surprise team. While I may not have these two meeting in the ALCS this time around, though the Jays may be a little thinner from last years team, it’d be too easy to go with everyone’s favorite’s between the Red Sox and Indians, though both teams made some impressive off-season moves, especially Cleveland. So, if all goes according to form here, a rematch of last year’s ALCS will be in order. 

R.I.P. Mr Padre, Tony Gwynn

In his 20 MLB seasons, all of them in a Padre uniform, we had the pleasure to watch Tony Gwynn many a time , be it at Dodger Stadium or Jack Murphy Stadium . I really couldn’t tell you how many times I saw Tony Gwynn torment the Dodgers . Yes, he was a thorn on our side, as he was to every team he faced. But he played the game the right way. And in this day and age of high salaries and free-agency, he played all 20 of his seasons in a San Diego Padre uniform. Some career numbers against the Dodgers from the Dodgers-LowDown

Tony Gwynn Career Numbers Vs. Our Dodgers

225 Games
215 Games Started
931 Plate Appearances
822 At Bats
126 Runs
271 Hits
49 Doubles
8 Triples
10 Home Runs
90 Runs Batted In
32 Stolen Bases
16 Caught Stealing
90 Walks
30 Intentional Walks
41 Strikeouts
.330 Batting Average
.396 On Base Percentage
.445 Slugging Percentage
.841 On Base + Slugging Percentage

From L.A. to San Diego via Twitter

TGwynnDodgerStadium9202001 Tony Gwynn, in his final Dodger Stadium appearance as a player, 9/19/2001, during a pre-game ceremony celebrating his 20 year career .

TGwynnFanFest2010 Tony Gwynn sharing his baseball stories to fans at the All-Star Fanfest in Anaheim, July 2010 .

TgwynnandJr Fathers Day, June 2011 with then Dodger and current Phillies outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. . I had the pleasure to greet the elder Gwynn after the game as I was walking through the Stadium Club level. He was very cordial and took the time to greet well-wishing fans .

From Junior…

Tony Gwynn was more than Mr. Padre. He was Mr. Baseball. It can also be said that Tony Gwynn was the face of San Diego. R.I.P. Tony Gwynn. Baseball fans all over will miss you .

TGwynnRIP

TonyGwynnStatue Here I am standing next to the Tony Gwynn Statue , April 2009 .