The MLB is back with a 60-game season! Baseball fans rejoice! With the argument between the player and owners, the free agency signings, trades, and where players ended up may have been lost in the shuffle. Bring in the MLB Season Preview to separate the true contenders from the pretenders.
This preview will be a tad different than those you have read in the past, as I will be swiping right, left, or up on each MLB team. A right swipe means I like where they are at and their chances to make the playoffs. A left swipe means I dislike their chances, and a swipe up means they should be one of the best teams in the league. So without further ado, the Tinder-styled MLB preview!
Even with the signing of Madison Bumgarner, the Diamondbacks did not improve tremendously. With the MLB putting emphasis on divisions and regions, the D-Backs will see a whole lot of the Los Angeles Dodgers. I am swiping left on the Diamondbacks.
I am liking the Braves, but not loving them. Coming off a strong showing last season, Atlanta did not retain Josh Donaldson but did sign Marcell Ozuna. The lineup stayed similar, but the staff added savvy veterans Cole Hamels and Felix Hernandez. I see the Braves having similar success as last year, but not making it to the fall classic.
The O’s are playing the bulk of their games against tough teams in the eastern region. They have a young roster and are coming off a horrid 2019 season. Easy swipe left.
Boston Red Sox
Losing Mookie Betts to Los Angeles, Chris Sale is out for the season, and you have to play in the tough eastern region? Well, at least you drafted Blaze Jordan. Swiping left on the bad boys of Boston.
Chicago White Sox
Young and lots of fun! That is what I am expecting out of the South Siders this year. Adding in two veteran southpaws in Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez lengthened the already impressive starting staff. Talented youth along with experienced veterans make the White Sox a dangerous team in the central. Speaking of the central, the Sox get to play the Royals and Tigers for a good bit of their schedule, that is easy pickings for the White Sox. Expecting a good season out the South Siders, I am swiping right.
Personally, I am worried about the baby bears from the north side. Kris Bryant‘s name has been in trade rumors, the starting staff is getting older, Jason Heyward has been a shell of himself in his time with the Cubs, and they are playing in a central division with the improved Reds, Brewers, and Cardinals. It is a tough swipe left on the Cubbies.
The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are close in talent, but I believe the Reds have the edge. The Reds have a better lineup and just added Nick Castellanos. On top of the better lineup, the starting rotation led by Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Trevor Bauer is not one to be messing with. An improved lineup, a solid bullpen, and an elite starting staff make the Reds a team I am swiping right on.
Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are two elite talents. Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber are two top of the line arms. They are young, are average to above-average in each facet of the game. Pencil in the Indians for a solid season where they are competing for a playoff spot.
They have a year-in-year-out MVP candidate in Nolan Arenado but still cannot put it together. The starting staff is iffy, and the bullpen has even more questions about them. A solid lineup with an iffy pitching staff is not a team that is going to put it together quickly in 60 games. I am swiping left on the Rockies’ upcoming season.
The future may be bright with many top first round picks sitting in the farm system. But for this season, the Tigers are an easy swipe left.
The Houston Astros is finding your ex on Tinder, you remember all the good about her, but you also know that they cheated and that is why she is on there. But the good over-arches the bad. The lineup is too talented, and the staff is too deep. It is a painful swipe right folks, a PAINFUL one.
Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals will be a fun bad team to watch. That is the nicest thing I will say about them. Jorge Soler will hit some dingers, Whit Merrifield and Adalberto Mondesi will hit for a decent average, but they do not have enough talent yet to compete for a playoff spot. Swipe left.
Los Angeles Angels
Call me crazy, but I truly believe that the Los Angeles Angels will be playing meaningful baseball in the fall. New manager Joe Maddon will be having his fun, messing around with the new mandatory three batters faced rule. Plus, the trio of Trout, Rendon, and Ohtani is ridiculously talented. Is it crazy to swipe right? I think not.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers receive my first swipe up. I am ‘super liking’ what is going on out west. They arguably have the best pitching staff in the MLB. The lineup now with Mookie Betts immediately makes them the best lineup in the MLB. What is there not to like? This is an easy swipe up.
We go from one of the best teams in MLB to one of the worst. The Miami Marlins are starting to see some of those prospects gained back in trades come to the MLB. Now, they are not bad, but they are not quite superstars yet either, which makes this decision an easy swipe left.
Christian Yelich is all well and good, but one man can only take you so far in the MLB. Keston Hiura, Josh Hader, and Brandon Woodruff will try and help the MVP take the Brewers into the playoffs, but in a shortened season, it is going to take some Milwaukee magic to sneak in by some of the talent in the Central division.
Believe in the Twins! That lineup is complete 1-9 and has way too much power to not make any noise this season. Combine that lineup with a bolstered bullpen led by Taylor Rogers and a starting staff led by Jose Berrios, and you get a Minnesota Twins team that is ready to compete for the American League Championship.
New York Mets
Losing Noah Syndergaard may have hurt the Mets this season, but even then, the Mets have too much talent not to compete for the playoffs this season. The offensive is led by last year’s Rookie of the Year, Pete Alonso, and is ready to make more noise this season. It will be a tough division to play in for the Mets, but they have enough talent to make some noise.
New York Yankees
The Yankees had everything covered excluding an ace heading into the postseason last year. So what did they do? Got the best one on the market. Easy swipe up here. Lots to love in New York.
The Oakland Athletics were one of the few teams that adopted the piece-wise ‘Johnny Wholestaff’ approach to pitching. I am interested to see how that approach will play in 60 games, it will help keeping certain pitchers fresh, but the success of it has been in question. I love Matt Chapman and Matt Olson in their lineup, but the AL is getting better and the A’s have been running in place these last few years. Swipe left for the boys in the Bay Area.
Bryce Harper for a second year, a healthy McCutchen, and the addition of Didi Gregorius should make the Phillies a contender in a tough eastern region. The addition of Zack Wheeler betters the starting staff as well. If everyone can stay healthy this season, it should be no trouble for the Phillies to get into the playoffs, I am swiping right.
It will be a few years before the Pirates see the postseason again. They have some potential with their young power-hitting first basemen Josh Bell. But outside of that, the Pirates are in for a tough sixty games.
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Even year magic is a thing of the past! Buster Posey‘s best days are behind him and the western region will take advantage of playing the Giants for the bulk of the schedule. Simple decision here folks, swipe left!
Talent is coming Mariners fans, just not this year. Expect a 20-30 win season out of the M’s this year, which makes this decision an easy swipe left.
St. Louis Cardinals
Jack Flaherty made a statement near the end of the regular season last year, That statement was that he is an ace and here to stay. The Cardinals also get a key piece of their bullpen back in Jordan Hicks. The lineup did not have too much change, only the loss of Marcell Ozuna. Expect another solid season out of the Cardinals.
Tampa Bay Rays
Blake Snell, Charlie Morton, Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe, and Tyler Glasnow? What is there not to like? The Rays have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball, which makes life easier for their adequate offense. Very easy team to like heading into this upcoming season.
Much like the Padres, I think the Texas Rangers are one year away. The lineup led by Joey Gallo has power but may struggle to generate runs outside the home run ball. The pitching staff is a unique one, led by Corey Kluber, who may have already seen his best days. The bullpen outside of Jose Leclerc is questionable. I expect the western region to be a dogfight in the AL side. Between the Astros, Angels, Rangers, and A’s, it will be a race for two playoff spots and I think the Rangers have the worst chances to snag it out of the four.
Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto signed Hyun-Jin Ryu, which is all well and good, but the staff behind him is questionable at the moment. Tanner Roark and Matt Shoemaker do not give me a vote of confidence in their favor. The lineup is fun with all the former stars’ children. But, it is far from a top-tier lineup in the AL East. The Blue Jays will certainly be fun to watch with all their youth, but they are not a playoff contender yet.
Last but certainly not least are the Washington Nationals, last year’s World Series Champions. Granted, they lost Anthony Rendon, but additions to their bullpen and depth have kept them as a favorite in the NL. Patrick Corbin, Max Scherzer, and Stephen Strasburg are all still here. Out of the four super liked teams, this is the one I am least confident in, but the starting staff is too good not to get some love from me.
That Rounds It Out!
Every team is covered! This is the most unique MLB Season Preview you will see this summer, I guarantee you that. But if you want to discuss why feel free to hit me up on Twitter to discuss at @craines38, I am always down to talk baseball and explain some opinions.
World Series Prediction
Dodgers over Twins in 5 games
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