2017 MLB Preview: Early Postseason Outlook

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The competition in the MLB has never been better as there are great teams that are sure-fire favourites but there are plenty more of them than ever before.

That has translated to the Postseason where the teams that make the postseason are all so close it becomes tougher to predict.

In 2015 two teams that just made the postseason earning a wild card spot rose to the top of the league and finished in the World Series.

Last year it was different as two top teams found their way to the World Series but it wasn’t necessarily an easy route for either of them.

There were big moments and big games for the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs until they finally met.

That is when things got even more interesting as two teams with long World Series droughts were facing off to become the next champion.

The storylines were great and the games were even better as both teams went back and forth in one of the best World Series in recent memory.

There were no easy games and the teams were forced to fight it out until Game 7 and then things got even more interesting.

The game was a microcosm of the total series as just when it seemed like someone was taking over the other team came back.

Nobody could take advantage and a great series was not only forced to seven games but eventually to extra innings in that seventh game.

The two teams continued to battle and Cleveland started to take the momentum from the Cubs.

For Chicago, it was looking like just another year where they seemed to be ready to break their century-long drought only to fall just short.

The game was slipping away but for once something seemed to go right as the sky opened up and the rain started.

That led to the umpires delaying the game which then led to the now infamous speech in the weight room by Jason Heyward.

The Cubs came out in the 10th inning a renewed team and put up two runs while they only allowed the Indians to get one in the bottom of the inning.baseball-sidebar

The game was over and so was the drought as the Cubs were now the World Series champions after a series that left everyone wishing there were a few more games.

AS the new season approaches both of the World Series teams could be back in the hunt but the way that the league has evolved will make it tough for either of them to get back to the title.

The MLB is a league that has seen new teams rise up almost every year and many times they are entirely unexpected.

The Cubs and the Indians remain teams that everyone will be watching as they still have great rosters and are early favourites to win it all.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other good teams or teams lying in wait to show what they have for the new season.

Someone will eventually rise and take the title though and as the season starts there are only a few rosters that seem like they will be able to make that run.

It is still up for grabs though as the American League and National League all fight for their chance to get their own title.

If the patterns follow the season could be a good one again and it might only intensify when the postseason begins.

The competition is getting so much better every year and if it continues the competition will be a great one throughout the year.

Fans can only hope though as they hope to see the same type of postseason race end the 2017 regular season.

They also hope to see the same type of postseason as teams have a lot to live up to after the 2016 season and the pursuit of that begins now.

American-League

The American League has seen the biggest shift in the MLB as to who is competing for the pennant. It used to be as simple as looking to the Northeast to find a favourite to win it all as the Yankees and Red Sox were always the favourites. Other teams took their shots as well but for the most part, they were the teams to watch every year. Although some of those teams remain at the top there are a lot of new faces competing right now. Many will hope that there will be more teams that find their way but there could be a bit of a settling when it comes to contenders. A lot of teams in the league as a whole are beginning to fall into two categories, the rebuilders and the contenders. The Contenders are beginning to be the teams that are always expected to compete. Although there could always be surprises that shock everyone the postseason teams could look very similar to last year. An interesting battle could be at the top though as the former AL champions look to defend their title in 2017. Cleveland came up short last year but that was largely due to the injuries they suffered in the postseason. They are back and healthy and look like a tough team for another year making them favourites to win the pennant again. They will get a challenge though as Boston remains one of the top teams and should be slightly improved with some key additions. The battle between the both of these teams could be a good one throughout the year and possibly in the postseason. Texas is sure to be a factor as well but they don’t seem to be the same team that made the World Series two years in a row. They are still good enough to take a division title but not good enough to win the pennant. The wild card could be its own interesting battle but there are still some familiar teams that seem ready to take those spots. Houston seems like a team on a mission to get back to those promising years and they made the right moves to do it, although they will still not have enough to beat the Ranges. They will take one of the wild card spots though and could have a deep run into the postseason. Although many have criticised their moves, the Toronto Blue Jays are still a team that has a lot of talent. With their pitching staff figured out, they will also earn a wild card spot and might have a good run in them. The American League has a lot of talent and there are a few teams that will make things very interesting throughout the season and the postseason. Cleveland and Boston still seem like the best bets though and although Cleveland is very talented getting back to the World Series is a tough thing and the Red Sox are ready to find their way back.

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American League Champion
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National-League

The National League has the defending champions but despite the longest drought now being over the entire NL still is a league full of long-suffering fans. Throughout the years there have been a few teams that have been strong in the National League but this year it seems like the best bet are teams that haven’t had the most success in recent years. It is not an easy thing to do as the postseason is a tough road and although there is a lot of talent getting that talent to the World Series can be a very tough thing to do. There are talented teams that know that all too well and as of right now it seems like a lot of those teams will make their way to the postseason looking to find their way to the World Series. Out of the best teams in the National League, two of them understand what it is like to win. The Chicago Cubs just did it as they broke the longest drought in sports last year and enter 2017 as one of the best teams in the league. They are clear favourites by many to win another title but a lot of things went right for them in 2016 and having that happen again isn’t very likely. Their division is not necessarily the strongest though and they will still make it through as one of the more talented teams in the MLB. The other team familiar with winning is the San Francisco Giants who have won three World Series titles since 2010. They may not be able to get by their biggest rivals to win the division but they will be back in the postseason. They seem like they are ready to take another spot as a wild card team and they have plenty of experience winning from that point in the standings. The team they won’t be able to beat in the regular season will be the Los Angeles Dodgers who enter 2017 with another great team. They will take the division but their issues in the postseason leave them with plenty of questions as they pursue their first World Series since 1988. They are familiar with postseason disappointment and so are the Washington Nationals who seemed to be favourites to win the World Series every year and never got it done. They are still a great team though and they will take the division title again as they try to find their way to the World Series. They don’t seem to have the same punch as some of the other teams in the postseason. Finishing right behind them is a team that is on their own drought as the New York Mets will see a bit of a bounce back after a tough 2016 season. They will ride their strong pitching to another wild card and could surprise some with how deep they might go. The National League will be full of great teams and teams pursuing the ends of long droughts but the Cubs are still the best team and despite massive injury issues they will take home another pennant with a chance at another World Series title.

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National League Champion
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2017 World Series
The Chicago Cubs are revelling in their World Series win but it seems like the start of something much bigger for the franchise. They are still a team built to win and with few major losses in the off-season, the Cubs are ready for another run. It won’t be as easy for them as there is no chance that they don’t deal with some of the issues that they never had to deal with in 2016, like major injuries. Still, they will find their way back to the World Series with a chance at getting back to back titles. The Boston Red Sox will have something to say about that though as they have reloaded and will be a very tough team to beat in the American League. The roster is good enough to compete with the best teams in the MLB and they will prove it against the Cubs. It will be a tight series overall but the Red Sox will come out on top as the Cubs will likely see some type of injury make the difference in this series.

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