2017 MLB Preview

By Sal Aversa | April 10, 2017 9:40pm
160712-N-NV908-496 SAN DIEGO (July 12, 2016) Sailors man the rails while Marines hold up the American flag during the pre-game ceremony of the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Petco Park. Sailors from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and Marines from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing joined together to participate in a salute to the United States Armed Forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chad M. Trudeau)

The Chicago Cubs made history last year when they won their first World Series since 1908, ending the longest World Series drought in baseball. And after a long offseason with big name players changing sides (Edwin Encarnacion going to the 2016 runner-up Cleveland Indians, Aroldis Chapman going back to the New York Yankees, and Mark Melancon going to the San Francisco Giants), and spring training, the 2017 season has finally begun.

Here are my predictions for individual awards, playoffs, and the World Series.

Most Valuable Player (MVP):

AL- Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels): He’s the best player in the world and is just adding to his Hall of Fame resume. He’s the definition of a five-tool athlete (contact, power, speed, fielding, throwing). He’s going into his seventh season in the pros and has already been a two-time MVP and a three-time MVP runner-up since he won Rookie of the Year in 2012. Scariest of all, he’s just now entering into his prime (he turns 26 in August). Expect Trout to win MVP for many years to come.

NL- Kris Bryant (Chicago Cubs): The Cubs are going to finish with one of the top records in the MLB this year, which helps Bryant’s case to repeat as MVP. Nobody since Albert Pujols in 2009 has repeated as NL MVP, but Bryant has the potential to. He cut his strikeout rate last season, and could hit around 45 home runs this season while batting over .300. Look for him to rack up a lot of RBI's, too, with that dangerous Cubs lineup.

Cy Young:

AL- Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox): Chris Sale hit the jackpot when he was traded from the Chicago White Sox to the Boston Red Sox in December of 2016. Sale has been a fantastic pitcher in the majors as he is entering in his 8th season. Sale has been in the top six for the Cy Young every season for the last five seasons, but with a full year ahead in Boston, a team with a high-powered offense, look for him to be a favorite to win Cy Young this season.

NL- Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers): Kershaw is a freak of nature. Simple as that. He will go down as one of the best pitchers to ever play the game. His career ERA is 2.36 and he has finished with under 2.00 three times in his career. He has three Cy Youngs, one MVP award, and a triple crown to his name. He’s unstoppable in the regular season. Kershaw has created his own pitching tier in the MLB: Himself and everyone else.

Rookie of the Year:

AL- Andrew Benintendi (Boston Red Sox): The seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft is looking to have a breakout rookie season for the Boston Red Sox. In the majors last year, in just 34 games, he posted a .295 hitting average, two homers, 14 RBIs, and a respectable OPS of .835. If he bats around .300, racks up around 10 home runs, 60 RBIs, and plays well in left field this year, Rookie of the Year is his to lose.

NL- Dansby Swanson (Atlanta Braves): The No. 1 overall pick in 2015, Swanson was just shy of rookie eligibility last year. He played 38 games last year and he posted a .302 hitting average, third home runs, 17 RBIs, and solid defense at shortstop. Atlanta fans are hoping that he can be their next franchise star.

Playoff Predictions:

AL Champions: Boston Red Sox

NL Champions: Chicago Cubs

World Series Champions: Chicago Cubs


The Boston Red Sox will look to face the defending champion Chicago Cubs in the World Series this year.

The Cubs remain one of the best offenses in the league, led by 2016 MVP Kris Bryant, slugger Anthony Rizzo, and young talents in Addison Russell and Willson Contreras. The Cubs also have one of the best rotations in baseball with Jon Lester, who finished second in Cy Young ratings last year, former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, and the young right hander Kyle Hendricks, who finished third in Cy Young voting last year. Also joining them is Wade Davis, the former Kansas City Royals closer who has averaged a 1.27 ERA over the last three seasons.

I believe the Cubs will repeat as champions in 2017 by defeating the Red Sox in seven games, and building a dynasty that will last a long, long time.