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The Indians are coming off a 102-win season
30-03-2018, 07:31
Post: #1
The Indians are coming off a 102-win season
the fourth-best win percentage in franchise history, and given that almost everybody is back, it's World Series or bust for a team that hasn't won it all since 1948. In a dream scenario, Corey Danny DeKeyser Authentic Jersey Kluber wins his third Cy Young Award, Francisco Lindor or Jose Ramirez wins the AL MVP, Francisco Mejia wins Rookie of the Year, and Cody Allen or Andrew Miller records the final out of the season.
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Worst case: The rotation is too good to collapse unless there is a slew of injuries (and Danny Salazar is already fighting a sore shoulder), but maybe the offense falls apart, especially if Edwin Encarnacion suddenly gets old, Ramirez regresses to good rather than great, Bradley Zimmer doesn't hit, and Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis can't stay on the field.
Make-or-break player: It's no coincidence that the Indians lost in the ALDS to the Yankees when Kluber pitched through a back issue and was ineffective, getting shelled in Game 2 and failing to get past the fourth inning in Game 5. If the Indians are to win the World Series, they'll need a healthy and dominant Kluber in October. -- David Schoenfield
Best case: Speedsters Adam Eaton and Trea Turner both play 150-plus games, wreaking havoc atop the Nats lineup and helping Bryce Harper go over 100 RBIs for the first time. Way over. In fact, Harper becomes the first NL player since Sammy Sosa to crack the 150-RBI mark as he wins his second MVP award. Stephen Strasburg makes 33 starts, plus another five in the playoffs, and the Nats -- who have never won a single playoff series -- win three this time.
Worst case: Daniel Murphy's knee issues linger longer than expected, Eaton's surgically repaired ACL falters, and Harper gets dinged up again and/or crumbles under the weight of walk-year pressure. On top of that, Washington loses a key player to a freak injury at precisely the wrong time for a third straight season (see: Wilson Ramos in '16, Harper in '17). If all that happens, the high-ceiling Nats will slip and fall on their high floor, making yet another early playoff exit.
Make-or-break Womens William Nylander Jersey player: Anthony Rendon. A versatile hitter who was one of only five big leaguers with more walks than whiffs last year, his steady glove work gets overlooked at a position that has been home to flashy fielders such as Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado. On a loaded Washington roster, the 27-year-old third baseman might be the best of the bunch. He's certainly the most valuable -- at least he was last season, when his 6.9 fWAR was not only tops on the team but also best in the National League. -- Matz
Best case: If the Cubs are as good on the playing field as they are on paper, then winning 100 games is not out of the question. They're talented and deep in most areas and had little drama in camp, as they boast established players all over the field. A not impossible scenario has seven position players hitting at least 20 home runs. Bottom line: The Cubs were good before they added Yu Darvish. Now? They could really be special again.
Worst case: It could take just one starting pitcher to go down for the Cubs to leak water in their boat, and if Brandon Morrow doesn't take to closing -- and/or several relievers aren't up to snuff -- then some demoralizing losses could follow. Like most bullpens on contending teams, the Cubs have a collection of good arms, but almost all have had their ups and downs or have been hurt in the past. Another thing to watch is how the offense fares against great pitching.
Make-or-break player: The offense is too deep to rely on one player, and the starting staff is top-heavy, so a smooth start to the year lands on Morrow's shoulders. The former starter has had his arm problems in the past, but the Cubs saw a dominant setup man all last season with the Dodgers and snared him to be their guy in the ninth inning. If he succeeds, the team is on easy street. If Joe Maddon has to go to Plan B, it could put the bullpen in a state http://www.authenticoaklandathleticsshop...vis-Jersey of flux. -- Jesse Rogers
Best case: J.D. Martinez lengthens -- and more significantly, strengthens -- the lineup that produced the fewest home runs in the American League last season, the top of the rotation remains healthy, and the many players who underperformed last year relative to their 2016 numbers bounce back in a big way. If all of those things happen, the Red Sox will have more than enough to three-peat as AL East champs and actually go deep in the postseason this time.
Worst case: Like any team, the Red Sox could be torpedoed Ondrej Pavelec Jersey by injuries to a cornerstone player or two. But attitude could derail them, too. In hindsight, several players admitted that last year's team was too tightly wound, weighed down by the daily pressures of winning in Boston. First-year manager Alex Cora was hired to bring a more positive atmosphere and to communicate more effectively with players than predecessor John Farrell. His ability to do those things will matter even more than his understanding of X's and O's.
Make-or-break player: The choice here could easily be first baseman/DH Hanley Ramirez, who ranked as one of the worst players in the majors last season by wins above replacement (minus-0.4, according to FanGraphs). But we'll go with $217 million lefty David Price. If healthy, Price will pair with Chris Sale to give the Sox a dominant one-two punch atop the rotation. But Price also must be a more positive influence in the clubhouse. His "us-against-the-world" act last season wore thin quickly. -- Scott Lauber cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys china
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