Every potential MLB contender has an X-factor as the 2016 season gets underway.

Whether it’s a promising young player being counted on to step into a significant role, a team upgrading a specific area that was previously a weakness, an injured player getting and staying healthy, or something else altogether, every club has a certain factor that could make the difference in its playoff aspirations.

These X-factors could obviously change as the season progresses and new areas of need or weakness pop up, but for now this will give you an idea of what to keep an eye on here in the early going.

With that in mind, let’s dive into some potential playoff-race X-factors in the early stages of the 2016 MLB season.

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