Tag: Preview/Prediction

MLB Spring Training 2017: The Top 10 Outfielders to Watch

What's about to proceed is a slideshow about outfielders to watch that won't mention Mike Trout. It sounds blasphemous, but there's a method at work here. The idea is to focus on 10 outfielders who will be worth monitoring during 2017 spring training. What they have in common is not that they're slam-dunk superstars but that they have questions to answer. Some must show they're ready to be healthy and productive in this upcoming season after failing to be one or both in 2016. Others must show they're ready to turn their unproven talent into proven talent. Others must show they're ready to do jobs they may not be cut out for. Let's get to it.Begin Slideshow




Mets Spring Training 2017 Preview: Predictions, Players to Watch and More

A savior is on its way to Gotham—and we're not talking about Captain America or the Dark Knight. Spring Training will soon arrive to save New York sports fans from what has been a frustrating, hair-pulling winter of discontent, filled with underperforming teams and contenders with more holes than the Swiss cheese on a Reuben sandwich from the dearly departed Carnegie Deli. Pitchers and catchers are set to descend upon Port St. Lucie, Florida, in just a few weeks as the New York Mets officially get the 2017 season underway. The Mets, who lost the National League Wild Card Game in 2016, will be looking to not only get through camp healthy, but ready to hit the ground running as they embark on a journey that hopefully culminates with the team's second NL East crown since 2015. While health will be a focal point of camp, the Mets have some questions that must be answered ...




Cubs Spring Training 2017 Preview: Predictions, Players to Watch and More

The Chicago Cubs will enter the 2017 season as marked men, looking to undertake the uphill battle that is repeating as World Series champions. Just three times in the last 30 years has a team managed to win consecutive titles, as the New York Yankees won three in a row from 1998 to 2000 and the Toronto Blue Jays won it all in 1992 and 1993. The Cubs have the talent to join that exclusive club. Even with the departures of Dexter Fowler, Aroldis Chapman, Jason Hammel, Jorge Soler, Travis Wood and a handful of others, it's hard to find a hole in the roster without nitpicking. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo will once again anchor a dynamic young offense, while the trio of Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks atop the rotation stacks up to any staff in baseball. The bullpen lost one of the game's best closers in Chapman and replaced him ...




Red Sox Spring Training 2017 Preview: Predictions, Players to Watch and More

When the Boston Red Sox report for spring training, they'll officially embark on a 2017 season that they hope will result in their fourth World Series title since 2004. Oh, by the way, the magic date is February 13. That's when Red Sox pitchers and catchers are due to report to Fort Myers, Florida. Position players will report three days later. After that, all sorts of stretching, working out, assorted high jinks and, yes, even a few games here and there will ensue. There's no telling what will happen. But at the least, we can preview it and offer a few predictions.                               The Big Newcomers With most of last year's AL East-winning roster due to return, the Red Sox didn't have many items on their offseason shopping list. So they went for quality instead, with the catches o' the winter being...     ...




MLB Spring Training 2017: The Top 10 3rd Basemen to Watch

We could go on and on (and on) about Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado and the other superstars at third base in today's MLB. The position is capital-L Loaded. But since we know what those third basemen are all about, let's pivot to some guys who more closely resemble question marks going into spring training. Ahead is a list of 10 (11 if you want to get technical) third basemen worth keeping an eye on in February and March. Some will be returning from 2016 seasons marred by poor health and/or poor production. Others will be battling for playing time. Others still are young up-and-comers looking to make a good impression. One in particular figures to be a major piece of trade bait. Bottom line: What they have in common is that they're all interesting. Read on to hear more.Begin Slideshow




World Baseball Classic 2017: Projecting Tournament Favorites, Dark Horses

March is an important month for baseball fans. Not only does it signal the beginning of the exhibition season—and draw us ever closer to Opening Day—but every four years, it provides us the opportunity to see the best players in the world compete in a 16-team tournament, the World Baseball Classic. While some fans bemoan the fact that the tournament cuts into spring training, there's no denying that the action on the field is both exciting and entertaining. That's especially true as teams advance into the later rounds, consummating with the Championship Round at Dodger Stadium, which begins on March 20. Final rosters aren't due for another few weeks, so much can change between now and then. But based on the players we know are participating, the competition teams will be facing in their respective pools in the first round and how they've fared in the past, we can begin to affix labels to ...




MLB Spring Training 2017: The Top 10 Shortstops to Watch

Few positions in baseball have seen as big an influx of high-upside young talent in recent years as shortstop. From Carlos Correa to Francisco Lindor to Corey Seager, the position is well stocked with young stars who are poised to dominate the game for years to come. Believe it or not, the pipeline is far from dry, as some young shortstops are poised to make their impact felt during the 2017 season. Of course, the veterans who stand in their way will have something to say about that, as they're not going to give up their everyday jobs willingly. Keep in mind that this isn't a list or ranking of the best shortstops in baseball—that'll come as we get closer to Opening Day. Rather, this is a look at those who, for a variety of reasons, carry some of the most compelling storylines into spring training. The list that follows includes players working ...




MLB Free Agents 2017: Predicting Landing Spots for Top Players Still Available

These are hard times for MLB free agents. With spring training fast approaching, roster spots and money are in shorter supply than they were at the beginning of the offseason. This much is certain, though: The top free agents still standing won't be unemployed forever. They're going to land somewhere. So, let's go ahead and predict where these somewheres will be. Since the free-agent market has largely been picked clean, we're only going to focus on the 10 best players still looking for work. We'll find homes for them by speculating about what's spinning around the rumor mill and on where their talents fit. Let's start with the best free agent remaining and go from there.Begin Slideshow




Fantasy Baseball 2017: Position-by-Position Rankings

It's time to start preparing for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. Sure, most drafts are still at least a month away. But nobody wants to be caught unprepared, forced to rely on the preset rankings supplied by whatever site your league uses, manically flipping printouts as you search for a worthy selection while the clock runs out on you. On the pages that follow, we'll delve into the top 20 players at every position (top 40 for outfielders and starting pitchers), identifying at least one player at each position who just missed the cut but should remain firmly on your radar. These rankings are based on a standard, five-by-five mixed rotisserie league. While they're applicable in other types of leagues, you'll have to adjust the rankings based on the scoring system you'll be playing under. Let's get started.Begin Slideshow




Predicting San Francisco Giants Depth Charts a Month Ahead of Spring Training

After finally running out of even-year magic in 2016, the San Francisco Giants don't have many questions to answer before they try to conjure some odd-year magic in 2017. After filling their closer need by signing Mark Melancon, the Giants should only have a couple roster spots up for grabs when they arrive for spring training next month. That makes it easy to spell out their depth charts on paper, which is what we aim to do. Ahead, we'll run through the favorites for San Francisco's 25-man roster and the players who have first dibs should any spots open up. At the end, we'll look at the next wave of players who will be in camp looking for work this spring. That's all there is to it, so let's get to it.Begin Slideshow




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