What Every MLB Team's Most Optimistic, Pessimistic Fans Are Saying About 2014
Whether your favorite team is expected to contend for a title or just take a small step forward, the MLB offseason is a time for optimism for some fans. For others, it is approached with caution and sometimes even pessimism.
That's just sports fandom. Some go into a season filled with hope and are oftentimes set up for disappointment. Others temper their expectations and every once in a while wind up surprised.
What follows is a collection of what fans are saying about all 30 MLB teams in 2014—both on the optimistic and pessimistic side of things.
Comments were pulled from the B/R comment section, other comment threads across the Internet, and even from some top sports writers.
Not every team has the same amount of comments. Don't read into this—it's simply a case of finding more usable comments for some teams than others.
This is just meant to be a fun look around the league at what people are saying about each team—nothing more and nothing less.
*Note: Some comments were edited for punctuation and spelling.
desertcat43, Fox Sports comment section
Regardless of who's included in our starting rotation, I gotta believe they're already an improved group of guys simply by having Dave Duncan looking over their shoulders and whispering in their ears...IF the pitching staff can represent itself well...IF we can find a consistent lead off batter...IF Trumbo can cut way down on his strikeouts...IF we can get some production from the lower half of the batting order, and IF we can get our collective head out of our collective behind when it comes to base stealing/running, then we may just have something this year.
Kelly Harper, B/R comment section
Dbacks have the two best power bats in the division, the bullpen is much stronger than last year with Addison reed, the best right fielder in the game in Parra and the starting pitching will be 10 times better than last year. Plus, Bradley will probably beat out Cahill or Miley for a spot making them even better, Dbacks will push Dodgers for the top spot.
Avi Seop, B/R comment section
10/10 (articles) about Kevin Towers should be bad. Overpaying for a surplus of mediocrity in the rotation (signing Arroyo when you had similar production in Delgado and stunt the advancement of Archie Bradley) and the OF (trade away power in Upton, after publicly souring on him, then declaring they need OF power and overpaid for Trumbo who can't defend or get on base while dealing their 2nd best pitching prospect). So the criticism is quite deserved. Amazed at this point that KT didn't get Jimenez. You know what he says, "you can never have enough #3 SPs"
They have a club that should be a competitive regular season team. Have to think they'd struggle in the post season with the lack of an ace.
Michael Clifford, XNsports
There’s no reason to think the Braves shouldn't challenge for the division title this year. The lineup can be as good as any in the National League, the rotation can be a Top 5 rotation in the National League and the bullpen should be solid as always.
Ken Rosenthal (via Cory McCartney), Fox Sports South
The bullpen is as good as it gets and the rotation allowed three runs or less in 75 games last season (third in the NL) and figures to get better should Beachy stay healthy. If the offense can find some consistency, especially from Uggla and B.J. Upton, it's a recipe for an NL East repeat.
Ken Rosenthal (via Cory McCartney), Fox Sports South
Amid those home runs were 1,384 strikeouts, marking the third season in a row the Braves set a franchise record in that department. It's simply a feast-or-famine club and if the pitching staff can't keep Atlanta in games, it could make it difficult to get anywhere near 96 wins again.
Raymond Laracuenta, B/R comment section
Every year the Braves rank to high and yet their write up is dominated by IFs. The Braves have two modes 1) miss post season entirely 2) win division or wc but get eliminated in the 1st round.
Casey Krasko, B/R comment section
I think you grossly underestimated the O's. they have one of the best line ups in the majors. And pitching will be average, to just above average if Ubaldo pitches to his potential. There is serous potential for an explosive team.
Baltimore Sports Fan, B/R comment section
Great offense. Shaky pitching. Okay bullpen. For most teams I would be worried. But I believe Buck will work his magic. It's all about believing Orioles fans, our team can do it! Let's go O's!
Matt Snyder, CBS Sports
Are the Orioles measurably better than last season? It's hard to definitively say yes. Davis is almost certainly due a regression (even if it's slight), Machado is beginning the season injured and the pitching staff is, at this juncture, wholly unexciting....My feel for right now...is more mediocrity than playoff-worthy. High-70s to mid-80s in wins seems the most likely path in this tough division.
Boston Red Sox
Elijah Markley, B/R comment section
We just won a World Series when we weren't even suppose to make the Postseason! Yes we lost Saltalamacchia and Ellsbury and maybe Drew. Drew barely showed up for the postseason, Ellsbury was okay at best (didn't even try to steal a bag during the WS) and everyone knows Saltalamacchia had a uncommon fantastic season and will probably drop down to his normal numbers. Pedroia is coming back healthy (had a broken thumb and still put up great numbers), Ortiz is healthy, and our starting rotation is coming back strong!
Michael Dillon, ESPN comment section
We look very strong everywhere...I think Middlebrooks has a killer season, Bradley covers the field and Sizemore could be the biggest x factor in baseball. Pitching is very deep, actually too many arms and not enough innings. It is going to be fun watching Bogaerts blossom into an all star....Let the games begin.
Adam Kaufman, Boston.com
It's hard to envision John Farrell's spunky Red Sox coming from behind for another 36 victories, or again winning 22 games in their final at-bat. It's hard to envision them parading the city on Duck Boats again next summer. When so many players had bounce-back or career years, it feels impossible to anticipate such success reappearing.
laterlaw, MLB.com comment section
Last year everything that could go either way, went the right way for Sox. Not gonna happen in 2014.
James Roberts, B/R comment section
If Jeff (Samardzija), Anthony (Rizzo), and Starlin (Castro) get back (to) form, and the bullpen isn't as sucky late which I think is a promising bet, 7-8 wins better this year.
Brian Schaler, B/R comment section
I'm a Cubs fan, but I'm excited for this season, at least knowing we will see few prospects up later this season in Baez, Alcantara, and maybe Vizcaino. Also hopefully Rizzo and Castro can pick it up from a rough 2013 campaign. I still believe that Vitters and Jackson have huge potential but haven't showed. Good years to come in the future for CHC.
chuck ashley, B/R comment section
This lineup does not look very good for even a wild card run. Anything can happen, but as a Cubs fan, I am not holding my breath. Looks like another tough year for the Cubs. Miracles can happen, but with this lineup, it is not looking to good.
Chicago White Sox
jayson mattei, B/R comment section
I have been keep close eye on the daily dealings of White Sox and Mr. Rick Hahn is quickly becoming a great GM in this league. Love the youth movement.
kevin maldonado, B/R comment section
White Sox are heading in the right direction...Lots of work to be done, but with Hahn it's looking like the Sox could be relevant soon enough.
Aaron Gleeman, Hardball Talk
Chicago’s offense can’t help but be better in 2014, but the White Sox don’t look capable of making the leap into contention and the success or failure of the season depends largely on Abreu living up to the hype and 2-3 other young bats emerging as long-term regulars. If they can accomplish those things and win 70-something games Hahn and company should be pretty happy with the offseason moves.
Tim Sousa, B/R comment section
I've been a Sox fan for over 40 years but I am realistic and honest...barring a miracle this team will be in the cellar once again.
Ryan Nolan, B/R comment section
It's silly to think the (Reds') WS window is closed. You don't have to be the top team in the NL to win it all, as evidenced by St. Louis' 2011 win. This team isn't loaded with talent, but has enough talent to take them to the promised land. If the right players get hot, I wouldn't sleep on a team that has a top 5 rotation paired with Votto and Bruce.
Tyler Grote, B/R comment section
Reds take ENORMOUS step back with Billy Hamilton leading off and no Choo, too true. But they won 97 games in 2012 (and) that was with Drew Stubbs leading off the majority of the time.. And virtually the entire rotation that finished with baseball's No. 4 cumulative ERA is returning, minus Bronson.
butcherboy1, Fox Sports comment section
I hope Price takes a real hard look at what he has and sees that this team is gonna be mediocre at best. Hamilton to lead-off? We're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy. Our pitching is suspect at best, our hitting went in the toilet at the worst possible time last year and to lose 5 in a row with the talent we did have tells me that not only was the players to blame but that idiot Baker as well. Price is going to be under the microscope and when start spiraling downward it will be because he hasn't any big time big game managerial skills...
Jack Smith, B/R comment section
No respect for the Tribe. Asdrubal is in a contract year hes going to produce like he did in 2011. Also Bourn, Swisher, and Murph will bounce back. Even if the rotation takes a hit they still get 90 wins.
Dustin Murphy, B/R comment section
We are young and only getting better...Detroit has not got any better this offseason, they have actually gotten worse. Yes they made some moves and brought in some new faces, but the loss of Prince Fielder is huge. The rest of the team is past their prime. We now have a solid rotation and if Danny Salazar can play even close to where he was at the end of last year he will win 20+ games...Francona and Giambi have that locker room booming and they have instilled confidence in our youth. We could easily win 95-100 this year.
Chase Watkins, B/R comment section
The Indians have one proven impactful starter, which certainly places a lot of pressure on their offense, which although it was good enough last year, certainly isn't strong enough to carry the team on its shoulders.
Dennis Manoloff, The Plain Dealer
The Indians will be solid again under Francona, but their rotation will hold them back from bigger and better things.
Richard Wagner, B/R comment section
This team has added in ALL the right places! Anderson/Morneau alone help boost this already elite team. Rosario is (in my opinion) the best catcher under 30 today! A long-ball hitter and a developing and consistent back-stop! If tulo/cargo stay healthy this year, this team is a sure-fire top 15 team. They would be top ten if they had an elite pitcher (shoulda went for Nolasco).
fannlj, Fox Sports comment section
Love the ROX and as always hope they do well. Would love to see a division championship soon. However, with that being said, they haven't done enough for the pitching to make me think they will be any better than .500. Monfort and Geivett gotta go for this team to reach its ultimate goal. You need baseball guys to run a team properly, not business guys with a weekend hobby!
Gary VanDecar, B/R comment section
Detroit's much faster, better infield, still about top 3 pitching staff in all of baseball (with) Dodgers and Nats being the other two. They have the best current closer in baseball with Nathan. No way is this team (is) any worse then last year.
Dennis Manoloff, The Plain Dealer
The Tigers don't necessarily intimidate, but they rate among MLB's best teams. They have more than enough talent to cruise to another division title and go deep into the postseason.
Ben Fast, B/R comment section
Detroit is so overrated. That team got worse this offseason whether anyone wants to acknowledge it or not. Prince Fielder was the only thing keeping teams from pitching around Cabrera.
Kyle Cotton, B/R comment section
After seeing the second half last year by that rotation, and how dreadful that bullpen was last (year) and now being presumably fixed, I have the Astros finishing with a 75 win season. Especially if Springer puts on a rookie of the year performance like I think he can.
Benjamin Christensen, eDraft
When the Mets broke their triple-figure losing streak in 1966 by only losing 95 games, most saw that as a significant improvement. This might be the case for the Astros who will more than likely still finish at the bottom of the AL West, but it wouldn’t be as embarrassing.
Kansas City Royals
Preston Bucher, B/R comment section
I like what the Royals are doing. And they play in the right division to make some noise.
philofthenorth, Royals Review comment section
The vagaries of a 162 game season mean strange things will happen. If this team looks like an 85 game winner, then anywhere from 75 to 95 wins is in the “ballpark”. This may be the best we can hope for, and it sure as hell beats being in the 60 to 80 wins park.
Dennis Manoloff, The Plain Dealer
The Royals are going to be good. They still won’t hit for power, but they should be on base consistently and frustrate opponents with their speed. The rotation, given its collective lack of dazzling stuff, is a big concern. The Royals will join the Indians as challengers to the Tigers. Ultimately, though, 2014 won’t be their year, either.
Los Angeles Angels
MnkeyMan, Fox Sports comment section
I am going to remain optimistic, not a lot of big moves compared to the last 3 years, but a lot of small ones. If some of the young arms come through and some of the old arms come back, we might have a pretty good year. Really hoping 3rd base turns out to be a nice upgrade, Pujols is healthy and remains that way and Hamilton found the strike zone in the off season.
Jake Richau, B/R comment section
There's no reason the Angels can't get back to winning form and make some noise this year.
Joseph Dull, B/R comment section
They won't contend regardless of Hamilton. Yes they have the most complete player in all of the MLB, then after that weak pitching (SP and RP) plus Pujols is on the wrong side of his prime. Just not seeing how they can overtake TEX and OAK.
Los Angeles Dodgers
joseph madura, B/R comment section
For all you Dodger haters, I have this to say. Look at where they ended up last year without one of their best players and an unhealthy Ramirez. With a healthy Kemp and Ramirez, the Cards lose hands down.
Sam Closson, B/R comment section
Dodgers are the best team. If Ramirez had not been hit then they would have won the pennant. Now they have Hanley healthy again and Kemp will be coming back soon. No way the Cardinals are better. At best, they are on par with the Dodgers.
WishBone, Yahoo! comment section
Dodgers were the best team in baseball on paper last year as well. Injuries stink. I still think Donny Baseball is a problem, his constant shuffling of the lineup is a horrible tool to try and build chemistry.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were 'better' than the St. Louis Cardinals going into the playoffs and got spanked in a (best-of-7) series. To call that series competitive is a laughable claim and only the losing side would see it that way. I'm a Red Sox fan living in Los Angeles and there is no doubt in my mind the 'best' team in the NL represented the league in the World Series. Until your Dodgers live up to their payroll, stop blaming injuries and stats on paper for your under-achieving ball club...
fish_1213, Fox Sports comment section
All the puzzle pieces are in place for 2014 with the signing of Casey McGehee to play 3rd base. I believe the team has done a fine job this off season of trying to bolster the offense without giving up anymore of our young talented pitching. I'm optimistic that the Marlins can compete for a division title this upcoming season, barring any major injury woes along the way of course.
Ken Rosenthal (via Christina De Nicola, Fox Sports)
It probably would be a stretch to label the Marlins a potential surprise. But the talent in the rotation and outfield is considerable, and the team took steps to improve its infield during the offseason, adding veterans such as Jones, Furcal, McGehee and Jeff Baker. Most of the excitement with these Marlins will stem from right-hander Fernandez, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, and right fielder Stanton, one of the game’s top young sluggers. But things could get interesting if new catcher Saltalamacchia helps gets more out of the team’s young rotation.
Travis Riechers, eDraft
Unfortunately for the Marlins, unless they can get another bat in their lineup through trades and or free agency the chances of them making a playoff push in 2014 is very unlikely.
Giancarlo Stanton: Another big talent Miami fans will watch playing for another team. ZERO chance he is a long term Marlin. Loria/Samson/Hill need to go.
AJ Corallini, B/R comment section
A solid starting rotation, a very nice bullpen, and a top hitting lineup. 1st base is the only thing the Brewers are iffy on. Mark Reynolds will have a great time hitting in Miller park. I think he will have over 30 hrs. 2nd base could be an issue, but I think Scooter will prove everyone he's a good player. Don't be surprised if they give the Pirates and Reds a battle for 2nd. Maybe even St Louis but that's a stretch.
Jason Robertson, B/R comment section
I definitely like the Brewers as a sleeper pick. That rotation is seriously underrated, especially if Gallardo has a rebound year.
Joel Hayworth, B/R comment section
Don't ever say the Brewers will give the Cardinals a run for their money! That was 2 years ago!...They better fall in love with 4th and 3rd place. Because the top two spots are gonna be the same for the next 5 years. Cards on top and Pirates right behind.
SteminHeaps, CBSSports comment section
While it seems the Twinks are "overpaying" for Hughes and Nolasco, let's be real - the Twinks haven't been this active in free agency in forever. I like that they are being aggressive after an absolutely horrible season last year and attempting to put together a potent pitching staff. You never know what's going to happen.
T3thethird, Fox Sports comment section
Really looking forward to this season. Can't wait to see some young talent and maybe the starting pitching will be respectable.
Tanner Wichmann, B/R comment section
Biased Twins Fan but small market teams have a tough time staying contenders. I can be excited about our farm system, until they leave after their contracts are up!
foxsportsnorth, CBSSports comment section
They did noting to make me think they will move either way. The people they picked up might get ya 5 more wins, but it wont help getting you anything but second to last in the division.
New York Mets
GM Sandy Alderson (via John Harper), New York Daily News
At a staff meeting a couple of days ago, Sandy Alderson told Mets executives and baseball personnel that he strongly believes that the ballclub can and maybe even should win 90 games this season.
Mackey D, B/R comment section
I know everyone writes off my Mets all the time, but at least I think that they will be exciting this year and can possibly (POSSIBLY) sneak into that wild card spot. If we had Harvey I would definitely think so. Our lineup is much improved, and we added some solid arms to the pen.
Matt Snyder, CBS Sports
No team ever wants to enter a season essentially throwing in the towel and the Mets haven't done that, but the 2014 season is more about setting up a return to contention in 2015 than it is about the actual 2014 season. And I think a third-place finish in that setting is more than OK.
wgarrett, SB Nation comment section
If everything goes right for the Mets they could win 84 games. This team isn’t good, and probably less than mediocre. Bad job by the Mets for stating such. You can be confident but realistic, too.
New York Yankees
Joe Marco, B/R comment section
The Yanks are so balanced, the lineup doesn't have 1 player they.need to rely on too much, and a beautiful blend of speed and (power). The rotation doesn't have an ace nor an extremely weak spot, that's assuming Pineda and Sabathia are close to what they were. Nova had a below-3 ERA in the 2nd half last year and is the no.4 starter.
Ryan Manley, B/R comment section
Yankees went 85-77 last year without Teixeira, Jeter, Granderson, Pineda, and the A-Rod distractions. Add a healthy core of the listed above to the newcomers of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Tanaka, and Brian Roberts and there is a good chance the Yankees have the best record in baseball.
Jimmy Ballgame, B/R comment section
The Yankees have no depth. If everyone is healthy and produces, yeah, they probably make they playoffs, but if they have a couple of injuries or a few of their many (many) old players not perform they are a mediocre team. They probably are an 85 win team.
Ryan Armacost, B/R comment section
You can not buy a World Series. You can only buy competitive advantage. Not heart. The yanks have no 3b, no more Cano. Injury risk everywhere. No 5th starter. Tanaka, at 25 gonna be great? Lotta pressure for a rookie. Sabathia losing it by the week. Kuroda gonna repeat? Tex old. Mainly, no MO. Jeter is 83.
Ben Vargas, B/R comment section
Its the A's year. Experience is there now and much better pitching is there now. Can't wait for another great year.
AthleticsForever, MLB.com comment section
I'm so excited for this upcoming season. There's so much proven talent and so much unseen potential.
peterbarker71, Fox Sports comment section
Sadly the A's and other small market teams, if they win, generally are only built to win in the regular season. The exception being if they are fortunate enough to draft a couple of top of the line starting pitchers that can carry them through the playoffs. The A's have some good starting pitchers in the 2-4 range, but they lack a true #1 ace...In the playoffs it doesn't matter how deep your starting pitching is, it matters how good your top 2 or 3 guys are.
Tony Broncos, B/R comment section
Not adding a big bat means another 1 and done in the playoffs. Need playoff caliber hitters to win in the playoffs. How many does Oakland have in that lineup?
Erick Beatty, B/R comment section
I have to admit, despite the Phillies looking like a retirement home, their line-up actually doesn't look that bad and now with the Burnett signing, their rotation looks balanced as well.
philly-forever, Fox Sports comment section
No team in the NL East scares me at all. Yes our window is closing but it's not closed.
diehardphillyfan, Fox Sports comment section
Well, the Braves and Nats are just better, no matter how many injuries they get. The Mets look improved for once and the Marlins have a young team with pitchers on the rise. So yea, i see the Phils in 4th, unfortunately.
Joe Haas, B/R comment section
There is really nothing mysterious about the Phillies' approach right now. They are trying for one last grab at contention with this nucleus, while not raiding the farm system (to) bring in veteran reinforcements. As long as they don't sell off tomorrow, which they have not been doing of late, I have no problem with this approach, even though it is unlikely to succeed.
Joe Rosario, B/R comment section
They are right there with the Cardinals (NL Champs) and even if they are behind them in the division standings, the Pirates a true World Series contender from any playoff spot that they get.
propirate, Fox Sports comment section
Everyone is dogging on the Pirates WAR, please this is baseball, those numbers don't win games folks. Here's to the Pirates winning 95 or better. Stats have been sucking the life out of baseball "fun" for the past several years. It's comes down to too many intangibles....baseball 101...never under estimate any professional team. We are as good as any!
Carlos Danger, B/R comment section
Run differential from last year was so small that a lot of those one run wins won't end up the same way this year. Luck. ERA compared to FIP last year was off the charts. Luck. A.J. isn't coming back, Liriano won't have the same kind of year, the book is out on Locke, nobody is going to pitch to McCutchen, Grilli and Melancon are going to have Fernando Rodney type of rebound years as once again people are proven that relief pitchers are a dime a dozen....A few games over .500 would be an ideal prediction for them this year.
San Diego Padres
Fred Ricardo, B/R comment section
The Padres look better then given credit. They are the dark horse in the west.
Ian Casselberry, The Outside Corner
Perhaps the D-Backs created some distance between them and the Padres with their offseason additions. But competing with Arizona and the Giants for second place in the NL West seems realistic if San Diego's veterans produce as expected and injuries don't become a major obstacle.
Nate at Vocal Minority (via Padres Public)
This team, even with better health and general upgrades, is set to stay stuck in the middle: not bad enough to get a protected 1st round pick, but not good enough to make the playoffs. I predict a much more entertaining season than the past two, but in the end, 84-78 doesn’t get you much more than that.
Oscar's Thoughts at Padres Public
There are way too many question marks for me to think this could be anything better than an 85 win team. Everyone seems so confident in the rotation.
San Francisco Giants
Warren Smith, B/R comment section
All in all the Giants are not a "super" team like the Dodgers, but they are an above average team with the capability to win it all.
Dan Kearns, B/R comment section
I feel 2014 championship. We have the right pieces in place. Pitching staff will be lights out this year.
Matt g, B/R comment section
Chumps. Any of you ready to admit what my friends and I have been saying for years. Brian Sabean is a terrible GM who has been getting lucky. Aubrey Huff, Marco Scutaro... That's not his "skill" that's him getting a mediocre old player and luckily they have great seasons.
Brama Bull, B/R comment section
Here's a bold prediction; The Giants finish last in the West. Sabean once again failed in the offseason and misappropriated money based on loyalty. Resigning Vogey who is over the hill vs picking up Arroyo and factor in the difference to the amount he overpaid heavily for Lincecum and Pence. My fandom with this club is weening; not because they suck, but because the staff fails to build a perennial contender and allow the farm system to remain one of the worst in baseball.
Jeremy schuler, B/R comment section
I've been a fan of this team since I was able to understand what baseball was...1995, though every year just a big disappointment. It's a new year, but I think this is the year. We got young talent and made moves to bring names to the roster, lets hope it pans out to see us bring another championship to Seattle. #twiceisnice
Nathaniel Reeves, Sports Out West
This team is much better than it was a year ago. For the first time in seemingly forever, every offseason move the Mariners have made (so far) makes at least some degree of sense. A young roster won’t quite be able to compete with the top of the tough AL West, but the Mariners will hover around .500 and generate at least a small amount of optimism moving forward, finishing with a record of 83-79.
john smith, B/R comment section
No way this team makes the playoffs unless they trade for (David) Price or (Taijuan) Walker dominates. Currently the Red Sox, Tigers, Athletics, Rangers, Yankees and Rays and possibly the Orioles, Indians and Royals are all better than the Mariners.
Brian Depuy, B/R comment section
As much as id love to see the Mariners make the playoffs I think we are at a year away from being playoff contenders, as we need to develop up our young talent first. Hope I'm wrong though.
St. Louis Cardinals
Eric Hinrichs, B/R comment section
The NL Central has gotten worse than last year. The Cardinals are the only team that has gotten better. Cincy and Pittsburgh haven't done anything this offseason except get worse.
StL Fanatic, B/R comment section
anthony manfra, B/R comment section
They lost Freese, Furcal, and Beltran. They beat the Dodgers without their hottest hitter after intentionally throwing at Hanley Ramirez in the Game 1. Then Boston took care of them pretty handedly. Wouldn't bet on them over the Dodgers or Boston next season.
Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Snyder, CBS Sports
The small-market Rays are tasked with competing against the likes of the huge-market Yankees, the world champion Red Sox and formidable Orioles in the mighty AL East -- and, once again, they appear up to the task....Expect 90-plus wins and no worse than an ALDS exit.
Bolthead04, CBS Sports comment section
The bullpen scares me, but if that's our weakest link I think we're set up for a good run this year. I just don't know that we can take the Series with what we currently have in house. It'll be an interesting year either way.
Muhammad Ahmad, B/R comment section
Rangers will probably win 90. They have 90 wins each of the past four seasons and they improved this offseason.
Chris M, B/R comment section
The Rangers were a dozen runs away from winning the division last year with a horrible offense. Darvish couldnt buy a run, he should have been a 20 game winner. Even minus Holland for half the season the Rangers have a ton of big arms in AAA/AA that are ready to spot start and Tepesch has NASTY stuff, he just needs to relax and keep the ball down. When his sinker doesn't sink he gets eaten up. The Rangers should win the division easily with a mid 90's win total.
psly2124, Hardball Talk comment section
Pitching is extremely suspect. This team has third place written all over it.
miketreedy, Hardball Talk comment section
I think they are 88-93 win team. Lots of questions still to be answered...I’m a Rangers fan but still think the A’s have to be the preseason favorite.
Toronto Blue Jays
Sunny D, B/R comment section
I think the Toronto Blue Jays are really going to make some noise this season. They are all finally healthy. I like their batting order from 1-7: Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Joey Bats, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie, Adam Lind, and Colby Rasmus. I think they are a real dark horse team!
Tyler Young, B/R comment section
BLUE JAYS will be much better than they were last year. It was a worst case scenario for all pitchers not named Mark Buehrle.
Hank Murphy, B/R comment section
Even if a single Blue Jay did not go on the DL they are still a last place team. Terrible, terrible starting pitching anchored by two vastly overrated OLD GUYS who are nothing more than #4 type pitchers on pretty much every other team in the AL East. Name a team that contended in the last 40 years that had a kuckleballer as its "ace".
Dayn Perry, CBS Sports
The biggest thing the Jays have going against them is the AL East. The Red Sox are reigning champs, the Rays are perennial contenders, the Yankees are gunning for a return to the postseason, and the Orioles have begun adding key parts to an 85-win team....Given the strength of the peer group, I'm tabbing the Jays for a win total in the 70s and another last-place finish.
Danny Phillips, B/R comment section
I guess hating on the Nationals is the 2014 thing to do. They are two years removed from winning 98 games. Obviously they had a down year last year, but they return with a much improved bench. It was the worst in MLB last year. People also seem to forget Harper is entering only his age 21 season, stay healthy. Fister instead of homer Haren is quite an improvement in the rotation. No reason why they can't be a top 5 team.
Ken Rosenthal (via Zach Dillard), Fox Sports South
I still can’t figure out how the Nationals won only 86 games last season, so it’s not a stretch to see them winning 96 this season — or more. The trade for right-hander Fister makes a fine rotation even better. The signing of free agent McLouth makes a strong outfield even deeper. And while Williams has not managed previously, his attention to detail is a welcome change for a team that seemed to lose focus last season under Johnson. The Nats are loaded, a reasonable choice to represent the NL in the World Series.
Tom Mechin, B/R comment section
The Nationals aren't overrated. They are one of the deepest, most balanced teams in baseball...on paper. The problem is that games aren't played on paper, and the Nationals showed last year that just being rated highly doesn't mean they'll win a lot of games.
wm mw, B/R comment section
The Nationals are very overrated. I have yet to see something from Bryce that makes him a "superstar", Strasburg is not the dominant pitcher he was before Tommy John, Werth is good when he is healthy but he is hurt a lot, Gio had a great 2012 but he regressed in 2013, Fister is a great pickup but I don't think he makes them a much better team than they were last year.
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