The Nationals have the most complete lineup in the NL, thanks to the acquisitions of centerfielder Adam Eaton and catcher Matt Wieters. Expect a bounce-back year from Bryce Harper and continued progression from Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon. The pitching is a bit more of a concern. The rotation is fine, led by Max Scherzer, but without the health of Stephen Strasburg it falls a notch below the other NL contenders. The bullpen could be a real issue, and it may require prospects to come up and save the day. Continue reading →
The Chicago Cubs are World Champions. That sentence still seems implausible even after they completed a powerful 103-win season and capped it off with the requisite three playoff series victories. Thousands of fans swore every year for a century that the Cubs’ time had finally come, projecting incorrectly year after year. Many others were convinced the Cubs would never win due to impalpable forces, regardless of how noticeably great the team actually was.
In the end, it was never going to be easy for whichever edition of the Cubs ascended the proverbial mountain. The 2016 postseason saw the Cubs live through a minor scare from the dangerous Giants, and comeback routinely from a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers. But, in making their first World Series since 1945 there still had been no earth-tilting moment where the fate of curses and goats were hanging in the balance. Continue reading →