Yesterday, USA Today Sports released their predictions on the standings for the upcoming season.
It is no secret that the National League West was, and still is, one of the most competitive divisions in all of baseball. According to USA Today’s predictions for the standings in 2018, the National League West will be the only division of the six divisions in Major League Baseball to have four teams above a .500 record.
In their predictions, they do have the Rockies moving up a spot in the division, to second place, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. However, they predict that they will be stuck with the same record, 85-77, that they had last season. Even worse off for the Rockies, they would secure the second wild card spot but they would be tied for that with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Here are their predictions:
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Takeaways from their predictions
Since we are only finishing the first week of February, I think that making predictions at this point are a bit hasty (as if predicting just before the season starts isn’t).
However, at this point, it’s even more hasty because a lot of the big name free agents haven’t signed yet so they could significantly alter the standings. In fact, if you check out MLB Trade Rumors list of the top 50 free agents from November, only nine of the top twenty have signed (and those nine include Masahiro Tanaka, who did not opt out of his contract from the Yankees, like MLBTR predicted).
These top 20 free agents include guys like Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer, JD Martinez, Greg Holland, and Mike Moustakas, all of whom have been commanding $100+ million on the market (which they probably won’t get at this point in the offseason).
Obviously, those guys could make a significant impact on a team in 2018.