It's haiku time!
If it feels like I just posted this seven and a half months ago, well, that's because I did. We're entering our second season of baseball with COVID, and the trepidation has evolved into something peculiar. How many people will be allowed in the stands? How much money will MLB stand to lose between the pandemic, sky-high free agents, and skepticism about the exposed Astros? I don't know to answer those questions, but I know how to break down all the teams in 17 soma:
* note wild card teams
1. Yankees (98-64) Title contenders/(again) even without Judge/or Stanton healthy.
2. Rays* (97-65) Like the Yanks, without/pitching depth; bats blossom for/Arozarena.
3. Blue Jays (82-80) Like the Rays, with less/pitching still; young lineup has/Springer in their step.
4. Red Sox (76-86) Lost in the shuffle/is new-look Bosox; give them/another year, tops.
5. Orioles (72-90) The (John) Means to win/aren't there yet; Mancini will/return to form, though.
1. Twins (86-76) Cruz, ageless bopper/in soft division, power/makes you see double.
2. White Sox (84-78) Quite overrated/there's upside, but will they grow/up? Ask Drunk Tony.
3. Royals (81-81) Keep your Whits about/you; improved regals have a/stockade of young arms.
4. Indians (74-88) Name change soon, but these/pitchers aren't anonymous/who plays outfield, though?
5. Tigers (71-91) Outside of Miggy/no star power; young, raw, and/often rough to watch.
1. Astros (99-63) Cheaters, remember?/JV injury hinders/orange redemption.
2. Athletics* (93-69) Minimal changes/are concerning; offense depth?/Especially so.
3. Angels (92-70) Everyone here/Ohtani, Adell, *and* Trout/needs a rebound year.
4. Mariners (67-95) Puget Sound youngsters/competent all-around, but/expect to tread water.
5. Rangers (64-98) Newly rebuilding/good outfield... and not much else/Kiner, team leader?
1. Braves (96-66) After LCS/collapse, deep roster has one/goal in mind: World Champs.
2. Mets* (94-68) Hello, Steve Cohen/free agent bonanza has/fans Flushing with glee.
3. Nationals (87-75) Like '19, sleeper/team with upset potential/but must stay healthy.
4. Phillies (79-83) Big bats, no defense/any team with Bryce will be/quite overrated.
5. Marlins (77-85) These fish kinda stink/last year's Cinderella team/are wearing glass cleats.
1. Brewers (90-72) Love the rotation/*and* the bullpen, but Yelich/must return to form.
2. Cardinals (88-74) Nolan boosts aging/core; possible last run for/Waino and Yadi?
3. Reds (83-79) In Queen City, more/is less; top-heavy pitching/with hot-or-cold bats.
4. Cubs (80-82) '16 seems like a/distant memory; budget/cuts will continue.
5. Pirates (63-99) New Walmart wonders?/Scabs, lack of prospects, so not/much bang for your Buc.
1. Dodgers (100-62) No discernible/weaknesses makes a repeat/inevitable.
2. Padres* (94-68) Ooooooh, that Snell! Friars/have energy to spare; they/just need a closer.
3. Giants (71-91) The closest thing to/a spoiler; Posey is/surrounded by youth.
4. D-Backs (70-92) Trending downward in/the desert; can MadBum find/his insanity?
5. Rockies (63-99) Forget Chuck, this whole/team is Nazty; Rox' rebuild/not a gorgeous view.
AL MVP: Mike Trout, Angels
NL MVP: Mookie Betts, Dodgers
AL Cy Young: Shane Bieber, Indians
NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom, Mets
AL ROY: Ryan Mountcastle, Orioles
NL ROY: Ke'Bryan Hayes, Pirates
First Manager Fired: Joe Girardi, Phillies
2021 World Series: Dodgers over Astros in 6