1. Boston Red Sox (102–60, 1st playoff seed)
- Pablo Sandoval will scream back to relevance with 25 home runs and a positive number of Defensive Runs Saved.
- Blake Swihart will rake in AAA as Sandy León sits below the Mendoza line. A change will be made by Memorial Day.
- All of Boston's unreliable starting pitchers from last year, including Drew Pomeranz and David Price (when he pitches), will right the ship. While Price is out, Eduardo Rodríguez will provide similar value.
- Boston's staff will lead baseball in complete games and shutouts.
- Carson Smith will return as the AL's best reliever in the second half.
- The Red Sox will defeat the Nationals in a five-game World Series. More Boston fans than Washington fans will attend the games in DC.
2. Toronto Blue Jays (87–75, 1st Wild Card)
- José Bautista will bounce back so convincingly that he will be as valuable as his 2016 self and Edwin Encarnación combined.
- The Jays will have a losing record in games started by Kendrys Morales.
- Marcus Stroman and J.A. Happ will swap 2016 ERAs.
3. Tampa Bay Rays (85–77, 2nd Wild Card)
- Chris Archer will again be one of the best pitchers in baseball, and Blake Snell will join him in a monster breakout year. The Rays will have the league's best rotation.
- Jake Odorizzi will pitch a shutout over the Blue Jays in the Wild Card game, but then Tampa Bay will be swept by Boston in the ALDS.
- Steven Souza will finally have the 20/20 breakout season everyone expected, Colby Rasmus and Matt Duffy will both match their career-high WARs, but the Rays will still have the division's worst offense.
4. New York Yankees (83–79)
- Greg Bird and Aaron Judge be the mini modern Mantle and Maris, going back and forth all season as the Yankees team leader.
- Luis Severino and Michael Pineda will both lower their ERAs below 4.00.
- Clint Frazier will be traded away at midseason for rotation help after not conforming to the "Yankees way."
5. Baltimore Orioles (80–82)
- With a .330 average, 40 home runs, 120 RBI, and a Gold Glove to satisfy traditionalists and 8.5 WAR and 30 DRS for the stat nerds, it will finally be Manny Machado's turn for an MVP award.
- Every Oriole starting pitcher except Wade Miley will give up more runs in 2017 than in 2016—yes, even Ubaldo Jiménez.
1. Cleveland Indians (93–69, 2nd playoff seed)
- After the injury bug bit nearly their whole rotation last fall, the 2017 Indians will become the rare team to use only five starting pitchers the entire year. It will be a big factor in getting them to the ALCS.
- On the strength of his creative bullpen use, Terry Francona will win a second straight Manager of the Year award.
- Michael Brantley will get injured again and finish the year with fewer than 200 plate appearances.
2. Kansas City Royals (82–80)
- Jorge Soler will lead Kansas City position players in WAR.
- Eric Hosmer will have the 20th-best season for a first baseman in the American League—and will get the first-largest contract for one this offseason.
- Another injury-plagued season for Lorenzo Cain will end up being a blessing in disguise for the Royals, who will afford to keep him this winter after all.
- With a 2.50 ERA and 240 strikeouts, Danny Duffy will win his first Cy Young Award.
3. Detroit Tigers (76–86)
- Jordan Zimmermann will rue signing with Detroit as he becomes a pure contact pitcher (setting a career low in strikeout percentage), but the Tigers' league-worst defense fails to convert them into outs.
- After the Tigers' 10th blown save of the year—in May—Brad Ausmus will finally be shown the door.
- With the team hovering around .500 at the trade deadline, ownership will finally give the OK to blow it all up and rebuild.
4. Chicago White Sox (73–89)
- Tim Anderson will respond to his recent contract extension by virtually evaporating as an offensive force. He will show next to no power, will walk fewer than 10 times, and will split the season between pinch-running duties and AAA.
- Carlos Rodon will shave a run off his ERA and step neatly into the role of White Sox ace after José Quintana is traded.
- Lucas Giolito will put it together at AAA and make a tantalizing White Sox debut: giving up two runs and striking out 14 over seven innings (in other words, he will finally be the Stephen Strasburg clone Nats fans always wanted him to be).
5. Minnesota Twins (68–94)
- This will be the year that José Berríos and Byron Buxton right the ship. With them leading their respective sides of the ball, the Twins will begin to look like a franchise with a direction again.
- Brian Dozier will be a completely different hitter, hitting just .210 with 10 home runs and nearly 200 strikeouts.
- Miguel Sanó will slug 40 homers but have a WAR of 1.0 thanks to atrocious defense.
1. Houston Astros (89–73, 3rd playoff seed)
- For his next trick, José Altuve will captivate America this summer with a hitting streak that hits 50 games.
- Alex Bregman won't be terrible, exactly, but he'll put up a decidedly meh first full season in the bigs.
- Carlos Beltrán will continue sipping from the fountain of youth. His full-time DH-hood will enable him to hit 30 homers.
- For the third straight year, Lance McCullers will put up an ERA of 3.22—but he'll do it over 200 innings and lead the AL in strikeouts.
- Chris Devenski will step into the starting rotation and post a 1.50 second-half ERA.
2. Seattle Mariners (83–79)
- Félix Hernández will post a career-low strikeout rate and flirt with his career-low ERA of 4.52 from 2006.
- Drew Smyly will make up for it, though, pitching to a 3.20 ERA thanks to an uber-low BABIP driven by the M's' great outfield defense (40+ DRS).
- James Paxton will finally pitch to his 2.80 FIP.
- Jean Segura will be be huge bust. Without the aid of an inflated BABIP and Chase Field, he will return to the .270-ish wOBA that has characterized three of his five MLB seasons. Mitch Haniger will turn out to be the more valuable addition from that trade, even in the short term.
- Prospects Tyler O'Neill and Dan Vogelbach will be on-base machines from the time they are promoted to the majors. Only with them playing significant roles will the Mariners be a complete enough team to break their playoff drought, now at 16 years.
3. Texas Rangers (77–85)
- A team that benefited from incredible luck last year will be one of the unluckiest this year. They will have a losing record in one-run games, and they will lead the AL in days spent on the DL.
- Jurickson Profar will win the batting title.
- Carlos Gómez will revert back to his Astros form, and he will begin losing playing time to a resurgent Delino DeShields Jr., who will sport a .350 OBP and 30 stolen bases.
- Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross will both be lucky to post ERAs under 5.00 in Arlington.
4. Los Angeles Angels (75–87)
- Garrett Richards will win AL Comeback Player of the Year.
- Cam Bedrosian will not relinquish the closer's role to Huston Street when the latter returns from the DL.
- Mike Trout will post a down year: just 8.0 WAR.
5. Oakland Athletics (73–89)
- Revenge of Billy Beane! All of the A's' major free-agent signings—Matt Joyce, Rajai Davis, Santiago Casilla, and Trevor Plouffe—will be worth at least 1.5 WAR.
- Sonny Gray will continue to be a 75 ERA+ pitcher. His days of consistently getting outs are over.
- Jharel Cotton may not actually win Rookie of the Year—Andrew Benintendi will benefit from East Coast bias—but he will deserve to, with 160 innings of a 3.40 ERA.
- Sean Manaea will be the first of the 2017 season to throw a no-hitter, and he'll go to the All-Star Game to boot.