Opening day is a week away! It's so close, I can taste it! Smell it! Feel it!
Anyway, my 2017 predictions.
NL East: Nationals (I won't bring bad luck on the Mets and pick them here)
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Dodgers
Wildcards: Mets, Cardinals. I think the Pirates missed their chance to get over that hump and make a real run at the series and finish around, or maybe under .500 this year.
AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Rangers
Wildcards: Blue Jays, Mariners. I think the AL East is going to be a nasty division, though, and all those teams will be causing fits for the leaders the entire season. I'm not sold on the wild card coming out of the east because I think that division is so strong it's going to hurt them, but I'm sticking with the Blue Jays.
I'm not picking a playoff winner right now but if the Mets rotation can remain healthy then I think they have a real shot at the whole thing. But, they have 3 starting pitchers coming back from surgery after last season. Zack Wheeler trying to come back after 2 years off, and a bunch of starters who are coming back from injuries, including 3 significant back injuries (and 1 of them, David Wright, probably doesn't play in 25 games this year). The Mets have good depth but no one has enough depth to overcome a bunch of injuries to key guys. But, if healthy, I think they are one of the 2 or 3 best teams in the NL.
I also predict that you will see a woman umpire called up as a replacement for a few weeks at some point in 2017 (and if not, it will happen by next year). There are a few women umpires who have been making their way through the minor league ranks the past few years and I know there is one out in the PCL they really like. I think she's going to get a chance in The Show this year. And, I also predict that the vast majority of the population doesn't care. I think most people have long moved past reacting to women or minorities getting opportunities that were once unthinkable.
One week away. I CANNOT WAIT!