The Major League Baseball season is upon us and here are some teams that made the playoffs last season, but may not make it back this season. Here is what they need to do to make it to the playoffs and some replacements if they don’t.
The Minnesota Twins last season made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. This season they will try to repeat, but it will be difficult with the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and New York Yankees all improving. Minnesota has only added to the bullpen this offseason. With not adding an impact bat, they will fall short with a record of 82-80 in 2018.
A replacement team for Minnesota in the playoffs is Los Angeles. This offseason they were active as they have added Japan star pitcher Shohei Ohtani, shortstop Zack Cozart, second baseman Ian Kinsler, and pitcher Jim Johnson. With these acquisitions, it should allow the Angels to make it back to the postseason with record of 86-76.
The Colorado Rockies made it back to the playoffs last season with a 87-75 record, which ended a seven year drought. This season will be a little tougher with the loss of Carlos Gonzalez in their lineup. Colorado will fall short with a record of 79-83 due to a lack of starting pitching in a tough National League West division.
The St. Louis Cardinals will go back to the playoffs after a year of missing out. The Cardinals have the pitching and offense to make for ca strong season. They also helped their bullpen depth with the acquisitions of Luke Gregerson and Dominic Leone. The Cardinals will end the 2018 season with a 94-68 record.
The Arizona Diamondbacks had a solid season in 2017, making it back to the postseason for the first time since 2011. Arizona has the offense to contend as they boast Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, and A.J. Pollock leading the way. The downfall for them is their bullpen where they are relying on third year veteran Archie Bradley to be the closer. Archie has only one save in seven opportunities throughout his career. Due to that Arizona will fall short of the postseason this season with a 87-75 record.
Their replacement team will be the Milwaukee Brewers as they will be back in the playoffs with a 89-73 record. The Brewers were active this offseason adding two starters and two impact bats to their roster. They got pitchers Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo in free agency to round out their rotation. They also got outfielder Lorenzo Cain and then they traded for outfielder Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins during their fire sale. So with those two impact bats and depth for pitching, they should have a good 2018 season.
The playoffs should look like this in the American League as the New York Yankees take the east, Cleveland Indians take the central, Houston Astros take the west, and the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels get the wild cards.
In the National League, the playoff teams will consist of Washington Nationals out of the east. St. Louis Cardinals in the central, Los Angeles Dodgers in the west, and the two wild cards going to the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers for 2018.