Blue Jays 2017 Season Preview
Ready to check out our 2017 Toronto Blue Jays predictions? The Jays’ window to win is open right now, but who knows how long it will remain so. Toronto has had consecutive appearances in the ALCS – the Jays should be gunning for the next rung of the ladder in 2017. Whether it happens will have lots to do with if and how the injury bug strikes this year.
MLB Blue Jays Predictions & Handicapping Insight
Manager John Gibbons brings his laid-back attitude and folksy humour to the club once again. The drawly Texan has to keep everyone loose in a year where expectations are sky-high north of the border.
The passionate Jays fans have had a taste of success, and they want more. If they don’t get it, “Gibby”s job could be on the line.
2017 MLB Team Previews – Toronto Blue Jays
- American League East +450
- American League +1000
- World Series +2000
- Kendrys Morales
- Steve Pearce
- J.P. Howell
Despite all the furore about how the front office handled the Encarnacion situation, Mark Shapiro, Ross Atkins and Co. scooped up some versatile pieces in the winter.
Although Morales is basically useless on defense, his bat will play nice in the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre. Steve Pearce is a veritable Swiss Army knife that can do some first, outfield and DH.
It would be nice if Pearce can spend some time at first, because Justin Smoak, well, sucks.
Howell spent the last while pitching high-leverage situations in Dodger blue, before the games got handed off to closer Kenley Jansen. He’s a valuable piece. Fellow bullpen mate Joe Smith also came from SoCal (Angels).
The rare times cagey veteran C Russell Martin needs a break, Toronto hopes it can turn to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Try and fit that name on a jersey.
- 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion
Edwin is among not just the AL, but the entire MLB leaders in HR and RBI over the past several seasons, so even if Morales lives up to expectation, the Jays will miss the “Edwing” circling the bases in the Rogers Centre.
Encarnacion goes down as one of the premier sluggers in franchise history.
Blue Jays Predictions: Projected Lineup:
- 2B Ryan Goins/Devon Travis
- RF Jose Bautista
- 3B Josh Donaldson
- DH Kendrys Morales
- SS Troy Tulowitzki
- C Russell Martin
- CF Kevin Pillar
- 1B Justin Smoak/Steve Pearce
- LF Melvin Upton/Ezequiel Carrera
If healthy, Devon Travis will be the everyday starting second baseman; his bat is a great table-setter for the lineup even if he doesn’t have the greatest plate discipline.
He may not be ready for Opening Day, though, still nursing a knee ailment.
In that case, Goins or bench guy Darwin Barney will become crucial. Bautista/JD/Morales/Tulo is still a fearsome slugging middle the order.
Russ Martin can also get hot with the stick and slug some homers. Melvin Upton is an enigma, he’s always had the talent to really emerge, but will he ever do it?
Blue Jays Predictions: Projected Rotation:
- RH Aaron Sanchez
- RH Marcus Stroman
- LH J.A. Happ
- RH Marco Estrada
- LH Francisco Liriano
The rotation was marvelous in 2016 and there’s no reason why it can’t be again.
Sanchez is a bona fide ace, and while Jays fans still pine about losing Noah Syndergaard in the R.A. Dickey trade with the Mets a few years back, there’s no point crying over spilled milk.
Stroman has plenty of swagger but must back it up with results. Happ and Estrada bring a bulldog-like mentality to the mound and it shows.
Francisco Liriano is a wildcard, although veteran catcher Martin always seems to bring the best out of him (they were teammates in Pittsburgh).
There isn’t much depth if people start getting hurt, but the starting five look good for Toronto.
Blue Jays Predictions: Projected Closer:
- RH Roberto Osuna
The young Mexican has already proven his worth at the major league level. He is a legitimate effective closer and does not get rattled in the moment. If the Jays’ bullpen can get leads intact to Osuna, Toronto will win its share of ballgames.
2017 Toronto Blue Jays Prediction: 88-74, 2nd in AL East
The Jays have undeniable talent and virtually every position group on the field and in the batter’s box.
The team’s likely Achilles’ heel in the lack of depth. There are big drop-offs between some of the marquee guys (Bautista, Martin, Donaldson) and the bench options (Upton, Salty, Darwin Barney).
A 162-game season is just too grueling not to anticipate some injuries cropping up. The Jays must hope nothing major goes awry, because they have mortgaged much of their future in order to win right now.
The proof is in the pudding with all the impact bats and good arms on the team on the roster, but the Red Sox have really loaded up too, plus they have more dynamic, impact young players.
It should be a dogfight between those two teams for the division, although Toronto is probably looking up at Boston.
What do you think of our 2017 Toronto Blue Jays predictions? Comments are welcome below.
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