by Kevin Skirvin ’18
Boston Red Sox
The 2016 Cy Young award was handed to Rick Porcello of the Boston Red Sox. Last season Porcello pitched a total of 223 innings, the most in a single season during his career, and racked up 22 wins along the way. Porcello elevated his status in the MLB to being considered one of the elite pitchers on the mound. While critics shout to the heavens how Detroit’s Justin Verlander was more deserving of the award, the fact of the matter is this: Porcello is the defending Cy Young Award winner, and he’s also the third best starting pitcher for the Sox.
The acquisition of Chris Sale from the White Sox this offseason was a monumental move towards success. It was the classic, “focus on today, worry about the future later” type of move, as Boston gave up the unanimous number one prospect in Yoan Moncada. Sale is going to be the ace in 2017 that David Price was supposed to be last year. Price has caught a lot of hate for his “disappointing year” in 2016, but it was only considered such because that’s the potential Price has.
As for the rest of the lineup, the Sox have an excellent mix of veterans, like Dustin Pedroia, combined with the future of the league in Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts. Obviously, losing one of the greatest hitters of all time is not ideal, but Hanley Ramirez has been looking great and should fill in the DH spot just fine. Holding that disappointing first round playoff exit close, the Red Sox are on to 2017.
by Sam Scanlon ’19
Becoming back-to-back champions is an incredibly difficult feat in any sport. Before last season, the last time the Chicago Cubs were crowned World Series Champions was 108 years ago—as back-to-back champions.
Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and Kyle Hendricks are an outstanding pitching trio for the Cubs. A dominant pitching staff is crucial to have in order to claim a World Series trophy. The Cubs have exactly that as they have emerged as one of the top performing pitching rotations in the MLB.
This talented squad finds its core in the infield with a perfect combination of youth and depth. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo lead the charge as great two way players that double as offensive powerhouses and defensive weapons. Also, Addison Russell, Javier Baez, and Ben Zobrist bring the defensive flare as they provide their share of lockdown defense along with offensive spark. With the three of them seeing time, the depth of the infield gives the Cubs a major advantage.
After missing practically all of the regular season last year due to injury, Kyle Schwarber is back in the lineup and will be a huge asset in a solid group of outfielders. If he remains healthy all season, he will definitely improve the lineup.
The Cubs have all the intangibles and have a great looking team in terms and depth. As the MLB Vegas odds see the Cubs winning again, it is certainly tough to bet against them this year.