MLB Predictions 2017: Are The Experts Picking The Indians?

Mar 31, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 31, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

MLB predictions are running rampant at the onset of the season. The Cleveland Indians are expected to contend, but can they can back to the World Series. Here’s what the experts say…

Make your picks baseball fans, because after six months of grinding it out on the diamond, we’ll get to see who represents MLB in the postseason, and the World Series.

The 2017 season promises to be fun one for Tribe fans. Will they repeat as AL champs? The front office has certainly postponed them to do so.

The Tribe added a huge name in Edwin Encarnacion to protect the middle of the lineup. Michael Brantley’s comeback from shoulder surgery is on schedule, and the Tribe’s vaunted bullpen only got better, as Boone Logan joins Andrew Miller and Cody Allen.

My Pick: It’s going to be a fun ride, but the Indians will come up short for the second straight year to the Cubs.

Being at Game 7 last season provided me with some of the highest highs, and lowest lows in my life. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that game. My mind clouds with sadness and I force my brain to think about something else so the feeling doesn’t result in prolonged depression.

I don’t want to feel that way again…but the Cubs. Shoot. They’re freakin’ good.

Remember the Yankees of the late 1990s through the early 2000s?

Cubs GM Theo Epstein has Chicago postponed to be the game’s next great dynasty.

We know the names by now: Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Anthony Rizzo; The Cubs are loaded with young talent, and they have the ammo in the minors to pull off a season altering trade.

Here’s how I see the AL shaking out:

AL Central: Indians, Tigers, Royals, Twins, White Sox,

AL East: Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays, Yankees, Rays

AL West: Astros, Mariners, Rangers, Angels, A’s

Wild Cards: Mariners, Tigers

ALCS: Cleveland over Boston

National League

NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates, Brewers, Reds

NL East: Nationals, Mets, Braves, Marlins, Phillies

NL West: Dodgers, Giants, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Padres

Wild Cards: Mets, Giants

NLCS: Cubs Over Nationals

Here’s what the experts are saying…

Peter Gammons, Gammons Daily: The MLB Network Analyst and Gammons Daily founder predicted the Tribe and Cubs would meet again in the World Series.

"The Indians can be really good, even deeper in the bullpen with Boone Logan and Mike Clevinger as long as Miller, Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw have no wear after the pen made 243 appearances in 2016. We don’t know on Carlos Carrasco, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley."

Gammons did not pick a World Series winner.

Keith Law, ESPN (Insider): Law predicts that Francisco Lindor will win the MVP, and that the Indians will get revenge on the Cubs in the World Series.

"Cleveland. I think the Indians are the best team in baseball on paper, I think they’re well-built for October, and Terry Francona is one of the best playoff managers we’ve seen in the past 20 years."

Law noted that the Indians got better during the offseason, adding slugger Edwin Encarnacion and reliever Boone Logan to an already sucked bullpen. He wrote the Indians have “100-win” potential.

Buster Olney, ESPN: Olney predicted a rematch of 2016, with the Indians winning the title this season.

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: One of the longtime faces of Baseball Tonight, Kurkjian predicted a rematch with the Cubs and another heartbreaking outcome for Cleveland.

fivethirtyeight: The number crunching website believes the Indians (11 percent) have the best shot out of all the teams in the American League to win the World Series, but ultimately, the Cubs are the favorites (14 percent).

Here’s how the website came up with their calculations:

"This forecast is based on 100,000 simulations of the season and accounts for starting pitchers, travel distance and rest. It updates after each game."

In going against the grain, the website believes the Astros have a better shot to win the World Series than the Red Sox.

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci: Verducci believes the Indians will win the Central, but will come of short of winning the Pennant.

The long-time writer predicted a Cubs-Red Sox World Series, with Chicago winning its second straight title.

"Chicago is the best team in baseball and should be expected to score more runs than last year and still be an elite run prevention team. The only reason not to pick the Cubs is that they won last year; only four NL teams have ever won a second straight World Series (the 1908 Cubs, ’22 Giants and ’76 Reds).​"

Of the seven writers polled for SI’s prediction column, just one, Jack Dickey, picked the Indians to win the title. My new favorite SI writer had the Tribe beating the Mets in seven games.

Related Story: 5 Bold Indians Predictions For 2017

Jonah Keri, CBS Sports: Bill Simmons ribbed Jonah Keri was taking a column idea, perhaps the Sports Guy should publicly call out Keri for his postseason picks.

More from Factory of Sadness

Keri believes Cleveland will win the Division, but lose to the Mariners in the ALDS.

Don’t be too hard on Jonah. Anything can happen in the postseason, so you might as well go against the grain with your picks. Keri predicted the Cubs will beat the Astros in the World Series, 4-1.

The world’s foremost Montreal Expos expert predicted the Indians will win the central. If the Tribe lives up to this prognostication, it probably means Terry Francona’s bunch will be clicking on all cylinders for postseason play.

Paul Hoynes, Nobody knows the Tribe better than beat writer Paul Hoynes.

The long-time scribe predicted the Indians will win the Division, but lose to the Red Sox in the ALCS.

Next: 5 Longest World Series Droughts

Hoynsie predicted a rematch of the 1912 World Series, with the Red Sox toppling the Giants in six games to win the World Series title.