Editor’s note: From now until opening day, Yahoo Sports will be getting you ready for the 2018 MLB season with a series of previews and roundtable discussions with our writers. Today, we’re talking about which teams could disappoint.
Nobody aims to disappointment — and certainly not Major League Baseball teams. But it’s evitable. Hype and expectations are everywhere this time of year. But come November, there’s only going to be one World Series champion.
That means, despite all their efforts, some teams are going to disappoint. They could disappoint in the postseason. They could disappoint by July. But it happens. Every year.
As we ponder the teams that could disappoint in 2018, we’re thinking about which teams have high expectations and might have some trouble reaching them. We’re thinking where hype might not mirror reality. Yahoo Sports’ experts Jeff Passan and Tim Brown make their picks in the video above, as the Big League Stew writers are making their choices below. Feel free to leave yours in the comments or tweet them to us at @bigleaguestew.
MARK TOWNSEND: Boston Red Sox
The signing of J.D. Martinez gives Boston some of the power it needed. Better health for David Price would definitely boost the starting rotation. Even if that breaks right though, the Red Sox still have a lot of questions that could quickly become problems if not addressed. Mainly, the backend of the rotation looks kinda bare, especially with Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez already dealing with injuries. Considering the improvements made by the Yankees and Astros, along with the expectations Red Sox fans are sure to have, disappointment seems more likely than rousing success.
LIZ ROSCHER: Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers really went for it during the offseason. They signed Lorenzo Cain and traded for Christian Yelich. They spent money and parted ways with prospects to make their team better, which they hadn’t done in a few years. But adding two elite players to their lineup doesn’t shore up their rotation. So much is staked on Chase Anderson, who had a breakout 2017, repeating that feat. The Brewers had the 9th best ERA in all of baseball last year, but everything would have to break just right (like it did in 2017) for that to happen again. The Brewers deserve a lot of credit for going for it and adding what they could, but I don’t think it’s enough for them to repeat that breakout.
CHRIS CWIK: Colorado Rockies
After playing in the wild-card game in 2017, you would think the Rockies would have gone big in the offseason to ensure their grasp on the postseason. Things were encouraging early, as the team signed Wade Davis. Then, they just petered out. Chris Iannetta was brought in, and Carlos Gonzalez is back after months of waiting. The team’s plan to rely on internal solutions could be risky. While their pitching was good enough to get them into contention last season, Colorado will rely on Chad Bettis and Tyler Anderson in the rotation. Both had ERAs over 5.00 in 2017. They’ll also need to hope Kyle Freeland can continue to impress with his profile. He doesn’t get many strikeouts. Convincing pitchers to sign in Colorado is always going to be an issue, but you would like to think the Rockies could have used that to their advantage in a winter where no one wanted to sign free agents.
MIKE OZ: New York Yankees
Let me begin with the asterisk: I don’t think the Yankees will be a bad team in 2018. Heck, I think they’ll make the playoffs. However, the expectations with the Yankees are so sky-high after the Giancarlo Stanton trade that anything short of a 20-game lead in August and about 3,000 homers from the middle of the lineup will be a disappointment to some ring-counting fans in the Bronx. The Yankees defied expectations last season, which was fun to watch because it made them likable. This year, they’re the Evil Empire once again. And that’s how some players like it. The point remains: The Yankees aren’t a sure-thing World Series winner that some people think they are. A lot could go wrong — starting with their rotation. The Yankees will be good, there’s no doubt. But don’t be surprised if they’re just as good as some other teams, not head-and-shoulders above them. And don’t be surprised if the Red Sox give them a serious challenge for the AL East title.
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