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Why the 100-win Indians, Astros and Dodg

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# 28.11.2017 - 06:53:29

The 2017 season was extraordinary for many reasons, including this one: The Dodgers, Indians and Astros all won 100 games -- 104, 102 and 101 to be exact. It was the first season with at least two 100-win teams since 2004 and the first with three since 2003. Since the divisional era in 1969, the only other seasons with three 100-win teams were 2002, 1998 and 1977.

What made those inflated win totals even more interesting, however, was that the Dodgers, Indians and Astros didn't take wins from the bottom of the league, but rather from the middle. No team lost 100 games in 2017; the Tigers and Giants led the way with 98. In 2016, for example, the Twins lost 103 games and there were eight 90-loss teams, just like 2017. In 2017, only four teams finished above .500 but failed to win 90 games; in 2016, there was one .500 team and nine that won between 84 and 89.

What makes our three powerhouses so scary to the rest of baseball is that all three could be even better in 2018. That probably won't happen -- when you win 100 games, a lot obviously goes right, which is why we haven't had a team win 100 games in consecutive seasons since the 2004-05 Cardinals. Plus, those teams in the middle are going to try to get better. It's much easier for a mediocre team to improve than for a great team to improve.
Still, it wouldn't surprise me if all three won 100 games or more again. Let's examine Authentic Ryan Miller Jersey why. Houston Astros (FanGraphs projected record: 98-64)
According to the numbers, the Astros were neither an old team nor a young team in 2017. According to Baseball Reference's average batting and pitching age -- which uses a formula based on playing time -- the Astros were essentially league average in both areas. Except the Astros weren't really that old. Carlos Beltran, 40, batted 509 times, wasn't very good and is now retired. Nori Aoki, 35, was the left fielder for part of the season. Brian McCann was 33 and Womens Robert Nkemdiche Jersey had a solid season but isn't a key part of the lineup.
If the Astros get better production at DH -- easily Devin Shore Womens Jersey possible with a low-cost free-agent signing like Yonder Alonso or Lucas Duda -- and improvement from Carlos Correa (23 in 2018) and Alex Bregman (24 in 2018 and coming off an excellent second half), their historically great offense could be even better.
Other than Marwin Gonzalez and maybe an aging McCann, there isn't an obvious regression candidate. Jose Altuve and George Springer should both be excellent, and Correa will be more valuable simply by playing 40 more games.
On the pitching side, a full season from Justin Verlander as opposed to one month will obviously help, but I think the bullpen can be better in 2018. That might seem like a strange thing to say after the way it performed in the postseason, but you have to separate what happened in those pressure situations versus what will happen next regular season. In 2017, Houston ranked 17th in the majors with a 4.27 ERA – but it ranked second to the Yankees in strikeout rate and 11th in wOBA.
Let's start here: They led the majors in bullpen ERA and ranked second to the Dodgers in rotation ERA. There was nothing fluky about those numbers either as they ranked first in strikeout rate and lowest walk rate while allowing the second-lowest wOBA. The good news: Other than workhorse setup man Bryan Shaw, everyone is back.
Obviously, they'll need good health to have that kind of season again on the mound -- they basically used only six starting pitchers last season (No. 7 starter Ryan Merritt made only four starts), but Mike Womens Karlos Dansby Jersey Clevinger's emergence behind Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer means Danny Salazar and Josh Tomlin are the fifth and sixth starters, which speaks to the depth.
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