Spring training will soon be at an end and it will be time to reevaluate all of the Major League teams. We’ve spent a good part of the winter speculating how the results of the Hot Stove dealings will benefit or detract from some of the contenders. Now that we’re close to the starting line, it’s time to look again.
So where do we think the teams are today after last year’s standings? One thing to consider is the MLB betting odds, which consider a team’s standings from the previous season. How many games did they win? What players did they add and what players did they lose? Have they had any injuries in the spring? All of these factors enter in to projecting a team’s possible success or lack thereof for the upcoming season.
Another factor you might want to consider is what is happening on the transaction wire. Teams will be moving players from the major league camp to the minor league camp over the coming weeks as they pare down their rosters to figure out who they are going to take into the regular season come April. Some teams have ongoing positional battles that have yet to be determined that could have a major impact on their success. Making the wrong decision now could lead a team to cut or release a player and lose him entirely from the organization. Many times in the past, a player has been let go only to move on to another team and have a good season. It seems silly that such decisions would be made during spring training, a time when players haven’t played for an entire winter and are just getting themselves adjusted to playing again. Hitters especially find themselves at a disadvantage because pitchers start earlier and tend to get ahead in their development.
All of these are things to look out for as we look to figure out which teams will be top dogs in the Major Leagues for 2014.