It's that magical time of year where 90% of Yankee fans are convinced we'll finish dead last in 2017, and half are convinced that we're already in the ALCS. So, in the spirit of pointless pedantic prognosticating, here are my three best predictions for the Yankees 2017.
1. The AL East
Boston (91-71) should win the division, although I don't think they're going to run away with it the way a lot of people do. I think JBJ, Pedroia, Hanley, and Rick Porcello played above their real ability last year, and some regression can be expected. I also think the bullpen is a real concern for the Red Sox. They're still the best in the division, probably, but not the world-beaters some think they are.
Toronto (86-76) I'm actually predicting only one playoff team from the ALE this year. Toronto is a lineup that got old fast, with Bautista, Tulo, Martin, Morales, Pearce, Happ, and Grilli all being much closer to the end of their careers than the start. The pitching rotation outside of Sanchez is full of question marks about regression (Happ) and injury (Estrada). With no real help waiting in the wings, TBJ could struggle and I will be very very happy.
New York Yankees (86-76) Solid performances from the children (yeah, Sanchez isn't going to sport a 180 wRC+ but I don't think its otherworldly for him and Bird to average a 120 wRC+) and hopefully one or two surprises from the rotation beyond Tanaka, with a consistently excellent bullpen? I'll take that, personally.
Tampa Bay (82-80) Their pitching can't be as dreadful as it was last year, right? And their offense might be as good as last year. Still fourth place though.
Baltimore (78-84) LOL
2. A Yankee award
Someone on this team is going to finish with an end-of-season award. Last year GGBG was the only Yankee to take home individual hardware, with a Gold Glove. The most likely candidates are Gary for a Silver Slugger (really, even with 30% regression, he should be the best hitting catcher in the AL), Tanaka for the Cy Young and Aaron Judge for Rookie of the Year (I think he still qualifies but don't quote me).
3. A Yankee hits for the cycle
Melky Cabrera was the last Yankee to hit for the cycle, in 2009. Now, a certain amount of randomness and luck go into the feat, but the Yankees boast a couple of players with the power to hit a double and home run and the legs for a triple. Torres and Frazier could do it when they get called up (BONUS PREDICTION: both see time in the majors, Clint way more than Gleyber), Didi and Brett Gardner could back into one, and sources tell me Jacoby Ellsbury is still a member of this ball club, so that's another possibility.