5 Non-Playoff Teams from 2017 That Could Make It in 2018

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 4:00 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 4:00 PM UTC

MLB’s Hot Stove League is starting to ignite, but it’s never too early to look at five teams that could make the playoffs in 2018 that didn’t this past season.

In the 2017 baseball season, five teams made the postseason that didn’t the year before: the Houston Astros, who of course won the first World Series in franchise history, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Twins became the first team in MLB history to make the playoffs a season after losing 100 games, so anything is possible. Here are 5 teams for 2018 that could make the postseason after missing out in 2017 – along with 5Dimes odds to win the World Series.

Los Angeles Angels (+3000)

The Halos finished 80-82 this past season but had a run differential of plus-1, making Los Angeles the only team in the American League to miss the playoffs with a positive run differential. Keep in mind, the Angels were without the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, for about six weeks due to a wrist injury. He still was worth a WAR of 6.4 but didn’t finish in the Top 2 of the AL MVP voting for the first time in his career. The Angels will also have a full season of slugger Justin Upton at the Aug. 31 deadline. Upton could have tested the free-agent market but re-signed to a five-year, $108 million deal. Overall, he hit.273 in 2017 with a career-high 35 homers, 44 doubles, 109 RBIs and 100 runs scored. Upton also had a career-high slugging percentage (.542) and OPS (.904), becoming the first AL left fielder with 35 homers, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored since Jason Bay in 2009. Offseason holes the Angels may need to fill are at second and third base. But they are offsesaon winners already by landing Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani.

Seattle Mariners (+3200)

The longest playoff drought in the majors belongs to the Mariners, who last made it in 2001 when they tied an MLB record with 116 regular-season wins but lost to the Yankees in the ALCS. Seattle finished 78-84 in 2017, an eight-win drop from the year before. The Mariners have plenty of hitting with Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager and Jean Segura. What they need to address this offseason is first base and starting pitching – especially with Felix Hernandez starting to break down.

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New York Mets (+2300)

The Mets were a playoff team in 2015 & ’16 but slipped to 70-92 in 2017 in large part because they were battered by injuries, especially in the rotation, more than perhaps any other team. That starting pitching group can be as good as any team’s if Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey stay healthy to go with Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler. The Mets’ new manager is former Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway, who should be able to get the best out of those arms. The Mets have a young potential superstar in shortstop Amed Rosario, but they have potential issues everywhere else in the infield.

St. Louis Cardinals (+2800)

These odds would have gotten shorter if the Cardinals (83-79 in 2017) had been able to trade some of their touted pitching prospects to the Marlins for slugger and reigning MLB home run champion Giancarlo Stanton -- the Cards had a deal in place, but Stanton invoked his no-trade clause. Adding power is priority No. 1 for the Redbirds this winter after missing the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time this decade. Expect St. Louis to be in the market for a closer too.

Milwaukee Brewers (+3000)

Easy to forget now, but the Brewers led the NL Central by 5.5 games at the All-Star break, but then the Cubs went nuclear in the second half and Milwaukee tailed off some to finish 86-76, still the team’s best mark since its last playoff season in 2011. Those 86 wins would have been good for a wild-card spot in the AL. The Brewers, who were No. 1 in MLB betting units won last year, have some really good position players but likely will look to add at least one quality starting pitcher because Jimmy Nelson will miss a large chunk of 2018 following shoulder surgery. He went 12-6 and led the team with a 3.49 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 175⅓ innings. Owner Mark Attanasio has already intimated that the team could spend some money this winter.

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