The winningest team in the American League last season is a good bet to steamroll the competition in 2018 too. Another year of experience for 2017 newcomers Yandy Diaz and Bradley Zimmer could be a boon for an already ultra-deep roster. The best rotation in the junior circuit brings everyone back for another run, and the bullpen should be similarly loaded.
Look for management to seek out depth, and contingency plans. Injuries wreaked havoc on Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis last season, and the outfield lacks power even when everyone’s healthy. A second straight free agency splurge for a big bat like J.D. Martinez (following the Edwin Encarnacion coup of last winter), might be a stretch. Finding a strong, lower-cost platoon bat like Austin Jackson (who filed for free agency) could still be a great fit.