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2017 Major League Baseball Top 3 Surprises and Disappointments

The 2017 MLB season has reached the critical month of June where teams begin to establish themselves as contenders or pretenders. It is time for Kandy to revisit its’ pre-season predictions and see who has surprised us and who is disappointing.

Top 3 Surprises

  1. Minnesota Twins – based on all our pre-season research, i.e. baseball experts’ reviews and predictions, we expected the Twins to have the worst record in baseball. However, they currently sit atop the American League Central division. Way to go young Twins! Our pre-season AL Central favorites the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians are contenders closely on the heels of the Twinkies.
  2. Colorado Rockies – ok, we admit the Rockies success thus far is not a surprise to us but is to many baseball experts. We had the Rockies battling the Giants for the NL West crown. We’ll talk more about the Giants on our list of Most Disappointing.
  3. Houston Astros – again, not a surprise to us that they are sitting atop the AL West division but certainly a surprise to many baseball experts. What is surprising to us is that they currently have the best record in baseball and are on pace to win 117 games. They best hope the young Yankees implode down the stretch so as to not meet up in the playoffs. We recall the last time a team won over 110 games and met a Yankees team in the playoffs, the 2001 Seattle Mariners won 116 games but lost in the ALCS to the Yankees 4 – 1.

Honorable Mention: Speaking of the Yankees, they get nudged out of our top 3 we give them honorable mention for sitting atop the AL East, ahead of our pre-season pick the Baltimore Orioles.

Top 3 Disappointments

  1. New York Mets – we had very high expectations for the Metropolitans this season but they have greatly underperformed. Some would point to injuries to the starting pitchers, bullpen and position players. The remaining players who are healthy have for the most part have failed to carry the load in the absence of their teammates. The one prediction that looks like a lock for us is that Michael Conforto has replaced Curtis Granderson as the starting centerfielder.
  2. San Francisco Giants – we could easily play the Giants in the number one slot but we had the Mets winning the WS this season so even though the Giants have a worse record they slide to position number two. Bochy will make a run with this team but they are too far out already to reach the post-season in a division that is way more competitive than anyone predicted.
  3. Chicago Cubs – we, like every other expert, expected so much more from the Cubs this year. They seem to be finding their stride but to be barely over .500 at this point in the season is disappointing. If they are planning to return to the World Series this year they are going to need to go on a serious run. The Nationals and NL West teams are looking very formidable. Home field advantage could very well decide who reached the WS from the NL this year.

What about you? What teams are your biggest surprises or disappointments? We want to hear from you. We’ll publish our favorite reader’s responses in the next issue of Kandy. Email sports@kandymag.com

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The Big Sick Preview

Rated: R
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher
Directed by: Michael Showalter
Written by: Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Produced by: Judd Apatow, Barry Mendel
Studios: Lionsgate / Amazon Studios
Kandy Rating: 5 out of 5 Panties come off at the end of the night

Before we get into the review, we were going to review Transformers: The Last Knight but with less than a month to its release there still are no release notes or production notes to provide a basis for a review. So, we serve up The Big Sick which has an amazing real-life story.

Fans of HBO’s Silicon Valley will recognize the lead actor of The Big Sick Kumail Nanjiani. Kumail is a Pakistan-born comedian who lived in Chicago and was a struggling stand-up comedian. One night he was heckled by Emily Gordon, who would eventually become his wife. The movie tells the story of the courtship between Kumail and Emily (played by Zoe Kazan).

Every month we review production notes, release notes and featurettes from dozens of films and tv shows. This romantic comedy, aka chick flick, is not a film you would typically find in Kandy. However, we are big fans of HBO’s Silicon Valley and we noticed a film starring one of the main characters we gave it a look. The story between Kumail and Emily captivated us and was one we just had to share. Listen up guys, if you are in relationship, no matter what level or stage it may be at, take your girl to the theatre to see this film. We guarantee later that night you will be enjoying the fruits of her nectar.

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2017 American League West Season Prediction

American League West
Keeping with our trend of picking new contenders, we see the Astros returning to the promised land with the Mariners on their heels. 2017 may very well be the year Angels manager Mike Scioscia is fired.

Houston Astros
Biggest Additions DH Carlos Beltran
Biggest Losses: OF Colby Rasmus
Achilles Heel: Pitching
Kandy says: The Astros loaded up on veteran leadership this off-season to mix with their young stars. Joining Beltran in Houston is former Yankees teammate catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Josh Reddick. The Astros are primed to win if the geezers can hold up and the pitching staff finds its groove.

Seattle Mariners
Biggest Additions: P Drew Smyly
Biggest Losses: P Drew Storen
Achilles Heel: Team chemistry. GM Dipoto was extremely active this postseason, mixing and matching pieces as he saw a chance to capture the 2017 AL West crown.
Kandy says: A lot of new faces have the Mariners competing for the division crown. If the Astros geezers falter the Mariners will be there to take the crown.

Texas Rangers
Biggest Additions: 1B Mike Napoli
Biggest Losses: Carlos Beltran, Ian Desmond, Colby Lewis
Achilles Heel: Bullpen Depth
Kandy says: No soup for you this year Rangers fans.

Oakland Athletics
Biggest Additions: OF Rajai Davis
Biggest Losses: Danny Valencia
Achilles Heel: Home field
Kandy says: One more year A’s fans. 2018 should begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Los Angeles Angels
Biggest Additions: OF Cameron Maybin
Biggest Losses: P Jhoulys Chacin
Achilles Heel: Mgr Mike Scioscia
Kandy says: Scioscia was locked in a power struggle previously with GM Jerry Dipoto and won. They added Cameron Maybin but he is a natural centerfielder, the same position the best player in baseball plays on this club, Mike Trout. Nice player, hope he knows how to play left field.

There you have it. Our 2017 Major League Baseball preview. Get back to us in October and let us know how we did by dropping an email to sports@kandymag.com.

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American League Central 2017 Season Prediction

American League Central
Speaking of the AL Central, surprise surprise! We love the Tigers this year but would not be shocked if the Indians repeated.

Detroit Tigers
Biggest Additions: 2B Omar Infante
Biggest Loss: OF Cameron Maybin
Achilles Heel: Centerfield.
Kandy says: The Tigers squeeze past the Indians for the division crown.

Cleveland Indians
Biggest Additions: DH Edwin Encarnacion
Biggest Loss: 1B Mike Napoli
Achilles Heel: Expectations. How can the Indians possibly surpass last years results? The odds are stacked against them winning the 2017 Series but if they stay healthy, 2018 is looking good.
Kandy says: Runner-up to Tigers and another AL Championship appearance.

Kansas City Royals
Biggest Additions: OF Jorge Soler
Biggest Losses: P Wade Davis
Achilles Heel: Grieving over the death of pitcher Yordano Ventura.
Kandy says: A lot of new faces in the Royals clubhouse but talented faces. We would not be surprised to see the Royals back in the postseason.

Minnesota Twins
Biggest Additions: None
Biggest Losses: Trevor Plouffe
Achilles Heel: Defense
Kandy says: When do the Twins move Brian Dozier? It will be a long season Twins fans, thankfully the White Sox are in your division.

Chicago White Sox
Biggest Additions Yoan Moncada
Biggest Losses: P Chris Sale
Achilles Heel: Rebuild. Look at the names that have left since the end of season – Sale, Jackson, Eaton, Avila.
Kandy says: They are rebuilding the team on the south-side of Chicago and it will be a couple years before the White Sox return to competitive baseball.

Before we wrap up our 2017 MLB preview have you noticed a pattern in our predictions? We’ve only predicted one team to repeat as division champions – the Chicago Cubs. We would be crazy to pick against them to repeat as champions. In addition, you may have noticed in the American League only one playoff team from 2016 – the Cleveland Indians.

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American League East 2017 Season Prediction

American League East
Raise your hand if you have Red Sox repeating? Live a little. Too many intangibles say they don’t repeat and why we love the Orioles this year who will be led by AL MVP candidate Adam Jones.

Baltimore Orioles
Biggest Additions: P Logan Verrett
Biggest Losses: C Matt Wieters
Achilles Heel: Outfield defense. Someone has to catch the ball when it is hit to someone other than Adam Jones.
Kandy says: AL Championship run on the legs of 2017 AL MVP Adam Jones.

New York Yankees
Biggest Additions: Closer/P Aroldis Chapman
Biggest Losses: 1B Mark Teixeira
Achilles Heel: Starting Pitching. The Yankees bullpen is lights out but can the starters go deep enough in games so the bullpen can close it out.
Kandy says: Yankees farm system is loaded with young talent and the 2017 season offers a peek at that talent. They may surprise this year but 2018 is the year they announce their arrival to MLB.

Boston Red Sox
Biggest Additions: P Chris Sale
Biggest Losses: DH David Ortiz
Achilles Heel: Loss of Big Papi. This year we find out how valuable Big Papi was in the lineup. His loss is immeasureble and the Red Sox hitters whom he protected last year find out it is a whole different ballgame with him not anchoring the batting order.
Kandy says: No big Papi means no playoffs and no joy in mudville for Red Sox fans.

Toronto Blue Jays
Biggest Additions: Kendrys Morales
Biggest Losses: Edwin Encarnacion
Achilles Heel: Confidence
Kandy says: The Blue Jays play in what may very be the toughest division in all of baseball.

Tampa Bay Rays
Biggest Additions: C Wilson Ramos
Biggest Losses: Logan Forsythe
Achilles Heel: Fan Support
Kandy says: The Rays are the East Coast Padres, playing in front of empty stands. Too many good teams puts them in the basement.

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National League West 2017 Season Preview

Call us crazy! We love the Rockies and we think they are going to shock the West. We believe the Dodgers will collapse and the Giants will be battle the Rockies for the NL West crown.

Colorado Rockies
Biggest Additions: Ian Desmond
Biggest Losses: Boone Logan
Achilles Heel: Pitching but isn’t it always.
Kandy says: The Rockies thump their way to the NL West crown and shock ESPN’s experts.

San Francisco Giants
Biggest Additions: Mark Melancon
Biggest Losses: OF Angel Pagan
Achilles Heel: Starting Pitchers 4/5
Kandy says: Manager Bruce Bochy is one of the game’s best and he’ll find a way for the Giants to sneak into the postseason.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Biggest Additions: Logan Forsythe
Biggest Losses: Howie Kendrick
Achilles Heel: Sophomore Slump
Kandy says: Too much hype on this team, look for shortstop Corey Seager and manager Dave Roberts to suffer sophomore slumps.

San Diego Padres
Biggest Additions: P Trevor Cahill, Jered Weaver, Jhoulys Chacin
Biggest Losses: P Tyson Ross. His departure is bigger than most people realize.
Achilles Heel: Empty Petco Park. It is tough for a team to stay motivated playing in an empty stadium.
Kandy says: Don’t read too much into Spring Training but the Padres bats have been thumping all Spring.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Biggest Additions:P Taijuan Walker
Biggest Losses: 2B Jean Segura
Achilles Heel: Bullpen
Kandy says: One more dismal season in the season sets the Diamondbacks up for a rebound in 2018.

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