If you gamble on Major League Baseball, we respect your fortitude. Every year, heavy favorites collapse due to pressure, general underachieving, crushing injuries, or a combination of all three. There is simply no way for MLB prediction models to anticipate these variables (yet). By the end of the season, most fans’ minds are blown at what took place over the past six months.
Heck, even the MLB insiders who spent their lifetimes in and around the game cannot predict baseball with any degree of certainty. It doesn’t just happen with preseason predictions, either. Any fan who read second-half forecasts at the All-Star Break may have wondered how the experts saw the future so clearly. For example: The teams slumping before the break could make trades before the deadline, right?
In fact, the trade storm already began in earnest with the Cubs, Yankees, and Washington Nationals making big moves in mid-July. Elsewhere, teams who looked dead as recently as June have stormed back into the race with their players finding their way through slumps. Consider it our annual reminder to take nothing for granted in baseball. Here are six teams we thought were buried but still have a shot at the playoffs in 2017.