As March comes to close we inch closer and closer to the first pitch of opening day and that means predictions! I’ll be giving my in depth look on every division, WC spot and eventual winner. Many teams are looking forward to the first game because it will be a start of a new journey.
I start with the AL East which consist of the Blue Jays, Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox and Rays. In my honest opinion I feel this division isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. I expect the Blue Jays to win the division and capture the AL top seed. Now don’t get me wrong, the Red Sox have a solid lineup and with the addition of star pitcher David Price. I see them giving the Jays a run, but nothing more. I see the Orioles, as well as the Rays, going nowhere, but I believe the Yankees will be a better team than the Red Sox this season and that’s why I am picking them to be the last Wild Card.
The AL central to me is a very okay division. I have the Royals winning the whole division with a comfortable lead too. The Twins showed some good light, but do not have the hitting since losing Tori Hunter. The Twins have a good young core, but not this year. You can never count out the Tigers either. Verlander and Cabrera highlighting the core. I know they were plagued by injury but I just can’t see them making the playoffs. It really depends on how Zimmerman and Verlander pitch this year. I see the White Sox making little if any noise this year as well as the Indians. None of the teams in this division are bad, they’re just not that great.
Now we talk about how the American League West will be won! The state of Texas will be home to the two best teams in the division for the second straight year as teams from California are going to struggle and I mean struggle. The Angels are lucky that the A’s are in the division because if they weren’t, the Angels would be at the bottom of the barrel. At this point I have the Rangers winning the division. They have a more balanced lineup compared to the Astros but it can go either way actually, and they’ll both make the playoffs.
National League East is the easiest division in baseball. Yeah, the Mets are in it but who else is gonna claim the throne? No one, that’s who. My gut and expert opinion say that the Mets will win the division and by 8+ games even if the Nationals play better, but if they have that end of the season collapse again they’ll get it by 10 games. That brings me to my next point: Why do people think the Nats are all of a sudden going to take charge in the NL? It’s beyond my knowledge but besides good pitching and okay hitting the bullpen still needs work even though it got better. It should be a race between the two as Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia are all in rebuilding mode.
From the worst division to the best, the NL Central. Cubs, Cardinals and pirates that’s all you gotta know. Those three teams are going to be fighting for the top spot and top spot in the N.L. because the winner of this division will be the best team in the NL. We’ve heard the Cubs hype and rumors and what not but need I remind you the last time the cubs were preseason favorites was back in 2004. They failed to make the postseason that year so you know history is not on their side, but throw history out the window because this team can play ball and that they will. They’ll win the division, win 100 games, and get the number one seed in the N.L. The Cardinals on the other hand will have a slight drop off but I see them contending for the division title and with ease I see them getting the first Wild Card spot. Yes the losses of Heyward and Lackey are going to hurt but they still have a great lineup with some pretty young guys too along with Wainwright, Wacha, and Martinez on the mound. This is still one heck of a ball club. Pirates will contend for the wild card spot and will edge out teams the the Dodgers, Nationals and D-backs. Yeah it’s easier said than done but I think they’ll get it.
Now the last division is the NL West and it’s an even year so you know what that means, The Giants will win the division, but in all seriousness, throw out the even year superstition. This team is built to play with a rotation that consist of Bumgarner, Cueto and Samardzija and with hitting that consist of Panik, Pence, Belt, Posey, and Span, it’s built to compete. The Dodgers on the other hand are going to drop off quite a bit. The health of Adrian Gonzalez is unknown and whether or not the bat of Yasiel Puig wakes up is also unknown. Losing Greinke is huge because outside of Kershaw, they don’t have a guy who’s strong on the mound. They won’t be too bad, but they’ll be somewhere around the 80-82 wins mark and that won’t be good enough for playoffs.
In the American League I have the Blue Jays, Rangers, Royals, Astros and Yankees making the playoffs and in the National League I have the Cubs, Mets, Giants, Cardinals and Pirates making it.