It's Opening Day, a date often marked by guesses about what's going to happen in the coming months, made on the off chance that one stumbles upon a couple correct ones. I think I know a pretty fair amount about baseball, which will make it funnier when I'm wrong.
- Cleveland** (WC)
- Kansas City
Might as well get that one out of the way first. I'm more optimistic about the upcoming season than I have been on any Opening Day in years, but there's still a limit to my optimism. While I can envision the White Sox or Royals making a run at the division crown, I expect it to be a two-team race in the season's final weeks. The Tribe keep it close, but finish behind the Tigers.
- Los Angeles** (WC)
This is the closest I come to having a big "upset" among my division winners, as the Angels are generally favored to take the West. I like the Mariners though, because I expect them to give up the fewest runs in the American League, and finally manage enough offense to go with their run prevention.
- Tampa Bay
- New York
I think this is a really tough division to call, because on the one hand, I wouldn't pick any of these teams to win any other division in baseball, and on the other hand, I wouldn't pick any of these teams to finish last in any other division in baseball. I'm holding out for an 81-81 finish from each of the five teams. Any postseason that doesn't include the Yankees is alright in my book, so I sure hope I'm right about that.
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco** (WC)
- San Diego
The Padres spent a fortune to improve the team this offseason, bringing in a brand new outfield, a new ace in James Shields, and baseball's best closer, Craig Kimbrel. I think that's enough to making them Wild Card contenders, nothing more.
- St. Louis
- Pittsburgh** (WC)
There was a ton of chatter this offseason about the Cubs (who did add some real talent) having become contenders. Much of this chatter centers around prospects who have not yet been called up, and while those guys will likely be at Wrigley before the end of April, I still think the team is a year away.
- New York
If I had to bet the farm on one team winning their division this year, it'd be the Nationals. They seem poised to win 95+ games, and I don't expect anyone else in the division to win more than 85. Decide which of Washington's pitchers is their #3 starter, then think about how many teams that guy would be the ace for.
AL MVP: Yan Gomes (a moment of unbridled optimism!)
AL Cy Young: Felix Hernandez
NL MVP: Giancarlo Stanton
NL Cy Young: Stephen Strasburg
Nationals over Mariners