Another Major League Baseball season is upon us. The long, long journey that is one hundred and sixty-two games is filled with a bunch of facets of the game that we can predict. Stars will shine, double-headers will be played on Sundays, and there will be a whole host of games played in April, in the North, that should never be played.
Yankee broadcasts will annoy me. Mets fans will be panicking if they lose the first game. There will be at least one team everyone is assuming is going to be terrible who will somehow find a way into the playoffs. And there will be at least one team that is supposed to be great but will find their way into the dog days of Summer wondering what could have been.
All of those scenarios will play out, as they typically do throughout a baseball season. Yet, there is still a lot that takes place during the season that we cannot prepare for. Which is why predictions are made:
They have the best pitching in the division, and a healthy Corey Dickerson, Desmond Jennings and Evan Longoria can generate enough offense.
Boston Red Sox
David Price instantly makes the Sox a playoff contender, but the lack of a number 2, 3, and 4 starter will hurt them all year long.
New York Yankees
Too many old guys, but the young guys will give Yankee fans enough to be happy about.
Baltimore just never gets better, enough.
Toronto Blue Jays
A lot of Jays fans are excited about the return of Marcus Stroman, but he is not enough in that rotation. Jays fans will also have to get used to Tulo only playing 120 games (if they are lucky).
Kansas City Royals
Nobody else in this division is strong enough to take it away from the Royals.
It seems like the Indians are still not ready to make that next step.
Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmerman are nice additions, but the Tigers are getting older and older.
Minnesota experienced some successes last year, but the Twins are one young team, with very little pitching.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox traded for Todd Frazier, but the White Sox have very little direction.
Texas rebounded nicely last season, the Rangers will be a real contender in the AL once again.
One year, the Mariners have to click…right?
Los Angeles Angels
Mike Trout is the best in the game, but it matters little.
Just not ready to believe in them again.
Has Billy Beane lost it?
New York Mets
The rotation is too good, and the upgrades up the middle will pay off.
A healthy Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton? Marlins could win 90.
The downward spiral will continue in Washington despite Dusty Baker’s best efforts.
Its going to be a long next few seasons for Philly fans.
With the trades the Braves have made, it shouldn’t be as long for the Braves.
Best offense in baseball and the rotation is better.
St. Louis Cardinals
Because they will never go away.
Neither will the Pirates.
The Brew Crew are looking for a new identity.
As are the Reds.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Kente Maeda could make Dodgers fans forget all about Zach Grienke.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants spent a lot of money this offseason, they are a team on a mission.
The Diamondbacks also spent a lot of money, but they are not quite contenders yet.
San Diego Padres
They are not contenders.
Neither are they.
This is the year where Hosmer reaches statistical expectations.
AL Cy Young
King Felix will remind us why he is King.
Manager of the Year
The Rays are going to surprise a lot of people this year.
Bryant will thrust himself into the conversation with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper as one of the best players in baseball.
NL Cy Young
This is the year where Harvey takes over baseball.
Manager of the Year
Maddon’s Cubs should be the best in baseball.
AL Wild Card: Mariners vs Red Sox
The Mariners return to the playoffs for the first time since 2001 and host the Red Sox and big game pitcher David Price. Except, David Price never pitches well in big games, and the Mariners beat the Sox 5-2.
NL Wild Card: Marlins vs Giants
The Marlins host the Giants and Jose Fernandez tosses a complete game shutout to beat the Giants 2-0. The even year curse of the Giants is broken.
ALDS: Rays vs Mariners
The Rays pitching dominates the Mariners bats, and Seattle can only pitch King Felix so many times. Rays win the series in 5.
ALDS: Rangers vs Royals
The Royals have been unstoppable in the American League Playoffs for the last two seasons. Nobody has been able to stop them. Until now. The Rangers win in 5 thanks to Comeback Player of the Year, Yu Darvish.
NLDS: Cubs vs Marlins
The Cubs are able to overcome their bad memories of 2003, and sweep the Marlins and ease their way into the NLCS.
NLDS: Mets vs Dodgers
The rematch of last season’s NLDS proves to be just as dramatic as Matt Harvey throws a classic to clinch the series over the Dodgers. LA fans have no choice but to wonder if Clayton Kershaw can win the big one.
ALCS: Rays vs Rangers
It may not be the sexiest ALCS of all-time but the Rays and Rangers will be the best two teams that come of the American League. The Rays pitching proves to be too much for the Rangers bats. Rays in five.
NLCS: Mets vs Cubs
They meet again, and again the Mets pitching overwhelms the Cubs hitting. Its not a clean sweep like it was in 2015, but the Mets starting rotation frustrates the Cubs heavy hitters. Once again we have to hear that age old expression “Good pitching, beats good hitting” time and time again.
World Series: Rays vs Mets
In a series where the Mets would be the heavy favorite, it's the Rays that shock the world and come out on top to win the 2016 World Series. Mets fans ban me for life.