Ahhh Opening Day is finally here. It's about fucking time. No offense to basketball fan but since football ended in early February I've been counting down the days till America's past time. Baseball makes the nuts tingle. The crack of the bat. The smell of tobacco spit. The A-Rod suspension. Nuts tingle just thinking of it.
Here are my division predictions. If you got a problem with it you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Orioles - From top to bottom they have the best lineup in all of baseball once Manny Machado comes back in April. The additions of Nelson Cruz and David Lough add power and speed. They have the best defense and the pitching depth is finally there for them to contend for a World Series.
2. Rays - Tampa might not have a huge payroll like the Yankees and Red Sox but they got a ton of pitching and it should help them win a Wild Card. Joe Maddon will get this team to 92 wins.
3. Red Sox - The defending World Series Champs are coming off an improbable magical season but have huge question marks at SS and CF. Their starting rotation should once again be very good but I think their bullpen will falter a good bit. One can't expect Koji Uehera to again put up a once in a century stat line.
4. Yankees - The Yankees dished out a billion dollars or so it seems in the offseason to free agents Tanaka, Ellsbury, Beltran and McCann and on paper it looks like it should make a major improvement to the roster. The problem is the youngest regular starter is McCann and he isn't a spring chicken. Jeter is in his final season. Mo is gone. CC has cancer. In another division I could see taking the Yankees to make the playoffs but the AL East is too tough.
5. Blue Jays - Their rotation is borderline horrid. Unless some young guys step up I don't see them winning 80 plus games. Stick with the hockey.
1. Royals - Don't laugh. The Royals are the real deal. They got a bunch of young players hitting their prime years and they play great defense. With the Tigers faltering a little bit I like Kansas City to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1980's.
2. Indians - The Tribe are coming off one of their best seasons in nearly a decade and appear to be getting better. If they had a couple of more arms I would take them over the Royals. Would not surprise me at all to see the Indians win the division.
3. Tigers - I know I'm going to get some shit with this prediction but the Tigers could be in serious trouble. No Fister or Fielder plus they have had some devastating injuries in Spring Training. Verlander is questionable and their bullpen looks like a train wreck waiting to happen just on paper.
4. White Sox - Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu have future super star potential written all over their bodies but the rest of the Sox roster looks questionable at best. In a couple of years the SouthSide team could be a serious contender. Not this year though. They will be shitty.
5. Twins - How's that Joe Mauer contract treating you? The Twinkies are a mess. Good luck not losing 90.
1. Angels - They got the best player in the game in Mike Trout and I expect big bounce back seasons from Pujols and Hamilton. The key is their rotation and I think it will be one of the best in the West.
2. A's - Oakland is a lot like the Rays. They have great clubhouse chemistry and seem to try harder than other teams by hustling and playing great defense. I see them stealing a Wild Card from the Indians and Red Sox in the last weekend of the season.
3. Rangers - Texas reminds me a lot of Detroit. Too many injuries and question marks at certain positions make them vulnerable. With that being said it wouldn't surprise me at all to see them win the division if their rotation gets healthy.
4. Astros - There really is no good reason why I have them not picked for last in this division other than I think they play the underdog role to their advantage all season.
5. Mariners - One month into the season they will be regretting the Robinson Cano signing.
1. Nationals - I'm taking the Nats over the Braves because of their rotation. Plus their bullpen should be strong. Bryce Harper will put up MVP numbers.
2. Braves - Ton of question marks with the rotation losing Medlen, Beachy, and Huddy. Minor is injured and Ervin Santana should be ready soon but I see them struggling out of the gate. Braves have the best bullpen in the majors and their lineup is the best in the division which will help secure a Wild Card spot
3. Marlins - No offense other than Stanton but their pitching has the potential to be the best in the division.
4. Mets - No Miracle in these guys as they are headed for a sixth straight losing season. The good news is they don't finish in the cellar...
5. Phillies - I see the potential for a 100 loss season. They are old. New manager. They are already bickering. Let's see how many sellouts they have with shitty baseball in Philly.
1. Cardinals - From top to bottom in their roster they have the 2nd best team in the NL behind the Dodgers. I think they win the Central easily by 8 plus games.
2. Reds - Losing Choo hurts but I think Billy Hamilton will be one of the better stories to follow all season as he goes for over 100 stolen bases for the first time in decades.
3. Pirates - McClutch is coming off a MVP season and the Pirates broke their consecutive losing season streak by making the playoffs. Unfortunately I'm not ecstatic about their starting rotation. Too young.
4. Brewers - I expect Ryan Braun to be booed excessively on the road. Other than that I have no expectations for the Brew Crew.
5. Cubs - Sorry Lovable Losers you still have a couple of more seasons before I can even consider you guys close to being good.
1. Dodgers - The team with the highest payroll is also the best team in baseball. Anything less than a World Series Title is a disappointment. The pressure could crush them.
2. Giants - They will win the Wild Card because they got a tremendous amount of pitching. Other than Posey and Sandoval their lineup looks questionable.
3. DBacks - Any team with Martin Prado on the roster is a team I can pull for.
4. Padres - They got a lot of young potential stars in their lineup. Chase Headley is in his contract year which means he will put up huge numbers because money is very important. Makes sense right?
5. Rockies - Don't worry Colorado fans. Your baseball team may suck but at least your microbrews are plentiful and the Broncos seasons will be kicking off in only 5 months.
AL MVP - Mike Trout
AL CY YOUNG - Yu Darvish
AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - Masahiro Tanaka
COMEBACK PLAYER - Josh Hamilton
MANAGER OF THE YEAR - Buck Showalter