I guess the 2014 Major League Baseball season actually started last week wen the Dodgers took two from the Diamondbacks down in Australia but I certainly don’t recognize that and I’m guessing you don’t either. If Major League Baseball wants to really get the fans involved then they’d do more to make Opening Day a bigger deal.
Last night was technically opening day in the US and the game again featured the Dodgers. Today, is the real Opening Day as it always should have been. Here is my take on the upcoming season.
The Boston Red Sox are your defending World Series Champions and their defense will be anything but easy. Within their own division, the rival Yankees have restocked by pilfering Jacoby Ellsbury from them. The Tampa Bay Rays will be just as much of a threat in the East and I believe this is your division winner with one exception.
If the injury bug hits Evan Longoria and others again then the Rays will suffer. Otherwise, I like them to win the division. Both Boston and New York will vie for the wild-card spots and very likely could grab both but New York has health issues too that could cost them.
In the Central, the Detroit Tigers should again win the division yet I expect it to be another struggle to put away both Cleveland and rising Kansas City. Although the Tigers said goodbye to Prince Fielder, the line-up should remain strong and so too should the pitching staff. Kansas City will again be better and I believe will be a threat to both the Tigers and the AL wild-card race.
Cleveland has been able to hang around a bit in recent years and should do so again but I still anticipate a two, if not one, team race in the American League Central Division.
The West should be better overall with the additions that have happened in Seattle, but I still expect the Oakland A’s to take the division behind really good hitting and perhaps even better pitching. Texas will be a threat as they welcome Fielder to the line-up but how far can the pitching take them?
The Angels will have to be better in the pitching department in order to be a factor in the West. The offense will ride with Mike Trout but will Albert Puljos and Josh Hamilton be able to stay healthy for a full season?
AL Predictions: East – Rays, Central – Tigers, West – A’s, Wild-Cards Red Sox, Royals, AL Champs – A’s
The NL East still runs through Atlanta until the Washington Nationals can prove that they can knock the Braves from their perch. I expect that this division will be a dogfight all season long and I expect that it goes down to the wire between these two. Philadelphia is a potential threat but a lot as to go right.
The Central Division gave us a wonderful race last year with the Cardinals edging out the Pirates for the division title. The two teams then gave us a great five-game series before the Cards eventually advanced. I expect St. Louis to do well again and because the Prates did little in the offseason, I see a step back for them. Cincinnati could be a threat here too.
The West is going to be the Dodgers and everyone else. This doesn’t mean the Giants and D-Backs can’t be threats but I just don’t see how anyone will be able to hang with LA for 162 games with the pitching and hitting they currently have.
NL Predictions: East – Washington, Central – St. Louis, West – LA Dodgers, Wild-Cards – Atlanta, San Francsico