Aside from the lone Sunday night game, the Major League Baseball season will be getting under way in less than two hours. Should be a fun afternoon, evening and night planted in front of the TV. If you can’t be lazy on a day like this, when can you be?
Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about the Minnesota Twins season, which starts at 3 p.m. against Detroit. This post will focus on Major League Baseball as a whole.
Before I get started, make sure to pick up Monday’s Forum for comprehensive coverage previewing the Twins and the MLB season. This is one of those cases where the print product provides much more than the online product due to graphics, illustrations, breakouts and the like. Here’s the story with Twins GM Terry Ryan discussing the team’s need for pitching and his offseason spent in pursuit of it.
My predictions for the division races (with playoff teams bolded):
- AL East: Rays, Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles.
- AL Central: Tigers, White Sox, Indians, Royals, Twins.
- AL West: Angels, Rangers, Athletics, Mariners, Astros.
- NL East: Braves, Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Marlins.
- NL Central: Cardinals, Reds, Brewers, Pirates, Cubs.
- NL West: Giants, Dodgers, Padres, Diamondbacks, Rockies.
In the World Series, I’ll take the Rays over the Braves. Love the pitching for both teams (and improved lineups too), and the Giants have shown that the World Series lately has been all about pitching.
Finally, a few more thoughts on the season:
- In the AL East, any one of those teams can win, and any one of them can finish dead last. I’d have to go back to my elementary school days to find a time when the Yankees and Red Sox were in this mediocre state, while the other teams in the division realize it and have tried to make the most of their best chance to win the division.
- The AL Central seems like the Tigers and everyone else. But we all thought that last season too, didn’t we? I’ve been surprised how many national experts have elevated the Royals to second place, and a great many of them have dismissed the White Sox. I know KC added James Shields and Wade Davis, but I just don’t think the Royals are better than the ChiSox and Indians. Cleveland had a great offseason too, adding Micheal Bourn and Nick Swisher. With all of this happening around the Twins, it’s hard for me to not imagine them getting buried in the standings.
- I’m in three fantasy baseball leagues this year, which definitely puts me at capacity. It’s too late for sleeper talk. But among those three leagues, there are a few players I own on multiple teams. Atlanta Braves pitching prospect Julio Teheran is on all three of those teams, and the following are on two: Shin-Soo Choo, Ben Zobrist, Mike Moustakas, Justin Morneau, Yu Darvish and Matt Harvey. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m very high on Morneau this season. At worst, he’ll be a great start against righties. At best, well, you’ve seen how good he can be. As for Teheran, he was the fourth-best prospect in baseball entering 2012, after Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Matt Moore. Good company. Teheran had a disastrous 2012 season. But he has dominated in the spring, so I’ve been willing to reach for him.