By Assane Drame
When the weather starts getting cooler, and the flowers start blooming, it can only mean a few things. And one of those things is Baseball is back! The MLB season of 2015 has started (as of a few days ago) and even though I’m late to the party on predictions (sort of) that does not mean I can’t still make them. So I’ll be making predictions on the division winners in each league and plus I’ll throw in my gut feeling on who will be representing each league in the World Series. Last year we saw the Royals-Giants in a class seven game series in which the Giants won it all. Do I think we will see a repeat from baseballs G-men? Stay tuned.
AL East: 1. Orioles 2. Red Sox 3. Blue Jays 4. Rays 5. Yankees
Even without Nelson Cruz, I think the Orioles should be okay. They’ll get a full season from Manny Machado hopefully which should help them. Plus their other core pieces are back. The Red Sox may surprise a few with their solid rotation (which does not have a true ace). The Blue Jays aren’t bad but I don’t think they can top Boston or Baltimore. The Rays have many of their pitchers on the disabled list so things might not go so well. As for the beloved Yankees, their team is a little too old to make much of an impact right now. I hope Masahiro Tanaka stays healthy though.
AL Central: 1. Tigers 2. Royals 3. White Sox 4. Indians 5. Twins
With the exception of the Twins, any of these teams could win the division. This is one of the better divisions in baseball if not the best. In order for the Tigers to win, their rotation has to step up (looks at Justin Verlander) in the wake of losing Max Scherzer. The Royals need to do the same after losing James Shields and keep the momentum going from last year. The White Sox should hope that their new free agent acquisitions work out. Also, the Indians should try and be a better fielding team from last year.
AL West: 1. Mariners 2. Angels 3. Athletics 4. Astros 5. Rangers
King Felix, Robinson Cano, Tijuan Walker, James Paxton, and new comer Nelson Cruz will lead this team to the promise land. However, they’ll have to keep an eye out on the LA Angels and maybe the Athletics despite the pieces they lost. The Astros are on a come up while the Rangers will hit Rock Bottom.
NL East: 1. Nationals 2. Marlins 3. Mets 4. Braves 5. Phillies
Let’s see, the Nationals clearly have a better roster than all of these teams. They might be World Series favorites. The Marlins are maybe a year away, the Mets need a shortstop and see how Matt Harvey looks. My guess is that the Braves are in rebuild mode which is something the Phillies NEED to do.
NL Central: 1. Pirates 2. Cardinals 3. Cubs 4. Brewers 5. Reds
This might be the year where the Pirates finally get over the hump and things change in the division thanks to their explosive outfield. It would not surprise me if the Cardinals won here who always find a way into the postseason. The Cubs are also on a come up but like the Marlins they’re a year away. The Brewers aren’t thinking contenders unless their pitching gives them somewhat of a shot. As for the Reds, this year won’t be the year.
NL West: 1. Dodgers 2. Padres 3. Giants 4. Diamondbacks 5. Rockies.
The Dodgers did some very good stuff in the off season that should get them a third straight division title. Huh what’s that? The Padres made some moves too? Interesting. What did you say? The Giants in spring training don’t look themselves? Well then, it looks like we have the D-backs and Rockies fighting for the 4th place crown.
World Series: Tigers vs. Dodgers
For the record, in addition to my division winners, I have the Royals, Angles, Cardinals, and Padres making the cut. All of these teams fought valiantly (even the White Sox, Marlins, Red Sox, Giants, and Cubs who I have all missing the cut), but in the end I have Motown city and Southern Cal fighting to be the best in the fall classic.