Another MLB season kicks off in the USA tonight with ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball featuring the Dodgers and Padres. If that match up sounds boring to you, well then I am sure you are not the only one. However there will still be countless others to watch the rest of the season which is about 5-6 months long and there will surely be great match ups, surely Red Sox vs Yankees, Braves vs Nationals, Cardinals vs Reds battles come to mind in terms of good rivalry games to mark on the calender.
This season also marks the last season for the New York Yankees Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter who is retiring at the end of the season, so you can expect a farewell tour similar to Mariano Rivera’s for DJ when the season hits cities that will see him for the final time, which will probably start early in the season with inter league play starting as soon as the season starts since there is always at least one inter league series going at one time.
But here is how I see the seeing breaking down.
RED INDICATES WILD CARD TEAMS
Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees
I think the Yankees will come back strong, they went out and spent money on some good talent. The biggest concern for the Yankees could be injury with McCann and Ellsbury having injuries in the past, it could be an interesting season for them. If their big name signings stay healthy the Yankees could be a strong contender to win a World Series. The rest of the AL East did not do enough to compete with the Yankess, and that is in part due to the fact that the Yankess and Red Sox are two power house teams on paper and on the budget sheets.
In the Central it is easy to say that the Tigers will be the best team, but the rest is complicated because for some reason I still believe Kansas City is good enough to be second in the AL Central if there young players lived up to their potential, but I had to put the Indians number two because they are so well coached and possibly a bit better than Kansas City right now.
Out West it seems to be Oakland lately and I don’t see any reason as to why that would change. As long as Oakland has good pitching (when don’t they?) they will be in contention. Another thing that the A’s have going for them is Pujols and Hamilton (more so Pujols) have yet to make that big of an impact on the end results. It isn’t fair to point out two high priced signings and not mention Seattle and Robinson Cano, that will be an interesting team to watch. Can Robby Cano be good enough to lift the Mariners to a playoff spot? I don’t believe so.
New York Mets
Out West the Dodgers look to be the cream of the crop, and it is about time because they’ve spent half of a billion, yes with a B, over the last couple of years on their roster so it is easy to see how they could be the expected leaders of the NL West. Arizona and San Francisco will most likely end up fighting for a playoff spot come late in the season, and with the addition of Mark Trumbo the D-Backs line up got even scarier. The biggest question for Arizona could be the pitching, in particular the bullpen.
In the Central the Cardinals look to be the clear division winners, however teams like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati will compete for second and third in the division. I think the Brewers and Cubs will be far out of the race by seasons end. Though the young players for the Cubs will be fun to watch I think.
Out East is another story because I think this race will go down to the wire between the Nats and Braves, I have the Braves winning the division but I can see the Nationals making a strong push for a division crown, mainly because of heart even though the Braves have the skill down pat.
MVP: Mike Trout
It will be hard to imagine the Angels having any success if Mike Trout fails to deliver another great year this season. If the Angels win the division or even make the playoffs it will most likely be because of Mike Trout’s outstanding talent. Probably the best player to play center field since a young Ken Griffey Jr back in his Seattle days.
Cy Young; Felix Hernandez
Felix is an amazing arm out there for the Mariners and while I see the Mariners struggling, I think they have a world class starting pitcher who doesn’t get enough help from the rest of the team. I have a hard time seeing the Mariners being that great even with the addition of Robinson Cano
MVP: Jason Heyward
At the end of the season the Braves will need Heyward to be a leader, and I think he will be what the Braves want. Heyward is a very talented player who I still think has a high ceiling to reach which is saying a lot considering his current skill set.
Cy Young: Jose Fernandez
I was going to go with Clayton Kershaw but with him stating the season on the DL, it will be hard for him to bounce back I think. Plus I really like this Fernandez kid, he appears to have excellent stuff, he could put up some sick numbers this season.
The New York Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez has been suspended through the 2014 regular season by Major League Baseball. He is being punished for using steroids and lying about it when the MLB asked about it. Rodriguez is said to be appealing the suspension. Rodriguez joins 12 other players who were suspended earlier on Monday including Texas’ Nelson Cruz, Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta and Seattle’s Jesus Montero.
There were 12 players suspended by Major League Baseball in regard to its Biogenesis case, absent from the list is Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez who faces a suspension through the end of the 2014 season for his role in the Biogenesis case AND he is believed to have been untruthful about his involvement. Below is the list of players suspended for 50 games in the Biogenesis case.
- Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers outfielder.
- Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres shortstop.
- Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers shortstop.
- Antonio Bastardo, Philadelphia Phillies reliever.
- Jordany Valdespin, New York Mets outfielder.
- Francisco Cervelli, Yankees catcher.
- Jesus Montero, Seattle Mariners catcher.
- Cesar Puello, New York Mets outfield prospect.
- Fautino De Los Santos, San Diego Padres pitching prospect.
- Sergio Escalona, Houston Astros pitching prospect.
- Fernando Martinez, New York Yankees outfield prospect.
- Jordan Norberto, free-agent pitcher.
More fallout is expected soon and we’ll have updates on that as it happens.
This week is very interesting for Major League Baseball, the league has a series of home and home series. This is the first time I can ever recall to back to back series against the same teams in different cities. Teams such as St. Louis/Kansas City, New York/New York, Boston/Philadelphia, Washington/Baltimore for example will play two games per series in each city in their respective home and home series’.
So if this is something you want to catch it starts tonight and runs through Thursday.