Opening Day 2019!

If you are living in a cave or you are captivated by March Madness, you may not have noticed that baseball has started. Technically, the season started a couple of weeks ago when the Mariners and A’s opened the season in Japan. However, yesterday was opening day for the remaining 28 teams. Opening day could mean nothing to you but I happen to love the day. Obviously, it marks the beginning of the season but it has other meanings to me. It usually marks the beginning of spring and the thought of warmer weather. The weather brings greener grass and blooming flowers and plants. After the dreary winter months, a little life is always welcome. Baseball is a very long season and many things can happen throughout a season, so let’s take a look at some predictions from the professionals and myself! Who will win it all? What players will be in the running for MVP and Cy Young?

The American League looks a lot like it did last year. It is very top heavy with teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Astros. Those three teams might be the best in baseball. When you look at the expert predictions for the AL East, the Red Sox and Yankees will certainly be selected as the division winners. The AL Central is a very weak division, but the Indians have enough pitching to get through into the playoffs. The Astros should win the AL West again with relative ease. Some of the other teams that could make a run at the playoffs are the Rays, Angels, and Twins.

The National League is wide open. You could argue that two teams in each division could win with some divisions having three teams with a legitimate shot at winning. The NL East should be decided between the Nationals and Phillies. The NL Central figures to be a three team race between the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals. However, the Reds made quite a few significant moves in the offseason to possibly make a push. The Dodgers and Rockies will most likely be the class of the NL West. A few other teams like the Padres, Mets, and Braves could possibly make a push for a wildcard slot.

Baseball has always relied on numbers and statistics to tell a story of how the season plays out. It is changing a little with analytics and advanced metrics becoming popular, but numbers still drive the game. Players that produce large numbers usually end up being in an MVP, Cy Young, or Rookie of the Year race. Check out some of these predictions by the professionals to see what players could win the awards! There are so many great players and pitchers, selecting winners for these categories is almost impossible. Don’t forget that they are selected by sportswriters who could possibly have an agenda and the votes are not always sound.

Picking a winner is a very difficult thing to do. You have a 1/30 shot and you can eliminate at least 10 to 15 teams that have no chance of winning, so your odds will go up. The playoff games can be decided by one player getting red hot and predicting that is impossible. I would like to think the Yankees will be in hot pursuit of title number 28 and the grass is getting greener so life is good!

— Victor Mandalawi