It’s the second week in April, and that means it’s baseball season.
2013 ended with the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals. This season, the Red Sox will look to reclaim the title, but they will have a target on their back.
The East looks to be the most competitive division in the American League.
The Red Sox will look to repeat as World Series champions, and have made few changes to their roster. The Yankees are coming off an offseason where they spent a grand total of $471 million dollars, acquiring several all-stars including Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, and Japanese sensation Masahiro Tanaka.
The Tampa Bay Rays had a terrific season last year finishing 92-71 and went on to win one of the two wild card spots. They are a team on the rise with a young core of players who will look to do damage in the AL.
The middle tier of the AL East is the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles proved that they were capable of winning games in a difficult AL East and finished the season 85-77.
Toronto is in the toughest spot in the division. The Blue Jays have some good talent on their roster, but fail to capitalize on their potential. With a slim chance to compete, they are hoping they won’t be the bottom dwellers for the second year in a row.
In the National League, the West is the top division.
The class of the division is the Los Angeles Dodgers. After an NLCS loss last year, the Dodgers will look to make a run to the World Series. They are led by Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and Cuban phenom Yasiel Puig who looks to improve on his breakout rookie year and become a superstar.
The next two teams in the NL West that could make a run to the playoffs are the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants.
After a mediocre 81-81 season, the Diamondbacks are looking to become more than just a .500 team and unseat the Dodgers for the top spot in the division. The Giants also look to bounce back after a less than stellar season finishing tied for third in the division with 76 wins. 2012 MVP Buster Posey is determined to get this team back on track and back to the World Series.
The San Diego Padres and the Colorado Rockies will probably be on the outside looking in this season. Both teams have talent, but not enough to move past the top three teams. Look for both teams to become sellers come trade deadline time.
Throughout the baseball season there are several teams who come out of nowhere and surprise people with how well they are playing, also known as sleeper teams.
The Kansas City Royals and the Seattle Mariners are the two teams to watch for in the AL.
Kansas City is coming off of their best season in years and have an abundance of youth playing well enough at the major league level to push the Detroit Tigers out of top spot in the AL Central.
The Seattle Mariners are coming off an offseason where they acquired maybe the biggest prize on the free agent market in Robinson Cano. Even with this acquisition, people are still looking at the Los Angeles Angels to run away with the division. The Mariners will look to fly under the radar and be a very competitive team.
There are only a handful of teams that can make it to the playoffs. There will be some very good teams that will be left watching them from home. Expect the Tigers, Red Sox, Angels, A’s and Royals to make it to October for the AL, and the Cardinals, Dodgers, Nationals, Pirates and Reds to come out of the NL.
After these teams beat up on each other in the ALDS and ALCS, two teams will stand head and shoulders above the others. Look for the Dodgers and the Red Sox to meet in the Fall Classic with the Dodgers coming out on top in seven games.