There may still be temperatures below freezing, and even some snow on the ground, but it’s still baseball season and today is still Opening Night for hopefully an awesome MLB season…
Last season was a great one ending with the Royals taking it all, and snapping their 30 year World Series drought beating the ‘Amazins last October. The Cubbies, Mets and Astros ended their continuous losing campaigns, with winning seasons and playoff appearances for the first time in years.
This season can be the year of rising young teams, who can show the baseball world who they really are for the years coming. We’re all expecting an awesome, action-packed year of baseball so here is my 2016 ColeOnSports Baseball preview…
AL EAST: The TORONTO BLUE JAYS are my pick in the AL East. Now with a full season with the upgraded squad, they can beat out the powerful Red Sox, Yankees and struggling Rays, and Orioles.
AL CENTRAL: The KANSAS CITY ROYALS are my pick in the AL Central. Despite losing 2B Ben Zobrist, a key part of their 2016 World Series team- they are still the defending champs and have a solid team, but there isn’t a big chance of a repeat, with the fact that they’ve been in the World Series the past 2 years. The Indians are my sleeper pick to have a chance of taking the division but a wild card berth is much more realistic for their rising team.
AL WEST: The HOUSTON ASTROS are my pick in the AL West. The Astros built a strong young team last season led by OF George Springer, 2016 AL MVP candidate Carlos Correa, 2B Jose Altuve and CY Young SP Dallas Kuechel. This Astros team is a World Series favorite in 2016 and are dangerous. The Texas Rangers are another sneaky good team and will probably take the first Wild Card spot with AL ROY candidate Joey Gallo.
NL EAST: The NEW YORK METS are my pick to win the NL East. The defending NL Champs are hungry for another postseason run, after blowing the World Series last year behind poor play and key errors. The pitching staff is historically good and can potentially build into 3-4 true aces leading them through the seasons. The bullpen and lineup still have some holes but securing a superstar in Yoenis Cespedes and finding their closer in Jerryus Familia is key. The Nationals need to be consistent to live up to their high expectations and it’s a good sign that a proven manager in Dusty Baker is under the helm with this team which will lean on smart decisions. The Marlins are also a young team who can possibly get a wild card spot if they stay consistent and healthy.
NL CENTRAL: The CHICAGO CUBS are my pick to win the NL Central. Watch out for the Cubbies MLB because the drought may be over after this year. The Cubs have a young, powerful team with CY Young SP Jake Arietta and Jon Lester, 3B Kris Bryant, IF Addison Russell and new additions in OF Jason Heyward and 2B Ben Zobrist. Joe Maddon coached this team great last season leading to his COTY honors and the Cubs advanced to the NLCS and were swept by the Mets. The Cardinals are right behind and will definitely clinch the wild card and 2nd place for the division.
NL WEST: The SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS are my pick to win the NL West. Yes, it is an even or other year which means the Giants are going to win the World Series right? Well, probably not but they still have their core team led by Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner. The Dodgers are my pick to have a disappointing season after losing SP Ace Zach Grenkie to Arizona this offseason.
AL WILD CARD PICKS:
NL WILD CARD PICKS:
Playoff Time now…
RANGERS over INDIANS
CARDINALS over NATIONALS
ASTROS over RANGERS
BLUE JAYS over ROYALS
METS over CARDINALS
CUBS over GIANTS
ASTROS over BLUE JAYS
CUBS over METS
CUBS over ASTROS
Yup, the CHICAGO CUBS are my pick to win the World Series after an 108 year drought… It’s bold, but 100% possible…
Finally, here are my award predictions…
AL ROY: Joey Gallo (TEX)
NL ROY: Corey Seager (LAD)
AL MOTY: A.J. Hinch (HOU)
NL MOTY: Terry Collins (NYM)
AL CY: Dallas Kuechel (HOU)
NL CY: Jacob deGrom (NYM)
AL MVP: Mike Trout (LAA)
NL MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
Check out @ColeOnSports on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates throughout the season! Thank you and happy opening day!