Going.. Going.. Gone!


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Major League Baseballs used at Spring Training

   With the upcoming MLB season underway it’s time  to take a deeper look into each division and make a brief review and assume a winner of each division and wild card appearance. In the MLB there are two leagues split into three divisions each, the east, west and central.

   First let’s talk about the AL (American League) East. The AL east has been dominated by the New York Yankees for years now and they don’t show any signs of stopping with the offensive powerhouse of a lineup they possess. They are also able to limit the amount of runs other teams can score by their dominant veteran bullpen. Without the Yankees the rest of the AL East has some great potential with the very talented rosters of the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Rays and Toronto Blue Jays. Meanwhile the Baltimore Orioles are in a rebuilding phase so I am not expecting much out of them this season.

   Now, on to the AL Central. It is always a toss up on who wins the division because every team is very evenly matched in offense and defense. Teams like the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals always seem to just beat the other teams by a handful of games by the end of the regular season. 

   But it may not be that way for long with the Cleveland Guardians and their explosive young lineup taking the league by storm, players like José Ramirez and Oscar Gonzalez who have exceeded all expectations in their very young and promising careers. 

   Now the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins are in a weird spot when it comes to where they will be by the end of the season. With Detroit being in a full rebuild and the Twins only needing a key star player, and more depth in their bullpen to turn the tides on their record. 

   And finally in the American League, we go to the west. The AL west is arguably the most boring division in the MLB because four out of the five teams are in a rebuilding phase. The Houston Astros are the reigning World Series Champions and have run the AL West for years. 

   With stars all over the field in José Altuve, World Series MVP rookie Jeremy Peña, Alex Bergman, and Yordan Alvarez. Then the other teams in the west are in desperate need of help. The LA Angels, who have two of the best players in baseball at this time, landed third in the division with a 73-89 record.     

   The Texas Rangers and Oakland A’s have been in rebuild for many years with Texas finishing 68-94 and Oakland finishing 60-102. Now Seattle has finally broken their streak of years without going to the playoffs with a record of 90-72. Seattle has a bright future if they can land a great draft and off-season pickups.

    Now on the other League making up the MLB the NL (National League) has some very entertaining baseball, especially in the postseason.

    First for the NL, The East. The NL East consists of the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, and Washington Nationals.

    The Braves ultimately won the division and the Mets and Phillies gained Wildcard spots. Three out of five teams in the division made the playoffs. Miami and Washington both are very young teams so I assume that they will be very solid teams in the upcoming years.

   Now on to the NL Central consisting of the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers , Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and the Pittsburgh Pirates. St. Louis won the division so I expect them to still be solid and maybe win the division again. Not too far behind the Cardinals is the Milwaukee Brewers. Overall the Brewers are a very solid team with former MVP Christian Yelich leading the team to a couple of very solid seasons. At the bottom of the NL Central are the Cubs, Reds, and Pirates. 

   Now the Cubs and Reds are going to probably stay the same but the Pirates have a very bright future with Oneil Cruz the 6 ‘7 shortstop who took the league by storm by throwing the hardest baseball by a middle infielder at 97.8 mph and he hit a baseball 122.4 mph. So the NL Central will stay relatively the same. 

   Onto the final division of the NL West. The Los Angeles Dodgers will have more of a challenge this year because of the San Diego Padres and their talented young roster. With Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado leading the team they have a very promising shot at winning the NL West. The Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and the Colorado Rockies are in tiny rebuilds right now so I don’t expect them to go for a division win this year but that doesn’t mean they can’t do it.

   With the NL West concluding my overview we are in spring training right now so young prospects and returning players are competing for that starting spot. This time of year can be very exciting and is a great determining time for what is to come this season.