By Bryan Stauffer
We said goodbye to the NFL in February ” and hello to the NFL draft hype ” and with the homestretch of the NHL and NBA seasons quickly approaching, the MLB is primed to regain the attention of the sporting world for the next seven months.
The American League is stacked with teams that could make a postseason run, with roughly three teams in each division that could make a case for why they’ll be division champions ” if you think the Yankees have enough pitching to make it in the East, make it four for that division.
The AL East had four teams finish with at least 85 wins last year ” Boston, Tampa Bay, Baltimore and New York. The Central had three teams finish with at least 86 wins ” Detroit, Cleveland and Kansas City ” while the West had two teams finish with at least 91 wins ” Oakland and Texas.
The National League was far less competitive a season ago compared to its AL counterpart.
Only seven teams finished with at least 81 wins, three of which came out of the Central – St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Cincinatti. This allowed teams like Los Angeles and Atlanta, who dominated their respective weaker divisions, to take the crown by at least 10 games.
Considering the numerous offseason transactions made by teams across the league and the fact that no one season is the same as its predecessor, it’s hard to predict how the 2014 season will pan out.
But, hey, let me give it a shot.
AL East: Tampa Bay Rays
AL Central: Detroit Tigers
AL West: LA Angels
AL Wildcard: Boston Red Sox; Texas Rangers
NL East: Washington Nats
NL Central: Pittsburgh
NL West: LA Dodgers
NL Wildcard: St. Louis Cardinals; Atlanta Braves
League Championship Series and World Series:
ALCS: DET over LAA
NLCS: LAD over WAS
WS: DET over LAD
Notes: It’s hard for me to leave Oakland and Clevelend out of the AL playoff picture, but I can’t come to grips with removing either of the five teams I picked. In the NL, determining the division winner in the Central and East was tough; and its even tougher leaving Cincinnati out of the picture. The Tigers and Dodgers are the most balanced teams in baseball, and the result could swing either way. Which $215+ million-dollar man will carry his team to victory: Miguel Cabrera or Clayton Kershaw?
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