Twenty-six of the thirty Major League Baseball teams opened up today. This was a great move by Major League Baseball. Everyone opened up today, and the four squads that did not were supposed to, but the weather wouldn’t cooperate in Detroit or Cincinnati. This was a throwback to the olden days when all of the teams opened on the same day. This year there were no games halfway around the world two weeks before spring training ends. There also were no Sunday Night openers for ESPN to get the spotlight. By the way, what is that Sunday Night Opening day for baseball?
This year I am personally excited for the season since my hometown team, the Cleveland Indians, are in their window of winning a championship. Two years ago they lost in Game 7 of the World Series after leading 3-1 to the Chicago Cubs, and last year they won 100+ games including a 25 game win streak. Unfortunately they lost in the first round to the New York Yankees. The Tribe this year returns a lot of familiar faces, such as Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and Edwin Encarnacion along with pitchers Cory Kluber, Andrew Miller, and Cody Allen. The biggest asset they may possess is their manager, Terry “Tito” Francona, who in my humble opinion is the best manager in the Major Leagues. Tito has been the face of the franchise since he got here five years ago. He has developed the young talent that he has been given and also managed the lineup to perfection. The Indians always finish the season strong, as Francona has them getting better with every passing month of the season.
Today the first game of the year saw the Cubs defeat the depleted Marlins by a score of 8-4, as Cishek defeated Urena. Fly the W tonight Paul! In other games today, the Mets beat the Cardinals behind a strong performance by the newly cropped Noah Syndergaard, btw Michael and Dad, the Mets will probably go 162-0 this year! The defending champion Houston Astros, behind a strong outing by Justin Verlander, started the year with a win 4-1 over the Rangers. The Yankees opened with a win over the Blue Jays, while the Red Sox suffered a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays to open the season. The San Francisco Giants beat Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers today 1-0. The most exciting thing that happened today was Matt Davidson of the Chicago White Sox hitting three home runs in a 14-7 rout of the Kansas City Royals. This is shaping up to be a great season of Major League Baseball. I can not wait to see who the breakout stars are this year, with Davidson obviously kicking that door down on day 1.
My early picks for the American League are:
- East – Yankees
- Central – Indians
- West – Astros
- First Wild Card – Red Sox
- Second Wild Card – Minnesota
- East – Nationals
- Central – Cubs
- West – Dodgers
- First Wild Card – San Francisco Giants
- Second Wild Card – New York Mets
World Series Participants:
Cleveland Indians vs Los Angeles Dodgers
World Series Winner:
Great pitching, good lineup, and the best manager in baseball. Put the champagne on ice Cleveland, that parade is going to put the Cavs parade to shame and I can’t wait!!!