Rejoice, baseball fans! The regular season for Major League Baseball is officially back!

As the Baseball Essential team starts our yearly regular season coverage of all 30 teams, some of our writers took the time to vote on their Opening Day predictions for the 2016 season.

Needless to say, it should be another exciting season of baseball. Lets take a look at the Baseball Essential predictions for the 2016 season.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America

Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America


American League East

  1. Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Boston Red Sox
  3. New York Yankees
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Baltimore Orioles

It was a close vote for the top spot in the American League East Division, but our voters think the Toronto Blue Jays will win their second straight division crown. Boston made some big offseason moves this winter, and should challenge Toronto for the top spot in the division.

American League Central

  1. Kansas City Royals
  2. Cleveland Indians
  3. Detroit Tigers
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Minnesota Twins

Out of the American League divisions, the American League Central was one of only two divisions to have three separate teams receiving first place votes. The AL Central should be very competitive, but our writers think the defending World Series Champions will make another appearance in the postseason.

American League West

  1. Houston Astros
  2. Texas Rangers
  3. Seattle Mariners
  4. Los Angeles Angels
  5. Oakland Athletics

After making the postseason as a Wild Card berth in 2015, our writers feel the Houston Astros will take a step forward this year and claim the American League West Division. The Texas Rangers should challenge the Astros for the division crown if they can stay healthy, but the Astros youth and talent clearly makes them the front-runners early on.

American League Wild Card

Boston Red Sox vs Texas Rangers

Based on our writers’ votes, the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers are predicted to meet up in the American League Wild Card one-game playoff.

This could be a really interesting matchup. The Red Sox, who are coming off a down year, made some big adjustments to their roster, while the Rangers, who have a lot of talent, hope to keep their main core healthy throughout the entire 2016 campaign.

A David Price vs. Cole Hamels matchup in a one-game playoff would be an intriguing battle, don’t ya think?

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images North America

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images North America


National League East

  1. New York Mets
  2. Washington Nationals
  3. Miami Marlins
  4. Atlanta Braves
  5. Philadelphia Phillies

After their run to the World Series a year ago, the New York Mets are poised to win the National League East Division for a second straight season.

With an abundance of young talented pitching, the Mets will be a very tough team to beat. Their biggest challenge comes from the Nationals, as they look to rebound after a disappointing 2015 season. New manager Dusty Baker hopes to change the tone in Washington, as this division could come down to the wire as these teams battle it out for the top spot.

National League Central

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates
  3. St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Cincinnati Reds
  5. Milwaukee Brewers

The Chicago Cubs are the clear front-runners in a very talented National League Central Division.

The Cubs are a very young team, and have an abundance of talent that will be hard to match up against. This team has World Series aspirations, but the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals look to ruin the Cubs dreams of ending their World Series drought.

National League West

  1. San Francisco Giants
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks
  4. San Diego Padres
  5. Colorado Rockies

In what should be a very competitive division, the San Francisco Giants edged out the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks for the top spot.

The Giants, who made some big offseason splashes by signing Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, look to continue their streak of winning the World Series every odd year. The Dodgers and newly revamped Diamondbacks should challenge them for the division crown, as both teams have the talent to be serious contenders this season.

National League Wild Card Game

Washington Nationals vs Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates have found themselves in the Wild Card one-game playoff each of the past two seasons, and according to our team, they’ll be in the game for a third straight season.

The big question remains: can the Pirates finally get past the Wild Card game to advance to the playoffs? Well, the fourth time might be a charm!

This time, they are predicted to face the Washington Nationals, who definitely would want the Pirates streak of struggling in the Wild Card game to continue. A Max Scherzer vs Gerrit Cole pitching matchup would be a great battle, and would definitely draw a lot of attention at the start of the postseason.

Rob Tringali/Getty Images North America

Rob Tringali/Getty Images North America


Most Valuable Player- Mike Trout

Other Players Receiving Votes- Mookie Betts, Carlos Correa, Josh Donaldson

CY Young Award- David Price

Other Players Receiving Votes- Carlos Carrasco, Chris Sale, Marcus Stroman

Rookie of the Year- Byron Buxton

Other Players Receiving Votes- Joey Gallo, Byung-ho Park, Blake Snell

Manager of the Year- Terry Francona

Other Managers Receiving Votes- Kevin Cash, John Farrell, A.J. Hinch, Ned Yost

Relief Pitcher of the Year- Craig Kimbrel

Other Players Receiving Votes- Wade Davis, Ken Giles, Andrew Miller

Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America

Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America


Most Valuable Player- Bryce Harper

Other Players Receiving Votes- Kris Bryant, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo

CY Young Award- Jacob deGrom

Other Players Receiving Votes- Jake Arrieta, Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, Tyson Ross, Stephen Strasburg, Noah Syndergaard

Rookie of the Year- Corey Seager

Other Players Receiving Votes- Steven Matz, Trevor Story

Manager of the Year- Joe Maddon

Other Managers Receiving Votes- Terry Collins Clint Hurdle, Dave Roberts

Relief Pitcher of the Year- Mark Melancon

Other Players Receiving Votes- Jeurys Familia, A.J. Ramos, Hector Rondon, Trevor Rosenthal

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America


According to our predictions, the Chicago Cubs World Series drought of over 100 years will finally end in 2016. After tallying the votes, our writers think that the Cubs will be matched up with the Houston Astros in the World Series.

About The Author

Nick is a recent graduate of Felician College in Rutherford NJ, and already has a lot of experience in the Communications field. He spent the 2013 season as the New Jersey Jackals Broadcast and Media Relations Intern, and was promoted to Assistant Media Director in 2014. Before writing for Baseball Essential, Nick served as a Team Correspondent Writer for MLB Reports, and continues to write for them as a Featured Writer. You can follow Nick on Twitter @Nick_Delahanty

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