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.
AMERICAN LEAGUE PREDICTIONS
American League East
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
- 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
- Kansas City Royals
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Chicago White Sox
- 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
- Houston Astros
- Texas Rangers
- Seattle Mariners
- Los Angeles Angels
- 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.
NATIONAL LEAGUE PREDICTIONS
National League East
- New York Mets
- Washington Nationals
- Miami Marlins
- Atlanta Braves
- 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
- Chicago Cubs
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Cincinnati Reds
- 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
- San Francisco Giants
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- San Diego Padres
- 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.
AMERICAN LEAGUE AWARDS
Most Valuable Player- Mike Trout
CY Young Award- David Price
Rookie of the Year- Byron Buxton
Manager of the Year- Terry Francona
Relief Pitcher of the Year- Craig Kimbrel
NATIONAL LEAGUE AWARDS
Most Valuable Player- Bryce Harper
CY Young Award- Jacob deGrom
Rookie of the Year- Corey Seager
Manager of the Year- Joe Maddon
Relief Pitcher of the Year- Mark Melancon
WORLD SERIES PREDICTIONS
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.