The championship starts tomorrow, returning to the 162 pre Covid games. LA champions the team to beat, New York number 1 in American. Watch out for San Diego, Toronto and Chicago White Sox
A return to normality. Almost. While waiting for the ballparks to become fully populated again, probably around August – when the vast majority of the US population will have been vaccinated – the MLB opens the season with a handful of fans in the stands.
And it will be a “normal” championship, that is, made up of the traditional 162 matches. The reigning champions remain the team to beat, those Los Angeles Dodgers who have further strengthened. They will have to beware of the emerging San Diego Padres and the New York Mets, who have spent a lot of money on the latest market. In the American the usual Yankees, but also the Chicago White Sox, also generous during the winter with their wallets open.
The Dodgers have added the last Cy Young winner in the National League, Trevor Bauer. They have such a strong rotation that they have to send David Price into the bullpen. Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Max Muncy and Will Smith bring the creeps in the lineup. The Padres have armored their star, Fernando Tatis Jr., and reinforced the throwing department with Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove. And then they have Manny Machado who is always scary. The Mets don’t have a starter over 30, they got their hands on Francisco Lindor (former Indians shortstop) and added pitchers Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker and Joey Lucchesi. However, they will have to contend with the Atlanta Braves in the same division, who arrived one step away from the World Series last season and reinforced with Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly who will join Ian Anderson, Max Fried and Mike Soroka in the rotation. The two stars remain Ronaldo Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman. In Central, keep an eye on the Cardinals with Nolan Arenado, perhaps the best third baseman in the league, from Colorado.
All lined up behind the Yankees. Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon are the top 3 of a great value rotation. The key will be the health of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton: if they both finally manage to have a healthy season, it will be pains for the rivals. Behind them in the East Division, the Toronto Blue Jays, thanks to the arrivals of George Springer and Marcus Semien. And watch out for the usual Tampa Bay Rays. The White Sox, in search of the divisional title that has been missing since 2008, in addition to the star José Abreu, can count on the arrivals of Liam Hendriks, Lance Lynn and Adam Eaton. The loss of 24-year-old Eloy Jimenes (torn left bib, 5-6 months of absence in sight), however, is a bad blow. To the west, Astros and A’s are expected to compete for the divisional crown. Houston lost Springer but Yordan Alvarez recovers. However, he will need Josè Altuve and Carlos Correa at the top to win. Oakland has focused on experience, adding Elvis Andrus, Trevor Rosenthal, Sergio Romo and Mitch Moreland.
American, East: New York Yankees. Central: Chicago White Sox. West: Oakland A’s. Wild card: Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays. Sample: Yankees.
National, East: Atlanta Braves. Central: St. Louis Cardinals. West: L.A. Dodgers. Wild card: San Diego Padres, New York Mets. Sample: Dodgers.
World Series: Dodgers champions over the Yankees.
March 31 – 10:29
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