Red has a fondness for baseball because it is the only sport (other than MLS) which manages to get in an entire season in the same calendar year. Red was sadly forced to give up his baseball career at an early age because he had a rag arm. Red could hit and run, and more or less field, but unless you play second base, you have to be able to throw decently to progress at baseball. Just ask Steve Sax.
NL Central – Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs really did not lose much from their MLB Championship squad (and no it is not a World Championship). Just try to get a ticket this season.
NL West – San Francisco Giants
The Giants always win in odd years. They still have the best clutch pitcher in baseball in Baumgartner and who else is Red going to pick – the Hated Dodgers?
NL -East – Philadelphia Phillies
What is Red smoking, you ask? The real stuff. Every year one team rises from the ashes of despair. Usually but getting off to a hot start and then hanging on for dear life. Watch out if the Phillies start out 30-15.
Washington Nationals – A really solid club with excellent starting pitching. What’s not to like.
St. Louis Cardinals – The Yankees of the National League can only be held down for so long.
AL -Central – Cleveland Indians
This could be the most competitive division in MLB. Both Detroit and KC are clearly capable of giving the loaded Tribe a run for their money. But maybe just maybe Cleveland’s time has come. Watch out Browns fans.
AL -East – Baltimore Orioles
Orioles were in the playoffs last season, so they won’t surprise anyone. Expect Mark Trumbo and gang to load up on homers again (253 led MLB last season). At times, the O’s did it with smoke and mirrors – 19 stolen bases, horrid outfield defense – but they still did it.
AL – West – Seattle Mariners
The Mariners have fielded pretty damn good teams for several seasons with absolutely nothing to show for it. This year it all clicks.
Houston Astros – A popular pick to win the AL, the Astros could have the best infield in baseball if Guriel is the real deal and Bregman does slump it like a sophomore. The Astros somehow managed to win despite Keuchel stinking and McCullers going down. The bullpen is the key this season. Giles is not a closer. Maybe someone steps up, maybe not.
KC Royals – Still a damn good team.