Will revival of Yankees-Red Sox rivalry be top AL East storyline?

The trendy analysis for the American League East is that the Boston and New York are going to battle for the title, bringing back the usual intensity that goes with a Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. But when does the obvious ever happen in baseball? The Orioles, who had five consecutive .500 or better seasons before their last-place finish in 2017, will contend if they can rebuild ... read more

Brewers look to compete with Cubs in NL Central and return to postseason

The Cubs have a revamped rotation to go with a lineup that features Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, two hitters that are potential National League MVP candidates. Their biggest competition in the NL Central could be the Brewers, who had 86 victories last season and have a legitimate shot to make the postseason for the first time since 2011. But the Cardinals, who had 100, ... read more

Indians taking run at third consecutive AL Central title

After losing the 2016 World Series in seven games and the 2017 Division Series to the Yankees in five games, the Cleveland Indians hope to take a run at a third consecutive American League Central championship. But their biggest competition comes from the Twins, a wild card team in 2017 that has added six players, including five pitchers, two of them starters. The White Sox ... read more

NL West looms as toughest division in majors

The National League West arguably is the toughest division in baseball. Last year, three teams made the postseason with the Dodgers losing to the Astros in the World Series. Now, can the Dodgers win another title by fighting off a World Series hangover after losing Game 7 to Houston in November? Do they have enough pitching to have a second consecutive triple-digit win season? And ... read more

Defending World Series champion Astros remain favorites in AL West

Who says rebuilding lasts forever? It only seems to be the case. The Astros, who had 100-loss seasons each year from 2011 to 2013, won their first World Series last season. This season, they are the favorite to win the American League West. And they could be the first team since the 1999-2000 New York Yankees to win consecutive World Series. In the rest of ... read more

Arrieta acquisition could help Phillies contend

The question looms in the National League East: Who has the best chance to challenge the favored Nationals, who won the title in 2017 by 20 games over the second-place Miami Marlins? The Marlins have no chance. The Mets are banking on the health of pitchers Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard to help Jacob de Grom in the rotation. The Braves' and the Phillies' hope ... read more

With camps set to open, checking out some pitching storylines

As pitchers and catchers open spring training camps this week in Arizona and Florida, here's a look at the pitching storylines: Question: How will the Angels use Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese pitcher that wants to be a hitter and pitcher? Answer: Angels manager Mike Scioscia won't reveal specifics, but Ohtani will pitch and then be in the lineup between starts. Ohtani, 23, who signed for ... read more

Notes on the newest Hall of Fame class and voting

The Baseball Writers' Association of America did a pretty good job with their latest Hall of Fame ballot. They elected Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman and Chipper Jones, and held off Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. They could have done better by electing Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Omar Vizquel - and even long shot Fred McGriff - but maybe those guys will make it ... read more