Chicago another region outside mid-Atlantic with optimistic starts in 2016

The Nationals and Orioles are giving mid-Atlantic baseball fans reasons to believe this season is going to be special. But this isn't the only region that's excited about how the first three weeks have gone. Check out Chicago. The Cubs, picked by many to win their first World Series since 1908, are leading the National League Central, and the White Sox - the team from ... read more

Answers to some pressing early-season baseball questions

You have questions and we have answers: Q: How does Daniel Murphy like playing for the Nationals, given he was with the rival Mets last season? A: Murphy has fit in perfectly, and how could any one argue with his production? Another contribution from Murphy: He's met with each of the Nationals pitchers to give them scouting reports on how the Mets viewed them last ... read more

Is MLB's new slide rule too severe?

Major League Baseball is trying to make sliding plays at second base safer, but, as the season starts, the debate has shifted to whether MLB has gone overboard with regulations. This started in October's playoffs when the Dodgers' Chase Utley slid late into second base and broke the leg of Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. A rules committee was formed. Now there are rules that put ... read more

Some predictions for the 2016 season

As the season opens, here are thoughts, predictions and tips on how the season is going to go: * The Nationals are going to win the National League East by eight games over the Mets. Outside of Bronson Arroyo, what problems have there been? The offense will be much improved with the left-handed bats of Daniel Murphy and Ben Revere - players who seldom strike ... read more

Digging deeper into possible AL storylines for the coming season

Has there ever been a season where the three American League divisions have been more wide open? The Orioles, in the postseason in 2012 and 2014, spent more than $200 million to keep a talented roster together, and they are going to need all of that to contend in the AL East. The defending champion Toronto Blue Jays have firepower, but questions in the rotation. ... read more

Breaking down the National League storylines for 2016

As the Nationals enter their 12th season in Washington, they'll have a new manager, Dusty Baker, who is trying to get over the same hurdle as the team itself. Baker, at 66 the second-oldest manager in the majors behind the Mets' Terry Collins, is trying to win his first World Series ring as a manager. He came close in 2002 when his Giants lost the ... read more

Blast off: Could powerful O's order make home run history?

The Orioles are loaded with home run hitters this season and could have a history-making power lineup. The Orioles have a chance to be the first team in history to have five players with at least 30 home runs. In fact, there could be six. Count 'em. Chris Davis hit 47 last season, Manny Machado 35, Adam Jones 27. Jonathan Schoop hit 15 in 86 ... read more

Looking at position battles, including Trea Turner's shot as the Nats' shortstop

At 22, Trea Turner is one of the Nationals' top prospects after arriving in a trade from the San Diego Padres. He hit .322 in 116 games for three minor league teams in two organizations last season. And with Ian Desmond now the Texas Rangers left fielder, Turner is the Nationals shortstop of the future. The question is, "When will the future begin?" The answer ... read more