The time has arrived at last: It's opening day for Major League Baseball!
OK, so the Nationals (like most clubs) don't open until Monday, when they face the Braves in Atlanta. But for the first time, there are three MLB games on the Sunday slate (Cardinals-Pirates, Blue Jays-Rays, Mets-Royals) so the season does officially get underway today.
Which means it's time to make some predictions. What follows are purely my own thoughts. For those who have been reading me over the years and are wondering about my annual Nats beat writer season predictions, rest assured they'll be posted Monday morning for your entertainment and amusement. For today, it's just my predictions for all of baseball: How each division will look at season's end, who will win the major Baseball Writers' Association of America awards and how the postseason will play out.
Most of this, of course, will never come true. (For the record, last year I predicted the Mariners would win the World Series over the Nationals. How'd I do?) But we might as well take some stabs at this, and definitely check back in October to see how it all worked out.
2. Nationals (WC)
2. Pirates (WC)
NL Rookie of the Year: Corey Seager, Dodgers
NL Cy Young Award: Jose Fernandez, Marlins
NL MVP: Bryce Harper, Nationals
NL wild card game: Nationals over Pirates
NLDS: Cubs over Nationals, Giants over Mets
NLCS: Giants over Cubs
1. Blue Jays
2. Rays (WC)
4. Red Sox
5. White Sox
2. Rangers (WC)
AL Rookie of the Year: Byron Buxton, Twins
AL Cy Young Award: Chris Archer, Rays
AL MVP: Carlos Correa, Astros
AL wild card game: Rays over Rangers
ALDS: Astros over Rays, Blue Jays over Royals
ALCS: Blue Jays over Astros
World Series: Blue Jays over Giants