TL’s MLB Opening Week Review
MLB Opening Week Review
Coming off last year’s season, many new contenders are set to break out this year. With big offseason signings, the Phillies picked up Bryce Harper and they now look to build upon some of the success they had last year in not just getting to the playoffs, but contending for the National League pennant. Other big offseason signings include Manny Machado being sent to the Padres and A.J. Pollock going to the Dodgers. Teams also held on to some of their star players through contract extensions for Mike Trout, which was a record breaking 12-year $430 million dollar deal, and Nolan Arenado with an extension worth 8 years and $260 million. Top teams coming into this year include the defending champion Red Sox, the Dodgers who have made it to two consecutive World Series, the Yankees, Astros, Indians, A’s, and Brewers. Additional contenders this year, after making offseason signings, are include the Cardinals, Cubs, Rockies, Phillies, Braves, and the Rays.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
The Dodgers come back with nearly the same roster as the past two successful with a few additions as well. In the offseason they picked up Joe Kelly and A.J. Pollock. With a powerful lineup full of allstars and an impressive rotation. It should, if everything happens right they should be back in contention for the World Series for the third straight year. Matt Hudson said, “As a fan, I’m excited to see if the Dodgers can finally break through this season as we have made the world series two years in a row now. “Cody Bellinger is off to a hot start so far this year and is looking like an MVP candidate, which could be huge for the team coming down the stretch.”
The Rockies enter a new season on the heels of back-to-back playoff appearances. Colorado has never won a division title or a World Series, and has it had a player go into the Hall of Fame under its banner. After locking up franchise face Arenado during spring training. They look to break the drought and sneak into the wildcard game.
After five years of rebuilding, the Phillies pushed into contention in 2018 before fading, then went out and signed Harper to a 13-year contract as the star of an impressive winter acquisition campaign. The latest golden Phillies age has dawned. For years the Phillies have been a team people looked down on but, after a surprising season last year and a boosted lineup full of young stars this team could again surprise the league and find themselves a playoff spot.
The Braves snapped a four-year streak of losing seasons with an NL East title in 2018. Having quietly entered into and exited a full-on rebuild before the subject of tanking in baseball became such a common thing for teams in order to be successful. With a top-ranked farm system ready to help a roster full of players still savoring the fresh taste of postseason action. The Braves seem to have a team that could sneak into a wildcard game.
The couple two seasons, the Brewers have successfully transitioned from bottom team to become a legit contender. After just missing the postseason in 2017, the Brewers won a 163rd game tiebreaker in Chicago to take the 2018 division title and ended up falling just one game short of the NL pennant. The Brewers look to have familiar faces back this year. To take them deep in the playoffs this year with a powerhouse lineup and shutdown bullpen.
St Louis Cardinals:
The Cardinals haven’t had a losing season since 2007, but after finishing three straight seasons out of the playoffs. The front office, which went out and traded for a favorable MVP threat in Paul Goldschmidt. Then late in spring training, signed him to a contract extension. This this addition, it puts them in contention to go to the playoffs this year and be a contender.
The Cubs have the same team that won them a world series back in 2016 that ended a 108 Year drought, which put them back into contention. The Cubs roster is a team that is mostly all made of high draft picks which, has helped them be a legit threat in the NL central.
New York Yankees:
The Yankees come back with a similar team as well with Giancarlo Stanton to boast their already powerhouse lineup. Last year the Yankees team set a record breaking home run record of 267 homeruns.
Boston Red Sox’s:
The defending champions look to defend their title with a lineup that has everything a team could have. Boston’s roster of in-their-prime young veterans has high hopes again and to be in contention for a couple of years, The reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts can be locked up for the long term. To secure more successful season to come in the future for this young Red Sox team. Ryan Kraus said, “Coming off winning the World Series we have the same team as last year meaning another successful year to come which is exciting for the city of Boston.”
The Indians are working on a streak of six straight winning seasons, a stretch in which they’ve won 90 or more games four times, made the postseason four times and won the 2016 AL pennant. The Indians have a 70 year drought and low attendance at games which they hope to change this year. They have a Powerful lineup with allstars but, staying healthy is the main factor to decide the Indians faith.
Tampa Bay Rays:
The Rays begin the season a very small payroll of $59.9 million payroll, Yet the Rays won 90 games last season, remained in wild-card contention in the final week of the season. This young team has a chance to get into the wildcard game behind AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell.
Oakland’s front office with Billy Bean has managed to open up contention windows for another time, before being forced to strip down and begin again. This time, coming off a 97-win playoff season with a roster featuring very young stars like Matt Olsen And Matt Chapman, we may be looking at the start of another era of winning in Oakland. TL student Chase Blackburn notes, “The A’s have a strong, young team and have kept it intact from last year meaning another successful season and hopefully a deeper postseason run.”
The Astros remain in the midst of the most successful era in the history of a proud franchise. They have multiple seasons with over 100 wins and a world series title. This team full of allstars, is set to go to the playoffs again to seek to win a world series again as they did in 2017.
Conclusion on the outlook of the season: There are many talented teams this year in the league setting the stage for a very competitive season. Many people are pulling for their teams to breakthrough to the elusive World Series. Make sure to stay tuned throughout the season and see how far your team can go!