Sports

The Race To The World Series

Tortora Predicts Great 2016 MLB

With Pitchers and Catchers reporting and Spring Training starting it’s time that we start getting ready for the 2016 MLB Season. With all the great hitters, pitchers and teams in the league right now combined with the relatively new playoff system more teams than ever have a chance at winning the World Series.

2016 Predicted Division Winners:

AL West: The Houston Astros are the next up and coming team in the Bigs. Last year the Astros hit the second most homers in the league even in large Minute Maid Field. Carlos Correa of the Astros has the potential to become one of the best hitters in the game. As for the Rangers you can never count them out because they have so many talented players. There are many question marks for the Rangers however, with Yu Dervish coming off Tommy John surgery and Josh Hamilton still dealing with a knee injury. The Mariners have good players such as Robinson Cano and are getting closer but most likely are still a few pieces away. The Oakland A’s will have to hope that General Manager Billie Bean can work some “MoneyBall” magic up and get them into contention this year.

Prediction: Houston Astros

AL Central: As for the Kansas City Royals how could you bet against them. They are the defending World Series Champions. During the offseason they were able to resign some key assets such as Alex Gordon. The bullpen that Kansas City has is also a great strength to compensate for their mediocre starting rotation. The Detroit Tigers have made some key signing this offseason with signing pitcher Jordan Zimmerman and reliever Francisco Rodriguez. They were also able to sign slugger Justin Upton. The Twins have a solid team but have a shaky rotation. They are still looking to find their Ace of the team since trading Johan Santana in 2008. As for the Indians and White Sox they both need to learn how to hit. It was a struggle last year and will most likely be again this year. The upside for the Indians is their starting rotation had the 4th best ERA in the AL last year.

Prediction: Kansas City Royals

AL East: Who really knows who’s going to win this division? The last four years there have been four different winners. Three out of the five teams in the division had a good offseason this year with that being the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Yankees. The Blue Jays have a power house when it comes to bats, scoring more runs than anyone last year. The Yankees will most likely be in contention like they always are. With the team getting up in age it will be difficult to rely on Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to not only stay healthy, but also be productive. The Yankees do now have probably the best Bull-Pen in the league with Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances, which they will need with their below par starting rotation. The Red Sox made a splash move signing pitcher David Price to a $217 million deal. We have seen these deals work both ways for the Sox, we will see which way it goes this time. The Rays last year were a team that floated around .500 last year and have done little to improve. As for the Orioles, Manager Buck Showalter will have to work some magic as he had the 14th worst rotation ERA in the AL last year.

Prediction: Toronto Blue Jays

AL Wildcard: Yankees & Rangers

NL West: The NL West could easily go to either the Rockies, Giants or Dodgers. The Dodgers won the division last year but they lost ace pitcher Zach Greinke to the Diamondbacks. As for the Giants who have been in the World Series more than anyone in the past few years are always a competitive team now have signed Ace Johnny Cueto. The Padres do not have much going for them and the Rockies had the worst starting rotation ERA in the league last year at 5.27, which is only worsened by playing at the hitter’s paradise that is Coors Field.

Prediction: San Francisco Giants

NL Central: Possibly the hardest division to pick a winner from. Probably the best division in all of baseball. It’s very probable that you could have the maximum three teams going to the playoffs from this division. The Cubs have very young hitters and one of the best rotations in the league that include John Lester, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. The St. Louis Cardinals, defending champs of the division will never seem to go away. But the previously 100 game winners lost Lackey and Jason Heyward to the Cubs. They will once again be relying on their future hall of fame catcher Yadier Molina. The Pirates and their fan base are thirsty for some winning and they might finally get some with Andrew McCutchen leading the charge in center. As for the other two teams there is about a hundred feet of garbage to put it nicely until you get to the Brewers and Reds.

Prediction: Chicago Cubs

NL East: The New York Mets coming of their first World Series appearance since 2000 and are the favorites to win the division. The Mets most likely have the nastiest rotation in all of baseball. The rotation includes, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndagard, Jacob DeGrom, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler and Bartolo Colon. The Mets also resigned slugger Yoenis Cespedes who they acquired at the trade deadline last year and was a huge asset to the Metropolitans making the postseason. The Nationals should give the Mets a run for their money though with pitchers Steven Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman and Max Sherzer. The Nationals also have possibly the best hitter in the game in Bryce Harper who is side kicked by Jason Werth. As for the Marlins they have been looking for some winning for a while now. They are hoping that big hitters Dee Gordon and Gincarlo Stanton can hit the ball hard and lead them to some wins. The Marlins will also be lead by new Manager Don Mattingly this year. For the Braves and Phillies fans 2016 is most probably not their year. The Phillies can’t go anywhere but up though, who lost 99 games last year.

Prediction: Mets

NL Wildcard: Cardinals & Pirates

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