March 29, 2013

A changing of the guard in 2013 for MLB

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

This season it seems that major league baseball is marking a serious changing of the guard. Never have we seen so many legends just barely hanging on at the ends of their careers and such tantalizing prospects ready to take the reigns as tomorrow’s heroes.

For an example of superstars near the end of their ropes, look no further than the New York Yankees. Derek Jeter is still recovering from his broken ankle and he’s 38-years-old. The greatest relief pitcher ever, Mariano Rivera, is coming back from a torn ACL and has announced that this will be his final season. As for Alex Rodriguez – the man who will make more money than the entire Houston Astros team combined – he’s not in good shape. A-Rod is not only recovering from hip surgery, but is also embroiled in another PED scandal.

Even the Yanks comparatively younger stars, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, are hurt and will miss at least two months each.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have some of the brightest young talents that baseball has ever seen. The Angels’ Mike Trout and the Nationals’ Bryce Harper are 20 and 21 years old, respectively and are already playing all-star calibre ball. If they can simply keep playing at the level they did last season, they will be sure-fire hall of famers.

Both are the types of special players that can define a generation. Five-tool guys that can honestly do it all on the field. Heck, Trout would have won MVP last season if Miguel Cabrera hadn’t bagged the first triple crown since 1967.

We also can’t forget one of the most electric pitchers that baseball has seen in recent memory, Stephen Strasburg. The kid is only 24 and has already come back from Tommy John surgery better than ever. He has one of the most devastating curveballs in the game and is a thrill to watch. Even better, he’s Harper’s teammate in Washington.

Getting two epic prospects two drafts in a row like that is just like landing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin back-to-back like the Pittsburgh Penguins did. That’s how good the Nationals duo can be.

But now, onto the picks for this transformative season.

AL East: Tampa Bay Rays.
AL Central: Detroit Tigers.
AL West: Texas Rangers.
AL wildcards: L.A. Angels, Toronto Blue Jays.
NL East: Washington Nationals.
NL Central: Cincinnati Reds.
NL West: San Francisco Giants.
NL wildcards: Atlanta Braves, L.A. Dodgers.
Overachievers: The Upton brothers, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals.
Underachievers: Baltimore Orioles, Chris Sale, Oakland Athletics.
Storylines: The Pirates finally finish over .500, the Jays return to the playoffs, Houston is in the chase for the worst record ever, Mike Trout vs. Bryce Harper: Round 2, the Yankees hold it together through their many injuries, players can actually hit home runs at Safeco Field and Petco Park now – and the home pitchers hate it.
AL MVP: Mike Trout, LAA
NL MVP: Justin Upton, ATL
AL Cy Young: David Price, TB
NL Cy Young: Matt Cain, SF
AL champion: Tampa Bay Rays
NL champion: Washington Nationals.
World Series champion: Washington over Tampa Bay in six.

Leave a Reply