USA TODAY US Edition
Surprises likely in AL East, NL West
The World Series was an exciting seven-game affair last year between St. Louis and Texas. But don’t expect either the championship Cardinals or the runner-up Rangers at this year’s October event.
With the new season just under way, here’s how I see it: American League East: New York Central: Detroit West: Los Angeles Wild Cards: Boston, Texas National League East: Philadelphia Central: Milwaukee West: Arizona Wild Cards: San Francisco, Cincinnati
In the American League, Detroit seems like the surest bet to win its division. Adding free agent slugger Prince Fielder to a team that won the AL Central by 15 games last year makes the Tigers by far the toughest.
In the East, Tampa Bay’s Rays are out of it in my book, despite a winning season start against the Yankees. Tampa simply doesn’t stack up against either New York or Boston.
In the National League, the most competitive division is the West. Arizona gets my nod mainly because of adding starter Trevor Cahill to a strong and speedy lineup.
As readers of this column, you know I’m a lifelong Yankees fan and great admirer of The Boss, the late George Steinbrenner, and his son Hal who has succeeded him.
I’ll be there for their home season opener today. But because I always make my airline reservations well in advance for big deals, I’ll be booking Detroit soon for October.
No matter your favorite team, baseball still is America’s pastime. From now until October, relax and enjoy it.