It’s time to play ball and that means it’s time for my annual MLB picks. Looking into the baseball future is like forecasting the weather without Doppler radar. Like my NCAA tournament bracket this is well thought out but seldom accurate. But let’s not let past failure get in the way of bold predictions that just might be spot on. With good intentions we present our MLB predictions for 2016.

AL East 

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I don’t see a lot of difference between first and worst. Toronto was the only team here to win over 90 in 2015 (93), third through fifth place teams were only 3 games apart.

  1. Toronto (Big bats and questionable starting pitching, Drew Storen a nice late inning add).
  2. Boston (David Price should get them out of the cellar, but not sold on their pitching. Bye Papi!)
  3. Baltimore (Can they outscore opponents? Average or better pitching will make the O’s contenders.)
  4. Tampa Bay (The best pitching in the East but the weakest bats and possibly closing issues.)
  5. New York (Games best bullpen has taken some hits. Age and starting pitching are biggest obstacles.)

AL Central

The World Champion Royals have been to 2 straight World Series and led the league in wins last year. The Tigers had an aggressive offseason and the Indians may have the best starting pitching in the league.

  1. Kansas City (They kept Gordon added Ian Kennedy but lost Cueto, Zobrist and Madson in the pen.)
  2. Detroit ( Verlander, Zimmerman and Sanchez on the mound and Miguel Cabrera, J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton at the plate. If the bullpen gets fixed they’ll contend).
  3. Cleveland (Kluber, Carrasco, and Danny Salazar will punish hitters. They’ll need Michael Brantley to make a full recovery from his shoulder injury.
  4. Minnesota (Top prospects Sano and Buxton could be key. They finished second in ’15, solid starting pitching but like many teams no ace.
  5. Chicago (New Todd Frazier and Jose Abreau will slug; Chris Sale will dominate, biggest loss Drake LaRouche.
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AL West

The top 3 teams in the West last season finished only 3 games apart. It could be that kind of race again this time with all those football fans in Texas catching some baseball fever.

  1. Houston (No longer the Last-ros; they added ken Giles to the bullpen and didn’t lose much. Carlos Correa is a budding supersatar and Dallas Keuchel is a Cy Young pitcher.
  2. Texas (A full season of Cole Hamels and a good second half from Yu Darvish could lead to a second straight division title).
  3. LA Angels (Vets Jared Weaver and C.J. Wilson could be toast and there’s not much depth in the system.)
  4. Seattle (They haven’t been to the playoffs since 2001. The rotation is good enough but the sum of the part says third or fourth place.
  5. Oakland (Sonny Gray is a legit ace but after him several question marks. Until last year their recent history was over-achieving, they’ll need a helping of that this summer.

Next time we’ll take a look at the National league.  

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