Optimism is in the air on MLB Opening Day 2015, as each team has an equal chance of winning the World Series. But that won’t last very long, and the best clubs will soon begin to separate themselves as favorites to stand tall at the end of the season.
The Washington Nationals are at the top of the list, having made the biggest offseason acquisition after a 96-win season. The team signed starting pitcher Max Scherzer to a seven-year, $210 million contract, giving them a potentially dominant rotation and making them the overwhelming favorites in the National League East.
The Boston Red Sox made the biggest moves in the American League, handing out the two biggest contracts to position players. Following a last-place finish in the AL East, the Red Sox gave two five-year contracts worth a combined $183 million to shortstop Hanley Ramirez and third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Ramirez will play left field for Boston, and the Red Sox have reportedly been satisfied with his transition.
The San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves were the two most active teams in terms of making trades this offseason, and they appear to be headed in two different directions. Atlanta sent San Diego a few of their best players in multiple deals, with the Padres acquiring closer Craig Kimbrel and outfielders Melvin Upton (formerly known as B.J. Upton) and Justin Upton. Atlanta also traded away Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden in another deal, while the Padres added Matt Kemp and James Shields.
It’s been 15 years since the New York Mets finished with a better record than their crosstown rivals, but that could be the case in 2015 with the Mets improving and the Yankees set to possibly miss the playoffs for a third straight year. Both Chicago teams are poised to have better years, and they are among the top four favorites in their respective leagues, according to Bovada.lv.
No MLB teams have experienced as much success as the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals during this decade. After beating the Kansas City Royals in last year’s World Series, the Giants have won three of the past five championships, though they’ve missed the playoffs entirely in eight of the past 11 seasons. St. Louis has reached the NLCS in each of the last four years, reaching the World Series twice and winning it once.
Below are predictions for the 2015 MLB season, including the final standings and the World Series winner.
AL East NL East
Boston Red Sox Washington Nationals
Baltimore Orioles Miami Marlins
Toronto Blue Jays New York Mets
New York Yankees Philadelphia Phillies
Tampa Bay Rays Atlanta Braves
AL Central NL Central
Chicago White Sox St. Louis Cardinals
Cleveland Indians Pittsburgh Pirates
Detroit Tigers Chicago Cubs
Kansas City Royals Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins Cincinnati Reds
AL West NL West
Seattle Mariners Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Angels San Diego Padres
Oakland Athletics San Francisco Giants
Texas Rangers Arizona Diamondbacks
Houston Astros Colorado Rockies
AL Wild Card NL Wild Card
Baltimore, Los Angeles Pittsburgh, San Diego
Chicago over Boston St. Louis over Los Angeles
St. Louis over Chicago