Byron Dixon| @BKD_TV
As the days on the calendar turn from March to April it is time again for the crack of the bat and the laying of fresh field chalk. Ladies and gentlemen the MLB season is upon us once again. As we prepare for a new season let us look at some of the major story lines heading into the 2016 MLB season.
It is the year 2016 and the Chicago Cubs are the favorites to win the World Series which would be their first in over a century. With the addition of Jason Heyward and John Lackey to compliment CY Young winner Jake Arrieta, John Lester, and the reigning NL Rookie of the year Kris Bryant Chicago’s north siders may be ready for a parade come October.
Speaking of even years it is 2016 right? The last three times it was such an occurrence (2010, 2012, and 2014) the San Francisco Giants won it all. This year could be similar, with Madison Bumgarner and the additions of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija this could be a sleeper team that no one should forget about.
It is weird to think that after winning a championship that you can be totally forgotten about. The Kansas City Royals are the team in that position this year and with many projections not giving them much love don’t be surprised if they are playing deep into October once again. This team knows what it takes to get it done and they have much of their same team returning for another run.
The AL East has five teams that could win the division, this pretty much means whoever can stay healthy and make the appropriate move at the trade deadline may earn a postseason appearance. Each of these teams is flawed but this will be a fun division to watch as it will be a slug fest all year long.
The NL East is a two team battle with the Mets and the Nationals. Saying the Nationals under achieved last year is an understatement but with Dusty Baker at the helm there will be no meltdowns in this locker room plus having Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer helps. The Mets have the best young arms in the game and bringing back Yoenis Céspedes and adding Neil Walker will give their offense some pop as well. This will be a fun race to watch all year as these teams both have what it takes to make a World Series run.
The AL West has a great feel this year as well as the Houston Astros lead by AL CY Young award winner Dallas Keuchel and AL Rookie of the year Carlos Correa look like they are ready to take that next step as a team and contend for a championship. The lone star state has a team that is looking for back to back division crowns, the Rangers have a good team and Cole Hamels along with the return of Yu Darvish will help them stay in contention.
Parody will be a theme to look out for all season in the MLB as there are many story lines and teams that have a shot to play in October as we begin 162 game journey to find out.