Could the Midwest Dominate Baseball This Summer?
The 2015 Major League Baseball season saw three midwest teams have huge success, one of them (the Kansas City Royals) winning it all. This year, the prognosticators are forecasting it'll be another great time to be a baseball fan in this part of the country.
The Chicago Cubs knocked the St. Louis Cardinals out of the 2015 playoffs in the Division Series before they lost to the Mets in the National League Championship Series and USA Today Sports predicts the Cubs will have the best record in baseball in 2016. Their expectation is a 101-61 record for Chicago. The Cubs haven't won 100 games in a season since 1935 when they went 100-54.
Who will have the league's second-best record? USA Today believes it will be the St. Louis Cardinals with a mark of 97-65. That's three fewer wins than the Cardinals had last year and the health of starting catcher Yadier Molina is in question (two thumb surgeries), along with some key off-season losses. Both Jason Heyward and John Lackey departed for the Cubs.
In the American League, the Chicago White Sox are the favorite to win the western division, with 90 wins. Kansas City is picked second with 84 victories. Detroit and Minnesota are both expected to be around .500.
Pitchers and catchers begin reporting to major league camps tomorrow and the regular season begins on April 3 with a matchup featuring last season's World Series teams, Kansas City and the New York Mets.
The boys of summer are coming and we couldn't be more excited... for baseball, and spring too.
[via USA Today and MLB.com]