On Sunday, the 2016 Major League Baseball season finally began, with a solid matchup between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. After a divisional matchup between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays, baseball fans were treated to an immediate matchup between last year’s World Series contenders, the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets.
For the rest of the league, the season opens on Monday. Either way, the regular season is upon us. After an offseason of free agent signings and blockbuster trades, we finally get to see how these teams perform on the field.
In the American League, we’ll get to see if the Red Sox can get out of their recent downturn, with the addition of Craig Kimbrel and David Price and the demotion of Pablo Sandoval to the bench. In the same division, Starlin Castro will try to consistently perform for the Yankees and Aroldis Chapman will get to terrorize an entire new league of hitters. Finally, the Kansas City Royals will have to defend their World Series championship in the face of criticism by the press as well as surging teams, such as the Blue Jays and the Houston Astros.
In the National League, the Chicago Cubs look to make another run to end the World Series curse that has plagued them for over a century, this time with the help of Jason Heyward. The San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks will look to try and topple the talent-laden Los Angeles Dodgers as they employ their new top pitchers (Johnny Cueto and Zack Greinke, respectively). In the Eastern division, the Mets will try and carry their young rotation to the postseason yet again; however, the Nationals may give them a run for their money.
It’s impossible to tell what the new season will hold for each team. With over 162 games and 30 teams, there will be several events that will drastically change the course of the 2016 season. The only sure thing about the season is that it’s finally here.