Longer days. Warmer temperatures. Yes, spring officially started last week. But most importantly, it's actually beginning to feel like it when you walk outside. Another sign that the world is beginning to look a lot greener?
The Major League Baseball season begins today! And what does this season have in store? Let's check it out!
This winter, a trio of huge baseball talents scored wildly massive new contracts.
First, long-time Baltimore Oriole All-Star Manny Machado signed for 10 years and $300 million with the San Diego Padres. Then Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (a.k.a. the youngest NL MVP ever) left the Nats to sign a 13-year $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies—the richest-ever sports contract in U.S. history.
Until, that is, Mike Trout signed his new deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Not only does his contract keep with the only pro team that he's ever been with until 2030, it pays him $430 million. Whoa.
Which teams will be the best?
Trout is considered by some to be one of the greatest ball players ever. Of course, to really earn that title, you kind of need to win a championship. Sadly for him, the Angels don't look quite ready for that in 2019. Ditto for Manny Machado—his young teammates in San Diego needs some time to improve.
But Harper's new squad, the Phillies? They are a team that is ready to make an impression right now. Who else joins them?
In the National League, we think that the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, and Milwaukee Brewers have the best shots at the playoffs.
Meanwhile, in the American League, the Houston Astros, New York Yankees, and defending World Series champs Boston Red Sox are all head-and-shoulders above the pack. (These are probably the three best teams in baseball, period.) Also watch out for the Minnesota Twins!
There's always next year!
Okay, often this slogan is said sarcastically during a bad season. But no fooling, many teams have some exciting rookies for fans to watch while they wait for their overall team to get better.
Eloy Jimenez is a power-hitting outfielder for the Chicago White Sox who should be a star for them for years to come. And as we mentioned, the Padres have a bunch of hot rookies, including shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., outfielder Francisco Mejia, and pitcher Mackenzie Gore.
And then there's the Toronto Blue Jays. Those thrilling years of 2015 and 2016 are gone, as are stars Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Troy Tulowitski, Edwin Encarnacion, and Russell Martin. But there is no rookie in all of baseball more talked about than Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who is the son of former Montreal Expo great Vladimir Guerrero. Vladdy Jr. is already the kind of hitter that fans lose their minds over... and he's not even 20 yet! The Jays also have a great young shortstop named Bo Bichette who is turning heads. Though these two won't be in the lineup on opening day, expect to see them around May or June.
A long season begins
And that's baseball, after all. A sport where the patience of players and fans alike is usually rewarded. After all, one of baseball's best teams these days is the Houston Astros. But just six years ago, in 2013? They were the worst team in all of baseball with 51 wins and 111 losses.
So if your favourite team is the Astros or Cubs or Red Sox or Dodgers? Enjoy your great teams! But if not, have faith... teams can turn it around faster than you might think.