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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Sidelines: MLB Preview

Pitcher Shohei Ohtani’s trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers was one of the biggest trades of the off-season. (Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports)

The five months since the Texas Rangers raised the commissioner’s trophy have been busy ones, with over $2 billion spent on free agents. But spring has sprung, and with it comes the serenity of another season for the nation’s pastime. Here’s how the divisions are shaping up.

NL West 

The talk of the offseason has been the Dodgers, who have been the best team in baseball over the last ten years but have only been able to win one ring. They are going all the way in, signing the best player in baseball, Shohei Ohtani, to the largest contract in the history of American sports at $700 million over 10 years. They continued their spending spree by signing Japanese pitching phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto and flamethrower Tyler Glasnow for a combined $440 million.

Elsewhere in the most competitive division in the sport, the Diamondbacks sured up their bench in an attempt to make it back to the World Series and the Giants finally started spending money by bringing in all-stars Matt Chapman and Blake Snell. Following last year’s horribly disappointing showcase, the Padres traded star left fielder Juan Soto but brought in Cy Young finalist Dylan Cease to sure up the rotation.

NL Central 

The NL Central continues to be one of the most average divisions in baseball as no teams made major moves except for the Brewers who traded away Corbin Burnes, one of the best pitchers in the history of their organization, to the Orioles. The Cubs re-signed MVP candidate Cody Bellinger and the Pirates farm system could be beginning to bear fruit with O’Neil Cruz on a tear throughout the spring.

NL East

The Braves look prime to dominate this division once again, as they have all their pieces back. They also signed former Cy Young finalist Chris Sale. If that’s not enough, their young ace Spencer Strider added a third pitch this offseason. On offense, Ronald Acuña is coming off the first 40 HR/40 SB in the history of the league while Matt Olson and Ozzie Albies continue to mash baseballs into the sun.

The Phillies are their main competition, as they re-signed their two-headed monster at the top of their rotation with Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler, Bryce Harper will be healthy to start the season, Trea Turner will look to show up to the ballpark in April instead of August and Kyle Schwarber will only have to hit baseballs, not field them. The Mets are a tire fire as usual, the Marlins can’t figure out how to field a functional baseball team and the Nationals are two years away from posing any threat.

AL West 

The World Series champion Texas Rangers have all the pieces to repeat, and they really just need to stay healthy to stay competitive. They have the pitching to stay afloat in the wild card, but it is going to come down to how good their former Cy Young winners Jacob DeGrom and Max Scherzer do when they come back from their respective injuries.

The Astros are hot on their heels as the AL west champs significantly improved their bullpen by bringing in closer Josh Hader to aid their vaunted lineup. The Mariners will also be in the mix with their young hitting core, but questions arise with their rotation. The Angels lost Ohtani and replaced him with nothing, and the Athletics are still just one of the biggest shames in the history of baseball. Sell the team.

AL Central

So average it’s not worth the words I’m using to write this sentence. What happened to the White Sox is a travesty.

AL East 

The Yankees finally decided on a direction and that direction is to put all of the best hitters in one lineup, hope they don’t get injured and think about pitching later. With the addition of Soto, the Yankees could score six runs per game, but it’s not going to matter if the best pitcher they can find is former California Interscholastic Federation All-Lake-Division pitcher Charlie Berman.

The Orioles have built from the bottom and look to be a scary team not only for this year but for the coming decade with their young core really coming together well. The Rays are always a constant, but they have never been able to get over the hump, while Blue Jays also look strong and have a decent shot at the division. The Red Sox are just floating in nothingness — pretty decent but in a juggernaut of a division like this, they don’t stand much of a chance.


AL: Yankees, Twins, Astros

NL: Braves, Pirates, Dodgers

Wildcards: Orioles, Rangers and Blue Jays in the American League; Phillies, Padres, Giants in the National League

Champions: Braves

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About the Contributor
Charlie Berman, Sports Editor
VAP, TRELL, KEHD (cheast, stew, help)

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