MLB 2021 Season Preview

Story posted April 1, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Rocco

After an abbreviated 60 game season that saw the Los Angeles Dodgers win their first world series since 1988, we are officially back to a 162 game schedule with fans in the stands as the MLB looks to be a slice of normalcy in a world turned upside down due to the pandemic.

After an exciting offseason that saw players such as Francisco Lindor, Trevor Bauer and Nolan Arenado all change teams this season looks to be one of the most competitive in recent years.

The MLB expanded last year’s playoffs due to the shortened season, however it is going back to the traditional two wild card team format.

Let's take a look at who could bring home a world series title this season.

AL East Champion: New York Yankees

The Yankees had a quiet offseason, however they retained MVP finalist DJ LeMahieu and added starters Corey Kluber and Jameson Tallion. The Yankees lineup is very scary, led by Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Giancarlo Stanton. The starting rotation is strong as well led by Gerrit Cole and the aforementioned Kluber and Tallion.

If they can stay healthy the Yankees will be one of the best teams in the league.

AL Central Champion: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox have reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu and a plethora of young talented hitters such as Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. They also have veterans such as Yasmani Grandal and Tim Anderson who will be major catalysts for the offense. The starting pitching is solid led by Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel.

The White Sox will be one of the top teams in the league this season.

AL West Champion: Houston Astros

Despite losing George Springer, the Astros are still a very solid team with guys such as Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the fold. The problem will be with starting pitching as ace Justin Verlander is injured and Zack Grienke is only getting older.

The Astros will also have to deal with fans back in the stands as they will be getting serenaded with boos all season long.

NL East Champion: Atlanta Braves

The Braves have one of the best lineups in baseball led by Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies. In the offseason, they upgraded their starting pitching when they signed Charlie Morton to pair along with Mike Soroka and Ian Anderson.

The Braves who were one win away from the World Series are primed to get back there.

NL Central Champion: St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals were the only team in their division to make a move to improve their team. The Red Birds brought in Nolan Arenado, one of the best third basemen in the league who will be a driving force of their lineup.

Along with Arenado they also have Paul Goldschmidt who, despite his age can still rake at the plate. With Jack Flaherty as their ace, the Cardinals are sitting pretty and look to take home the division crown.

NL West Champion: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers won the World Series and somehow managed to still upgrade as they landed the reigning NL Cy Young winner in Trevor Bauer. Bauer, along with Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler creates a scary big three that no team will want to face.

Their lineup is just as scary led by Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and Justin Turner. Despite the Padres making many moves this offseason, the Dodgers are still the favorites to win the division.

 

World Series Prediction: Yankees bring a title back to the Bronx as they defeat the Dodgers in six games.

 

Alex Rocco is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email afr5646@psu.edu.