While our life is still far away from any source of normality, it was nice to turn on the television over a summer weekend and watch Major League baseball.
While this season will be very different with a sprint to the finish line, for sports fans and baseball lovers, there is nothing better than getting lost for a few hours in a good baseball game.
With the coronavirus still raging coast to coast, I think the team that can stay the healthiest this summer will have the best chance.
I also think a shortened regular season tends to favor the underdog as a team only has to go on two or three big winning streaks to lock up a playoff spot during a 60-game campaign.
With that being said, the Los Angeles Dodgers, at least on paper, look to have one of the deepest rosters in MLB and they are my favorite to win it all.
The New York Yankees look like the team in the American League that could be in for a big campaign even though the Houston Astros will likely have a final say on which team makes it to the World Series.
As a lifelong Atlanta fan (I was born the year the Braves opened play in Atlanta) I think they have as good a chance as any team in the National League to also make an extended run this season.
Unfortunately, I think the Los Angeles Dodgers depth will be the difference in the National League title game.
In the end, I think the Dodgers break a long drought (1988 was their last crown) and hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy after Game 7 of the World Series.
I admit that I was not one-hundred percent positive the season was going to start until Thursday evening when I watched Dr. Anthony Fauci throw out the first pitch as the defending World Series champions Washington Nationals hosted the Yankees in the opener.
I know sports fans are hoping the players and teams can stay healthy enough to get through the season. For now, it is good just to have baseball again.
As I do each year, I am making my picks for the season in memory of the late Bob Hart, a long-time friend and sportswriter in Mecklenburg County, who absolutely loved baseball and especially the Boston Red Sox.
This is how I think the MLB campaign will go:
AL East: Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Orioles, Blue Jays
AL Central: Twins, White Sox, Indians, Tigers, Royals
AL West: Astros, Athletics, Angels, Rangers, Mariners
NL East: Braves, Nationals, Phillies, Mets, Marlins
NL Central: Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Pirates
NL West: Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Giants, Padres
AL Championship: Yankees over Astros, 4-2
NL Championship: Dodgers over Braves, 4-2
World Series: Dodgers over Yankees, 4-3