Peter Lockwood’s Guide to the 2013 MLB Season

I’ve spent a large portion of my life searching for a forum through which I can unleash my biased and irrational opinions on the sports world. Thanks to the Daily Trojan, I now have that medium. You might disagree with my views, but I’ll do my best to keep my personal biases out of my writing. Now, without further ado, I present my guide to the 2013 Major League Baseball season.

This season already promises to be one of the best we’ve seen in recent memory. Last year, we saw a major power shift take place in nearly every division. Three years ago, who would have thought that Oakland, Baltimore and Washington would be finding themselves in the playoffs? More importantly, who would have guessed that the Boston Red Sox would be losing 93 games while the San Francisco Giants would be starting a ring collection, winning two championships in three years.

The make-up of the league has changed dramatically, and we are now seeing the perennial superpowers of the ‘00s being replaced by young, disciplined teams who play the game the right way.

There is no question that the Washington Nationals are the best team in the league. They are a lock for a championship. Their pitching rotation appears to be unstoppable, and young gun Bryce Harper has plenty to prove this year. I see the Nationals running up against the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series and taking them down in six games.

As for the rest of the National League, I see both the Giants and Cincinnati Reds successfully defending their division crowns while the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers take the two wild card spots.

The situation is almost completely opposite in the American League. A number of questions have been raised with the construction of All-Star-packed Toronto Blue Jays and Angels squads. While I trust that Angels manager Mike Scioscia can handle the star power that he’s inherited, I cannot say the same for Toronto. Many other teams in the past, like the Dodgers and Miami Marlins, have built teams with this same model and failed.

The Blue Jays make the AL East a total toss-up, but when all is said and done, the Tampa Bay Rays are going to find themselves on top by at least five games. The Central race will be boring, with the Detroit Tigers taking the division with ease, while the West will be all Angels. The A’s and Blue Jays will both just barely take the Wild Card spots to fill out the playoff picture. The Angels will work their way to the World Series with ease, only to be taken down by overpowering pitching from the Nationals

All in all, it promises to be another fun season as we get to watch the new blood like Harper and Mike Trout replace some of MLB’s fading stars.