After an entertaining and highly competitive 2012 postseason, Major League Baseball fans have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming year. As usual, a number of plotlines are already developing in the off-season, and the anticipation will be at a boiling point come April 2013. Here’s a peek ahead, including a look at some of the most popular teams and a few predictions.
The Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins are two proud and accomplished franchises that are looking to rebound after they both made the mistake of hiring highly polarizing coaches; an experiment that went awry and was abandoned after only one year. The New York Yankees are perennial contenders in the AL East, but their roster is full of aging veterans that are in the twilight of their careers. This means that the AL East is wide open in 2013, and the Tampa Bay Rays may very well reestablish their spot atop the highly competitive division.
One team that will definitely have a say in the outcome of the 2013 standings is the Los Angeles Angels, who recently signed Josh Hamilton, the hottest and most coveted free-agent in all of the major leagues, exactly one year after they landed Albert Pujols when he was the most coveted free-agent going into the 2012 season. This means that the chips are officially anted to the center of the table in Southern California, and anything less than an appearance in the American League Championship Series will likely be certainly be considered a failure.
The Oakland Athletics almost never pop up on the radar of people predicting the playoff contenders during any given preseason, but they have continually shown the ability to get the absolute most out of every dollar they spend, and their epic run to the postseason 2012 raised the eyebrows of many fans across the nation. They will come into the 2013 season with a very similar roster and similar aspirations of finding a way into the MLB postseason. No matter how things unfold, it is clear that the legendary league is chock-full of incredible talent, and the 2013 season a short highly entertaining. Expect the Dodgers and Angels to make a lot of noise.