2021 MLB mini-preview

Happy Opening Day! It’s time for my annual preview of Major League Baseball’s upcoming season. I’m going to skip my usual division by division predictions because those make me look like a fool and, frankly, because most of the league isn’t that interesting this year. My hat’s off to any writers masochistic enough to crank out a paragraph about the Rangers or any team in the NL Central.

First, let’s crap on my Red Sox!

Nate Eovaldi’s starting the opener in place of the injured Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez! The second base hole left behind by Dustin Pedroia still hasn’t really been filled! They’re carrying 14 god damn pitchers because they can’t find enough arms that don’t suck! Sounds just like last year. Without fully packed stadiums manager Alex Cora can’t possibly hide any trash can banging to signal incoming pitch types to his hitters. The Sox are stuck worse than the Ever Given. This gonna be a slog.

You want proof? Look no further than the team’s TV affiliate, NESN, who brought in Mo Vaughn, Kevin Youkilis, and Jonathan Papelbon as analysts because putting a bunch of silly former players onscreen is the only way anyone’s going to watch this shit.

But there are some interesting teams in the league. Let’s look at the squads I’ve decided are worth caring about.

Kansas City Royals – Bare with me on this one for a second. Can you guess who the only team in the league is that paid literally all of its employees throughout the pandemic? That’s right, KC! I’m digging their old school approach of just being good dudes. When other teams are making vague wanking motions toward competing, Kansas City’s held on to useful pieces like Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler and added veterans like Andrew Benintendi and Carlos Santana. They’re trying! I’ll take that over the bullshit going on in places like Cleveland and Colorado any day of the week.

San Diego Padres – Finally, someone’s trying to keep up with the Dodgers and Yankees. San Diego spent all their stimulus checks to build a team that could easily win it all. Plus, watching late night games with former NESN play-by-play guy Don Orsillo is a treat. I’m glad Don gets to be involved with a real baseball team this season.

New York Mets – Like the Padres, they’re trying to build a juggernaut. On paper, this is at least a wild card team. Unlike the Padres, they’re the Mets and something amazingly ridiculous is going to ruin it all. My money’s on ace Jacob DeGrom ending up on the 60-day injured list after Major Biden gnaws on his pitching hand, or perhaps the team’s new ownership losing its fortune because of the Gamestop stock saga.

San Francisco Giants – My god, they are so old. I love it. Somehow, some way, this club still employs Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, and Brandon Belt. If Bartolo Colon has another comeback in him I guarantee this is where he ends up.

Chicago White Sox – Perhaps the second best mix of up-and-coming young talent and established studs in the league. They’ve got depth problems and Tony LaRussa might be too old for this, but the Pale Hose should be a fascinating team to watch.

Let’s end with a World Series prediction: no one’s stopping the Dodgers. LA over the Yankees in five games.

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