The 2013 Major League Baseball season is finally here, and
expect this season to be one of the best in recent memory. Here are
the predictions for the 2013 MLB season.   AL West:
Angels, Rangers, A’s, Mariners, Astros The AL West is shaping up to
be one of the best divisions in baseball. The Angels are hoping
their acquisitions of Josh Hamilton, Joe Blanton, Jason Vargas and
Tommy Hanson are the right pieces to bring a division title back to
Anaheim. Mike Trout and Albert Pujols will make sure the Angels
score a lot of runs, but the biggest question is will whether their
pitching be good enough to win. The Rangers did get a little bit
worse with the loss of Hamilton, but their pitching is still good
enough to be competitive. The A’s have a great young pitching
staff, but they must show that their lineup can consistently score
enough runs to keep up with the Angels and Rangers. The Mariners
and division-newcomer Astros are both very young teams, and will
struggle all season long.   AL Central: Tigers, White Sox,
Indians, Royals, Twins The conversation of who the AL powerhouse is
begins in Detroit with the Tigers. After being swept in the World
Series last year, the Tigers are going to get back Victor Martinez,
who missed all of last year with an injury. In addition to
Martinez, the Tigers have also added Torii Hunter and parted ways
with their shaky closer Jose Valverde. The White Sox have a good
mix of talented pitchers and hitters. They will need to keep Jake
Peavy healthy and hope for another stellar season out of young left
hander Chris Sale. The Indians have a lot of new faces like manager
Terry Francona, along with free agent outfielders Nick Swisher and
Michael Bourn. The Royals have a lot of young talent, and could
surprise a lot of people.   AL East: Orioles, Toronto,
Rays, Red Sox, Yankees, This is the most intriguing division in all
of baseball. The Yankees are absolutely decimated by the injuries
to Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis
Granderson. The Blue Jays made the biggest offseason splash when
they completed the trade with the Marlins, which brought Jose
Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle to Toronto. The Blue Jays also
signed last season’s National League Cy Young award winner and
knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. If everything goes right for Toronto,
then they definitely have the pieces to win a World Series. Above
all else, the Orioles are going to win the division with their
power hitting and power pitching. Manager Buck Showalter has
brought confidence to Baltimore, and watch out for super pitching
prospect Dylan Bundy.   NL West: Dodgers, Giants,
Diamondbacks, Rockies, Padres If baseball was played on paper, the
Dodgers would win the World Series. In the offseason, they signed
starting pitcher Zack Greinke to go along with ace lefty Clayton
Kershaw. Oh yeah, their lineup also sports some names like Matt
Kemp, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford and Adrian
Gonzalez. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they will have to overcome
their hated rivals in the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have
almost everyone back from their Championship team last season, and
most importantly, they have Buster Posey.   NL Central:
Reds, Cardinals, Brewers, Cubs, Pirates The Reds are loaded. They
have Joey Votto back in full health, and a bullpen that features
power arms such as Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton. The
Cardinals are the model of consistency. The Brewers, Cubs and
Pirates are all mysterious. The Pirates have been flirting with the
post season for a few years now, but hope and belief are not
enough.   NL East: Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Mets,
Marlins If you like to watch pure baseball, take a look at the
Washington Nationals. They play great defense, manufacture runs and
shut you down with the best pitching staff in the league. Stephen
Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and a filthy bullpen will baffle major
league hitters well into the playoffs. If we are talking about the
Nationals, we have to mention the next superstar of our game: Bryce
Harper, a pitcher’s nightmare. Don’t forget about the Braves,
though. They added BJ and Justin Upton to patrol the outfield along
with a possible MVP candidate in Jason Heyward. They will have to
overcome the loss of elder statesman Chipper Jones, but their
bullpen will be making sure that any lead late in the game turns
into a win.   A version of this article appeared
on page six of April 2nd’s print edition of the Daily