Spring is a time of optimism for 30 Major League Baseball teams, as they start a grueling 162-game schedule to determine who deserves the opportunity to fight for the World Series in October. The Toronto Blue Jays were favorites to win the World Series last year, but then they started to play the games on the field, not paper. Their division rival, the Boston Red Sox, grew their facial hair, fought for their mourning city, and won their 3rd World Series in the past 10 years. Going into the 2014 MLB season, there are many teams looking to dethrone the Red Sox. To start, the St. Louis Cardinals were the runner-ups last year and should have a bitter taste in their mouth. Also in the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers hope they have bought a championship team. Meanwhile, in the American League, the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees will make life in the AL East more difficult than it already was for the Red Sox. It’s April, and there are many great teams, but only one will see their World Series aspirations become a reality.
Even though a movie was made after them and revealed how they go about building a competitive team each year, the Oakland A’s still get overlooked. After proving to be a top prospect at the minor league level, Josh Donaldson emerged as an MVP candidate last season and should help carry the team alongside Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick. Oakland might not have superstars all over the field, but they always get the most out of each player. Their starting rotation has taken a minor hit with injuries; thus, Sonny Gray, Tommy Milone, and others will carry the rotation until A.J. Griffin returns in May. The A’s execute the fundamentals of the game and always have a way of sneaking up on teams. More of the same should be expected this season.