Breaking down the 2016 MLB season

Published 7:01 am Sunday, April 3, 2016

ah.05.03.bOpening Day is here again. The defending champion Kansas City Royals will host the New York Mets in a World Series rematch at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

So with another season beginning, we’re continuing a tradition that started last year. With promise and big hopes for all 32 teams, we asked a few community baseball fans to join us in making predictions for the upcoming season.

Jason Schoonover

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Prediction: The Minnesota Twins will be better a team than in 2015, but that will get lost in an improved American League.

I expect the Twins’ young hitters like Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario to have strong years, despite a few growing pains. I do, however, expect Twins pitching to have a rough year. But the Twins will fall below improved teams like the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and more.

Prediction: The Chicago Cubs will have a great season, build much buzz, but they won’t win that elusive World series.

I’ll admit I want the Cubs to win, but I don’t expect them to for two reasons: 1.They’re the favorites, which typically dooms teams. Look at the 2015 Nationals. And 2. They’re very good, but very young. A hot team and hot pitching staff could sweep by them in the playoffs.

Prediction: Reporter Jenae Hackensmith, who knows nothing about baseball, will get more picks correct in the season predictions than I do.

Jason Schoonover, of the Herald, is a lifelong baseball fan who cheers for the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins and loves reading up on the latest baseball gossip and trade rumors.

 Paul Spyhalski

Prediction: Matt Harvey will be no better than third in wins on a strong Mets pitching staff.

Attorney Paul Spyhalski has an extensive interest in baseball. He presented last year at the National Society for American Baseball Research in Houston, Texas.

 Dan Donnelly

Prediction: The 2017 Hall of Fame class will induct Ivan Rodriguez, Trevor Hoffman and Tim Raines. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds will be passed over again for steroid controversy.

Attorney Dan Donnelly is an Austin 25 and over men’s league umpire, he was a pitcher for Saint Mary’s University-Winona from 1995 to 1998, and he was Nintendo RBI baseball champ at St. Joe’s Hall for one week, 1995.