The 2012 season has officially gone underway this morning in Japan with the Athletics and Mariners, the new season is now upon us. The thoughts of a World Series run comes to mind for every fan of every team. Whether you're an Angels fan or a Cubs fan, every team right now is on equal ground. 

But does every team realistically have a shot? That remains to be seen. 

What I'll be doing today is sharing some thoughts and previewing this upcoming MLB season for all divisions. 

AL East 

1. Tampa Bay Rays

2. Boston Red Sox

3. New York Yankees

4. Toronto Blue Jays

5. Baltimore Orioles

 

It shouldn't be a shock that Tampa was picked to win the division. They're the most complete team in the division. With both the Red Sox and Yankees coming into the season with more questions than answers, this is the year that Tampa takes the division. Boston has undergone massive changes in the offseason. Most notably, the addition of manager Bobby Valentine. Valentine, who already brings a circus along to an already circus like locker room, could either make or break this team. Also I don't think that there's ever been a case of a pitching staff getting better by subtraction. Boston loses two starters (John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka)and could possibly be looking at a rotation with last year's set up man, Daniel Bard and either Alfredo Aceves or Aaron Cook to take the 5 spot. Toronto has a nice up and coming team. Though, they're still a year or two away from being in the mix. Lastly, Baltimore. The team that couldn't get out of their own way last season, is shaping up to be more of the same. 

AL Central

1. Detroit Tigers

2. Minnesota Twins

3. Chicago White Sox

4. Cleveland Indians

5. Kansas City Royals

Reigning MVP and Cy Young Justin Verlander had a remarkable season last year. No one was as dominant as he was. Detroit also landed one of the prized possessions of the Free Angent crop, in Prince Fielder. Minnesota should be able to bounce back from injuries to Mauer and Morneau, to finish right behind Detroit. Chicago's changes in management and losing Buehrle to Miami, could have them sinking in the middle of the pack once again. Cleveland is a team that lives and dies on a healthy Grady Sizemore. Should he be healthy, there's a chance the Tribe could make some noise. 

AL West

1. Texas Rangers

2. Los Angeles Angels 

3. Oakland Athletics

4. Seattle Mariners

Both Texas and the Angels made some significant moves this offseason. Most notibly the Angels with the additions of both Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson. While Texas went out and got Japanese hurler Yu Darvish, and signed closer Joe Nathan. Oakland comes in as a complete dark horse. They go out and sign Cuban defection Yoenis Cespedes, and also signed Manny Ramirez. Seattle has it's known superstars in Ichiro and Felix Hernandez, and an up and comer in Justin Smoak. The M's have a little of ways to go on both sides to make a run for the top.

NL East

1. Philadelphia Phillies

2. Miami Marlins 

3. Atlanta Braves

4. Washington Nationals

5. New York Mets

The Phillies have been the kings of this division for a few years now with almost no competition from it's rivals. That all changed last season with Atlanta making a run for the division until the final month. They still have their core in tact to stay atop of the division. Miami who has gone through the biggest revamp of the offseason. They net Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, Ozzie Guillen takes over as manager, and now they represent the city and not the state anymore. They also have a talented young core, and could give the Phillies a run for their money in the division. Atlanta has a lot to prove after their collapse as well. They have the weapons to fire on all cylanders, starting with Jason Heyward. Let's not forget about the Nationals either. The Nats come in with one of the most talented teams in the league. Bryce Harper may be starting the season in AAA, but they still have Ryan Zimmerman and Stephen Strausburg. The Nats look great on paper, but are still about a year or two away from being solid contenders. I don't think I need to get into the Mets troubles.

NL Central

1. St. Louis Cardinals

2. Milwaukee Brewers 

3. Chicago Cubs

4. Cincinnati Reds

5. Pittsburgh Pirates

6. Houston Astros

The Cardinals may has lost some significant pieces in manager Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols. They still have the thing that got them to the World Series; their pitching. Still being anchored by Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright. They still also have Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday. Carlos Beltran adds depth to their outfield. New manager Mike Matheny still has a lot of depth to work with. The Brew Crew may have lost their Prince, but they still have Ryan Braun. Braun who was subject of a heated PED scandal was cleared and is looking ahead to the season. They still have Zack Greinke as their ace and Fransisco Rodriguez as their closer, along with Nyjer Morgan bringing a lot of character to the locker room. The Cubs wanted a piece of what the Red Sox had in 2004. So what did they do? Went out and got Theo Epstein from Boston. Theo brought in former Red Sox third base coach Dale Sveum to spearhead his team. Both the Reds and Pirates have some budding stars in Joey Votto(Reds) and Andrew McCutchen(Pirates). Houston's last season in the National League, will go down much like their previous season. Not very good.

NL West

1. San Fransisco Giants

2. Arizona Diamondbacks

3. Los Angeles Dodgers

4. Colorado Rockies

5. San Diego Padres

The Giants were reeling last season with the loss of catcher, Buster Posey. Though still managed to stay in the hunt for the division all season. With a healthy Posey and that pitching staff firing on all cylinders, it's going to be hard for anyone in the division to catch them. Arizona comes off a great season and winning the division. Justin Upton was one of the many bright spots on this roster last season, Ian Kennedy who had a remarkable season last year should hopefully retain that pace he was on last season. The DBacks also have a young emerging prospect on their hands in Trevor Bauer, who ready to make an impact. Finally, the LA Dodgers have an owner. With one Ervin "Magic" Johnson as part owner of the club. The Dodgers still come in as a heavily talented team. From Clayton Kershaw, to Matt Kemp, to Andre Ethier, and James Loney. Though, for them to be effective, Loney has to step up to the plate and protect Kemp. Troy Tulowitzki continues to light up Coors on a shallow Rockies roster. 

Now to the playoffs

AL Wild Card matchup

Boston Red Sox vs Los Angeles Angels

Winner: Red Sox

AL Divisional

Texas Rangers vs Boston Red Sox

Winner: Texas 3-1

Tampa Bay Rays vs Detroit Tigers

Winner: Rays 3-2

ALCS

Texas Rangers vs Tampa Bay Rays

Winner: Texas 4-2

NL Wild Card

Miami Marlins vs Atlanta Braves

Winner: Miami

NL Divisional

St. Louis Cardinals vs Miami Marlins

Winner: Miami 3-2

Philadelhpia Phillies vs San Fransisco Giants 

Winner: Giants 3-2

NLCS 

San Fransisco Giants vs Miami Marlins

Winner: Giants 4-1

 

World Series

Texas Rangers vs San Fransisco Giants

Winner: Texas 4-3

 

It's very hard pressed to be a Red Sox blog and not pick them to win it all. Though sometimes you have to pick with your head and not your heart. This is one of those times.