The 2021 .
The 2021 baseball season is officially here! Spring training kicks off today with plenty of contests around the league. As we prepare for the next MLB season, here are the major storylines to follow this year.
With last season being cut down to 60 games for the regular season, pitchers saw less than half the starts of a normal season. It is unknown so far how this will affect pitchers throughout the season but the second half could see an influx of new pitchers and edits to the rotation in order to protect some pitchers arms. Certain teams have even moved to a 6-man rotation as opposed to the standard 5-man in order to give their players an extra day of rest.
Dodgers vs. Padres
The Padres have made some moves in recent years and have a “win-now” mentality. They are done with their rebuilding years and are poised to make a legitimate run at a championship. Unfortunately they have to play the defending champion Dodgers 19 times throughout the season. Expect tempers to run high as this could become a new-age rivalry in the NL.
Sorting the next generation
Juan Soto made a name for himself two years ago when the Nationals won the world series. Ronald Acuna Jr. was a breakout star last season for the Braves. Some of the greats in the game right now are beginning to age just a little bit. Trout turns 30 this year and has quickly become a veteran among the league. It is time now for the younger players to step up and make a name for themselves.
Return of the Amazin’ Mets
No team has more hype this year than the New York Mets. They traded for Francisco Lindor and are projected to be the best team in the NL East but the Braves will not go down quietly. The Mets can make a run for a title, but their road is anything but clear.
Will fans return to games?
The 2020 season was uncomfortable for us all. Personally, I believe this was the first year since I was little that I did not attend a baseball game AT ALL. Normally my second home is the ballpark. Some teams will be able to entertain a limited number of fans but it is not likely that we will see full stadiums like once before. At least this doesn’t effect teams like the Mariners who have all of 8,000 fans at a game on a good day.
Some of the rules from 2020 have carried over to this season. Once again we will see 7-inning double-headers, a universal DH, and a starting runner on 2nd base in extra innings. These rule changes did not really affect the outcome of last season but we did only have 60 games.
The looming labor war
In 1994 we saw the MLB season cut short as a result of a player strike. We are currently trending in that direction after the offseason which saw numerous exchanges between the MLB and the players association. The two sides have not been able to agree on much and we could be in store for a full lockout in 2022. If that does happen, we will have only seen one 162-game season in a matter of three years.
So who are you rooting for this year? Let us know in the comments who you want to see take home the commissioners trophy.
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