Today is Opening Day in Major League Baseball, a day which the league will happily tell you should be a holiday, and a day which I will happily tell Major League Baseball should be on a weekend if they want us all to watch baseball all day. The good news is that, unlike last season, I more or less feel okay with Major League Baseball happening–while I think some teams are being a bit reckless in terms of how many fans are allowed to attend games, the very fact that baseball is happening seems okay. And every willing player should be vaccinated within the next few months, so that’s good!

I won’t lie–this is probably the least I’ve ever followed an off-season. The day the Cardinals got eliminated from the 2020 postseason, a few hours earlier, I toured a house which I eventually (co-)bought. Later that month, I proposed to my girlfriend. I got diagnosed with COVID-19 along the way (on January 6, a day I will always be able to remember because, well, other events happened that day too) but even managed to squeeze in a COVID-19 shot two days ago. Also, my day job is in accounting and it’s tax season, and also I was looking at our wedding venue the day the Cardinals traded for Nolan Arenado. I’m trying my best here (please ignore the 27 nostalgia-bait posts over the last month and a half)!

I should be clear that I more or less know transactionally what happened–I may not know every team’s minor league free agent haul, but it’s not like I don’t know where Trevor Bauer or J.T. Realmuto signed or whatever. I just haven’t developed the most coherent or well-articulated takes on all thirty MLB teams. So I’m limiting myself to haikus–a 5-7-5 prediction of every MLB team’s divisional standing and a prediction of every MLB series (I cannot be held responsible if Manfred changes the playoff format a few hours before the season again, I am only human). Is it insightful? No. Is it entertaining? Probably not. But will this provide a written record of my predictions for the 2021 season? Until my picks backfire spectacularly and I delete the post, yes. Forgive the weird #1 formatting I am too lazy and/or dumb to fix.

AL West

5. Seattle Mariners

Playoff drought’s a drag,

but this rebuild is needed.

Acquire non-Kyles.

4. Texas Rangers

Khris Davis is fun.

Hit all the bombs with Gallo.

Still can’t really pitch.

3. Los Angeles Angels

Lots of cool players.

Wasted Trout for a decade.

That’s the Angels way.

2. Oakland Athletics

Due respect to Matts,

Andrus off Texas is sin.

They shall be punished.

  1. Houston Astros

Everyone hates them,

But they are still dominant.

Astros by a mile.

AL East

5. Baltimore Orioles

Really, I shouldn’t

Belabor the point too much.

Orioles fans know.

4. Boston Red Sox

Twenty-twenty sucked

For Sox fans especially,

But they’ll be okay.

3. Tampa Bay Rays

Last year was a lot,

And they won’t replicate that.

Still playoff worthy.

2. Toronto Blue Jays

They’re young and adding.

Springer and the Sons will rise,

But pitching’s still thin.

  1. New York Yankees

The lineup’s still stacked,

And the rotation top’s great.

The AL’s best team.

AL Central

5. Detroit Tigers

Some good young players.

Jeimer Candelario

Only fits Line 2.

4. Kansas City Royals

Not Matheny’s fault

That this team is rebuilding.

Maybe they’ll see Witt.

3. Cleveland Indians

Just ditch the nickname.

Maybe it’ll distract from

Cynical tanking.

2. Chicago White Sox

Can’t say they aren’t

Trying to win division.

Maybe next season.

  1. Minnesota Twins

Quietly splashy,

They seem to improve each year.

Still kings of Central.

NL West

5. Colorado Rockies

Do the rich feel shame?

Sure seems like the Monforts should.

An embarrassment.

4. San Francisco Giants

Yaz’s grandson Mike

Did a good job concealing

Dynasty remnants.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks

They have some pieces,

Perhaps a star in Marte,

But they’re distant third.

2. San Diego Padres

Baseball’s most fun team

Now has a real rotation,

But you seen L.A.?

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Baseball’s greatest team

Somehow improved with Bauer.

Favorites to repeat.

NL East

5. Miami Marlins

They aren’t “awful”

And they have building blocks, but

Last year was a fluke.

4. Philadelphia Phillies

J.T. plus Harper,

It seems they should be better.

But it’s a tough East.

3. Washington Nationals

Just two years removed

And most of the core remains.

Outside Wild Card chance.

2. New York Mets

Lindor helps a lot

And the rotation remains,

But first is a lot.

  1. Atlanta Braves

Last year’s MVP

Might be their fourth best player.

This lineup is great.

NL Central

5. Pittsburgh Pirates

It’s hard to believe

They fell apart so quickly,

But it hasn’t stopped.

4. Cincinnati Reds

Even with Bauer,

They fielded a middling team.

Mediocre squad.

3. Chicago Cubs

If they even tried,

They’d win Central handily.

Ricketts seems happy.

2. St. Louis Cardinals

Arenado helps,

And they have stars for a run.

May not have the depth.

  1. Milwaukee Brewers

Yelich should bounce back,

And last year’s holes have been filled.

Wong put them on top.

Wild Card Games

Blue Jays vs. Rays

Rays will miss Blake Snell

When Vlad, Bo, and co. tee off.

Party heads up north.

Mets vs. Padres

In a tight battle,

It can be hard to pick sides.

So I take deGrom.

LDS

Blue Jays vs. Yankees

Blue Jays have talent,

But Yankees can overwhelm.

Can’t resist pinstripes.

Astros vs. Twins

Twins do win a game.

Party like 2004.

Houston still takes it.

Dodgers vs. Padres

In series of dreams,

Padres don’t go down easy.

But they do go down.

Braves vs. Mets

Just one deGrom start,

And plenty of Braves lineup.

Atlanta moves on.

LCS

Astros vs. Yankees

New York gets revenge

For 2019 loss.

(Pronounced “two thousand”)

Braves vs. Dodgers

Anyone can win,

But there is a good reason

LA is safe choice.

World Series

Dodgers vs. Yankees

Is it possible

Not to go with the Dodgers?

I guess. But I won’t.

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