Amelia Parreira is a journalism junior and Mustang News columnist. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Mustang News editorial.
Once again, we are approaching the absolute best time of year. The cold winter air is evaporating, the trees are blossoming and, like the blooming flowers, baseball season is springing to life once again.
And what is baseball season without some early postseason predictions?
Take a look at a few teams that are bound to make a grand appearance this year.
San Francisco Giants
After winning the World Series championship title in 2010, 2012 and 2014, the San Francisco Giants are destined to win in this even-numbered year … right?
The Giants have been working hard this past offseason to make sure that happens. Along with getting essential players like starting pitcher Matt Cain and second baseman Joe Panik back to full health, the Giants have signed high-status ballplayers to beef up to the team’s defense.
The club signed former Washington Nationals speedster Denard Span, who is not only expected to fill the gap in the outfield, but also play a big part in Giants’ offense.
Span brought in 38 runs last season and 94 runs in the 2014 season. He also came in first with 184 hits that same year.
Something that the Giants lacked through much of the 2015 season is a steady pitching lineup. However, the Giants spent a total of $220 million to sign right-handed pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto. Both pitchers are former All-starts and should be just what the Giants need to hold up a wall against their opponents.
But despite building a fierce and compatible team for the upcoming season, the Giants will have some tough competition ahead of them.
The Chicago Cubs are in a 107-season championship drought, and couldn’t be thirstier for that Commissioner’s Trophy. The Cubs made it to the postseason in 2015, but had their run cut short by the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series.
Now they are doing whatever they can to make history in 2016, which is more than possible.
With young power hitters like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs are another club to have spent big money on free agents this offseason, acquiring core players like Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist, who was one of the top players on the Giants’ free agent wish list.
There is no doubt that the Cubs will be hard to beat in the 2016 season.
After finishing the 2015 season 13 games back from the top spot in the NL West division, the Diamondbacks are looking to make a comeback this season.
The Diamondbacks made their first big move by signing former Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher Zack Greinke a six-year, $206.5 million deal. The right-handed starter held a 19-3 record and 1.66 ERA last season, and led the Dodgers to multiple postseason series.
The Diamondbacks also acquired former Atlanta Braves pitcher Shelby Miller in a trade. Miller did not play his all-time best last season, but is expected to turn that back around in the coming months.
Along with multiple other trades, the Diamondbacks picked up former Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura. Segura burst onto the scene in 2013, batting .294 with 44 stolen bases to make the NL All-star team. His stats have regressed slightly since, but Segura remains a threat on the basepaths.
After going without a World Series win for almost 15 years, the Diamondbacks are surely going to contend in 2016.
Correction: A previous edition of this article said Span was the 2014 NL MVP. He finished 19th in voting that year.