Mariners will take home crown | NevadaAppeal.com

Mariners will take home crown

It doesn't seem that long ago when two unlikely contenders battled to the final game for baseball's most coveted prize.

Since winning their third title in the last five years, the Giants and the rest of the Major League Baseball opens the 2015 season this weekend when the Cardinals and Cubs square off Sunday night. The rest of the teams hit the field on Monday with San Francisco traveling to Arizona highlighting Opening Day.

Much has happened this past offseason, including the Padres finally showing the rest of the division they want to be part of the discussion in making the playoffs. But the best part of this time of the year, besides your team being undefeated, is the excitement and optimism.

Will your team surprise the naysayers and make the playoffs? Or will your favorite squad concede halfway through the season and prepare for 2016?

Regardless, April is one of the best parts of the season because of Opening Day.

Here are five bold predictions for the 2015 season.

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1. San Diego will win the West

Forget about the Dodgers winning the division this year. And it's an odd year so the Giants will be on the couch in October.

But the Padres made some of the biggest moves this offseason and will bring life back into San Diego for the first time since 2010. But the last time this team had so much talent, it choked at the wrong time with a 10-game skid in late August.

Nevertheless, San Diego is now a threat this year and will win the division.

2. The Cardinals will be dethroned

There's no such thing as rebuilding in St. Louis. Consider it reloading, year after year after year. Even if the Cardinals don't reach the World Series, they still find a way into the playoffs.

But their luck will run out this year in baseball's toughest division. The Pirates emerged late last year, while the Cubs are a season away from having a good shot of evoking a curse.

All good things must come to an end.

3. From last to first go the Red Sox

This sounds so familiar. Boston was a joke several years ago in Terry Francona's last year with players' uncontrollable behavior off the field. Then something magical happened. Despite the Boston Marathon bombing, the city and team rallied and won the World Series two years ago.

Last year, Boston wasn't good but all signs have the team going from last to first once again this year. With some new acquisitions, the Red Sox will give the Orioles and Yankees another worthy battle for the crown and take the division.

4. Moneyball goes bankrupt

The A's are such a feel-good story. They continuously prove the David and Goliath story did happen.

They take advantage of the farm system, acquire unwanted misfits and then turn that into a winning formula that baffles experts every day.

After missing out on the playoffs last year, Oakland will continue to see this trend develop unless it wins the lottery and keeps– its talent in the city. If money wasn't an issue, how many pennants could the A's have won since adopting the unconventional tactic last decade?

5. The Mariners will win the World Series

This is the boldest of the bold. Seattle will become one of the country's most successful sports cities with the Seahawks owners of back-to-back Super Bowl appearances (and one title) and now little brother will follow suit.

Seattle came so close last year to making the playoffs but the big offseason moves from the last few years will finally pay off.

Expect an exciting conclusion to the 2015 season with the Mariners outlasting the Nationals for the World Series.

The King will finally get his ring.

Thomas Ranson can be contacted at lvnsports@yahoo.com.

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