Mike Trout. (Photo: Getty Images)

There’s a song written by Emerson, Lake & Palmer back in 1973 that I always attribute the start of a new Major League Baseball season to.

Titled “Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression, Part 2,” the song opens with the line “Welcome back, my friends. To the show that never attends. We’re so glad you could attend! Come inside! Come inside!”

It just screams baseball to me.

Ever since we’ve had access to every song in the world at our fingertips (thank you, internet), I’ve played this track on Opening Day. It’s the only time I listen to it during the calendar year before I place the words and lyrics back into the various cortexes of my brain for it to get dusted off again the following spring.

 

In my own little world, I feel like I’m doing my part to ensure that this song remains relevant 45 years after its release; providing a rejuvenation of sorts to the work.

And in a way, that’s what baseball does to us. It rejuvenates us.

Nothing ushers in spring quite like Opening Day. After hiding away from winter, baseball allows us the opportunity to throw the shades open, let in the sunlight and revert back to our youth, regardless of how long ago it’s been.

It can warm the oldest, curmudgeonly bones. Bones that even belong to White Sox or Marlins fans; teams destined to be in the cellar of the standings this year.

A new year — Major League Baseball’s 150th season — starts up on Thursday afternoon despite a looming threat of rain here in the Northeastern portion of the Untied States. At this very moment, we are precariously perched for a memorable summer of dizzying divisional races, emerging stars and established legends captivating us for the better part of eight months. 

While we here at Metro send you our warmest regards for a happy, healthy baseball season, I attempted to predict what the landscape of the league will look like once the dust settles in October.

Play ball.

2018 MLB Predictions

NL EAST

NATIONALS- 96-66

METS- 87-75

PHILLIES- 82-80

BRAVES- 70-92

MARLINS- 63-99

 

NL CENTRAL

CUBS- 93-69

CARDINALS- 86-76

BREWERS- 85-75

PIRATES- 74-88

REDS- 65-97

 

NL WEST

DODGERS- 95-67

DIAMONDBACKS- 83-79

GIANTS- 81-81

ROCKIES- 80-82

PADRES- 78-84

 

AL EAST

YANKEES- 95-67 

RED SOX- 93-69

BLUE JAYS- 84-78

ORIOLES- 77-85

RAYS- 74-88

 

AL CENTRAL

INDIANS- 94-68

TWINS- 85-75

TIGERS- 74-88

ROYALS- 71-91

WHITE SOX- 66-96

 

AL WEST

ASTROS- 102-60

ANGELS- 88-74

ATHLETICS- 82-80

MARINERS- 81-81

RANGERS- 79-83

 

WILD CARD GAMES

NL: METS def. CARDINALS

AL: RED SOX def. ANGELS

 

ALDS

ASTROS def. RED SOX

YANKEES def. INDIANS

 

NLDS

NATIONALS def. METS

DODGERS def. CUBS

 

ALCS

ASTROS def. YANKEES

 

NLCS

NATIONALS def. DODGERS

 

WORLD SERIES

ASTROS def. NATIONALS

 

NL CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER

CLAYTON KERSHAW, LOS ANGELES DODGERS (PROJECTED STATS)

20-6

2.52 ERA

220 K’s

 

AL CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER

CHRIS SALE, BOSTON RED SOX (PROJECTED STATS)

18-8

2.97 ERA

272 K’s

 

NL MVP WINNER

NOLAN ARENADO, COLORADO ROCKIES (PROJECTED STATS)

.298 BA

41 HR

103 RBI

 

AL MVP WINNER

MIKE TROUT, LOS ANGELES ANGELS (PROJECTED STATS)

.309 BA

43 HR

119 RBI

 

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS

FRANCISCO MEJIA, CLEVELAND INDIANS (AL)

RONALD ACUNA, ATLANTA BRAVES (NL)