The San Francisco Giants won it all again last year as they defeated the surprising Kansas City Royals in seven games to capture the World Series title.
But that was last year and there are changes abound entering the new season, especially in Chicago where both the Cubs and White Sox have made many changes and their fan base is very optimistic entering the new season.
The Cubs plucked the biggest prize in the free agent pool when they signed starting pitcher Jon Lester and also added Manager Joe Maddon to lead the way. Meanwhile, the White Sox inked outfielder Melky Cabrera, infielder Adam LaRoche and pitchers Jeff Samardzija and (closer) David Robertson. They are expected to make a move up in the American League Central division this year, which suddenly looks to be baseball's most competitive entering the 2015 season.
The pennant races promise to offer many surprises and expectations all summer long and who knows what to expect any more following the post-season a year ago that saw the Royals and Giants emerge from nowhere to play in the Fall Classic.
The following offers a capsule style look at each of the divisions in the American and National Leagues while also attempting to predict the post-season and World Series winner.
1. Washington - The Nationals are loaded with starting pitching and have no excuses not to win this division and possibly the World Series this year.
2. Miami (wild card) - The Marlins may very well be a wild card team this year.
3. New York Mets - Good pitching, decent lineup could add up to a winning record in 2015.
4. Atlanta - The Braves seem to be in rebuilding mode.
5. Philadelphia - The Phillies may be having a "fire sale" come late July.
1. Pittsburgh - The Pirates are a solid ball club and would like to get to the World Series this season.
2. St. Louis (wild card) - The Cardinals will likely be in the thick of things once again this year.
3. Chicago Cubs - The Cubs made some big moves in off-season and are hoping they pay off.
4. Milwaukee - Can the Brewers rebound after last season's big collapse?
5. Cincinnati - The Reds had many injuries last season, so they may move up in the division race.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers - This team made some changes but still has solid pitching and need to get it done in the playoffs.
2. San Francisco - The Giants did it again last year by winning their third World Series title in the last five years ... expect them to contend once again.
3. San Diego -The Padres added punch to their lineup and a number-one starting pitcher so don't count them out in the West.
4. Colorado - The Rockies are a team with questions marks once again entering the new season.
5. Arizona - See above comment.
1. Baltimore - The Orioles lost some key players from a year ago, but they have solid pitching and air tight defense as well as one of the best managers in the game.
2. Boston - The Red Sox looking to rebound after a disastrous 2014 campaign.
3. Toronto - Will this be the year the Blue Jays finally put it all together and win the AL East? It could happen.
4. New York Yankees - The Bronx Bombers will likely miss the post-season for the third straight season.
5. Tampa Bay - The Rays are in rebuilding mode this year.
1. Detroit - Do not write off the Tigers ... they are proven winners in this division.
2. Chicago White Sox (wild card) - There is real reason for optimism this season.
3. Cleveland - The Tribe seems to be getting a lot of accolades this year, now they have to go out and prove it.
4. Kansas City - It's a new season and the Royals won't be sneaking up on anyone this time around.
5. Minnesota - The Twins have some decent young talent, but they play in baseball's toughest division.
1. Seattle - The Mariners are the American League version of the Washington Nationals ... expect them to get back to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
2. Los Angeles Angels (wild card) - This team will not go away quietly.
3. Oakland - The A's could very well be right there once again in the AL West race.
4. Houston - The Astros escaped the basement last season and should do so again this year.
5. Texas - The Rangers already have lost their ace pitcher for the season ... Ouch!
2015 POST - SEASON PREDICTIONS
Wild Card Game - St. Louis over Miami
Division Series - Washington over St. Louis; Los Angeles Dodgers over Pittsburgh
NL Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers over Washington
Wild Card Game - Chicago White Sox over Los Angeles Angels
Division Series - Seattle over Chicago White Sox; Baltimore over Detroit
AL Championship Series - Seattle over Baltimore
Dodgers over Mariners