Hockey and basketball seasons are coming to a close. As the weather warms up, sports fans are gearing up for baseball season! Does it get any better than cracking open a cold one and watching your favorite team play on a hot day in the summer? Blue Line Sports Bar & Grill is going to take a look at how this Major League Baseball season could shake out. Let’s take a heavy look at the American League Central and National League Central Divisions.
The National League Central
The Chicago Cubs won their first World Series since 1908 last fall and return as the favorites to win the National League. The Cubs have a solid pitching staff back, led by starters Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. Their lineup is also formidable with young stars like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber mixed in with veterans like Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist.
But if one team can overcome the Cubs this year, it’s Blue Line owner Scott Widor’s favorite team, the Milwaukee Brewers! Right? Everyone knows this is the Brewers’ year!
Milwaukee’s lineup has one familiar name in left fielder Ryan Braun, but the rest is filled with young and upcoming talent. Expect big years this season from catcher Jett Bandy, shortstop Orlando Arcia, center fielder Keon Broxton and third baseman Travis Shaw.
The Brewers’ pitching staff should also be solid – led by Wily Peralta, Zach Davies, and Jimmy Nelson.
The American League Central
Over to the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians are the favorite to repeat as champions. Cleveland lost to the Cubs in the World Series last season and bring back a pitching staff that would make any team jealous.
Cleveland returns ace Corey Kluber, along with Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. The Indians’ lineup didn’t take a hit, either, as vibrant young shortstop Francisco Lindor is back to lead the way.
In our neck of the woods, the Minnesota Twins can only be better than the 59-win team they trotted out on the field in 2016. Minnesota’s pitching staff of Ervin Santana, Hector Santiago and Phil Hughes is a solid one, but the other two spots in the rotation are huge question marks.
The lineup has some potency in it, but young talent like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario and Max Kepler are going to have to start delivering to turn the Twins back into a contender.
Central Minnesota Baseball
Besides watching great baseball on television and driving to the cities and beyond, we have some fantastic local baseball organizations. At Blue Line, we are happy to be a sponsor supporter of the St. Cloud Rox. Actually, we are going to be referred to their “Home Away From Home” for the 2017 season. We will be streaming all Rox away games and will also be hosting a season opening party and viewing on May 30th at 6:30 PM. If you have yet to attend or view a Rox game, educate yourself this summer. You're missing out on some fantastic local baseball.
To watch the Twins and Brewers in action, along with any of your favorite MLB teams this season, stop by the Blue Line Bar & Grill in Sartell or the Blue Line South just off Roosevelt Road on Sunridge Drive. Let’s PLAAAAAY BALL!