Brian Markley
Staff Writer

For most, signs of spring arriving are the smell of fresh cut grass, the color of the tulips re-growing from their winter slumber and the sound of kids racing by on bikes. For baseball fans, however, the signs of spring arriving are the smell of hot dogs, the image of a perfectly raked diamond and the sound of the crack of a baseball bat.

Another Major League Baseball season is (finally) upon us. The 2019 season technically started last week with the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics playing a two-game series in Tokyo, Japan, however, opening day for everyone is this Thursday, March 28. Every single team will begin their World Series campaign on Opening Day.

While every new season is exciting, this one has a little more buzz surrounding it. Superstars like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Paul Goldschmidt have all changed teams. Along with these familiar faces being in new places, the league is more balanced than it has ever been, with division races to watch that will last all season.

The National League East and National League Central are going to be the two divisions to keep an eye on throughout the season. Both divisions have four play-off contenders in them, and it will be incredibly interesting to see how these divisions pan out, especially with the Philadelphia Phillies adding Bryce Harper in the east and the St. Louis Cardinals adding Paul Goldschmidt in the central. The National League West is the Los Angeles Dodgers’ division to lose, but my team to watch in this division is the San Diego Padres. They added Manny Machado to a line-up that could be incredibly dangerous in a season or two with the prospects that they have in their farm system.

The American League is not nearly as deep as the National League, but it contains some of the best teams in baseball. The American League East is going to be a two team race once again between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. The Tampa Bay Rays will be interesting to watch, along with the Toronto Blue Jays once they call up the top prospect in baseball in Vladimir Guerrero Jr.