MLB 2012 Season Preview: Dream Matchups

March 27, 2012

Photo credit: Getty Images

Each year, thousands of baseball writers, analysts, and self-proclaimed experts try to predict the results of an entire season. By season’s end, most of these predictions will probably look foolish. Nonetheless, it’s still a fun routine. So here are our dream World Series matchups for the upcoming season:

Chicago Cubs vs. Detroit Tigers
Pop quiz! When’s the last time the Cubs won the World Series? Stumped? Unless you’re a Cubs fan or a baseball historian, you might not know it was more than a century ago, back in 1908 when Chicago beat Detroit in five games for their second consecutive title. What better way to end the 104-year World Series drought than with a rematch against the Tigers? Unless it’s…

Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox
If there’s one person who knows anything about ending a World Series drought, it’s Theo Epstein, the Cub’s new president of baseball operations. You might know him previously as the man who ended Boston Red Sox’s 86-year drought in 2004 and led them to another title in 2007. Epstein joined the Cubs this offseason after being let go by the Red Sox because of a dismal 7-20 finish last season. There would be no sweeter revenge for Epstein than to knock out his former team in the World Series.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Angels
The biggest story this offseason was none other than the Angel’s signing prized free agent Albert Pujols to a 10-year $254 million contract. The three-time National League MVP left the St. Louis Cardinals where he won two World Series titles in 11 seasons — including last year’s unbelievable title run. It would be a tough task for the Cardinals to return to the World Series this season, but if we can dream, there would be no better matchup than this one between the Cards and Albert Pujols and the Angels.

Washington Nationals vs. Texas Rangers
Stephen Strasburg vs. Yu Darvish: We can’t think of a more intriguing World Series pitching matchup. Two years ago, the most exciting thing in baseball was Washington Nationals’ pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg. The then rookie sensation more than lived up to the hype until he got hurt. This season, the new pitching phenom is Texas Rangers’ Yu Darvish, an international sensation from Japan. While Darvish is looking good in spring training, he still has a long way to go. As for Strasburg, he’s back, healthy, and starting on opening day, which is good news not just for the Nationals but baseball fans worldwide.

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees
Two of the greatest baseball players of our generation might be calling it quits after this season. Mariano Rivera of the Yankees has hinted that this season would be his last, and Chipper Jones of the Braves has already declared 2012 to be his final one. It would be fitting if both men could close out their Hall-of-Fame careers on baseball’s biggest stage in the 2012 Fall Classic. Imagine this: It’s Game 7 of the World Series. Bottom of the ninth. Two outs. Man on first. Yankees up by 1. Mariano Rivera on the mound and Chipper Jones walking to the plate. We can dream, can’t we?

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