Major League Baseball starts today. That means it’s time to pick who will emerge on top after playing 162 games over the next six months.

It is hard to fathom that the Houston Astros will not make another run at a World Series appearance. Not only do the Astros have one of the best rosters in baseball, but their division is one of the weakest in the game. Houston has the best pitching staff in baseball and another rising star in shortstop Jeremy Pena.

Both New York teams should contend in 2023 though both have questions. I believe Aaron Judge will not repeat his MVP numbers of a year ago for the Yankees. I also believe that the Mets may regret putting so much money into aging pitching stars, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. You will be hard pressed to find a franchise that has won a World Series with its top two pitchers being over the ages of 38.

I like the Atlanta Braves to come out of the National League. It has a much younger pitching staff to go along with an impressive lineup.Play Ball

My surprise pick to make the playoffs is the Los Angeles Angels. I have always found it hard to believe that the Angels, with the best two players in baseball, always find a way to miss out on the playoffs. Maybe things will be different this season and the team’s eight straight years of missing out on extra baseball will come to an end.

Final Four Fodder

Historically, this year’s Final Four of UConn, San Diego State, Florida Atlantic, and Miami is one of the most likely quartets the NCAA Tournament has ever seen.

Last week I gave you teams I felt were capable of winning the tourney. The Huskies of Connecticut remain from my picks and I will stick with them this weekend. UConn has not been tested in the tournament and seemingly hold an advantage over Miami at every position on the court.

I like San Diego State to move to the Finals. The Aztecs feature a defense that Florica Atlantic has not seen all season. SDSU is also a veteran team who will not be afraid of the moment.

You heard it here. UConn will cut down the nets in the Finals that take place on Monday.