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SVM's thoughts on 2014 MLB season

Published: Saturday, March 29, 2014 12:07 a.m. CST

Dan Woessner – Sports Editor

Your favorite team?

Growing up in a family of Cubs' fans, I didn't have much of a chance to be anything else. So, I suffer like so many others, waiting for that elusive ring. Maybe this year!

Which Chicago team will win the most games in 2014?

Despite my optimism for the Cubbies, the White Sox are built to contend right now. Cubs pitching staff is weaker than last two seasons. Sox made some interesting moves in offseason.

What player do you wish your team had?

Cubs need so many things, but I think a player of Andrew McCutchen's talent would be a big boost. Plus, he knows how to take a pretender to a contender.

Which team will be a surprise contender?

Sticking in the midwest, the Brewers should be improved, but the NL Central is going to be tough. Don't be surprised if big spenders like the Phillies and Blue Jays shuffle up into division races.

Who will play in, and win the 2014 World Series?

I think the Dodgers and Rays will play in series that can be sold as David vs. Goliath – at least in terms of how the two teams do business. In the end, I think the Dodgers' money, I mean er… talent wins out.

Ty Reynolds – Sports Reporter

Favorite team?

I’m a Cubs fan, mainly because growing up in Iowa City, Cubs games were always on WGN. Plus my buddies growing up were also mostly Cubs fans, so that’s just the way it was.

Which Chicago team will win the most games in 2014?

I would say the White Sox will win more games, but with the Cubs’ youth and questions surrounding the pitching staff, that’s not really saying a whole lot.

What player do you wish your team had?

Bryce Harper. He rubs people the wrong way with his brash demeanor and ultra confidence, but the kid can hit for power, hit for average, drive in runs, and just be a consistent producer game in and game out. (But Mike Trout would also look good in Cubbie blue.)

Which team will be a surprise contender?

Washington Nationals. Lots of good, young talent, but they’re all guys who have been around a few years now. Plus, the last few years, the NL East hasn’t been the powerhouse it once was, so the Nats could do some damage in their own division.

Who will play in, and win the 2014 World Series?

San Francisco will face off against Boston in the World Series, and the Giants will win ... because they’ve won the last two titles in even-numbered years, plus their pitching staff (if it stays healthy) is as solid as it gets.

Brian Weidman – Sports Reporter

Favorite team?

Chicago Cubs. Dad suffered for decades with them, and now it's my turn to carry that torch.

Which Chicago team will win the most games in 2014?

Cubs. Both will be no good, but one team has to come out on top.

What player do you wish your team had?

Mike Trout, Angels OF. A young stud to patrol center field, bat third in the lineup and produce great numbers – that would be awesome to have.

Which team will be a surprise contender?

Kansas City Royals. I've just got a hunch the Tigers and Indians won't be what they're cracked up to be, and the White Sox and Twins will be bad. That opens the door for KC, which is flush with young talent.

Who will play in, and win the 2014 World Series?

I'll predict a repeat of last year's Series, Red Sox vs. Cardinals, only St. Louis will win this time around. The Cards just have so many good, young arms, and the offense is stacked as well.

Jeff Rogers – Managing Editor

Favorite team?

The Chicago Cubs, unfortunately. My dad, an Atlanta Braves fan, took me to my first baseball game in 1969 at Wrigley -- Cubs vs. Braves. Ken Holtzman threw a no-hitter for the Cubs. Go figure.

Which Chicago team will win the most games in 2014?

White Sox. Better pitching. More MLB talent at the plate. But wait 'til next year!

Which team will be a surprise contender?

Miami Marlins. Great young talent, especially in the starting rotation, and no pressure or expectations.

Who will play in, and win the 2014 World Series?

Washington Nationals over Detroit Tigers. Because it's simply been a matter of time for all of the young talent in D.C. to put it all together. It's time.

Larry Lough – Executive Editor

Favorite team?

Reds. I grew up 90 miles from Crosley Field.

Which Chicago team will win the most games in 2014?

Which team won't lose 100? Sox – better arms at the top of the rotation.

What player do you wish your team had?

Mike Trout. At 22, he does more things better than anybody in the game.

Which team will be a surprise contender?

Angels. All that talent is due to jell.

Who will play in, and win the 2014 World Series?

Tigers over the Pirates. Love it when the coasts get shut out of the Series.

Christopher Heimerman – Night News Editor

Favorite team?

Milwaukee Brewers. Cheeseheads, represent!

Which Chicago team will win the most games in 2014?

The Chicago White Sox. And they'd better enjoy it, because the Cubbie cavalry will truly arrive in 2015. In the meantime, the Sox acquired one of the most often-overlooked pieces the lineup puzzle: a prototypical leadoff hitter. Fans of the Southsiders are going to love watching Adam Eaton.

What player do you wish your team had?

Adam Eaton. See: previous response. Oh, and I'm not looking forward to some serious Norichika Aoki withdrawl this season.

Which team will be a surprise contender?

How about another segueway? Look out for Aoki and his new club, the Kansas City Royals. It's taken forever for them to develop a glut of promising hitters, but guys like Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon have finally realized their potential. Seriously, though? Look at all those former Brewers (Lorenzo Cain in CF and Alcides Escobar at SS). How could the Royals not hold a place in my heart?

Who will play in, and win the 2014 World Series?

The Boston Red Sox finally break through (snark, snark), thanks to being the most complete team in baseball. They will play the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will ride a resurgent Matt Kemp and far and away the best bullpen in baseball. I'll go the extra step and take the Dodgers in 6. I could see the Sox beating Zach Greinke Hyun-Jin Ryu in one of their two starts. But Clayton Kershaw baffles Boston both times he toes the slab.

Jim Dunn – Opinion Page Editor

Favorite team?

The Cubs. I got hooked in 1969 when they roared so far ahead in their division and led for so much of the season, only to stumble and fall to the Amazin' Mets. I thought, surely they'll do better next year. I've been saying that for 45 years.

Which Chicago team will win the most games in 2014?

The Cubs' measly 66 wins last season edged out the Sox's 63. They've both improved somewhat and should both win more this season (I hope). Cubs, 82 wins; Sox, 80.

What player do you wish your team had?

Give me one of last year's Cy Young winners, please: Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers or Max Sherzer of the Tigers. Cubs could use a proven winner on the mound.

Which team will be a surprise contender?

The Twins (66-96 last season) traditionally have found ways to win, at least against the Sox (which I don't mind one bit). Look for them to bounce back.

Who will play in, and win the 2014 World Series?

Pirates vs. A's. Both Cinderella teams did very well last year, and should do so again. I think it'll be the A's in seven.

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