It's time to lace up the spikes, grab some Big League Chew and start the 4th season of The Dugout. Since our inception, we have had 3 different Champions. But last year was the first time we have had a team make a repeat appearance, granted they took a year off but still... The Braves have been one of the winningest franchises since we started. With 3 straight division titles, 2 NL Penants and 1 World Series ring. If any team is poised to become a dynasty, it is them. The road won't be easy. The San Francisco Giants have been consistent winners as well and last year won a league high 100 games which was the highest win total since we began. Their season ended quickly. After a first round bye, they were eliminated by a streaking Miami Marlins squad who got hot at the right time and captured one of the 2 NL Wild Cards. The Marlins played one of the best post season games you will ever see last year, eliminating Pittsburgh in a 1-0 extra innings contest that went 14 innings. The NL Central is always a clusterfuck, so no one really knows what to expect there. The Cubs barely won the division last year, and stumbled the few final weeks. They nearly lost a huge lead late in September to Pittsburgh, and their season was ended at the hands of the eventual World Champion Atlanta Braves. The Braves were just too impressive last year and murdered the Marlins to capture the penant. In the American League, youth is the name of the game. Two upstart squads in Detroit and Atlanta both made deep playoff runs after capturing their divisions. In the AL East, the Orioles led wire to wire. A dominant offense, respectable pitching and solid leadership helped them win a division with powerhouses in the Yankees and Red Sox. In the AL Central, it was a dogfight all year long. Detroit and Cleveland were the favorites all along, and although the teams tied, the division was granted to Detroit. This forced Cleveland into a wildcard matchup with the late surging Rays. The AL West was the biggest surprise all year. Low budget Seattle pulled off the improbable, winning the division by an impressive 11 games over high rollers Texas and Los Angeles. They quickly become favorites again, as the manager skills of their leader is impressive. In the wildcard round, Cleveland would go onto beat Tampa and quickly knock them out. Unfortunately the Tribe would meet up with the youthful Orioles who pushed them to the limit in 5 games. In the other divisional round game, after a short bye the Tigers knocked off an impressive Seattle team to force an unexpected Detroit vs Baltimore ALCS. Detroit came out on top in this one in a complete 4 game sweep over the Orioles. It was never in doubt, and Justin Verlander was impressive as usual. Detroit's enthusiasm would come to an end, as the Braves would win the series in 7 games, and finally capturing the trophy. So who will be the surprises this year? Will we see one of our rebuilding clubs make the playoff push? Will anyone end the dominance in the NL of the Braves and Giants? There will be tons of storylines, players and games to watch as we move forward through the 2015 season. Best of luck to everyone and Play Ball!