The prime sports season arrives

The prime sports season is upon us.

By that, I mean the time of the year when baseball, football, and yes, even hockey and basketball, converge on the sports scene.

The fall has always been my favorite time of the year. Maybe it’s because the weather is gradually cooling off and the sports seasons take on added importance.

The baseball races are shaping up and the pretenders (like the Detroit Tigers) have been separated from the cream of the crop.

The Tigers, who traded away players like they were operating a flea market, have contributed to the chances of teams like the Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs.

I believe ex-Tiger ace Justin Verlander just could be the x-factor for the talented Astros. Verlander has done a remarkable job of turning around his career and should have won the Cy Young Award in 2016.

And there’s little question that J.D. Martinez adds a major offensive weapon for the Diamondbacks.

Martinez, who was Detroit’s most consistent hitter before being traded (given away is more like it) cracked four homers in one game earlier this week.

And I believe that catcher Alex Avila and reliever Justin Wilson will help the Cubbies down the stretch. Avila was having his finest season when his father sent him packing. Ditto for Wilson.

I think you will likely see the Dodgers emerge from the National League West, although they might be a bit young right now.

Houston, sparked by the brilliant Jose Altuve, is a solid pick to come out of the AL West and meet LA in the World Series

As far as the National Football League, everyone has selected New England and Green Bay to make it to the Super Bowl.

I know the Patriots have the coaching and pedigree to win another Super Bowl, even if ageless quarterback Tom Brady has turned 40.

The Packers can beat anyone as long as talented QB Aaron Rodgers is standing upright. And I truly believe this might be their deepest roster in years.

But its way too early to predict anything in pro football, where an untimely injury or two can chill hopes.

The college football season is barely underway, but it’s clear that Alabama will again largely be in the conversation for a national title. The Crimson Tide reloads every year.

Ohio State may be overrated, and I think you will see Michigan emerge as the top Big 10 team, and probably be in the final four.

The hockey and basketball seasons are just around the corner and there will be plenty of time to dissect whether the Red Wings will join the Tigers as Motown’s biggest losers.