What’s to come in 2015 from the Boston sports scene? We asked the Globe sports staff for their predictions. Here’s what they said:
Dan Shaughnessy, columnist: It will be a big comeback year for Xander Bogaerts. He’ll be named American League MVP.
Peter Abraham, Red Sox beat writer: Pedro Martinez will receive the highest percentage of Hall of Fame voters for any Red Sox player, and break the record of 94.6 percent by Carl Yastrzemski in 1989.
Bob Hohler, investigative reporter: As the gulf widens between the haves and have-nots in big-time college football, UMass will flee the unrewarding Mid-American Conference and try a Hail Mary in forging a new alignment in its quest for relevance and revenues.
Shira Springer, features writer: While the 2015 Boston Marathon roster of elite runners hasn’t been announced yet, this could be the year of an American winner on the women’s side for the first time since 1985. Meb Keflezighi’s victory last year, the first by an American male in more than three decades, has top US female marathoners eager to end another drought.
Matt Pepin, BostonGlobe.com sports editor: Boston will be chosen as the city to make the United States’s bid for the 2024 Olympics.
Jeff Bruce, copy editor: A beloved local hockey team will skate off with a trophy on TD Garden ice, but it won’t be the moribund Bruins. Boston University freshman phenom Jack Eichel will lead the Terriers to victory in the Frozen Four, which will be held in Boston on April 9 and 11.
Michael Whitmer, golf and football reporter: Rory McIlroy will become the sixth golfer to capture all four men’s major championships by winning the Masters in April.
Michael Vega, colleges reporter: An eighth win will elude the Boston College football team for the third year in row, but coach Steve Addazio will somehow find a way to get BC bowl-eligible in Year 3 of his rebuild project.
Shira Springer, features writer: Time for US soccer fans to dust off the “I believe that we will win” chant. And they can do more than they believe. Whether played on artificial turf or overwhelmingly-preferred natural grass, the 2015 Women’s World Cup will have a familiar champion: the US.
Michael Vega, auto racing reporter: After winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title in 2014, Kevin Harvick will hit his stride and become the driver to beat in his repeat championship.