We’re entering the stretch run in Major League Baseball.
The AL consists of tons of powerhouse squads and 4 of the 5 worst teams in baseball. The East race is the further than you think, the Central is all but won and the West will have a crazy ending.
MVP Projection: Jose Ramirez
Cy Young: Trevor Bauer
AL Pennant Pick: Houston Astros
The NL is much deeper than the AL in terms of playoff pushes. The East will come down to Philly or Atlanta, and the West and Central could come down to three teams. Realistically, 9/10 teams for 5 spots.
MVP Projection: Paul Goldschmidt
Cy Young: Max Scherzer
NL Pennant Pick: Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona: In the mix in the NL West. Greinke, Corbin, the bullpen, recent resurgence of Clay Bucholz and the 3 headed monster have made them the leaders out west. Pollock and Peralta have been stellar while Goldschmidt remains in the MVP race
Atlanta: Still leading the NL East begins a mix of veteran and young blood. With the addition of Gausman, they now have a good threesome in a short series. Offensively, Acuna and Markakis pace the offense while Freeman is another MVP candidate
Baltimore: They finally did it right and sold everybody. They got a boatload of prospects but for now things are ugly. Poor Adam Jones. Bottoming out like the Astros did about 7-8 years ago, hopefully there is a similar end game.
Boston: They have it all, lead a very good Yankees team by almost double digits. Pitching? Check. Hitting? Check. A few AL MVP candidates? Check. Threat to win it all.
Chicago White Sox: Young, exciting and bad. No pitching whatsoever, prospects who aren’t there yet and their All Star Jose Abreu, who should have another 30HR year
Chicago Cubs: It’s been rocky but the Cubbies are right in the thick of things. Navy Baez will get MVP votes but they’re not the same team they were with Kris Bryant hurt and Rizzo not hitting like himself. Cole Hamels has been a good addition and could help in the playoffs with ring experience.
Cincinnati: Since their 7-24 start, they’re playing over .500 baseball. Yet another team with an MVP candidate in the NL. Eugenia Suarez. Joey Votto hasn’t been himself but Gennett and Peraza have been really good. Pitching is a thumbs down.
Cleveland: The tide has turned, they’re running away with the Central and have their eyes on the postseason. Two studs in Ramirez and Lindor followed up by the consistent Michael Brantley along with 3 aces? I think they’ll be just fine.
Colorado: They mash. Should have 5 20 homerun hitters and in my opinion, the NL MVP, Nolan Arenado. Kyle Freeland has been unreal at Coors but is the pitching enough?
Detroit: Playing way above what people thought of their roster in spring. Not flashy, kind of boring but have gotten it done, relatively speaking. Castellanos is their big bag and having an underrated year.
Houston: The best team in the majors in the first 100 has been hunted down. By FAR the best staff in baseball and historically great, as well. Altuve (minor injury), Correa, Springer and Bergman are tough to top as a hitting core. Verlander has been sickeningly good along with their other 4 SP and a great Pen. They have it all but they have Oakland ALL over them in the West and it could be a battle.
Kansas City: Blah. Bad and boring. 1 regular hitting over .265 (Merrifield around .300). The misfits pitching for them can’t do anything right and that’s why they’re a billion games under .500.
LA Angels: The Angels have subtly fallen apart. No one can stay healthy and now just a few games over .500, Trout has been incredible but other bats have either been sidelined or cooled off. The pitching can’t stay healthy and hasn’t been good lately. Pujols has actually been respectable and Ohtani has been hitting very well. Shohei will start pitching next season is my guess
LA Dodgers: Seager is done but the Dodgers chug along. They add Machado and get it done in tons of different ways. Walker Beuhler has been phenomenal and guess who their most productive hitter has been? Matt Kemp! Muncy, Turner, Kershaw, Bellinger, who knows.. It’s success by committee and everyone is doing a job.
Miami: Another team that just flat out stinks. JT Realmuto has been a top 5 catcher in baseball and Brian Anderson has been hitting well but…they don’t even have fans to get them through being bad. And it’s hot. And they’re awful.
Milwaukee: Love Milwaukee. Right there with the Cubbies. Yelich and Cain will be huge all year but Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar have had good years. Add Schoop and Moose at the deadline. But who do they toss on the mound in big games?
Minnesota: One of the biggest disappointments to start the year. Average pitching and nobody besides Eduardo Escobar (traded) and Rosario has been hitting well. I’m 104% sure most of you don’t even know who they are. Dozier Gone. Wake up Buxton and Sano.
NY Mets: Who knows. Just a big mess. They have a few good star pitchers that don’t get run support and have no direction. Interesting times ahead in Queens.
NY Yankees: Best offense in baseball. Andujar will win AL ROTY and Torres have helped so much since being called up earlier but things have changed. Been very average of late. Judge is on his way back, Stanton has been good, Didi cooled off and they don’t have a pitcher they know they can rely on right now. Could face a red hot A’s or very good Astro’s team.
Oakland: What happened?!? The hottest team in baseball. They have a 50 homerun hitter you don’t know in Khris Davis and the most underrated fielder in history in Matt Chapman. They just get it done in so many ways that they could be really scary come October.
Philadelphia: Right in the hunt with the Braves and another team that just gets it done. Nola is a Cy Young candidate and Arrieta has been great all year. Offensively, they don’t rely on one guy but their fielding has been really bad.
Pittsburgh: Not a playoff team in the NL Central and gave up a lot for Chris Archer. They have no big power bat but find a way to get it done with good seasons from Cervelli, Marte, and Dickerson. Austin Meadows is a really fun prospect, watch for him. On the pitching end it’s been Taillon and Williams
San Diego: Eric Hosmer was overpaid and they’re a few years away. Next….
Seattle: This team is really good, they just play in the most competitively division in baseball and could miss the dance. They’re good everywhere, not great. Jean Segura has been incredible alongside guys like Mitch Hanover and Dee Gordon. James Paxton has the best nickname in sports: Big Maple.
San Francisco: Floating around .500 in the NL West. Had a chance to enter the picture then got swept by Cincy. No SP with a WAR over 1, lose Cueto, get MadBum back but no consistency anywhere else in staff. Posey hasn’t been himself and they need Longoria and Cutch to get back to their standard numbers/get hot if they want to make the playoffs.
St. Louis: No franchise is better at producing homegrown talent. Everyone thought they were done and then in come guys like Jack Flaherty and Harrison Bader. They’re back in the mix. Their staff found a gem in Miles Mikolas and they get it done. Should fight with the Cubbies and BrewCrew the last leg of the journey.
Tampa Bay: They’re just..the Rays..They have young prospects who will play well then they can’t afford (Snell, Nuno), a few pitchers who will produce then get traded (Archer), and a few guys who will step up to make them reasonably competitive (Robertson, Cron). Same old in Tampa
Texas: Nomar Mazara and Shin Soo Choo have had good seasons but that’s about it. Joey Gallo IS 2018. .210, billion Ks and a billion HRs. Actually already over 100Ks…They’re done and are looking to 2019.
Toronto: Tough to win against the Yanks and Sox. This team just isn’t that good. Fortunately, they have the most exciting prospects in all of baseball coming in Vlad Jr. and Bo Bichette!
Washington: They thought it’d be easy but the Phils and Braves has different thoughts. The talent on this team not winning the NL East is embarrassing. Bryce Harper heated up just when they didn’t need him (classic) but Juan Soto…that kid is nuts. Trea Turner and Michael Taylor have been great and how can you not love Scherzer? Well on his way to 300K while leading an underperforming staff.