Sunday, July 16, 2017

Signor Baseball's "What The Hell Is Going On Here?" Sort Of Midseason MLB Update

Lots of crazy stuff going on here.

A couple of teams having great years. A handful of teams having awful years, including a perennial contender. Some good teams, and a whole lot of mediocre teams.

In the NL West, the Diamondbacks are much better than I thought they'd be and the Giants are simply bad. The former will still fade--I think. That pitching staff just isn't very deep. And the Dodgers are simply better than they are. But, with so many teams having indifferent years in the NL, Arizona may have a chance at a Wild Card slot. For San Francisco, losing their best pitcher to a stupid accident hurt them badly, but not "20 games out of first place" badly. Too many other players are having off years, and all at the same time. Which happens sometimes. The Rockies are also playing well above projections, but their fade will be more precipitous than the D-Backs.

In the Central, Chicago has been struggling all year, but they still have the best team and should come out on top. St. Louis is the only team with a realistic chance to keep pace with them. Milwaukee has been in first practically the whole season, but the Brewers just don't look like a legitimate contender to me and the Pirates, though they put a very solid lineup on the field, continue to have undependable pitching.

And in the NL East, injuries have doomed the Mets, and the Braves and Marlins just aren't good enough, so it looks like smooth sailing for the Nationals...until the playoffs, when I anticipate another melt down. However, if Scherzer and Strasburg get hot at the same time they could carry the team to the Series, just as Johnson and Schilling did for the Diamondbacks way back when.

In the AL East, the Yankees have a lot of good young bats, but are still sporting a less than stellar, prone to injury, pitching staff. Unless they can come up with some dependable arms via trade, I don't see them catching Boston, though they may have enough to grab a Wild Card berth. The same thing applies to the rest of the division, though Toronto has been a huge disappointment so far.

In the Central, Cleveland should hold on to first, barring any major injuries. Kansas City and Minnesota have an outside chance at a Wild Card, though both are currently mired close to .500. The Royals are the more likely of the two to rise from there.

Houston has run away from the rest of the West. At this point the Astros are the best team in the AL by far, and it would take a catastrophic collapse for anybody to catch them. With so much of the league languishing in mediocrity, Los Angeles, Seattle and Texas all have a shot at one of the Wild Card slots.

By my count there are 9 teams in both leagues that still are contenders for the Wild Cards. Which should make for a very interesting August and September...

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