Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An amazing MLB season approaches the midway point

You can pick your storylines but this season is setting up to be best since the BigMac/Sosa/Jr. home run derby year. It’s all but confirmed that Strasburg is the real deal and so far has lived up to the hype going 2-0 and proving he can also do it on the road. His presence gave an added shot in the arm to an already compelling season, mind you he won’t be enough to get the Nats into the playoffs but this financial impact for them both at home and on the road has been well documented and in itself has become another reason to watch. Additionally, we only hope the pennant races can keep the momentum into the second half as they possess the perfect combination of the surprises teams of the year pitted against the ol’ guard in the AL East with the Rays trying to hold off the Yankees, back to the future as the Braves, Reds, and Dodgers are all leading or tied for the division lead, and great battles in the others. The Rays have proven they are the real deal and don’t just promise to be around at the end but (pardon the blasphemy) but may actually be the favorites to take the flag in the East. Despite just cracking the top ten in HRs, and 13th in batting average and hits, the Rays have done it with timely hitting as they’re 3rd in RBIs which has translated to a run differential of +103 second in the majors to the second place Yankees but almost double on anyone in the NL. With four hitters in the lineup at .300 and two just under at .285 they don’t give opposing pitchers much time to gather their thoughts, but the real deal is having five pitchers with an ERA under 3.00 making them the team to avoid in any 7-game series. With the Red Sox threatening to becoming a non-factor, the Rays are looking to become the new nemesis of the Empire and hope to declare that the King is dead come October. In the NL all of the races are within a half-game and with great stories the Phills are back again, with that young and consistent lineup, tied with the Metropolitans who seem to have put it together out of nowhere to challenge. However the best story of the year has been the revival of the Braves and Reds to are attempting to make a return to glory in years in seasons that were supposed to be “rebuilding”. The Reds are the new ‘lumber company’ as they sit near the top of the NL in most team offensive statistics (3rd BA, 4th HRs, 4th RBIs, and 3rd hits) and the Braves pitching staff has the best numbers on their storied history as only TWO pictures on their ENTIRE STAFF have an ERA of over 2.00 which is simply an astonishing stat and it would be great to see them back in the mix after the long hiatus. Lastly, the NL West will probably come down to the wire again with the Dodgers managed to survive losing the leading ‘triple crown’ candidate Andre Ethier and still are on top, but their hoping to make it through injury free season for the core of their lineup and JT seems to issuing plenty of days off. At the end of the day they will have to address the holes in their starting rotation as they’ve illustrated how you can’t survive with relief pitching alone. What has been the best storyline of the season thus far? Let u know here and in any of the quick links.

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