Monday, July 19, 2010

With all divisions still within striking distance season gearing up for a wild finish

For the first time since the MLB re-alignment all of the divisions are within 5 games this late in the season, but is that due to parity, pitching, or lack of offense now that the players aren’t juiced? I think the answer is a combination of the three. No doubt the farm systems are working well as the young crop of talent being brought has been paying dividends both on the filed and on the ledger sheet as the ‘gap players’ are doing more than holding their own as the clubs try to stomach some the contracts of their marquis players. The Rays are still going toe-to-toe with the ‘Evil Empire’ and only have 2 players making 10 million per year. Obviously New York is the aberration having 9 at 10mil and 4 at 20 or more, and although the Sox only have 3 at 10mil milepost their 160 million dollar payroll is almost three times that of the Rays. However Pitching has been the story this season as we’ve seen more no-nos, perfect games, and near perfections than we’ve ever seen and there is no doubt that you have to give some credence to the notion that part of has to do with the fact there is going to be some lag time for the hitters to catch up and adapt to not have the juice flowing through their system. Now when you see a hitter going the opposite way for a 2-bagger or going yard you really can appreciate the natural ability rather the needles. I know I’m always ‘cappin’ on the Padres who despite not being in the top 20 in ANY meaningful offensive team statistic, and only having one player on the All-Star team have actually increased their lead in the NL West to four games due to their pitching staff. Now is this going to be enough to get them trough the Summer and into Fall remains to be seen. Lastly, there simply isn’t that one monster team anymore. The Yanks are the closest thing we have and they may still have one more gear left before the second season but they’re getting older and the arms are wearing thin. They will really face a test to their depth in the pen now that AP is going on the DL for at least a month (please see the afore mentioned roid reference). Other than NY, their isn’t one team that can’t be taken down in a seven-game series and that is why the second half of the season and playoffs promises to be unpredictable and exciting. We previously posted that prize money from the All-Star game could be the deciding factor as now the NL will host the Series and in a year where there are only two clubs playing .600 ball it may prove to be the difference. Why do you think there is such parity in MLB this year? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

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