Thank god it's Monday
This is the final week before the all-star game and we are starting to see the good teams step up while the bottom dwellers are finally starting to play that way. The division races along with the individual awards are starting to heat up and I am already excited for September baseball. Teams like the Orioles have a chance to shock the world and be leading the AL East going into the all-star break.
We currently have four of the six divisions with no more then 4 games separating first place and with all the trade rumors swirling around, these races could get even closer. After the trade deadline passes we will start to see who is ready to make that playoff push and who has decided to pack it in and re-build for the future.
It seems like every week I start off this segment with how hot the Yankees are. I wish, just once, I could write about their struggles, but instead they continue to be the hottest team in baseball going 7-3 in their last 10 games and currently hold a six game lead in the AL East.
Apparently, the Yankees are the only team east of the Mississippi that is hot right now. San Francisco is also 7-3 in their last 10 games along with Texas and The Angels. It is not a coincidence that these teams are all in first place in their respective divisions with the Angels only 5 games behind the Rangers, but lead the wild-card race.
Chicks may dig the long ball, but great pitching will always beat good hitting. Mat Latos proved that last week by racking up 2 wins, 20 strikeouts and a .44 Whip. He is a main reason that the Reds are currently leading the NL Central. To further show their dominance, the Yankees had their bottom of the rotation of Hughes and Kurada post 4 wins with a combined 1.31 ERA and a .98 WHIP. You do not have to pitch a shutout to win, you just have to make sure your team scores more then you give up. Example, Gio Gonzalez was also able to rack up 2 wins last week and he had an ERA of 6.5!!
I can’t stress enough how annoying it is that the Yankees are dominating baseball every way possible right now. Robinson Cano was the only player in MLB to have 4 home run’s last week and he did that while hitting .414. David Ortiz, Josh Hamilton and Ryan Zimmerman( finally found his swing) were able to connect on three home run’s each and Zimmerman was able to knock in 12 RBI’s with Hamilton driving in 9 in that same time span.
This week is all about cookouts, fireworks, and celebrating America. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate America then to head out to the ballpark with your friends and family. No matter where you live and who you are a fan of, there are some good match-ups this week.
The Yankees look to maintain their dominance in the division and lengthen their lead when they face division rivals in Tampa and Boston. Another hot week of baseball could really put some distance between The Yankees and the rest of the division.
The Angels look to stay hot and keep playing what looks like wild-card baseball. They play two teams that are playing well above expectations in the Orioles and Indians, and a team like The Angels, who have World Series dreams, should be able to beat these opponents very easily. If the Angels struggle this week, it will go to show us more about the quality of their opponents, who are both above .500 and battling for a division crown, then it will anything about the Angels. If the Angels can win both series this week, it will show they need to be considered one of the 5 best teams in baseball.
The Braves and Mets are separated by 1 game in the NL East. Luckily for both of them, they get to play the Cubs this week. This is simple, the Cubs stink, and they have a chance of losing every series they play in for the rest of the year. I would assume that Atlanta and New York can not wait to get these games started.
San Francisco is hot right now, but this week could cool them off. Their pitching has been dominant in the last week, and that needs to keep up in order for them to have a chance against Washington (1st place in NL East) and Pittsburgh (1 game out of first in NL Central). That pitching staff has shown recently, that when on their game, they are the best in baseball. If they keep this rotation in tact, they will be a legit contender to win the National League.
The Orioles start a west coast swing, and I expect them to win both series. They start out with the Mariners who are trying to compete for the worst team in baseball. I have no doubt that the Orioles powerful lineup will dominate that pitching staff. Next, they travel to Anaheim to take on the Angels( as mentioned above). This is the series of the weekend. This is the Orioles chance to show that they can go on the road and dominate a better team.
I hope everyone has a fun and safe July 4th.