With the All-Star Game on in the background, I thought I’d write a bit about the 2018 season so far.
Just for a point of reference, here are my predictions from Opening Day.
As you can see, I picked New York, Cleveland, Houston, Boston, and Minnesota as the AL playoff teams. Of course, I had the Yankees winning their division and the Red Sox as a Wild Card team, but I’m still feeling pretty good about going four out of five on these picks. I suppose Minnesota could still have a second half run in them, but I didn’t expect Seattle to be right there in the thick of things. And I never would have believed you if you told me that the A’s would be 3 games out of the second wild card at the break.
The AL playoffs might be event-watching this fall. Houston, Cleveland, Boston, and New York have the look of those NBA “super teams.” And just think…after possibly winning as many as 100 games, either the Yankees or Red Sox will have to play in the one-game “play in” Wild Card game! You could really make a case for any of these four teams to win it all. Should be a lot of fun to watch.
Along those lines, identify the most electric pair of AL teammates:
- Jose Ramirez and Fransisco Lindor
- Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton
- Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa (or George Springer?)
- Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez
For my money, I’m taking Ramirez and Lindor, but this proves how deep the American League is this year.
Over in the National League, my prognostications don’t look so great. I had Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles as division winners with St. Louis and Arizona as Wild Card teams. After a shaky start, the Dodgers are sitting in first place and the Cubs just crept into the top spot in the NL Central, but the Nationals have been a huge disappointment. I thought the Baby Braves were still a year or so away (looks like I was wrong on that one) and I claimed that the Phillies were “recklessly throwing cash this way and that in an attempt to be relevant.” Well, it’s the All-Star break and Philly is in first place in the East, so I have to take the “L” on this one, too. Arizona is a half-game back in the Wild Card, so there’s still some time for that prediction to come to fruition.
And then, there are the Cardinals. What a mess. It looks like my Redbirds will miss out on the postseason for third straight year. I hate to say it, but it might be time to blow it up and rebuild.
According to the trade chatter, Manny Machado is headed to Los Angeles, which makes the Dodgers the clear cut favorite to win the NL pennant once again. Losing Corey Seager was a huge loss back in April, but having Machado for the stretch run should put the Dodgers in great shape once again. If I had to pick a dark horse, I’d probably still go with the Nationals. I just think they’ll make a second half run in the East. If they can make it, watch out for that pitching staff.