I had to take a break from all the NBA Free Agent rumors and talk baseball. After all, the season is already half over. I will go over the NBA signings next week.
I took a peak at the American League and National League standings. Here are some of my initial thoughts.
Parity is gone in baseball. We are truly in an era of the haves and the have-nots. Four teams; Toronto, Kansas City, Detroit, and Baltimore, had yet to win 30 games as I write this. The Orioles have the worst mark at 22 wins and 58 losses.
Teams that will advance to the playoffs have already just about been determined. Barring collapses, the New York Yankees, Minnesota, and Houston will be the American League division winners. They all have nice leads. There may be some drama for the two wild card slots as five teams (Tampa Bay, Boston, Cleveland, Texas and Oakland) are within two games of each other.
The Minnesota Twins in the AL Central are the surprise team in baseball. The Twins have the best record in the AL with a 52-27 mark. Few had this team winning half their games. The long ball has fueled the turnaround as the Twins are on pace to hit more home runs than any team in major league history. Most would be hard-pressed to name more than a few position players for Minnesota. Let me throw these names at you. Eddie Rosario (20), Max Kepler (19), and CJ Cron (17) are the top three home run hitters for a team that already has 149 home runs in 79 games. Last year, Minnesota hit just 166 homers in 162 games.
The New York Yankees lead in the AL East is already seven games over another surprising team in Tampa Bay. Defending champions Boston are nine games back and in danger of missing the playoffs.
The Houston Astros are in their customary spot atop the standings in the AL West. However, they have lost eight of their last ten and the resurgent Texas Rangers are only four games back as I write this.
The Los Angeles Dodgers own the National League at this point. They possess a baseball best 55-27 record and a 12 game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the West. The Dodgers also love the long ball as they are only a few dingers behind the before-mentioned Twins.
The NL Central race is tight. The Chicago Cubs are 44-37 and have a one game lead over Milwaukee, three over the St. Louis Cardinals.
The NL East was supposed to belong to the Philadelphia Phillies. Especially with the signing of Bryce Harper. However, the Phils are five games behind first place Atlanta who may repeat their 2018 division title.
Individual standouts include Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers. The third year player is hitting .354 with 26 home runs and 63 RBI. Bellinger could easily hit 50 homers and drive in over 120 runs. Last year’s NL MVP, Christin Yelich of the Brewers leads all of baseball with 29 long balls.
So just how is Harper doing now that he is the highest paid player in baseball? He is hitting just .246 with 14 home runs. Harper is striking out one of every three plate appearances. If he can rebound, the Phillies have more than enough talent to catch Atlanta in the East.
Right now, I like the Dodgers coming out of the NL and Houston coming out of the AL. The Twins and Yankees do not have enough pitching to win in the playoffs. And no one in the NL can match the Dodgers in a playoff series.
All right, you can resume thinking about NBA free agency.