I know, I know, the NBA Finals are starting tomorrow so what good is an MLB update the night before you might ask. Well, it never hurts to know which teams are doing well and what to look for in the calendar ahead. Before you know it folks, baseball is all we will have for 2 months until football starts again.
Summer baseball is about as American as you can get. It is a great time to get out and get to the ballpark with the family. If you need a reason to Instagram or snapchat, well here you go. The joy and fun that accompanies the game is more present now than the stressful pennant races of the fall. Look at White Sox Pitcher Chris Sale for example:
— MLB (@MLB) June 1, 2016
Did you know the Astros set a new MLB record?
— Houston Astros (@astros) June 1, 2016
See, and you thought this article would be boring.
The division leaders are Boston, Kansas City, Texas in the American League. The National League leaders are Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco. You can already see the Giants already feeling this even year by their scorching record in May. Even I am starting to feel 2016, you should see my snapchats. I think San Francisco has now overtaken the Mets as my pick to reach the NLCS to face the Cubs and by I think I mean I know. The offense has become improved to 9th in 2016 (12th in 2015) and the offseason pitching acquisition of Cueto has paid off so far for the Giants. The Mets will still be really good and Harvey getting back to normal will have a lot to do with that. However, the Mets/Nationals division race will be one that has me more hesitant to put them in the NLCS, whereas in the NL West I think the Giants will win the division with a good probability.
Durability and consistency will be the question for the team leading the AL East as Boston tries to hold off teams like Toronto and Baltimore with their offensive firepower. Over in the AL Central, Kansas City has overcome an early World Series hangover by recovering to lead their division after the hot start by the White Sox. In the NL Central, the Cubs finally lost a game started by Jake Arrieta but only after he threw 7 shutout innings. I mean, what more can you ask for?
Instead of some spectacular plays and alarming strikeout rates, we are mostly talking about whether baseball can be fun and how many times we can re-watch a certain punch. Bryce Harper started this fun talk off but now he cannot even get pitched to anymore, now where is the fun in that? Baseball drags its feet with all of the “unwritten rules” and it is frankly starting to get old. America’s past time is definitely starting to feel past its time as it continues to fall behind the NBA and NFL in popularity.
We still have over 100 games remaining in the season and there will be a ton left to be decided so get your watermelons ready and lemonade prepared because once the finals are over we sit back in our patio chairs and watch it all unfold. A third of the way through and nobody really knows how it will finish. We know teams like Chicago, Washington, Kansas City, and San Francisco will play a major factor. However, do we really believe Boston is for sure going to lock down that division? Do we count out the Dodgers in the NL West? Can the Astros, last year’s surprise team, bounce back and make noise in the AL West?
The MLB All-Star game will be July 12 in San Diego this season as the NL or AL hopes to get home field advantage in the 2016 World Series. I actually enjoy the fact that it determines home field advantage, however, I think baseball is the only sport where making the All-Star game count can work. The NBA is way too intense to have those guys going 110% in an All-Star game and get injured and I do not even need to get started on making the NFL Pro Bowl count for anything.
Enjoy the NBA Finals, this was just a quick opinion piece on the division leaders and how un-fun baseball has become but I hope you enjoyed reading this and check back soon.