With the trade deadline just around the corner, this baseball season has been somewhat of a peculiar one. We’ve seen a few teams dominate, a few teams struggle, and a whole lot of mediocrity. In fact, more than half of the league is hovering around .500, and it’ll probably stay that way until the end. That being said, there are still some compelling division and wild card races that could come down to the wire, leaving many teams to feel competitive. Let’s take a quick look at all 6 divisions and make some predictions about how the cards fall.
Boston is by far the most talented team in this division, yet they’re also the most under achieved. They obviously miss the on and off field presence of Big Papi, among other things, and find themselves only one game atop the division. New York has solidified themselves lately with some deals that could propel them to take the division crown, while Tampa Bay continues to surprise. I’ve said for years that Toronto is not as good as what their records indicated, and it’s finally catching up to them. Baltimore would be better off letting a gorilla pitch for them every night. Still, every team is in it and has a legitimate shot until Boston wakes up. Prediction: Boston (New York, Wild Card)
Cleveland seems ready to explode and go on a length run. They have the pitching staff to win series, they have the bats to expose bad pitching, and they have a good mix of youth and experience. Somehow, Kansas City has vaulted its way back up the standings and is just within an arm lengths away from the title. They have the experience, but I don’t think they have the talent to overtake the Indians. Minnesota is showing that patience really is a virtue, as their youth is slowly coming through, though now so is their inexperience as they seem to be coming down a bit. Detroit is ready for a rebuild and should sell their assets for the future, though it may be too late to get true market value. The White Sox have the best farm system in the world now and look primed for next decade. Prediction: Cleveland
There isn’t much else to say here, other than Houston is, by far, the class of the division. Even losing Carlos Correa hasn’t stopped them, as it’s just the next man up from their loaded farm system. Do they need another starter for the playoff run? Absolutely, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Kyle Tucker being the price to pay, but it could be worth it with a trip to the World Series. The rest of the division is filled with delusion: Seattle picking up pieces and selling prospects, yet floundering, Texas floundering and probably rebuilding, Oakland playing Billy Ball again, probably selling Gray and Alonso. I will say that the Angels have played much better than anyone expected. Prediction: Houston (Seattle, Wild Card)
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I refuse to believe in the Washington Nationals as more than just the biggest fish in the small sea. They could be like a 13 year old playing dodge ball with 6 year olds. Of course they’re going to win. They have no closer that can consistently finish a game/series. Their ace is Stephen Strasburg, who, just recently, went on the DL with arm soreness (again). Their best hitters are hitting so much better this season, but have had terrible seasons in the past. I don’t believe in them. Every other team below them is rebuilding and will probably be sellers at the deadline. Prediction: Washington
Probably the most intriguing division in terms of who will win, we’ve seen some ups and downs by all teams involved. The Cubs have been the NL’s Red Sox and have under achieved all season. Through trades and hard work, they are starting to wake up and remind all that they are the best in baseball. That said, they need to remember that the teams under them are all capable of winning too. The Brewers seem 1-2 years too early, but have been loaded with young talent that has performed, hitting with a ton of power. The Cardinals have a pedigree of success, and won’t seem ready to give into the reign of the Cubs just yet. The Pirates have gone through a ton of adversity all year, yet remain a handful of games out. Even the Reds, who can’t put out a decent starting pitcher to save their lives, have remained somewhat competitive. Prediction: Chicago
Arguably the best (and saddest) division in baseball. The talent is certainly there for 3 teams, but it’s sad because they’re all having career years (some may say of destiny) and fighting against each other. The Dodgers need a starter now that Kershaw is hurt, but their offense has peaked and their minor league system is absolutely loaded. The Rockies have paid their dues and are getting great offense with solid Coors pitching, and they have a great farm system too. The Diamondbacks have had quite the turnaround from a year ago and look primed and ready to win now. Like I said though, it’s sad because they’re all fighting amongst each other. The Giants and Padres look like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. Prediction: Los Angeles (Colorado and Arizona, Wild Card)
And there you have it.