Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An excellent baseball season is unfolding


Well, if it is late July, then it is time to talk baseball. Of course, the season began back in April, but the season really kicks into gear just after the all-star game. The races in both leagues are shaping up to be memorable ones. Here are my picks to win both leagues.

American League: Boston Red Sox. In analyzing the American League, only two teams really stand out. As in many previous years, the stretch drive will likely be a bitter duel between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees. I used the word 'bitter' because baseball fans know the rivalry between these two teams is Major League Baseball's best.

I base this mostly because there are not many other teams playing well. I know there is a long time to go in the season, but other than the Angels, nobody else is doing much. Well, Tampa Bay has been turning some heads lately. Still, the rest of the league is quiet.

It was tempting to pick New York. Their new stadium is a hitter's dream. Both Alex Rodriguez and Mark Texieria should spend the summer pounding home runs. Additionally, pitcher C.C. Sabathia should continue to find his groove as the season unfolds.

The reason I did not pick them is simple: I hate them. New York is one of those teams that a person either loves or hates. I just don't like their style. The mere thought of picking them made my stomach tighten up and caused my throat to start making a spastic gurgling noise.

So, I am going with the Red Sox. Slumping David Ortiz is regaining his home run stroke, and if pitcher John Smoltz continues to improve on his way back from injury, the Sox's top notch rotation will get even better.

National League: Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers have the best record in the National League, and nobody else is close. Obviously, part of their success is because the team plays in the most erratic division in the league. However, give the Dodgers credit for knowing how to handle adversity.

When star slugger Manny Ramirez got suspended for 50 games for flunking a drug test, it looked like the team's hot start might come to a screeching halt. It didn't happen. The team's winning percentage continues to be above .600.

Orlando Hudson, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and James Loney lead a consistent offense. The pitching staff has an ERA well under four runs. The ingredients are there for success with or without Manny though his return should give the team a big boost.

No other team in the league looks as attractive as the Dodgers. The New York Mets are underachievers (I don't want to hear about their injuries). The Philadelphia Phillies have been up and down, but have been scorching lately. Both the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers are playing well, but I think a lot of their success is smoke and mirrors. Houston is surging and may be the team to watch in the Central Division.

World Series pick: I like the Dodgers to beat the Red Sox. Sometimes a team has the look of a champion, and this year, it looks like Los Angeles.

At least, so far.

5 comments:

Joltin' Django said...

Go Red Sox ...

http://nighseencreeder.blogspot.com/2008/03/talkin-bosox-baseball.html

Anonymous said...

Where are your precious Braves? Cant believe you left them out. The Phillies are the team to beat. Especially if they get Roy Halladay.

Chris said...

If the Braves continue hitting the ball well, we have a chance. If not for the divisional title, then, at least, for the wild card berth.

The Braves have the pitching. But will the hitting hold up? Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

ORTIZ AND RAMIREZ FAILED DRUG TEST IN 2003. THE NEW YORK TIMES REPORTED IT SO IT MUST BE TRUE, RIGHT?

Anonymous said...

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