Sunday, May 15, 2016

What to Expect Later in This MLB Season

            We are already halfway through May and we've witnessed some surprising stuff. The Phillies currently hold a wild-card spot, the Mariners are in 1st place in the AL West, and the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles are duking it out for the best record in the AL. Here's a look at who should rise, who should fall, and who should have staying power.

Team That Will Rise: Toronto Blue Jays: Pitching has kept this team around the .500 mark. Both the rotation and the relief have been good so far. The lineup will come around and start ripping the ball pretty soon.
Team That Will Rise: Houston Astros: With the AL West trending towards a crapshoot, the Astros aren't that far off from the division lead. Carlos Correa and crew are starting to find their strokes again. It's only a matter of the arms righting the ship.
Team That Will Fall: Philadelphia Phillies: Vincent Velaquez has been a strikeout machine for the Phillies and is a part of a stellar, young rotation. However, the Phillies are tied for 28th in runs scored (122) and is 28th in team batting average (.231). The lineup doesn't like to take many walks, either (27th in team walks with 92).
Team With Staying Power: Washington Nationals: The 2nd-best team ERA in baseball belongs to the Nats and it's thanks to Stephen Strasburg's resurgence from last year (6-0, 2.95 ERA, 65 SO). Gio Gonzalez (1.93 ERA) and Joe Ross (2.63 ERA) have also been spectacular. If Bryce Harper can get help from someone not named Daniel Murphy in the lineup (MLB-best .400 BA), watch out for this team.
Team With Staying Power: Boston Red Sox: The highest-scoring lineup in the league (219 runs) is on a record-setting pace. The Red Sox are motivated by the farewell tour of David Ortiz (10 homers, 33 RBI, .405 OBP) and are getting solid production from Jackie Bradley Jr. (.331 BA, six homers, 30 RBI) and Xandir Boegarts (.338 BA, 14 doubles).

Other Teams That Will Rise:

  • Texas Rangers (They'll be getting Yu Darvish back soon)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (They got a solid 1-2 punch in Kershaw and Maeda)
  • New York Mets (Syndergaard and crew will carry this team as far as they can go)
Other Teams That Will Fall:
  • Seattle Mariners (Howard Lincoln has one more M's circus in his ownership before August)
  • Baltimore Orioles (How long can this rotation keep up their strong start before crashing back to earth?)
  • St. Louis Cardinals (It's definitely lookng like the Cubs have surpassed them at the top of the NL Central)
  • Cleveland Indians (Losing Michael Brantley again hurts, even if he's on the 15-day DL)
Other Teams With Staying Power:
  • Kansas City Royals (Where was the pesky hitting that won them a World Series title last year?)
  • Chicago Cubs (Duh. They're freakin' loaded this year)
  • Chicago White Sox (If Jose Abreu gets hot, watch out)
  • San Francisco Giants (Looks like Johnny Cueto has got his groove back)
  • Detroit Tigers (Yeah, Brad Ausmus is DONE)

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