American League Mid-Season Report

“Are we there yet?!”

No, but we’re about half way there….

As MLB teams approach the midway point of the season (no, the All-Star Game is not the midway point of the season), it’s time to get judgmental:

American League

Best Team – Houston Astros

astros

While I wanted to write the Yankees in , they simply aren’t the best team in the American League. When push comes to shove, especially in the postseason, great pitching beats great hitting. While Dallas Keuchel has regressed BIG TIME, he’s still light years better than every other #5 starter on the planet. If, and when, the Yankees acquire a good starting pitcher, they’ll assuredly leap frog the Astros.

Biggest Surprise – Seattle Mariners

mariners

This is the biggest surprise in MLB this season. It’s not even close. The Mariners, despite losing arguably their best player, Robinson Cano (suspension), have the 4th best record in baseball (50-31). If you can name five players on the Mariners, I’ll give you a cookie. Go ahead….

I didn’t think so.

Behind the performances of Nelson Cruz (20 home runs), Dee Gordon (21 steals), Ryon Healy (15 home runs), Edwin Diaz (30 saves), and Mike Leake (8 wins), the Mariners are quietly having one of the more impressive seasons in MLB.

MVP – Mike Trout

mike trout

While there are other worthy candidates for AL MVP (Mookie Betts and JD Martinez), Mike Trout is the best baseball player in the world. He has been for six years. Having played exactly half of the season, Trout is on pace for his most home runs in a season (46), to go along with 26 steals, while hitting .323. The man is not a man at all. He is a machine. An MVP machine.

CY Young – Luis Severino 

severino

Luis Severino is the best pitcher in the American League. I’m aware of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Chris Sale’s accomplishments, but Severino is outperforming them all. With the most pitches of 99 m.p.h. or more in all of baseball, Severino’s stuff is electric. He’s also singlehandedly holding the Yankees’ pitching staff up with one hand, while throwing absolute, unhittable gas with the other.

Check back with DaveTalksSports tomorrow for your National League mid-season report!!

 

 

Red Sox Clinch Playoff Berth (Boo!)

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

I don’t like you. No seriously, I really don’t like you. You keep winning when we want you to lose. And you continue to have fun while you win. How dare you?! This isn’t supposed to be fun!! This is baseball.

The Boston Red Sox have had a successful season — so far. They currently stand 3 games ahead of the New York Yankees in the American League East division. They clinched a playoff berth on Wednesday night after a combination of a win against the Baltimore Orioles (9-0), and an Angels loss (6-5). Also, Chris Sale (he’s good) became the 1st Red Sox pitcher to record 300 strikeouts in a season since Pedro Martinez (1999).

Even though Dustin Pedroia is still hanging around, the Red Sox have a new look. They’ve transitioned from the Pedro Martinez’ to the David Ortiz’ to the Mookie Betts’ of the world. They’re in the midst of a youth movement. And they’ve created their own version of the ‘Killer B’s’:

  • Betts (24)
  • Benintendi (23)
  • Bogaerts (24)
  • Bradley Jr. (27)

Only time will tell if this group will be as good as Biggio, Bagwell, Berkman, and Bell. I’m going to say Naaaaa, considering that group has 2 Hall of Famers in it. But these young players have had a great season. What’s most impressive is their resolve this late in the season. While their arch nemesis Yankees have won 14 of their last 18 games, the Red Sox have managed to win 11 of their last 14.

Did I mention I strongly dislike the Red Sox?! 

It’s not that the Red Sox are winning, it’s how they’re winning. Over this stretch, they have won 4 games in extra innings (11, 11, 15, and 19 innings!). If those games had gone the other way, the AL East would be a completely different animal right now. As a Yankees’ fan, I’ve come to terms with not winning the division, but the Yankees are getting hot at the right time.

The Red Sox don’t want a piece of US right now.

Nobody does. When the Yankees’ lineup is firing on all cylinders, it is as dangerous as they come. Once they handle their business in the Wild Card Game against either the Twins or Angels, they can set their sites on the rest of the American League. And, who knows, maybe they’ll meet up with these pesky little Red Sox down the road. Betts and Benintendi are nice players, but my money’s on Judge, Sanchez, and company.

 

Who has a better young core of players, the Yankees, or the Red Sox??

Answer me in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

Yankees’ Bullpen Falters LATE

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

Screw you ESPN!! You and your bags full of money. You’re the reason I only got 4 hours of sleep last night. Watch out Monday!! I am one sleep-deprived, ornery Yankees’ fan.

Listen, I’m an ESPN child. I grew up on a balanced diet of Sportscenter and top 10’s, and if ESPN offered me a job I’d drop everything and run to Bristol, CT, but they’re killin’ me here!! Sunday Night Baseball is not a smart idea. Starting a baseball game at 8:00 P.M (which is really 8:15), on a Sunday, is not fair to anyone who works — anywhere. But nobody wants to hear my sob story, right??

What do you say we talk about the game?? Ya know, since I stayed up to watch the whole freakin’ thing….

Sunday night’s Yankees/Red Sox Game was a rubber match of a 3-game series. A series I thought the Yankees would win. Not because I’m a Yankees’ fan, but because the Yankees tend to step-up their game when the Red Sox come to town. Unfortunately, Dave was wrong.

The Yankees put forth a lackluster performance throughout this crucial, weekend-series with the Boston Red Sox. Forget the rivalry, these games were really important. And without a 5-run, 8th inning on Friday night, the city of Boston would be carrying brooms around this morning.

The Yankees had a chance to do something rare Sunday night — win a game Chris Sale started. Sale is the Red Sox ace who is currently in the Cy Young and MVP race.

We’re going to fast forward to the 9th inning because there are only so many Sale strikeouts a Yankees’ fan can watch (he had 12 of them). Aroldis Chapman took the hill with a 2-1 lead. 103 m.p.h. looks really nice on the radar gun (ESPN will make sure you find it), but when MLB hitters know it’s coming, it’s not that impressive. Give me 98 with movement over 103 right down the middle any day. Rafael Devers, the youngest of the Red Sox young guns, proved that theory. With 1 out in the 9th inning, Devers tied the game with a solo home run. Devers took a Chapman fastball the opposite way, just clearing the fence in left-center field. To see the heart-breaking home run click here.

Just like that, the game was blown. By the way, half of Chapman’s blown saves this season are against the Red Sox, the last coming on July 14th.

To the 10th inning we go….

This is when my (100 pound) eyelids started fighting with my brain. The Yankees can bolster their bullpen all they want, they will continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Before Andrew Benintendi drove in the go ahead run, Chapman and Tommy Kahnle thought it would be a good idea to walk the bases loaded. I couldn’t have planned it any better myself!!

And then came a visit to the mound from Craig Kimbrel (aka the best closer in baseball). An Aaron Hicks groundout, an Aaron Judge strikeout (man I’m tired of hearin’ that one), and a weak fly ball from Gary Sanchez was all it took. 1-2-3. Goodnight Yankees. Goodnight moon. Goodnight Dave.

But hey, at least the Mets are comin’ to town. Nothing cures a losing streak like playing the Mets….

 

Will the Yankees make the playoffs?? Do Sunday Night Baseball games anger you as much as they anger me?? Please tell me in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!