National League Mid-Season Report

We’ve saved the worst….for last.

Yesterday, we broke down the good half (American League). Today, we’ll get to the half that still (inexplicably) lets pitchers hit (National League)….

National League

Best Team – Arizona Diamondbacks

pi-mlb-dbacks-pirates-062318_vresize_1200_630_high_55

This was harder than it looks. Figuring out the best team in the National League is like ranking your favorite diseases. At 47-34, the Diamondbacks have the 2nd best record in the National League (Milwaukee Brewers: 47-33). While the Diamondbacks, and Paul Goldschmidt, had a May to forget (Goldschmidt hit .144 in May, and the team went 8-19), they’ve bounced back to the tune of 19-7 in June.

Robbie Ray is back. Zack Godley is pitching to his abilities (again). And the other Zack (Greinke) is 5-1 since May. While the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are nipping at their heels, expect the Diamondbacks to win their 1st NL West Division Title since 2011.

Biggest Surprise – Milwaukee Brewers

Cardinals Brewers Baseball

I knew the Milwaukee Brewers were a good baseball team. I just didn’t know they’d be THIS good. To have the best record in the National League, with THIS pitching staff, is no small feat. If you can name the entire starting rotation for the Brewers, I’ll make your next car payment. I’m serious. GO ahead. I’ll wait….

Even ‘The Google’ doesn’t know.

The Brewers’ roster is filled with a long list of good players. No superstars. No CY Young Award candidates. Just good, do a little bit of everything, players. Only time will tell if they can hold off the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central Division.

MVP – Freddie Freeman

freddie

Until May 14th (my birthday), A.J. Pollock was running away with the NL MVP Award. And then he got hurt. Now, your guess is as good as mine….

While the aforementioned Paul Goldschmidt has turned his life around, he’s not the MVP. Freddie is. Freddie Freeman is having the best season of his career. He’s on pace for 31 home runs, 111 rbi, and 12 sbs with a .318 batting average.

Oh, and the Atlanta Braves are in 1st place in the NL East (45-34).

CY Young – Max Scherzer

max

As deserving as Jacob deGrom is of a CY Young Award, Max Scherzer is THAT much better than deGrom. If this was the ‘I Feel Really Badly For You Award’, deGrom would be the unanimous victor. However, Max Scherzer is the best pitcher in MLB.

Now, OPEN YOUR EARS AND LISTEN:

Max Scherzer has been the best pitcher in MLB for the past seven years.

Yes, I’m aware Clayton Kershaw has been in MLB for the past seven years as well. But I’m also aware that you can’t win baseball games from the trainer’s room. While Clayton Kershaw’s stuff is unparalleled, Max Scherzer’s durability makes him the best, most consistent pitcher in MLB.

 

Do you think I’m crazy?!?! Explain yourself in the comment section below….

Advertisements

April’s Lasting Impression Has NOTHING on May!!

My favorite month is HERE!!

May is awesome for many reasons:

NBA Playoffs

NHL Playoffs

MLB Season in full swing

Yeah, yeah, those are great, but here are the REAL reasons:

Mother’s Day

Actual, SUSTAINED nice weather  

Mine, my Wife, and my Dad’s birthdays (coincidentally all on the SAME DAY — May 14th)!!!!

Speaking of birthdays (we’ll get to sports at some point today..I promise), for those who watch, or listen, to my Sports Talk Radio Show, DaveTalksSports, today is my co-host, Uncle Mike’s, birthday!! Happy Birthday Brother!!

Which naturally transitions to MLB finishing April with a bang. How do I come up with these segues?! Genius….

Not 1, not 2, but 3!!

A.J. Pollock is really good at baseball. Casual baseball fans don’t know that. Pollock plays in Phoenix, Arizona, one of baseball’s forgotten cities. And he’s often injured, playing in just 524 of a potential 972 games through his first six seasons (53.9%). Pollock possesses a unique power/speed skillset and is the primary reason the Arizona Diamondbacks have the best record in the National League (20-8). His THREE home runs Monday night are a prime example of his power potential.

Pollock will hope to transition from April to May as smoothly as the transition from the introduction to the rest of this article.

I’m Going To Strike You Out!!

Brewers-Josh-Hader

Raise your hand if you know Josh Hader….

Put your hand down, liar.

Josh Hader is a relief pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s temporarily earning saves while Cory Knebel recovers from a hamstring injury. Monday night, Hader made history. He became the 1st pitcher, since saves became an official statistic in 1969, to strike out 8 batters, in less than 3 innings, while earning a save. 8 strikeouts in 2 and 2/3 innings. That’s some nasty stuff right there.

I guess there’s a reason why it’s never been done before….

Sonny Gray Sighting!! 

sonny gray 2

Okay, quit foolin’ around. Who’s the imposter who pitched in Sonny Gray’s jersey Monday night????

While the Yankees suffered a 2-1 loss to the Astros Monday night, Sonny Gray threw his 2nd quality start of the season:

6 innings, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts, and 3 walks

Not the best start of his career, but encouraging against a powerful Astros’ lineup, on the road. Hopefully Gray will carry the positives from this start into May. Gray’s next start will be Cinco de Mayo, at home, against the Cleveland Indians.

The Yankees have announced they’ll stick with Austin Romine as Gray’s personal catcher.

From Bad To Worse

corey seager

Remember when the Los Angeles Dodgers were expected to make consecutive World Series appearances?? Remember when the Dodgers had the 3rd highest payroll in MLB?? And remember when, despite having the best starting pitcher and closer in baseball, it ALL fell apart?!

That, would be today….

As if April couldn’t get any worse (12-16), the Dodgers received terrible news Monday. All-star shortstop, Corey Seager, will require season-ending Tommy John Surgery. At just 24, the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year had become a mainstay in a strong Dodgers’ lineup. His power upside coupled with a .302 career batting average made him one of the better shortstops in MLB. We wish him luck in recovery, however, his team, may be past the point of recovery.

 

What was the best part of the last day of April?? Tell me in the comment section below.

You can find me on the Radio as well. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’m on live, every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. Each show is also broadcast on Facebook Live via: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.
Since you LOVE 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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! NO GO TELL ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!

And The Winner Is….

shohei-ohtani-updates-on-where-he-will-sign

Drumroll please!

 

And the winner, of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, is….

 

Nobody yet. But stay tuned. The answer to everyone’s question is coming soon. At some point in the next 15 days to be exact. Ohtani’s window to negotiate with Major League teams closes at 11:59 P.M. EST, on December 22nd. Christmas will come early for 1 lucky MLB franchise. As of now, Ohtani has narrowed his choice to 7 teams:

  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Los Angeles Angels
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Texas Rangers
  • Seattle Mariners

This list speaks volumes about Ohtani’s thought process:

Proximity To Home

Yes, Shohei Ohtani will be relocating to the United States of America to play MLB. However, it appears he would like to reside as close to his homeland of Japan as possible. Outside of the Cubs and Rangers, his prospective teams are located on the West coast.

Who’s Missing?

In skimming this list, you’ll also notice something glaring: The New York Yankees are missing!! I’m not saying this because I’m a Yankees’ fan, but I thought the Yankees would’ve been a great fit for Japan’s Babe Ruth. Last time I checked, Babe Ruth played for the Yankees. What better way to follow in the footsteps of the greatest baseball player in MLB history than to play for the same team??

Lack of Companionship

As you dig a little deeper into these teams, you’ll realize they lack something. None of these teams have a notable, Japanese star. Yu Darvish is a free agent, so he doesn’t play for the Dodgers. My educated guess is he doesn’t want to play in the shadow of another Japanese star.

That’s A Surprise

I’m surprised the majority of this list is comprised of 4 National League teams. We all know Ohtani is a 2-way player. He’s a starting pitcher, an outfielder, and a designated hitter. I’m not inside the head of the 7 general managers/owners of Ohtani’s potential landing spots, but I figured he would pitch and strictly play DH. To allow Ohtani to pitch, hit, and play the field is extremely risky, and is something a National League team would be forced to do.

Show Me What You’re Made Of!!

I have to be honest. For a player to forego a potentially 9-figure contract (in just 2 years) by coming to MLB “early”, it would be nice if he’d land in a big market. Because nothing says ‘show me what you’re made of’ quite like the spotlight of Yankee Stadium, or Fenway Park, or CitiField. That’s why if he goes to any team not named the Dodgers, I’ll be slightly disappointed in the young man.

Prediction

I don’t think he’ll wind up in the National League, so cross the Dodgers, Cubs, Padres, and Giants off the list. I think he wants to be the best player on a bad team, so cross the Angels off too. This leaves the Rangers and Mariners. On Wednesday, the Mariners acquired an additional $1 million in International Bonus money, so they look more enticing. However, the Rangers are still the leaders in the clubhouse in terms of International Bonus money.

Ultimately, I believe Shohei Ohtani will end up playing for the Seattle Mariners next season. They’re a mediocre team, that plays on the West coast, in the American League. As long as they allow him to pitch once every 6 days, and play DH 4 times per week, the Mariners have this thing locked up.

 

What do you think?? Where will Shohei Ohtani play baseball next season?? Post your prediction 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 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

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: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!