MLB Week in Review (June 15-21)

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The Midseason point of the season is fast approaching as players and managers prepare to go to New York for the All-Star game or take a break in the middle of the season. It is a point where the teams and players around the league can truly take stock of where they are. The MLB season is 162 games long and is clearly the longest season in professional sports. A lot of that is for the fact that baseball is not always the most physically demanding sport on players, besides pitchers. They are still looked at as very similar to other professional sports though as every game becomes important. In reality no team can win the World Series in the first few months of the season. They can lose the World Series in the first few months of the season though. A team that has a lights out first half season is not necessarily a World Series lock as they can easily have a terrible second half. A team that has a terrible first few months though can have a very tough time trying to get into the playoffs in the second half. This is the wonder of the MLB as teams that have started out very slow, see the Blue Jays or Phillies, will have a tough time getting back whereas strong starters, See Red Sox and D-Backs, just have to prevent a massive collapse. There are plenty of teams in these situations as the first half is about to close and teams are hoping to put themselves in a good spot by the All-Star break. For teams that have struggled for all of the first three months the season is essentially over for them. This means that they begin to look at trading some top talent, along with money, and try to look into the minor leagues for potential talent. They will begin looking at players that they can call up to see what type of future they have in their system. There are also plenty of teams that have had their struggles but have been just good enough to remain in the fight for a wild card spot or their division title. These teams are looking for a good second half and a possible trade partner to add the last piece they need to win and earn a playoff spot. Of course there are always the teams that have been on fire since the beginning of the season and all of a sudden are looking more human. These teams are in a difficult position as they know that they have the talent to play well but something is happening that is making them fall short. They need to find out how to fix this in the second half of the season before they end up too far out of the race. Finally there are the teams that have been hot and are showing no signs of slowing down in the second half. These teams have a very simple and yet very complicated task ahead of them. All they need to do is not screw up but as fans have seen many times that is a lot easier said than done. There are many teams in every situation at this point in the season with teams like the Yankees falling off and the Toronto Blue Jays picking up steam. Nothing has been determined yet though and with the movement happening as the season closes in on the second half one thing can be said with some certainty. The second half of the season is shaping up to be a good one and there is little doubt about that. Teams that were supposed to be good are beginning to prove it and many teams are answering questions from the preseason. The writing is on the wall and that is that the race to the playoffs for 2013 is shaping up to be a good one so sit back and enjoy.

 

Extra Innings:
(Thoughts on the past week in the MLB)

Myers makes his Debut
As prospects begin to make their debuts one of the most anticipated prospects in Wil Myers would step onto an MLB field for the first time and would hit .176 with 2 RBIs in his first week as he adjusts to the big leagues in what should be a the start to a promising career

Manny Wants in
Manny Ramirez has been one of the most talked about players in recent MLB history and that is not always good as he has been the centre of some strange behavior and steroid allegations but after spending the season in Taiwan he is ready to return claiming he wants a spot in the MLB

Valverde Finished
Jose Valverde was one of the strangest stories last year as the seemingly lights out closer fell apart before the postseason but the Tigers would give him a second shot that turned out not to work as Detroit would release him this week

Pitchers in Danger Again
Only a month ago JA Happ would go down after a line drive hit him in the head giving him a concussion and a knee injury and this week Alex Cobb would be the next victim going down after a line drive was hit straight back at the starting pitcher

 

MLB Standings

American League
AL East:
1. Boston Red Sox (.592)
2. Baltimore Orioles (.568)
3. New York Yankees (.548)
4. Tampa Bay Rays (.514)
5. Toronto Blue Jays (.500)
AL Central:
1. Detroit Tigers (.556)
2. Cleveland Indians (.514)
3. Kansas City Royals (.479)
4. Minnesota Twins (.471)
5. Chicago White Sox (.423)
AL West:
1. Oakland Athletics (.579)
2. Texas Rangers (.568)
3. Los Angeles Angels (.446)
4. Seattle Mariners (.427)
5. Houston Astros (.373)

 

National League
NL East:
1. Atlanta Braves (.573)
2. Washington Nationals (.507)
3. Philadelphia Phillies (.473)
4. New York Mets (.414)
5. Miami Marlins (.329)
NL Central:
1. St. Louis Cardinals (.635)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (.595)
3. Cincinnati Reds (.587)
4. Chicago Cubs (.417)
5. Milwaukee Brewers (.417)
NL West:
1. Arizona Diamondbacks (.548)
2. San Diego Padres (.514)
3. San Francisco Giants (.507)
4. Colorado Rockies (.493)
5. Los Angeles Dodgers (.417)

 

Scores:
Tampa Bay Rays 5 – 3 Kansas City Royals
– The Rays would win this game but they would pay a much bigger price as starting pitcher Alex Cobb would leave the game early after being hit in the head with a hit, bringing thoughts of JA Happ earlier in the season

Philadelphia Phillies 5 – 4 Washington Nationals
– The Phillies started the season with some terrible play and an old squad while the Nationals had a young team and were the favorites for the World Series but their stations in the MLB would be perfectly illustrated as the Phillies would take the walk-off win

Boston Red Sox 3 – 1 Tampa Bay Rays
– The Red Sox would continue their great season and continue to surprise everyone who thought they would be at the bottom of the division instead of the top as they would take their second game of a double-header with the Rays

Los Angeles Dodgers 6 – 0 New York Yankees
– The battle of the two biggest payrolls in the MLB would take place with two games in the same day and they would split the games including this one where the Dodgers would even the double-header with a big win

 

Next Week:
Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Saturday June 22nd; 1:07 pm ET)
– The winning streak was great for the Jays but none of that will matter if they cannot get wins against their own division and with the Baltimore Orioles in town this game and series is one of the most important of their season

San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Monday June 24th; 10:10 pm ET)
– The Giants-Dodgers rivalry has taken a bit of a hit this year as the Dodgers have been less than impressive so far this year while the Giants remain a top team but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any fire between these two as they face off

Cleveland Indians vs. Baltimore Orioles (Wednesday June 26th; 7:05 pm ET)
– The Indians were one of the hottest teams in the league a few weeks ago but they have slowed down lately and now they take on the Orioles who many believed were a flash in the pan and are now one of the steadiest teams in the league

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Oakland Athletics (Friday June 28th; 10:05 pm ET)
– The Cards and A’s have been two of the steadiest teams in the MLB and now they face off in what may be a preview of an eventual playoff matchup in the National League in what should be a good matchup

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