MLB Week in Review (July 8-14)

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The second half of the MLB season is here but of course, the first step in that second half was the all-star break.

For a week the MLB took some time off while many looked to San Diego to see the best players in the league all face-off.

The All-Star Game is a common thing in professional sports as almost every league hosts an annual display of the best in the sport.

The MLB is slightly different in that their game truly means something as the winner of the game earns home advantage in the World Series.

For two teams that could make a massive difference in October but for the rest it means nothing.

As important as the game can be for some teams the fact is that to take advantage of the home advantage teams need to get to the postseason first.

To do that they will all need their best players to continue to perform at a top level for the rest of the year.

That leaves the all-star game as a bit of a danger as it is one extra game that teams aren’t planning on as they prepare for the second half of the season.

That can directly affect the plans that teams have for their pitchers.

In an era where more people than ever are going under the knife for Tommy John surgery, teams are constantly looking after the arms of their pitchers.

Throwing a pitcher into a game that is not a part of the plan can throw the team plans off and put the rest of the season in jeopardy for a pitcher.

That seemed to be the case for the Toronto Blue Jays who saw a young star make his way to his first all-star game.

Aaron Sanchez had been pitching great all year but with an apparent innings limit even pitching only a few innings might put him in the bullpen sooner than they had hoped.

The danger is not limited to the pitchers though as the batters have their own issues to worry about.

Injuries are always a possibility but more than that the danger could be in the event beforehand.

The Home Run Derby is always entertaining, it is one of the few skills competitions that actually works in all-star events.

The Derby can also ruin swings as players go all out trying to hit home runs and make adjustments that they don’t even realise.

There have been countless players who have participated in the Derby and found themselves struggling to find their swing when they need it the most.

It can be a tricky thing for players to find themselves in the all-star game.baseball-sidebar

On one hand, the team is happy to see their players in the all-star game after all, big names sell tickets and jerseys.

Then again they would prefer that all of their good at bats or innings pitched would be with the team that pays them millions of dollars.

The issues facing many teams in the all-star game were expressed perfectly in how the game played out in the National League.

With New York Mets’ manager Terry Collins in charge of the National League team and two Mets players on the team, there was a decision to make.

Collins made the decision as he never used Bartolo Colon or Jeurys Familia while in the AL, most of the team was able to see the field.

For some, it might be an unfair advantage as Collins was able to save his own players from pitching extra innings.

He was able to save some very important arms from extra workload merely because he was the manager of the team.

It showed just what some managers and teams think of the All-Star Game. Collins is certainly not alone but the game is over and the second half is here.

The effects of the All-Star Game will be seen, for better or for worse, in this second half.

Teams are ready to start their main run to the postseason with enough time for many teams to find their way to October baseball.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

A Test for the MLB
Jung-ho Kang will be the latest player who will fall under the league’s new domestic violence policy after an investigation was launched for sexual assault but they will take a different road awaiting the investigation results

Massive Claims Against MLB
The MLB drug policy has been in effect for years and one of the names attached to it is Jenrry Mejia who was banned for life after three straight failed tests but now he is taking it a step further as he is set to launch a lawsuit claiming “mob-like” activity in the league

Harvey’s Career in the Balance
It wasn’t long ago that Matt Harvey was going to be the next big thing in baseball as “The Dark Knight” was dominating opponents and becoming the ace of a great pitching staff but Thoracic Outlet Syndrome may end that hope as he will go under the knife for a surgery that could end his career

standings-w15.fw

Key Series:
MLB Home Run Derby
– When Giancarlo Stanton decided to join the Home Run Derby despite being left off of the All-Star roster people got excited as the hardest hitter in baseball was set to hit the long ball and he did it well hitting a record 61 home runs for the derby title

American League 4-2 National League
– The American League did not let many of their players stay on the field for long but they got the most out of them as they got the win and will take World Series home field advantage for whichever team makes it that far

Upcoming Series:
Texas Rangers vs. Chicago Cubs [July 15-17]
– With the Rangers looking like first half favourites in the American League and the Cubs being one of the best teams in baseball some could see this as a preview for the World Series if both teams can keep it up

Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners [July 15-17]
– The Astros began to make a run near the end of the first half of the season and they are hoping to continue that into the second half while the Mariners are hoping to regain some of their strong play from the first half

Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals [July 18-20]
– The Indians were one of the hottest teams nearing the middle of the season and taking the brunt of that was the Royals who have struggled to stay on top of a division they dominated only a year ago

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals [July 19-21]
– The Dodgers are still trying to get past a very strong Giants team and they hope to get closer to taking on the Nationals who are hoping that this second half continues to be strong for them as they try to continue to lead the East

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