Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sports: MLB (August 2016)

Just over a month left in the MLB season and I have to admit, I have not been playing close attention to baseball this year. The reason for this is that my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, has performed very poorly this year remaining at the bottom of their division and the National League, and tied for the worse team in the Major League with the Minnesota Twins. The other team that I was transitioning to for several years now but have yet to witness a breakout season were the Cincinnati Reds, but they are the second worst team in the National League. This post will be the last I bring up these pitiful teams as I write about baseball. Now I'll look forward to the excitement of the last month and potential playoff matchups.

American League
The Toronto Blue Jays have had a lead throughout the season but that lead has turned precarious in what looks like one of the most exciting division battles for September. The Boston Red Sox are only a game and a half back while the Baltimore Orioles are behind by only three. Both of these team remain at the top of the Wild Card race so I predict that two teams from the AL East will make it into the playoffs.

The AL Central also looks to be an interesting matchup as well. The Cleveland Indians hold a four-game lead over the Detroit Tigers who are hoping to fight their way either to the top of the division or into a Wild Card spot. Though they have had a tough season, the Kansas City Royals are experiencing a bit of a streak that could see them into the postseason once again. It will be interesting to see if the Royals can pull it out or fall by the end of the season.

The Texas Rangers hold a solid lead up by eight and a half games to the nearest opponent, their fellow Texas team, the Houston Astros. The Rangers are just working towards a home field advantage playoffs with a three and a half game lead at the top of the American League over the Indians. The Rangers look to be the toughest AL competitors.

National League
The Washington National should take away this division with a nine-game lead. The New York Mets are only two and a half games out from the Wild Card spot so I can't count them out just yet. 

The Chicago Cubs are not only the clear favorite to win the NL Central but they could also take the World Series if they continue their dominant performance. The Cubs are predicted highly to win it all and I could see that as an easy prediction. I will be rooting against them but also would be just fine if they went all the way. The St. Louis Cardinals look like a strong competitor for the Wild Card and were my poor prediction to take the division back on Opening Day. The Pittsburgh Pirates area also looking like they have a chance to slip into the Wild Card place if they have a great September.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants have one of the most competitive rivalries in recent baseball history and the Giants are only one game behind in the fight for the AL West. It's an even year and I've said all season that it is hard to bet against the Giants in this decade but the Dodgers will still give him a fight. The Dodgers look to be the team predicted to take the division but September can be full of surprises.

I think I'll start tuning in a little more in the last month of this season to see these narratives play out. I like looking at 538's predictions to see which teams are highly favored but I'm not placing any money bets with what little information I've gleaned from a few games here and there. I think I've discussed all of the teams that have a chance at this point and their possible futures. I do look forward to watching what promises to be an exciting postseason in October. 

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