Believe it or not, we’re just a few weeks away from the 2018 Major League Baseball season being at the all-star break. Let’s check out some of the top headlines of the season so far.
Mookie for MVP?
Mike Trout of the Angels is usually a safe bet for MVP in the American League, but it’s been hard to ignore Mookie Betts of the Red Sox. Betts is just 25, so it’s not surprising to see him heading into his prime. At the moment, he’s hitting .338 with an OPS of 1.101, a nearly 300-point improvement in OPS from last season. He’s poised to give Trout a run for his money in the MVP race.
A Cy Young that Can’t Win
Max Scherzer of the Nationals has gotten most of the love for Cy Young in the National League. As the first in the N.L. to reach 10 wins, he’s well-deserving of the acclaim. However, Jacob deGrom of the Mets has been even better. DeGrom has a 1.69 ERA and has looked every bit as good as Scherzer, if not better. The problem is the Mets have given deGrom no run support and no help from the bullpen, so he’s just 5-3 on the season, which could end up costing him in the Cy Young race.
Better win the Division
Both the AL East and AL West are shaping up to be two-horse races, with one team winning the division and the other settling for the wild-card spot. In the East, it’s the Yankees and Red Sox, while the Astros are getting challenged by the Mariners in the West. All four teams could end up in winning 95 to 100 games this year. However, two of them will end up in a one-game wild-card playoff, giving each team a huge incentive to go for the jugular and win the division.
Here Come the Dodgers
After a dreadful start to the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers are working their way back to the top of the NL West. Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill have recently returned from the DL, so the Dodgers are as close to completely healthy as they’ve been all season. The Diamondbacks are clinging to their lead, but with the Dodgers winning the NL West the past five seasons, they may still be viewed as the favorites in that division.
Nearly halfway through the season, it’s apparent that the Atlanta Braves are real and aren’t going anyway. To be fair, they’ve stumbled a couple times and have both the Phillies and Nationals close behind. However, Atlanta’s young talent, most notably Ozzie Albies, has come of age fast. Veterans Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis are also having big years. As long as their young pitching holds up, look out for the Braves the second half of the season.