After two weeks of baseball, here’s what I have come up with.
So far, I love what the Los Angeles Dodgers are doing as well as the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers. I’ve also learned that the National League is going to be very weak this year. The Philadelphia Phillies are struggling big time, the Cincinnati Reds aren’t what we expected, and the St. Louis Cardinals are ontop of the National League Central after losing arguably their best player in franchise history, Albert Pujols. In the American League, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees started off slow, but it seems like they are turning their ships around. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are under .500 and the Baltimore Orioles are atop the American League East like we all expected (not). I know it’s only the beginning of the season, and it’s more how you finish in baseball, than how you start. However, I believe starting off hot sets the tone for the entire season, proving your a team that is no pushover.
Here are my top 5 teams in baseball after two weeks:
5. Boston Red Sox/ New York Yankees: The biggest rivalry in all of sports is tied for the number 5 spot. Even though they both are close to .500, they are better than every team in the American League other than the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers. Baseball is a long season for a reason, so don’t expect either of these teams to crumble easily. The Red Sox are suffering big time with injuries. Carl Crawford had surgery in January, their closer Andrew Bailey is out until July, and now their team MVP and leadoff man, Jacoby Ellsbury is out 6-8 weeks with a serious shoulder injury. If they can get healthy they will be a dangerous team once again. The New York Yankees on the other hand have one of the best lineups in all of baseball. The only thing that bothers me about them is their inconsistency at starting pitching. Other than C.C. Sabathia, I don’t have much confidence in starters 2 through 5.
4. St. Louis Cardinals: The St. Louis Cardinals are definitely the biggest surprise in all of baseball so far. After losing Albert Pujols, I definitely expected them to struggle, however they seem just fine. The defending World Series Champions look like the favorites to win the National League Central, again, and they can be a deep threat come playoff time especially with all of their experienced players. As I said earlier, the National League is very, very weak, so don’t be surprised if the Cardinals have a shot to defend their title in the World Series this year.
3. Texas Rangers: Third time’s a charm? The Texas Rangers have made it to the World Series two years and a row, and sadly they came up short both times. In the offseason, they lost ace, CJ Wilson to their division rival, Angels. They signed Japanese right hander, Yu Darvish who is 2-0 so far to start the season, but he obviously still needs to adjust. The Rangers have one of, if not the best lineup in all of baseball. If they can get to a World Series for a third consecutive season, it will be because of their potent offense.
2. Detroit Tigers: My prediction to come out alive of the American League this year is number 2 this week in my Power Rankings. The acquisition of Prince Fielder made that lineup even better than it was a year ago. Losing Victor Martinez for possibly the whole season was a big blow, but Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder will look to carry them all season. Leadoff man, Austin Jackson improved a ton from a year ago, adjusting his batting stance and you can’t forget they have the reigning CY Young and MVP Award Winner, Justin Verlander. I expect the Detroit Tigers to take it to the next level come October.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers: The record of 9-1 speaks for itself in a young season. Matt Kemp was my preseason pick to win the MVP Award this year after having a bitter taste last season, losing the award to Ryan Braun. He is the best overall player in the Majors, but remember, baseball is a team game. The Dodgers have been on a hot streak, so I believe they will come down to Earth a bit. Kershaw is a very dominate ace, but the other starters will need to contribute as much as they can each start to get W’s for the team. Their 3,4 punch with Kemp and Ethier is one of the best in the entire league. I would put them neck and neck with Cabrera and Fielder. For the past two weeks, the Dodgers have looked the absolute best in all of baseball. With a weak National League, they have a legitimate shot to make it to the World Series.
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