How Things Are Looking In The NL
With roughly twenty-five games completed in the Major League Baseball season, it is time to look at the teams that have both impressed and underperformed.
Let's start in the NL Wst, where the Los Angeles Dodgers have a four-game lead (to no one's surprise). Off-season acquisition Mookie Betts leads the team with eleven home runs and Clayton Kershaw already has three wins on the mound. Then you have the Padres in second, despite top-tier closer Kirby Yates hitting the IL. The emergence of Fernando Tatis Jr. was huge for them and could help them make the playoffs. Then you have the Rockies in third, led by Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado. They are as advertised, not bad but not quite elite. Many people likely had the Giants in last, but they currently are two games ahead of the last-place Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks have been poor all season with only Kole Calhoun hitting for more than four home runs. If the bats do not wake up this will be a long season for Arizona, as they are the only team that has not lived up to expectations.
The NL Central, however, is an entirely different story. The Cubs are the only team in the division who have lived up to expectations and maintained a winning record. The Cardinals, who were the former division champs, have played a league-low 14 games and are boasting a sad 7-7 record. Trailing the Cards are the underperforming Brewers, who have a .478 win percentage compared to their .549 win percentage from last season. The last two teams in the division have records matching their expectations. The Reds have almost the same win percentage as last season and the Pirates have the worst record in the league. The Cubs look to be running away with this one, but the Cardinals could keep it close with a strong second half to the season. You can also never count out the 2019 MVP runner up, Christian Yelich, and the Brew Crew. Although they are off to quite a rocky start, they have a solid team that has a great chance to pull together soon and make a playoff push.
The last division is the NL East, which also displays some confusing standings. Last season's division winners the Nationals have swapped places with the division losing Marlins. The Marlins now are maintaining second place, while the Nats and Phillies are tied for last. The Mets are right in the middle of the division in 3rd place and at the same time, living up to their satisfactory expectations. The only team in the division showing off a winning record are the Atlanta Braves led by Dansby Swanson. The Nationals have struggled with keeping players healthy and on top of their game, therefore having to alternate various players through their starting 9 consistently. This division could definitely come down to the wire, with all five teams within three games of one another. This could certainly change though, as the braves look to get back their young phenoms, Acuna Jr. and Albies in the coming week. All things considered, this division could have very unexpected results but one thing that can be expected is an exciting second half of the season.
In conclusion, it is fair to say that the MLB standings are looking like they will shape up differently this season. With the large list of underperforming teams, don't be surprised if the Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles are the World Series matchup that we fans get to enjoy. All in all, there is still over half of the MLB season to take place, so perhaps we will see the Red sox throw away their losing record or the Marlins return to their 2019 form. The main question that remains is, “Will the underperforming teams lift the weights off their back and get going”? We shall see.
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