Once again I’m writing my column on where things stand in Major League Baseball at the Memorial Day point.
There of course is a long way to go in the season, but baseball purists consider Memorial Day the quarter point of the season and generally look for trends at that point.
Right now Boston, Detroit, Texas, Atlanta, St. Louis and Arizona are leading their respective MLB Divisions. If the season ended today those teams along with the Yankees, Oakland, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh would be in the play-offs.
Boston right now is leading the AL East, which seems to be set for a competitive summer with the Red Sox, New York, Baltimore and Tampa Bay all having winning teams.
Boston thus far has used some comeback results from players that didn’t fare well last year. The Yankees have played well in spite of injuries with much of their success due to a healthy return of top-notched reliever Mariano Rivera. Baltimore and the Rays both have solid players so this division should be up for grabs all year.
Detroit is, and will, be the cream of the AL Central. Not only do they have hurlers like Verlander, Fister, Sanchez and Schezer, they also have Caberra and Fielder as big as any two middle line-up players as you can get.
Cleveland made an early run, and look for the White Sox to make a late run in this division, but it belongs to Detroit now and will continue to belong to the Tigers.
The AL West has a new look this year with Houston joining the fray, which will result in more wins for the other league teams. The Astros are bad.
Division-leading Texas isn’t, though, and neither is second place Oakland, who gets the best out of what they have better than any other MLB team. The
Angels continued to cause head-scratching because a line-up that includes Trout, Pujois, Trumbo and Hamilton should score enough runs to offset any pitching deficiencies.
Surprising Atlanta is leading the NL East. Though young, the line-up appears solid and the pitching has been good. But good enough to hold off second place Washington all year is the question. The Nationals have the pitching and the offense to get on a big-time win streak. The other division teams, Philadelphia, New York and Miami, aren’t capable of challenging the Braves or Washington in this division.
The NL Central could be MLB’s most fun this summer. Thus far St. Louis has played better than any team in MLB. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are also capable of playing great ball so this division bears watching.
So does the NL West. Arizona, San Francisco and Colorado are bunched at the top right now and all have players that are fun to watch and should be for the rest of the year.
So, that’s how things are Memorial Day. Take a guess as to how it will be the Fourth of July, which is when I write another MLB column.