Baseball

MLB Half Way Mark: National League

Fernadno Tatis Jr.
Gregory Bull – AP Photo

As the MLB starts the month of July the majority of teams have played exactly half of their regular season games. The second half will see a lot of changes within National League divisions. Here is a quick look at the current division leaders and the predicted winners at the end of the season.

East

Current Leader: New York Mets

Predicted Winner: Washington Nationals

The National League East is one of the weirdest divisions in baseball. The seperation between the first place Mets and last place Miami Marlins is only 8.5 games. If the Mets were in four of the five other divisions they would be in third place well behind first.

The Mets have not lived up to the hype that was expected with the off season acquisition of Fransisco Lindor. They have played well because of strong pitching especially from starter Jacob deGrom and closer Edwin Diaz.

In the month of June the Mets went only 15-15, not really moving up, but staying in first. This is because of the other four struggling teams. One of those struggling teams has suddenly become major competition.

The Washington Nationals came into June as one of the worst teams in the NL. June was an insane month for the Nats as they were led by Kyle Schwarber’s constant home run presence.

The Nats went 19-9 in June and currently sit only two games back from the Mets. They are only two games over .500 and yet they are proving to be a dominant force. They went from sellers to buyers as the trade deadline approaches and they will definitely try to beef up even more.

The Mets have struggled to get going at a consistent rate and the Nationals are on a roll so it only makes sense that they would keeping it going to the end.

Central

Current Leader: Milwaukee Brewers

Predicted Winner: Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers pitching has been the biggest reason for their success. They one of the best trio of starting pitchers in all of baseball with Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta and Corbin Burnes. Those three have an average ERA of 2.18 which is incredible.

Without their great pitching the Crew would most likely not be where they are because they have the worst team batting average in all of baseball at .218 and sit at the bottom in their ability to hit with runners in scoring position.

After a terrible May where they experienced a brutal stretch where they went 4-13. They bounced back quickly and from the middle of May to the end of June they had thee stretches where they had at least eight wins in a 10 game stretch (8-2; 9-1; 9-1).

They will have to continue to win a this rate to hold onto the division lead because although the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds are all in little ruts they are highly capable of going on long winning streaks.

The Brewers are in the best position because they have the best pitching staffs of the other three teams. As the season gets closer to the end the Brewers pitching staff will be what keeps them at the top as they face series after series against the rivals.

West

Current Leader: San Fransisco Giants

Predicted Winner: San Diego Padres

A big surprise in baseball this season has been the San Fransisco Giants. After their three World Series championships in five years from 2010 to 2014 they have fallen off the map.

They have put together some spectacular pitching and hitters who put up great at bats game after game. They became the first team in the majors to reach 50 wins, but since then has gone stagnant. Their two biggest rivals have crept to within only three games.

Although the Dodgers are the closest behind, the team with the best chance to win the division is the San Diego Padres.

The Padres have one of the most fun teams in all of baseball with Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer, Jake Cronenworth and Trent Grisham. The energy with this team is through the roof and that has feuled their success over the past couple years.

They seem to have most of the necessary pieces to go all the way and are ready to stake their claim in the west. It is time for a team to push the Dodgers out of the spotlight.

Each of these three National League divisions are going to be close until the very end. It is a possibility that the Central and East may be a battle between four teams and the West may be three teams. That is what makes baseball so exciting, as they come down to game 162 it may be hard to label a clear winner.

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  1. Pingback: MLB Half Way Mark: American League - Championship Sports Media

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