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My 2017 MLB Playoff Projections

This is a perfect time to discuss the teams in Major League Baseball as no other professional sports are truly prominent at this time. Basketball, hockey and football are all in their respective off-seasons, leaving Wimbledon tennis and USA soccer as the only options for avid sports watchers to see. In other words, this is baseball’s time to shine. Aaron Judge just finished off a monster event in the Home run Derby, the trade deadline nears, and the races between teams are tightening for the playoffs. This brings me to the question all baseball fans should be asking; who will be on TV when the playoffs start in September?

Here are my postseason projected matchups in both the American and National Leagues:

American League

#1 Houston Astros vs #4 Texas Rangers- The Rangers are a bit of a bold choice down the stretch, though considering their consistent playoff pedigree and veteran talent, it would not be a huge surprise to see Texas win the wildcard game and face their divisional rival, the Astros. Speaking of the Astros, it is no shock that they are here with a bucket-full of talent ranging from George Springer and José Altuve to Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel.

#2 Boston Red Sox vs #3 Cleveland Indians- The continued emergence of the Indians has been a great sight to watch since last year. Their division of the Twins and Royals behind them in the standings will create meaning and a relatively difficult finish for Cleveland, but I do project the Indians to finish out on top. The Red Sox on the other hand slipped a little before the all-star break, though it is a massive mistake to bet against Boston receiving this #2 seed. With Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel, the pitching staff is looking solid moving forward into the latter stages of the season. Lastly, the Sox will be more than happy to get revenge on the Indians from last season’s drama.

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10 Things about the Best MLB Team; the Houston Astros

Wait who? Yes, the Houston Astros are currently atop the MLB with a record of 39-16!

Here are 10 things you may not have known about this all-star caliber team:

  1. Houston is undefeated against the National League with a 5-0 record
  2. The Astros have a a winning percentage of .709! That is absolutely insane
  3. They are 12.5 games up on the next closest team in their American League West division
  4. Houston has a 9-1 record in the last 10 games showing the ability to destroy teams multiple times in the same series
  5. The Astros have not lost in extra innings so far this year
  6. They have a runs scored differential of +96
  7. The Astros have scored 299 runs this year which is tied for the most in the league and averages out to being at least 5 runs per game!
  8. Star pitcher Dallas Keuchel has a 9-0 record this year with a 1.67 ERA
  9. Jose Altuve has currently stolen 11 bases, with many more coming
  10. The Astros have lost only 6 games on the road this year

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From Rival to Ally: Dexter Fowler

After winning an epic, historic World Series with the Chicago Cubs, Dexter Fowler signed with the Saint Louis Cardinals. He will be given 82 .5 million dollars over a span of 5 years or 16.5 million per year.

Here are both sides of the deal:

Good for the Cardinals

  1. Power- Fowler hit 13 home runs last year, showing his ability to contribute offensively
  2. Batting Average- Dexter maintained a .276 batting average last year, an asset to a Cardinals team that had 6 out their consistent 8 starting players less than that margin
  3. Speed- Fowler stole 13 bases last year, 6 more than anyone on Saint Louis
  4. Consistency- Since 2009, Fowler has had a batting average .250 0r above, at least 20 hits, 100 hits and 115 games played
  5. Rivalry- Fowler’s presence could be the defining edge the Cardinals are looking for to surpass their growing enemy in Chicago

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The Future of Baseball

Since 1839, baseball has drastically changed from the spotlight of American sports to a league overshadowed by the likes of football, hockey and basketball. Here are 5 reasons why baseball is on the decline:

1. Cost- Baseball has turned into an extremely expensive affair. Going to a game with food and drink in Boston totals approximately $400. For a number of people, a baseball game may be weeks of pay that could be spent in other areas. Additionally, parking can range between 20-40 dollars in big, populated areas. At some point, the price needs to be worth the game.

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2. Competition- The sport is predominately controlled by the teams with seemingly endless amounts of money including New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. These franchises are able to pay extraordinary amounts to “big name” players and therefore become stronger than the rest of the league. As a result, games against weaker opponents turn just plain boring.

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The Sox Slump

The Boston Red Sox delivered an 18 game win record in the month of May before only capturing 7 victories mid-way through June. Why the slump? Games in the past included large victories by 3, 5 even 7 runs. The Sox bats in the later stages have gone quiet including Dustin Pedroia just snapping a 14 at-bat streak in which he did not have a hit. Hanley Ramirez has also watched his batting average slowly decrease. To the downfall, pitching had also been a large factor, as besides Steven Wright and David Price, the arms has been lit up like a fire. Clay Buchholz, Roenis Elias and Eduardo Rodriguez all feature losing records of 3-7, 0-1 and 1-2 respectively. The Red Sox rolled an American League East lead into the month of June before being overtaken by the surging Baltimore Orioles. In comparison the Orioles have 12 wins thus far in the month of June and are winning consistently and by a large margin.

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