Thursday, October 6, 2016

MLB Update

We haven't done any MLB updates this year because there was very little to say.  In the National League, it has been obvious since April that the Cubs are a great team -- probably the strongest team in the National League since the great Phillies teams of the late 2000's.  So the only drama in the NL comes now, when we learn whether the Cubs can survive the bumper-car style drama of the baseball playoffs.  In the first round, they will have to play the Giants -- a team that almost never wins 95 games, but which is going for its fourth world title in the last seven years.  They will be a tough out, but if the Cubs can get past them, then they draw either the Nats or the Dodgers, and both of those teams have had terrible post-season records lately.

We do want to give Natstown a lot of credit for quietly building a very successful franchise.  This year was the third time in the last five that Natstown has won the NL East -- and they turned the trick with three different managers.  No one else has paid much attention to the Nats, because their post-season record is a dismal 3-6.  And with Steven Strasburg and Wilson Ramos (their slugging catcher) out for the playoffs, the Nats will probably go out in the first round again this time.  But this could be Dusty Baker's year -- the Nats' manager has connections to all four NL playoff teams, and that may mean something.

Chicago:  103-58 --
Washington:  95-67  8 1/2
Los Angeles:  91-71  12 1/2
San Francisco:  87-75  16 1/2
New York:  87-75  16 1/2
St. Louis:  86-76  17 1/2
Miami:  79-82  24
Pittsburgh:  78-83  25
Colorado:  75-87  28 1/2
Milwaukee:  73-89  30 1/2
Philadelphia:  71-91  32 1/2
Arizona:  69-93  34 1/2
Atlanta:  68-93  35
San Diego:  68-94  35 1/2
Cincinnati:  68-94  35 1/2

In the American League, the big story was that Kansas City -- the two-time defending champs -- faded early and never seriously contended for the playoffs.  The second-biggest story was that the Yankees missed the divisional playoffs for the fourth year in a row, and you really wonder how much longer that will last.  Meanwhile, the Texas Rangers are back in the playoffs yet again -- they will get a re-match of last year's divisional series with the Blue Jays.  (For the record, the Heath Post has chronicled the Golden Age of Texas Rangers baseball -- they have two AL Pennants, and four AL West titles, since we started this blog.) My policy is that I don't watch the Rangers or the Blue Jays unless they make it to the ALCS, so I will miss that series entirely.  On the other hand, I will watch almost any game featuring the Bosox and the Indians, who are two of my favorite franchises in baseball, so I'm really looking forward to that series.  The Swingin' A's had a disappointing year, but we will hope that they rebound soon.

Texas:  95-67  --
Cleveland:  94-67  1/2
Boston:  93-69  2
Toronto:  89-73  6
Baltimore:  89-73  6
Detroit:  86-75  8 1/2
Seattle:  86-76  9
New York:  84-78  11
Houston:  84-78  11
Kansas City:  81-81  14
Chicago:  78-84  17
Los Angeles:  74-88  21
Oakland:  69-93  26
Tampa Bay:  68-94  27
Minnesota:  59-103  36

On the whole, it's been a dull season so far.  But if the World Series comes down to, say, Chicago and Cleveland -- or Chicago and Boston(!) -- this could end up being a very memorable season for at least some fans.


  1. If the Cubs manage to win it they should put Epstein directly into the hall of fame.

    1. I agree. In fact, I think they should put him in the Hall if the Cubs win the pennant.