What an exciting baseball season it has been already, and it’s only halfway over. The All-Star break allows us to reflect on this past season, which has a few delightful surprises and a couple of shocking downfalls.
D. Martinez from Boston and Jose Ramirez from Cleveland are leading the league in home runs with 29. Martinez leads the league in runs-batted-in as well, with 80 at the midpoint of the season; he is having a truly remarkable season. Martinez is a large reason why Boston is in first place in the AL East, and have the best record in baseball.
The Yankees have an impressive 63-35 record and are still 4.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox. Boston is well on their way to securing their place in the postseason. The Yankees are set to have a great season, but can possibly be upset in the wildcard series, which is only a one-game series. Great teams have lost the wildcard game in the past, but a Yankees and Red Sox series would be great for baseball.
In addition to the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry in full swing, this season has seen the resurrection of the south’s favorite team: The Braves. The Braves have been surprisingly competitive this season, as many people expected them to finish with a bad record as they are still in the rebuilding stage. Atlanta has a 54-43 record, and look to build on that in the second half of the season.
It is a perfect season for the Braves’ return to stardom as Chipper Jones is being inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. How are the Braves managing to be productive in a down year? Easy, they are beating teams defensively and the pitching staff is doing a remarkable job holding opponents to minimal runs. The Braves have a lot of prospects that should build in the next few seasons, as well.
With the Braves’ success comes the failures of Washington. The Nationals were once thought of as favorites to win the World Series, and they may not even make the postseason. Currently housing below a .500 record, they are six-and-a-half games back of the Phillies and six games back of the Braves. Bryce Harper is having an up and down season, but should still earn a massive contract next season as he is such a big name.
The starting pitchers of the Nationals are keeping the team in games, but the bullpen is giving up runs late. The Nationals prove how vital it is for teams to be prepared to play at all three stages of the game: Offense, starting pitching and relief pitching. Maybe after hosting the 2018 MLB All-Star game, the Nationals will have a sense of life in their stadium again and will heat up in the second half of the season.
The MLB All-Star game was a showcase of the powerhouse hitters in baseball. It is unique in baseball as it is played for something: Home field advantage in the World Series. This is a tremendous advantage and makes the game worthwhile to watch. The game was won by the American League All-Stars, as they toppled the National League 8-6 in 10 innings. The game has seen a record-setting ten homers, including Mike Trout and Aaron Judge, who hit the Yankees’ first home run in an All-Star game since 2002, ending a Yankee hitless streak that had been going since the 2014 game. It was a truly successful night for the American League team.
The second half of the baseball season is among us, and it is sure to be exciting. Tune in to see the Braves continue their success, and the Nationals pick it up to avoid embarrassment. See the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry and its next chapter. The baseball season is heating up as summer continues to roll on.