MLB Beginning of Year Highlights


By: Nick Pooler

The MLB has been very interesting so far. Teams that some thought would have no chance are sitting in playoff contention while others have had a 100% turn around in a negative way. Rookies have had great starts out of the gate, while stars have shined. Some players have surprised us this year and made us have another look at them. Injuries have haunted some of the games brightest stars. With all of these events occurring, it is truly leading to a great year of being a Major League Baseball fan.

There have been some surprises this year. The biggest successful ones have been the Mariners, Braves, Phillies, Brewers and Giants. None of these teams made the playoffs last year. The Mariners last year finished 78-84 and now sit a half game back of the defending champ Houston Astros in the AL West. The Braves and Phillies last year were a laughing stock. The Braves finished 72-90 and the Phillies finished 66-96. Both teams made some changes however. The Phillies added the likes of Carlos Santana and Jake Arrieta. The Braves got two young prospects into the lineup Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr.. Throwing those two with Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson, that makes one great hitting lineup and turn around. The Braves sit in first in the NL East at 40-28, and the Phillies are 35-31. The last two are the Brewers and Giants. The Brewers had an amazing season last year but did not make the move at the deadline to improve the pitching. They finished 86-76 and missed the playoffs by one game. In the offseason they added Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich. They now lead the Cubs in the division by three games at 41-27. Lastly, the Giants last year were horrendous. Finished tied with the Tigers for the worst record in baseball at 64-98. They now sit in a stacked NL West at 34-35 and are only 2.5 games out.

Some players that have surprised everyone this year include, Nationals OF Juan Soto, Pirates OF Austin Meadows, Marlins 3B Brian Anderson, Yankees 3B Miguel Andujar, Yankees 2B Gleyber Torres, Marlins SP Caleb Smith, Angels SP/DH Shohei Ohtani, and Dodgers SP Walker Buehler. All of these guys have put the MLB on alert and have the league in good hands for the future.

A big key about this year has been the injuries. Noah Syndergaard, Yu Darvish, Clayton Kershaw, Brandon Belt, Miguel Cabrera, Mookie Betts, Yoenis Cespedes, Joe Mauer, Josh Donaldson, Ryan Zimmerman, Xander Bogaerts, Corey Seager, Daniel Murphy, Shohei Ohtani, Andrelton Simmons, Kole Calhoun, Elvis Andrus, Dustin Pedroia, Wil Myers, Stephen Strasburg, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Archer, Julio Teheran, Johnny Cueto, Robbie Ray, Andrew Miller, Drew Pomeranz and Rich Hill. You may have thought I just announced the all-star team. But in reality those are star players that have missed a bulk of time due to injury and has impacted their teams record so far.

The MLB has been very exciting so far with all of the surprises and hot hitting. If the season ended today, we would be seeing a playoff bracket as follows:

Wild Card Games:

Mariners @ Red Sox

Nationals @ Cubs

Next Round American League:

Winner of SEA/BOS @ Yankees

Indians @ Astros

Next Round National League:

Winner of WSH/CHC @ Brewers

Diamondbacks @ Braves


This would make for a very special postseason.

One last thing before the end I must give my votes for this year’s all-star game:

American League:

SP- Corey Kluber

C- Salvador Perez

1B- Jose Abreu

2B- Jose Altuve

SS- Jean Segura

3B- Jose Ramirez

OF- Mike Trout

OF- Mookie Betts

OF- George Springer

DH- JD Martinez

National League:

SP- Max Scherzer

C- Yasmani Grandal

1B- Freddie Freeman

2B- Ozzie Albies

SS- Trevor Story

3B- Nolan Arenado

OF- Matt Kemp

OF- Nick Markakis

OF- Charlie Blackmon

DH- Bryce Harper

Thank you for reading and I hope you thoroughly enjoy the second half of this MLB season. Tune in for more stories coming soon.



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