For the 88th year of the Midsummer Classic, baseball turns its sights to Nationals Park in Washington D.C. This will be the first MLB All-Star game played at Nationals Park and the first in the nation’s capital since 1969 at RFK Stadium, the home of the then Washington Senators. Now every year there is always a lot of discussion and some of it a little dated about how the teams are put together. No system will ever be perfect. Fans don’t always get it right and managers won’t either. The fact that the players are able to vote for participants was a great choice and they know who is deserving. Regardless of who should or shouldn’t be in the game lets just accept that the best players will always be involved one way or another. Here are my all-stars keeping with the rules that every team be represented and a total of 32 players for each league.
AVG – Batting Average
ERA – Earned Run Average
HR – Home Runs
RBI – Runs Batted In
SV – Saves
BAA – Batting Average Against
WHIP – Walks/Hits Per Innings Pitched
K – Strikeouts
Stats are accurate as of July 13
* – asterisk indicates starter Continue reading
* – indicates new to team
+ – indicates injury
1. Houston Astros
A stacked lineup and an even better rotation than last year hast Houston looking to repeat.
2. Los Angeles Angels
Health is probably more important to the success of the Halos 2018 season than any other team.
3. Seattle Mariners
Not as many roster moves this time around, but the ones they did make should have them in the Wild Card hunt.
4. Texas Rangers
They remained inactive for most of the offseason which could signal a rebuild in the near future.
5. Oakland Athletics
Their young talent is starting to take shape and a few under the radar trades/signings could have them approach .500. Continue reading
1. Montreal Canadiens vs. 4. Ottawa Senators
2. Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 3. Tampa Bay Lightning
1. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 4. Columbus Blue Jackets
2. Washington Capitals vs. 3. New York Rangers
1. Chicago Blackhawks vs. 4. Dallas Stars
2. Nashville Predators vs. 3. St. Louis Blues
1. Anaheim Ducks vs. 4. Minnesota Wild
2. Edmonton Oilers vs. 3. Calgary Flames
Canadiens over Penguins
Oilers over Predators
Stanley Cup Finals
Oilers over Canadiens
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
Their depth is unmatched in a tough division.
2. Washington Capitals
A little roster shakeup might be just what they needed.
3. New York Rangers
So goes Henrik in net, so goes the Rangers Cup chances.
4. Columbus Blue Jackets
Their quick rise in the division was no fluke and having the reigning Vezina trophy winner proves that.
5. New York Islanders
It would be amazing if they didn’t retain their captain John Tavares at some point this year.
6. Carolina Hurricanes
Having a different full-time net-minder will go a long way in changing their fortunes.
7. Philadelphia Flyers
The top six forwards are solid, but their blue line and goaltender situation is a bit in flux.
8. New Jersey Devils
While they shouldn’t be the worst team in the conference, there will be growing pains along the way. Continue reading
As with past deadline deals these will be highly scrutinized for many years. Instantly we see and decide who got the better end of the deal, but we really won’t know until at least two or three seasons down the road. The only way to know in real time is if the team getting the established major leaguer goes on to win a World Series. Time will tell if that happens this year with the flurry of names (a few marquee ones) being dealt this July. Continue reading