Full disclosure, I love baseball and pretty much everything about it. The sights, sounds, smells. All of it. I’d love to teach the next generations how to play America’s past time and I’m becoming more intrigued about that possibility with each passing day.
For the 90th year of the Midsummer Classic, baseball turns its sights to Progressive Field (formerly Jacobs Field or “The Jake”) in Cleveland, Ohio. The last time the mid-summer classic was played in Cleveland was in 1997. 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, nor the commissioner’s office. 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 5
* – asterisk indicates starter
NL MVP – 1B Paul Goldschmidt – St. Louis Cardinals
AL MVP – OF Mike Trout – Los Angeles Angels
NL Cy Young – Aaron Nola – Philadelphia Phillies
AL Cy Young – Gerrit Cole – Houston Astros
NL Rookie of the Year – OF Victor Robles – Washington Nationals
AL Rookie of the Year – OF Eloy Jimenez – Chicago White Sox
NL Manager of the Year – Craig Counsell – Milwaukee Brewers
AL Manager of the Year – Rocco Baldelli – Minnesota Twins
NL Division Winners – Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers
NL Wild Card Winners – Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals
AL Division Winners – Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians
AL Wild Card Winners – Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins
NLCS – Dodgers over Brewers
ALCS – Yankees over Astros
World Series – Dodgers over Yankees in 6 games
* – indicates new to team
+ – indicates injury
1. New York Yankees
Armed with the deepest bullpen in baseball, they’ll look to unseat the defending champion Red Sox.
2. Boston Red Sox
Not having an established closer could put a damper on any talk of repeating as World Series champions.
3. Tampa Bay Rays
Their pitching depth knows no bounds, but they essentially hit the reset button on their lineup.
4. Toronto Blue Jays
The rebuild north of the border is in full swing. Lots of intriguing prospects will be making their debuts shortly.
5. Baltimore Orioles
A repeat of last years 115-loss season is all they have to look forward to.
Player to Watch: OF Mookie Betts – Boston Red Sox
Best Acquisition: P Charlie Morton – Tampa Bay Rays
New Kid on the Block: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Toronto Blue Jays