Contenders and Pretenders

So I didn’t put up an all-lazy team…it wasn’t as fun as the all-hustle team. Oh well. We’re roughly 70 games into the season and can pretty much tell how alot of things are going to shake down. Let’s take a look at teams we think are either kidding themselves into thinking they could do some damage in late September/October or the ones that legitimately could win the whole sha-bang. Because the AL will bevdecided between the Tigers and Red Sox, lets forego the entire AL.

Arizona Diamondbacks: PRETENDERS

Pretenders? Yes. But only for this year. This team has a vicous young core in O. Hudson, Jackson, Young, Byrnes, and Tracy. Valverde has been arguably the best closer this entire year. Their top 3 of Randy’s Johnson, Brandon Webb and Livan Hernandez is not exactly chopped liver. However I don’t think this team has the experience to keep it going to the post season. Big Unit’s health is too much of a question mark, the young guns will rise and swoon, and Webb continues to develop. However, with a couple correct free agent signings in the offseason this team could legitimately take the pennant next year.

New York Mets: CONTENDERS

As much as I hate to admit it, the New York Metropolitans are for real; again. Don’t be fooled by this latest dump in the road–this team goes as Carlos Beltran goes. As soon as his quad gets healthy it’ll spring to life the entire lineup and go on a tear. I predict a monster August once Beltran and Alou get back and become fully healthy. Once they acquire Mark Buehrle it will shore up a shaky starting rotation. But don’t get your hopes up for anything from Pedro–stick a fork in him. If Heilman and Schoenweis can be the bullpen arms everybody thinks they can be, look for big things from Mets in the postseason. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to vomit on myself.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES: PRETENDERS

Ugh. Just ugh. The deepest rotation in the National League is now in shambles. Myers, Gordon, Lieber, Garcia, and Madson have all spent significant time on the DL this year (with Lieber completely finished, Garcia MAY get a few games in at the end for free agency’s sake). Pitching can’t make up its mind–either the starters suck and the bullpen is strong, or the bullpen sucks while the starter sucks. They can score runs but they also play the worst fundamental baseball I’ve ever seen. Not this year Phils fans.

Los Angeles Dodgers: CONTENDERS

Ya know, I had PRENDERS up there before I started to really think hard about this team. It’s really a shame that Jason Schmidt went down for the remainder of the season. To be able to throw a rotation of Penny-Lowe-Wolf-Schmidt at somebody in the playoffs would make for some mighty low scoring games. However, Schmidt wasn’t even pitching all that well. This squad could very easily sneak into the wild-card spot; not only that but they appear to heavily be in the hunt for Ken Griffey Jr. Another stout bat in this lineup and this team becomes a squad nobody wants to play in the post season. We’ll see how this plays out but I have a good feeling about the Dodgers.

San Deigo Padres: CONTENDERS

The best pitching in the National League bar none. Their starting rotation is just running a gauntlet of pitching destruction. Jake Peavy is leading the way for a Cy Young; Greg Maddux will always give you at least a solid 6 and invaluable tutelege for the younger pitchers; Chris Young is filthy and only getting better; David Wells will give you 7 strong innings then eat the entire spread in the clubhouse; Justin Germano is a freakin rookie who’s 5-1. You have the All-time saves leader in Hoffman as the closer. They have the best bullpen in all of baseball. However…yowch, that offense. No starter hitting over .300 (or coming all that close). If they add another bat they’re the front runner in my mind.

Milwaukee Brewers/anybody from the NL Central: PRETENDERS

It’s a damn shame somebody from this division will make the playoffs, because they all suck. I only put the Brewers because they’re going to win the division. If they make it past the first round I’ll be shocked; the only prayer they have is Princess Fielder hits 114 HR’s and finishes with 220RBI.

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One Response

  1. I’m really high on your Dodgers pick. Like you said, if they can add one solid hitter into that order, they move to the top of the “team to beat” list. The Padres have the pitching. Tons of it. Great stuff on the mound. But for f*^ks sake, they couldn’t win themselves out of a beer league. Their bats aren’t developed or expeirenced enough. They may in fact steal a wild card, or hell (I hope to God not, the division), but they won’t get very far after it.

    As for the Phillies, I see what you’re saying, but I don’t see them out as of yet. I think some key guys are expendable. Rowand and Nunez. I’d offer Werth, too. Depending on what they do before and after the trade deadline, they might still have the gusto to compete against the Mets for the division. The division is weak this year. It’s really there for the taking if someone can just grab it and go with it.

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