Believe it or not we have have hit the half way mark in baseball. Most teams have played 81 games or are just about at the halfway mark. Everyone always thinks of the All-Star game as the half way mark but that’s closer to the 100 game mark. So today we are going to break down the NL and where teams are at in terms of divisional and wild card races. Who are the buyers and who are the sellers as well.
Brewers: They have played the best baseball game in game out this season in the NL and hence they have the best record in the senior circuit currently. Milwaukee is 6.5 games up on the Reds and Cards and 8 up on the Pirates. The Brewers have a strong lineup (2nd in NL in Runs & HR’s) and have pitched pretty good. To me the Brewers just need to stay healthy (got a scare over the weekend when Ryan Braun crashed into Carlos Gomez) and add a veteran bullpen arm, maybe a veteran starting pitcher for the 5th spot if Estrada continues to be inconsistent. I would also look to improve my bench if I was Doug Melvin as well. But the Brew crew is for real in 2014.
Braves & Nationals:
The Braves are a half a game ahead of the Nationals but the Nats are finally healthy. When Bryce Harper returns which could be sometime this week all the injured players will be back in the lineup. The Nationals to me have the best team on paper in the NL East and I expect a big second half from them. Continue reading
Thought it was a good time to write an article on how the top NL prospects are doing so far and when can we expect them up with the big clubs.
Archie Bradley – Currently on the DL with a strained elbow. The D-Backs will take things very slow and easy in terms of Bradley’s injury. Also so far this season in AAA Bradley in 5 starts was 1-4 with a 5.18 ERA and allowed 12 Walks in first 24+ innings. The earliest we would see Bradley in the majors would be early August and even that given everything seems like a fast track.
Javier Baez – Had a great spring but is off to a slow start in AAA with 3HR, 10RBI, 10R and a .165 average. One of the top prospects in baseball but I don’t expect him up to the majors before a September call up.
Kris Bryant – Is crushing the ball in AA with 9HR, 24RBI, 28R, .317 Avg, .425 OBP, 1.034 SLG. Only negative so far is he has struck out 41 times in 146 plate appearances. I can see him up with the Cubs after the All Star break.
Robert Stephenson – Off to a slow start in AA in his first 6 starts is 2-3 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.41 Ratio. Reds even with injuries to their starting rotation have depth so I expect Stephenson to spend all of 2014 in the minors. Continue reading
Pirates vs Cardinals: Cardinals have home field advantage and Adam Wainwright and are battle tested. However I have concerns about the Cards bullpen and with Allen Craig still not back due to injury that really hurts the Cards. For me between the Pirates bullpen and their August additions in Byrd and Morneau to fortify their lineup I am high on the Pirates. If the Pirates can split the two games that Wainwright and Miller start I love the Pirates.
However if this series goes 5 Wainwright will get the start at home
Prediction: Pirates in 5 – I think the Cards bullpen cost them at least 1 game in this series and that will be the difference.
Dodgers vs Braves: I love the Dodgers in this series. I mean the Braves will have to face Kershaw and Greinke 3 times in a 5 game series. Also Freddy Garcia is starting game 4 with no disrespect to him. I know there are concerns to the Dodger lineup with Kemp out for the playoffs and Ethier banged up and the Braves had the best home record in baseball during the regular season (56-25 almost .700 winning percentage) but I love the Dodgers in this series. I don’t like the strikeout happy lineup of the Braves against the Dodgers pitchers. Continue reading