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The 6 Greatest Games Ever Played

6. Mets vs. Astros, October 15th 1986: “The Marathon to end all Marathons”

 The Mets were the National League’s best team in 1986, finishing with 108 wins and a chance at the pennant. All that stood in their way were the Astros and their Cy Young starter, Mike Scott. Going into Game 6, up 3-2 in the Series, the Mets desperately needed a victory, or else they’d have to face Scott in Game 7. 

But starter Bob Ojeda gave up a quick three runs to the Astros in the first inning, and Astros Bob Knepper looked unbeatable, holding the Mets scoreless for 8 innings. In the top of the ninth, Knepper was sent out to complete his complete game shutout. 

 Lenny Dykstra led off with a triple, and 4 of the next 5 batters got on base, cutting the lead to 3-2 and loading the bases. A sac-fly tied the game, setting up extra innings. The tie wouldn’t be broken for 4 more innings until a Wally Blackman RBI single in the 14th gave the Mets a lead. 

In the bottom half of the inning, Billy Hatcher tied it with a clutch home run. MORE BASEBALL! 

Finally, in the top of the 16th, the Mets busted it open, scoring three runs and taking a 7-4 lead. Game over, right? Not so fast. 

A walk and 3 singles made it 7-6, and David Bass stepped up. In what might be the most infamous at-bats in baseball history, Jesse Orosco struck out Bass on a 3-2 breaking ball to win the pennant. 

A true marathon.

5. Dodgers vs. Astros, October 29th 2017: “Astros Out-Slug Dodgers in 10”

Out of all the games on the list, this might be the true best. But, compared to others, the lack of historical significance knocks it down a bit. But, no matter. The World Series in 2017 may have been the best ever.

The powerhouse Dodgers rolled over the NL to face the 101-win Astros. Going into Game 5 the series was tied 2-2, and set up for a great pitching matchup–Kershaw vs. Keuchel. Neither lasted very long. 

The Dodgers jumped out 3-0 before the home team could even bat, stringing together 3 runs on 2 hits, 2 walks and an error. They added another in the top of the fourth while Kershaw shut down the Astros. But, in the bottom half, the Astros surged back tying the game 4-4, capped by a 3-run homer. This became a trend. 

In this game, the Dodgers led 4-0, 7-4, and 8-7, and each time the Astros fought back 4-4, 7-7, and 8-8. Then, finally, LA’s bullpen let the floodgates open. 

Following a game-tying homer from George Springer, Jose Altuve doubled to take the lead 9-8 and then Carlos Correa homered giving the Stros an 11-8 lead. The Dodgers got one back in the 8th, but a Brian McCann home run matched it, putting the score at 12-9. 

Top of the 9th, All-Star closer Ken Giles on the mound, nothing will go wrong, right? Wrong. The Dodgers started off the 9th with a walk, and a batter later cut the lead to 11-12 on a Yasiel Puig home run. Then, down to their final strike, Chris Taylor knocked home Austin Barnes to tie it up. To extras. 

In the bottom of the tenth, after 5 hours and 17 minutes of baseball, 10 innings, 14 pitchers, 417 pitches, 25 runs, 7 home runs, 5 lead changes, and 4 ties, Alex Bregman ended it with a walk-off double. 

The Astros went on to win the Series in 7. If someone ever tells you baseball is boring, tell them to watch this game. It’s in your best interest to watch this in its entirety

4. Rangers vs. Cardinals, October 27th 2011: “We Will See You Tomorrow Night”

Commonly known as the “David Freese” game, the Cardinals were able to narrowly escape losing the Series, down to their final strike not once, not TWICE. 

In 2011, the Cardinals and Rangers met in the World Series. After a playoff full of heroics from both sides, the Rangers found themselves a game away from the ultimate prize: up 3-2 in St. Louis. 

The game was quickly 2-2 at the end of the second inning, then 3-3 at the end of the 4th. Finally at 4-4 at the end of the 6th, the Rangers broke out. Back-to-back home runs put it at 6-4. They added another to make it 7-4. Two innings to glory. The Cards got one back in the 8th, but were pushed to the edge in the ninth. 

Down two, facing star closer Neftali Feliz. Here’s where the legend of David Freese begins. 

With two out, in a 1-2 count, Freese roped one into right field for a triple. Both runners on scored tying the game. But in the top of the tenth, MVP Josh Hamilton hit a monster of a home run to give the Rangers the lead, again. 9-7. Once again, the Cardinals were down to their final strike and once again, they revived themselves. 

A Lance Berkman single tied the game again. Then a shutout inning from St. Louis’s Jake Westbrook set up one Mister David Freese to lead off. On the game’s 7th lead change, Freese hit an iconic homer into deep center to force Game 7, a game in which the Cardinals were able to win, giving them their 11th championship. 

3. Cubs vs. Indians, November 2nd 2016: “The Cubs End the Drought”

In 1908, the Cubs, led by Johnny Evers and Frank Chance, won the 5th ever World Series. It was their 2nd in as many years, as the Cubbies had become an early MLB powerhouse. But, as time would tell, the Cubs’ early success would not last. Fast forward to 2016: 108 years had passed and the Cubs still hadn’t won. But that could change. 

The 2016 Cubs were in the World Series in Game 7. Their opponent, the Indians (who hadn’t won since 1948). This set up one of the greatest game 7s in sports history, complete with a comeback, a rain delay, and LeBron James. 

The Cubs lead-off hitter, Dexter Fowler, set the tone during the game’s first at-bat by hitting a lead-off home run. Game on. The Indians immediately sent the run back in the bottom half with a Carlos Santana RBI single. From that point, except for a two-run passed ball, it was all Cubbies. 

A two-run 4th and a two-run 5th made it 5-1, and then 39-year-old catcher, David Ross, hit a solo shot in the 6th to make it 6-3. The Indians offense had been hopeless. That is, until the bottom of the 8th. 

With flamethrower Aroldis Chapman on the mound, the Tribe’s Jose Ramirez hit a measly two-out single. The next batter, Brandon Guyer, hit an RBI double. 6-4. Then Rajai Davis came up. Davis was and still is a seasoned veteran, who has spent his career on numerous teams. Still, safe to say, this was the biggest at-bat of his career. And, well…

Davis goes deep. Tie game. The 9th goes quietly, except for one thing–a rain delay. This might be the most significant rain delay in history. The 15 minute break sucked the momentum from the Tribe. 

In the top of the 10th, the Cubs immediately jump on a tired Indians bullpen. On a string of base hits the Cubs take the lead 8-6. Chicago can taste it. In the bottom half the Indians get one back but not both. It’s over. 108 years worth of pain on the North Side is over. The Cubs win the World Series.

2. Red Sox vs. Mets, October 25th 1986: “The Bill Buckner Game”

This is the most infamous moment in baseball history. The Red Sox, like the Cubs, experienced a long drought. For 86 years, starting with their sale of a young Babe Ruth in 1920, the Red Sox were unable to emerge champions until they won in 2004, their first since 1918. That run had a few incredible games of its own, but for now we’ll focus on a certain game that continued their drought: the Buckner game. 

The 1986 Red Sox were good. Really good. They were 95-66 and were a win away from history against the Mets (see No. 6). Game Six was tight. A close game all through the night, and an 8th inning sac fly by the Mets tied the game for the second time and led to extras. In the top half of the tenth, the Red Sox came out swinging. 

Dave Henderson led off with a home run, then, after two straight strikeouts, a double and single put the score at 5-3. Red Sox pitcher Calvin Schiraldi got two quick outs. The camera crew was already set up in the locker room, and champagne was wheeled in. 

But before the celebration began, Gary Carter hit a single. OK. Still one out. Two pitches later, Kevin Mitchell singles. Whatever. Still just one good pitch and it’s over. 

Bring up Ray Knight. Down 0-2, the Mets were a strike from elimination. But Knight slapped a single up the middle. Three straight singles, Carter scores, 5-4. 1st and 3rd. In a panic, John Macnamara (Red Sox coach), sends closer Bob Stanley onto the mound. The next hitter is Mookie Wilson. The at bat, well it’s a long one. Wilson fouls off 4 of the first 6 pitches.. A similar sinking feeling is being beaten into the gut of life-long Red Sox fans. Then, for the 4th pitch in the inning, a strike away from immortality, the seventh pitch gets away from Stanley. MItchell scampers home. Tie game. BoSox fans sit back down. They’ll have to wait a bit longer. 

(This is a good time to point out the Red Sox first baseman. His name is Bill Buckner. Buckner is a terrific hitter, and normally a formidable fielder, but is injured. The fact he hasn’t been subbed out for a replacement is beyond anyone.) 

Two more foul balls later, Wilson knocks a dribbler down the first base line. Buckner sets up behind the bag. The ball hops three times, then just before Buckner it doesn’t. Instead it trickles through his legs. Knight, who was running on the play scores easily. Game 6 is over, the Mets have won. And, believe it or not, the Mets won the next night. The curse continues. The Game goes down in history.  

1. Braves vs. Twins, October 27th 1991: “The Best Game 7”

This is the Game to end all games. Instead of being a slug-fest or a comeback, it was your classic mono-e-mono pitchers’ duel. One for the ages. It was Twins versus Braves. 

The Twins took the first two games, but the Braves stayed resilient. A young team, led by their terrific pitching, had taken down the favored Pirates to get to the World Series, and weren’t going to go down easy. They took three straight and went back to Minnesota a win away from it all. But, an 11th  inning walk-off victory by the Twins forced a game 7. The match-up was set. Twins veteran ace, Jack Morris, would face the young flamethrower, John Smoltz. And they lived up to the hype. 

Both Smoltz and Morris whipped through the opposing lineup. The closest anyone got to scoring in the first 7 innings was a 1st and 3rd 1-out rally by the Braves. But Morris got Terry Pendleton to pop out and then struck out Ron Gant. 

Then in the 8th, the Braves let a real opportunity slip by. Lonnie Smith led off the top of the 8th with a single. The next batter lifted a deep fly ball into left center. Smith, unfortunately, didn’t see where the ball went. With incredible quick thinking, Twins 2nd baseman, Chuck Knoblach, acted as if he was fielding the ball and turning a double play. Smith, confused, stopped at second peering into the outfield. Realizing his mistake, he started to sprint to third, but was held up. Smith, a speed demon, could have easily scored on the double, but instead was held up. The next batter grounded out, and then after a walk, the Twins got a double play. Smith was stranded on third. 

In the bottom half, Smoltz exited the game, leaving 2 runners on base. The Braves escaped the jam, and Smoltz’s line was, well…brilliant. In Game 7, he went 7.1, shutting out the Twins on 105 pitches. 

Morris remained in the game. The score remained 0-0. Tension mounted with every pitch, and both teams cruised through regulation and into extra innings. Morris, having the night of his life, went out to pitch the top of the tenth. He threw eight pitches and went 1-2-3. 

In the bottom half, the Braves third pitcher of the night, Alejandro Pena, went out to shut down the Twins. Dan Gladden led off with a double. The next batter, Knoblach, laid down a bunt, moving the run to end all runs 90 feet away. The Braves opted to intentionally walk the next two batters, loading the bases. The next batter, Gene Larkin, took the first pitch into the gap in left center. Gladden scored easily and the World Series was over. The Twins had walked it off. Morris had pitched 10 innings, allowed 7 hits, struck out 8, and thrown 126 pitches. Incredible. What a game.

 

Top 5 Moments in Baseball History

May I start by saying how difficult this was. It is relatively impossible to narrow down every single moment in the history of baseball to five. So, as usual, this is completely my opinion and is subject to debate.

 

  1. Jackie Robinson Takes the Field, April 15, 1947

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This was no less than impossible. No moment in the history of sports will ever touch the importance and the power of this one. And that is because it had nothing to do with sports. This moment meant so much to the Civil Rights movement and to American society. The fact is, if it weren’t for Jackie Robinson, the entire world would be different.  This game, and what it means for the country, is a true testament to sports and baseball, and how utterly important it is to our society. It’s the national pastime, and will forever have a place in our country’s history thanks to Jackie Robinson.

 

  1. Babe Ruth Calls His Shot, September 28, 1932

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There is nothing quite like this. In Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, Babe Ruth stepped up to the plate, pointed to center field, and then blasted a home run. Or did he? No one actually knows for sure. Many say he pointed to the wrong part of Wrigley Field, or he pointed at the pitcher, or he didn’t point at all. That isn’t the point (ha ha). The mythology created from this moment has fallen into baseball lore. It is the classic baseball story, because it truly captures the magical brilliance of baseball. It is the crown jewel of baseball stories.

 

  1. Bill Mazerowski Walks it Off, October 13, 1960

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As a kid playing in the backyard, I imagined so many heroic baseball scenarios for myself. But, like everyone else, I always went back to this: tied, bottom of the 9th, Game 7 of the World Series, and you hit a walk-off home run. That has happened once in baseball history. In the 1960 World Series, the Pirates and the Yankees were tied in Game 7 when Bill Maz stepped up to lead off the ninth. He proceeded to crush a ball over the left field wall and achieve the Pirates’ ultimate storybook ending. It was the true baseball dream.

 

  1. The Shot Heard Round the World, October 3, 1952

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In 1952, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers had become locked in a heated race for the pennant. In August, the Giants trailed the Dodgers by 13 and a half games. Yet in a miraculous series of events, they forced a 3 game playoff to face the Yankees in the 1952 World Series. The Dodgers, after losing the first match up, forced Game 3. The game was the center of the world at the time and became the first-ever nationally televised baseball game. With millions watching, down 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth with 2 runners on, the Giants’ Bobby Thompson nailed a line drive down Polo Grounds’ short left field line, giving them the 5-4 victory. The event became known as the “shot heard round the world.” Listeners and viewers around the planet heard Giants radio announcer Russ Hodges belt his famous “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”.

 

  1. Willie Mays Makes “The Catch”, September 29th, 1954

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Just two years following Thompson’s homer, another Giant made his case for the single greatest moment in baseball history. In Game 1 of the 1954 World Series between the Giants and the Indians at Polo Grounds, a young center fielder by the name of Willie Mays made what is commonly known as the greatest defensive play in baseball history. Polo Grounds is an unconventional baseball stadium, with short porches down both lines, but a staggeringly long 450-foot fence in deep center. With the game tied in the top of the 8th, the Indians Vic Wertz hit a loooong fly to center field (approx. 420 feet), that would surely score the two runners on base. Mays, playing relatively shallow, raced an incomprehensible distance in such a short time and gathered the ball just before the wall, twirled around and launched it 300 feet to double up the man at second base. The play was so good, it arguably defined May’s career, a career that is generally considered to have been one of the greatest of all time.

4 Takeaways from this Weekend in MLB

  1. The Yankees are Healthy…and That’s a Problem

The Yankees enter their Sunday afternoon match-up versus the Astros on an 8-game win streak. The pitching staff has been revived after a brief 11-game struggle and the bullpen is as dominant as ever. Not to mention they’ve hit a home run in 25 straight games, tying a franchise record. And it isn’t just the dingers. The Bombers are making runs by stringing together hits, one of their problems last year. This lineup is as daunting as ever, and they are pulling away in the AL East. Right now, they look like the team to beat in the AL.

 

  1. Pete Alonso is Incredible

Alonso hit yet another home run against the Cubs yesterday, as the Mets rookie slugger continues his magical 2019. Alonso has 26 home runs, already 4th for the most by a rookie before the All-Star break, with 2 more weeks left to top that record. To be completely honest, his season reminds many of Aaron Judge’s 2017 or Mark McGuire’s 1986. He is on pace to hit just about 52 home runs, which would tie the rookie record. Get used to big flies, Mets fans, ‘cause Pete Alonso will be hitting them for a real long time. 

 

  1. Cardinals Fans are the Best in Baseball

This weekend was Albert Pujols’ return to St. Louis. The entire baseball universe knew that St. Louis would make it a moment worth remembering, but no one could have guessed how awesome his return actually was. On Friday, Pujols was greeted by a packed Busch Stadium and 1 minute and 15 seconds of standing ovation. Yesterday, he hit a home run. The reception was incredible. After his bomb, the crowd requested the rare “away” curtain call. Cardinals fans made my weekend.

See the video.

  1. The NL Central is Up for Grabs

Speaking of the Cards, they got an important win Saturday afternoon, taking advantage of a Cubbies loss, and moved within two games of the division lead. The recent struggles of both Chicago and the Brewers have opened up what should be a great race for the NL Central. As of right now, Milwaukee, the Cubs, and the Cards all stand within a game of each other, and the smoking-hot Reds and solid Pirates sit at arm’s length, 4.5 and 5.5 games back, respectively. That begs the question: who is sitting at the top of the heap on October 2nd. Right now, no one has a clue.

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Who is Adley Rutchman, and Why Should I Care?

The MLB Draft was this past week. As usual, it was not nearly as covered as the NBA or NFL Drafts. And rightfully so. In the MLB, most people who are drafted aren’t playing in the bigs for another 3 to 4 years. But there might be one name that you heard a lot over the week, and that is Adley Rutchman. Rutchman was drafted first overall by the Orioles, and when I first saw it, I didn’t really think too much about the pick. But then I saw this video:

Yes, this guy was walked with the bases loaded. That is a special event.

Rutschman is a catcher for Oregon State, and he was the unanimous choice for all MLB mock drafters this season. And the numbers, even in college, back this up. He has (in 57 games) an OBP of .575, 17 home runs, a 1.326 OPS, and 58 RBIs. Last season he slashed .408/9/83 in 67 games.

Not only are those numbers some of the best we’ve seen in a while, he is also a catcher. He’s not a bad one either. Not to mention, he is very close to major league ready. Rutschman could be tearing up the league as early as 2021. He has already drawn Buster Posey comparisons, but the truth is, he has a real shot to be even better.

The Orioles got themselves a gem.

 

Reviews at the 50-Game Mark: AL West

How does the AL West look after 50 games? Here’s how we grade each team.

Houston Astros

I mean, how much higher can you get? The Astros were supposed to be this year’s best team and haven’t done much to prove otherwise. They currently sit 7.5 games up on the A’s and are tied for the most wins in baseball with 37. And nothing much has changed. George Springer (17 HR, 43 RBIs, 1.032 OPS) and Alex Bregman (17 HR, 38 RBIs) are playing out of their minds and could battle for the MVP, while Justin Verlander (2.38, 8-2) is leading the staff by putting up Cy Young numbers yet again. As a team, they lead the league in average (.277), OBP (.351), hits, strikeouts, WHIP, and opponent batting average. This is the best team in baseball.

A+

 

Los Angeles Angels

I despise the Mike Trout contract. Not because I don’t think he deserves it (he does), but because it means 12 more years of him wasting away on the Angels. Once again, Trout is putting up MVP numbers, and once again the Angels are going nowhere fast. They enter May 29th at 25-29, 11 games back in the west. The offense, headed by Trout, has seen some success. Second baseman Tommy La Stella is putting up career numbers, hitting .302 with 12 home runs and 33 RBIs. Third baseman David Fletcher has a .318 average, which is good for 9th in the league. And as always, Trout has been insane. He’s got a 1.014 OPS, 3.4 WAR, and just recently hit his 250th home run. But, as usual, the pitching has been bad. They rank 24th in the league with a 4.99 ERA and no one has cracked 5 wins yet. So, I beg the Angels: Please, for the love of the baseball gods, do something.

D+

 

Oakland Athletics

The A’s got off to a rough start, considering last season’s success. But, they’ve won 10 of their last 11, and look to be in as good form as ever. Matt Chapman has turned into one of baseball’s best dual-threats, hitting .271 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs. Frankie Montas will be an All Star, and has become the ace Oakland desperately needed last season, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.81 ERA. But, the one thing looming over this side of the bay is the ever dominant Astros. A slow first month gave the Astros a head start, and the A’s will not recover. Once again, they’ll have to try and make their presence known from the Wild Card Spot.

B

 

Seattle Mariners

Positives for the Mariners 2019? 1) Ichiro got to retire in Japan during a spectacular ceremony. 2) They have the 6th most runs in baseball. 3) They homered in each of their first 17 games, an MLB record. 4) They started 13-2. So, how are they 5th in the AL West at 24-34? For one, in their first 15, they were playing out of their heads. The glimmer of hope that they might end the longest playoff drought in sports was a mirage. But, to be more technical about it, their pitching has been atrocious. They are 28th in ERA, and the lack of defense has become apparent. King Felix’s best days are officially behind him, as the former Cy Young winner is 1-4 with a ERA over 6. He will have to re-invent himself to find any success. The Mariners blew it up in the offseason, and the results show it.

D

 

Texas Rangers

The Rangers have shown some promise. Joey Gallo, Arlington’s 2019 MVP, is playing incredibly well. Once again, he’s putting up great long ball statistics (15 HR, 35 RBIs), but he is also hitting well, with a .278 average and a 1.057 OPS. He could become a perennial all-star. Hunter Pence has been a great addition, hitting over .300. And another veteran, Elvis Andrus, has been putting up great numbers. So how are they just over .500? Pitching. They are 27th in the league in ERA, and their bullpen proved to be a problem. If this offense can miraculously continue to carry them into a position to contend on July 31st, they’ll need some pitching to do anything in the playoffs. But considering the expectations going in, it’s been a solid year.

B+   

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Reviews at the 50-Game Mark: AL Central

50 games in, we’ve graded each team in the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox 2019 have been…predictable. They don’t seem to be competing, as they are already 6 games under and have a less-than-great run differential(-56). BUT, there have been a great many bright spots. Tim Anderson seems to have turned the corner. He won AL player of the month in April, and still leads the AL in average (.337). Yoan Moncada, who had a disappointing 2018, has 9 home runs and 32 RBIs. And young pitcher Lucas Giolito seems to be finding his stride with a sub 3.00 ERA and a league leading 2 CG, a year removed from leading the AL in earned runs.

C+

 

Cleveland Indians

The Indians have not played to their potential in 2019. Or have they? Let’s be real: the Indians are over the hump. Although the 2016 AL Pennant team’s core is still relatively intact, they just don’t seem the same. Multiple injuries to starters have crippled the staff over recent years and the bullpen is a shell of its old self. Not to mention this team is truly front heavy. The loss or lack of production from key hitters from 2016 has proven crucial. It also isn’t helping that 2018 MVP candidate Jose Ramirez is slashing .197/4/15 with a .295 SLG%, and Francisco Lindor spent some good time on the DL. This team is 26-26, and that is exactly where they should be.

D

 

Detroit Tigers

To be completely honest, this is not a good team. But as mentioned, some players have showed up. Miko Goodrum had a wonderful first two weeks (before entering a prolonged slump), and Nick Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera remain reliable hitters. On the other side of the ball, starter Spencer Trunbull has a sub-3.00 ERA in 11 starts and Matt Boyd has thrown a solid campaign so far, checking in at 4-4 with a 3.11 ERA. And maybe the most intriguing, closer Shane Greene, is 1st in AL with 16 saves and a 1.32 ERA. See you in 5 years.

C

 

Kansas City Royals

The Royals should not be judged on their poor 18-35 record. At least their offense shouldn’t. They are 29th in the league in ERA and have continued a long slump in which they have gone aceless. BUT, the offense has seen a lot of promise. 3B Hunter Dozier has had an incredible 2019, hitting .318 with an OPS of 1.005 and 33 RBIs. He is lined up to get his first All Star appearance. Whit Merrifield continues to produce and young stud Adalberto Mondesi has 41 RBIs. If this team finds pitching, I would not want to be in their division in 2021. All this combined with the rebuild of the Tigers and ChiSox, could flip this division’s reputation as baseball’s worst.

C+

 

Minnesota Twins

Wow. The Twins enter May 28th with the best record in baseball, something no one could’ve seen coming. So that begs the question: Are they for real? The answer is YES. They lead the AL in run differential, home runs, slugging, and are second in average. Their staff is 3rd in the league in ERA and 6th in SO. They could not be hotter. I still don’t think they will end the season first in the league, but they are going to run away with this division. With breakout seasons from basically everyone, this is a dangerous team. Jorge Polanco is hitting .332 with a WAR of 3.4, and has emerged as an MVP candidate. Eddie Rosario has 45 RBIs and 16 home runs. Max Kepler recently won AL Player of the Week, and the so-far-steal-of-the-offseason C.J. Cron has 13 homers and 34 RBIs. Jake Odorizzi is putting up career numbers, as he is 2nd in the league with a 2.16 ERA and is 7-2. Martin Perez and Jose Berrios have also found their stride. This is a World Series contender.

A+

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Reviews at the 50-Game Mark: AL East

We are 50 games into an exciting season. Here’s how we grade each team in the AL East.

Baltimore Orioles

2019 has been less than fun for Orioles fans. Going in, it was well known that the O’s were about to start a long rebuild. All that has happened since affirms how painful the rebuild will be. As of May 24th, the Birds are last in ERA, have a run differential of -108, and hold the league’s worst record at 15-35, dropping 17.5 games out of first place. The lone bright spot has been Trey Mancini, who is hitting .301 with 10 home runs and 24 RBIs. But odds are, he won’t be an Oriole in August. The O’s were over .500 for a good 4 days. Odds are, that’ll be the season total. The Orioles season is going exactly as everyone predicted: poorly.

C-(relatively)

 

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox suffered a serious World Series hangover. Their 6-13 start would be the bad news. But since then, the reigning champs hold a 21-10 record, and have begun to look like their former selves. Slow starts from guys like Mookie Betts and Chris Sale have seemed to turn around. The Bo Sox offense currently ranks fifth in the league and they have jumped to third in the division and fifth in the AL. Along with last year’s stars, new guys such as Michael Chavis have begun to tear up the league. So far, Chavis has been the Sox MVP, batting .279 with 10 homers and an OPS of .943. A week or two ago, this would’ve been a depressing update for Beantown. Today, they look to be on their way to compete for another World Series.

B

 

New York Yankees

The Yankees have had the most lucky/unlucky season of all time, except I wouldn’t call it luck. The Yankees were, and still are, the most injured team in baseball. Every starter not named Torres, Voit, or Gardner has missed significant time, as well as 4 starting pitchers and a setup man. And, for the first couple of weeks, the Yanks record reflected that. Starting 6-9 in their first fifteen, the Yanks have torn it up since, posting a 26-8 record. All of that thanks to guys not named Aaron Judge or Luis Severino, like Gio Urshela and Domingo German. Urshela has filled in for last year’s ROY runner-up Miguel Andujar by posting a .333 average, with 19 RBIs in limited at-bats, including some premium clutch hitting. German has a major league-leading 9 wins, backed by a 2.60 ERA. Not to mention, proven stars like Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez are having great seasons. They lead the AL East, and look as if they intend to keep that up.

A

 

Toronto Blue Jays

The Jays have had a quiet season. They sit at a disappointing 20-30 at the 50 game mark, and have shown some glaring holes. They are hitting a rock bottom .218, and are 25th in the league in runs. Although posting a respectable 4.07 ERA, they have truly lacked run support all season. For example, Marcus Stroman has a 2.81 ERA but is 2-6. But there is an upside. Main attraction Vlad Guerrero Jr. got off to a slow start, but has picked it up big time. Just recently, he won AL Player of the Week honors. Despite a poor, uneventful start, things are always looking up with such young talent.

D+

 

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays have straight-up had a terrific first 50 games. They lead the league in ERA with a 2.98, 0.4 better than any other team. Young talent like Tyler Glasnow and Austin Meadows have been best case scenarios as well. Before getting injured, Glasnow had a 6-1 record, with a 1.86 ERA and 55 SO in 8 starts. Meadows has been a force, posting a .321 average with 9 home runs and 24 RBIs, paired with a 1.031 OPS. Also, young infielder Brandon Lowe has shown impressive power with 10 home runs and 28 RBIs. The Rays managed to hold first place for the majority of the season, but a late surge by the Bombers have knocked them down to number 2 in the division. Despite this, the Rays continue to overperform. In my mind, this season and start is no fluke. This is a good team, and they should compete for the AL title this year, and years to come.

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