Sports

Who’s Hot: Dodgers and Blue Jays ready to make a statement

Throughout the course of the major league baseball season, people flock into stadiums like Citizens Bank Park to watch our nation’s pastime play out. Some come for the thrill of the home run, while others cheer for the pitcher lighting up the radar gun for strikeouts. Yet there are some teams in baseball who are making an impact in the playoff picture and exciting people who attend and follow baseball games more excited to see them play. Without further ado, here are the teams that I predict will go far this season.

In the National League, a lot of experts were predicting the St. Louis Cardinals to win their ticket to the World Series, but I am picking the Los Angeles Dodgers to go far. Here’s why: players like Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley fortify the infield, while the pitching is dominant to sustain the defense. The two pitchers that stand out from the pitching rotation are Clayton Kershaw and Zach Grenkie. During the course of the year, the two pitchers have combined for 29 wins, 393.2 innings pitched, and a 1.92 combined ERA. These are nasty numbers for anyone opposing these pitchers. Grenkie and Kershaw have been in League Cy Young Award conversations all summer long as they pitched in their midseason form. With acquisitions during the season and especially during the trade deadline, I see the Los Angeles Dodgers going deep into the playoffs. They are not in any way the World Series favorite, but they have all the players in place to go far and make an impact on the quest for the illusive World Series championship.

I see the Dodgers have a final record for this year of 93-69. Time will tell what happens in the playoffs, but the Dodgers have the tools they need to succeed at the big level in October.

The American League team that will go far in the playoffs is the team north of the border called the Toronto Blue Jays. They have been having a resurgent season this year. Coming off a third place finish last season at 83-79, which did not qualify them for the playoffs, the Blue Jays look to get themselves in the postseason for the first time in twenty-two years. The weapons they have are right fielder Jose Bautista, third baseman Edwin Encarnación, and Josh Donaldson, who is leading the home run barrage for the Blue Jays. At the trade deadline, they acquired pitcher David Price from the Detroit Tigers and Troy Tulowitzki from the Colorado Rockies to add power both in the rotation and in hitting to their formula for success. One note to add, Tulowitzki is recovering from a cracked shoulder blade, which he will recover in time for the postseason. The Blue Jays lead the majors in home runs this season with 192. With the power that they have and the depth of their pitching, I expect the Toronto Blue Jays to make an impact this postseason.

In terms of their record, I see the Blue Jays having a final record of 95-67 and winning the American League East title. I also see them in the World Series, not necessarily the favorite, but the Blue Jays will have a postseason to remember based on their performance right now.

So there you have it, my brave predictions for the upcoming baseball season. Will we see this kind of outcome? Only time will tell. I can you one thing: hang on tight, it’s going to be wild ride!

Image courtesy of Anonymous/Creative Commons

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