The 2015 Major League Baseball regular season is coming down to it's final weeks. The contenders have separated themselves. Here are my thoughts on the issues each American League contender faces as we get into the final weeks of the season.
New York Yankees- I don't like this rotation, at all. The rotation is so bad, that Chris Capuano(Yeah, remember him?) is starting games in September for this so called contender. Masahiro Tanaka is an injury waiting to happen every start and Nathan Eovaldi has been the team's best starter this season.
Toronto Blue Jays- There is honestly nothing I don't like about this team at the moment. If we are getting picky, I would say the middle of the bullpen and second base. But we are grasping at straws at the moment. If these guys don't win the World Series, I am going to be STUNNED. I would say the biggest issue is can the Blue Jays get this done in the face of all the nonstop attention they are getting?
Tampa Bay- I guess I have to call this team a “contender” at the moment, but they are the car to get in the race. Basically they are the cutoff line at 5.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot. This team is going backwards and I don't think they are going to hit enough keep from fading during the final weeks of the season here.
Kansas City- The biggest issue I see facing this team is can the bullpen hold up, again. It did so a year ago when they went on their magical run, but lightening very rarely strikes twice.
Minnesota- One of the stories of the year in baseball is this young Twins team, that just won't go away. The Twins may be out of the division race, but they are still in Wild Card contention, sitting just a 1.5 games back of the Texas Rangers for the second Wild Card spot. The biggest issue I see facing this Twins team is can these young players handle the pressure down the stretch? Miguel Sano has been hitting the tar off the baseball since the day he was called up, and is making a late case for American League rookie of the year.
Cleveland- This team has September surge written all over them. After kind of futzing around all season, this young talented Indians bunch is making a September charge at a Wild Card spot. I have the same question for them that I have for the Twins regarding the young players.
Houston- The Houston Astros have been the butt of the joke for many a commentator and fan over the last few years. Well, he who laughs last, laughs best. The Astros were highly criticized for what they did, and now, they are young, deep, and oh are they talented. The question I have for the Astros is will their data work come postseason play? Yes, as history has shown, data works great during the regular season, but it doesn't show up come postseason play sometimes.
Los Angeles- Rotation, rotation, rotation. This rotation is running on fumes right now. Jered Weaver has been really bad. Matt Shoemaker hasn't been able to repeat the magic of his 2014 season. Garrett Richards has been up and down. This rotation is going to be what dooms the Angels during the final weeks of the season and keeps them out of October.
Texas- I never thought I would say this, but the Rangers offense at the moment is their biggest downfall. Will they hit enough down the stretch to get into October?