Saturday, August 13, 2016

Cubs Come Back Around While Astros Fall Back To Earth

Another two weeks have come and gone in the 2016 Major League Baseball regular season. Normally, these are two-week reviews, but this review will essentially cover the time since the All-Star break though. Let's dive in.

The Chicago Cubs, after floundering around for most of June and early July, made several game changing moves at the trade deadline, acquiring closer Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees. The Cubs are now the hottest team in baseball, and are 10-1 in their last 11 games. Chapman has been a huge difference maker for this team, giving them the closer they so desperately needed. After these moves, the Cubs are now the runaway favorites to win the World Series. The second hottest team in baseball at the moment are the Detroit Tigers, who are right behind the first place Cleveland Indians in the American League Central, just two games back. The Tigers are doing it with a mixture of offense, and Francisco Rodriguez, who has found the fountain of youth in 2016. Rodriguez has a 3.07 ERA and 32 saves on the 2016 season. The third hottest team in baseball at the moment is also in the American League Central, and this one is a surprise. The team I am referring to is the Minnesota Twins. The Twins are playing their best baseball of the season since the All-Star break, and Max Kepler has emerged as the AL rookie of the year front runner in a weak American League. Kepler is batting .259 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI's, and he has only played about ¾ of the whole season. Miguel Sano has also looked comfortable again since moving back to third base. Now it is way too little and way too late to mean anything, but it is nice for this team to play as good as they are supposed to be playing for a change.

One the flip side, the coldest team in baseball are the Houston Astros. The Astros stood silent at the trade deadline, and that decision may cost them their postseason spot. Houston is reeling, and is just 2-8 in their last 10 games. Fortunately, the real deadline general managers are concerned with is the August 31st waiver wire deadline, as that is when postseason rosters are set, so the Astros have time to correct their mistakes. They could use a starting pitcher and another bat. The other cold team right now is the Arizona Diamondbacks. 2016 has been nothing short of a nightmare for these Diamondbacks, who lost All-Star outfielder A.J. Pollock towards the end of the Spring Training. The Diamondbacks currently sit at 45-66, and are 18 out of first place.

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