By: Chandler Ragsdale
Well hello baseball fans, I’m glad you’re reading another one of my articles about this exciting 2017 season! We’re starting to see some drama between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, and some good baseball between them more importantly. They just recently split a 4-game series in Boston, and Mr. Manny Machado homered 3 times in this series, after being thrown at a couple of games before. What a statement right? However, things aren’t going so well for teams like the Mets, who are starting to just hope to make it through 2017 with a full 25-man roster, because they just lost Noah Syndergaard to the DL, where he will be joining Yoenis Cespedes. Also down in D.C., the Nats have lost Adam Eaton for the season. Injuries can seriously hinder teams, especially when they lose players of this caliber. And lets not forget about the West, where the Rockies are continuing to surprise people. The Astros also made a huge statement against the Rangers this week as well. Also, the surprising Chicago White Sox cracked my list this week too, mostly because they lead the league in team ERA!
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“It was a rough start for the Blue Jays. Is this a sign of the year, or just an early slump?”
Answer: Well, Toronto is 9-19 right now, and things don’t seem to be improving for them anytime soon. They have a team ERA over 4, and they are 24th in the league in batting average. The loss of Edwin Encarnacion has hurt this team tremendously, and they don’t seem to know how to figure things out without him yet. Marcus Stroman, their ace, has an ERA that is getting hovering close to 4, and Jose Bautista is hitting under .200. Not to mention, they play in a very good division in the AL East, so I don’t see this just being an early slump, but a sign of things to come in the future as well.
1. Houston Astros (Last Week: 3)- The Astros are still winning ball games consistently, and are showing themselves as the best team in baseball so far in 2017. They just took 3 out of 4 games from the Rangers who owned them last season, and now that they’ve proven that they can get past them, no one is standing in their way in the AL West. This division is their’s for the taking, and they can feel it. Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are still producing like the great players that they are, and Marwin Gonzalez has homered in now 4 straight games. This team has all of the pieces, and the sky is the limit for them right now.
2. Washington Nationals (Last Week: 1)- The Nationals are still playing great baseball and still have only a single-digit number in their loss column. However, they drop to number 2 this week on my list because of the huge loss that they had earlier this week with them losing Adam Eaton for the remainder of the season. This team is still great, and Adam Eaton didn’t pitch, so they will still be strong with their starting pitching. However, his presence in this lineup is what put this team over the top. So now, we will have to see if they can remain this good without one of their best bats for the rest of the season. But don’t think that Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper, and others aren’t up for the challenge.
3. New York Yankees (Last Week: 4)- The Yankees are looking really good heading into May, and they are looking forward to an interesting series against the Cubs this weekend in Chicago. If the Yankees can make a statement this weekend and take at least 2 of 3 from the Cubs, that would be huge for this team moving forward. Aaron Judge is taking this team on his back and the veterans in this lineup are continuing to help him as well. If Greg Bird can get out of his slump and get going too, this team will be winning a lot of games in 2017.
4. Chicago Cubs (Last Week: 7)- The Cubbies are starting to play better ball as of late, and just had a thrilling walk-off win against the Phillies Thursday after 13 innings. What makes this team special and different from last season is their confidence. Now that they have the elephant out of the room and have broken the curse, they can play with more confidence and be less tense. As the season goes along and gets into the heat of summer, this team’s poise and confidence will show more and more as they show themselves as a great contender yet again, and some of these other teams start to fall away.
5. Baltimore Orioles (Last Week: 2)- The Orioles had an interesting and entertaining series against the Red Sox this week, and they were able to split the series with Boston 2-2. This team is very good and we know that, with a lot of good talent like, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and Zach Britton. Machado seems to have been awakened this week also, because he went deep 3 times in this one series against the Red Sox alone. Moving forward, this team honestly is the most complete team that there is in baseball besides the Astros and Cubs, but they have to control their emotions, and perform the way that they know they can.
6. Colorado Rockies (Last Week: 8)
7. Boston Red Sox (Last Week: 10)
8. Cleveland Indians (Last Week: 6)
9. Arizona Diamondback (Last Week: 5)
10. Chicago White Sox (Last Week: Not Listed)