By: Chandler Ragsdale
As we get closer to May, we are starting to see some teams establish themselves as powerhouses, and we are seeing others that are just trying to survive. Madison Bumgarner is now on the DL for an extended period of time, and Yoenis Cespedes has just recently joined him also. This isn’t helping the Giants or Mets already seemingly tanking seasons. Some teams are starting to seem that they are hitting on all cylinders, and the NL West has seemed to change directions with who’s at the top and who’s at the bottom of the division. Chris Coghlan gave us something to marvel at with a jump over Yadier Molina at home plate, and Matt Carpenter hit his first career grand slam in walk-off fashion this week. Not to mention, Aaron Judge went deep against the rival Red Sox at Fenway on his birthday, what a gift huh?
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“Do you think Craig Kimbrel will eventually return to the Atlanta Braves roster if the Braves have a winning season?”
Answer: I think that this could very well be a possibility. The Braves are improving yes, but for Kimbrel to return would be a long shot. He is playing for good team right now in Boston, and they are looking to make a World Series run this year and in coming years. The Braves are still rebuilding, so while a winning season would be a huge success for this club, I don’t see Kimbrel wanting to return back there anytime soon.
1. Washington Nationals (Last Week: 2)- The Nationals are on fire right now, and a lot of that is because of their bats. They swept the flailing Mets in New York over the weekend, and have been in Colorado ever since. They’ve scored an astounding 46 runs in this 4-game series against the Rockies alone! With their lineup hitting on all cylinders like this, and with the starting pitching that they have, this club is showing itself to be the best team in baseball at the moment. However, one issue that Dusty Baker and company will have to address is their bullpen, which may catch up to them and bite them later in the season if they don’t look at making improvements now while they have the moment in the NL East.
2. Baltimore Orioles (Last Week: 7)- The Orioles have been consistently good all season thus far, and they show no signs or weaknesses that could cause them to slow down anytime soon. They’re still looking to have their lineup step up and score more runs, but they’ve recently take 2 out of 3 games from both the Red Sox and Rays. This team has one of the best records in baseball and keep showing that they know how to win. That means so much to a team when you have guys who simply know how to do what it takes to win baseball games day in and day out and the Orioles have that this season.
3. Houston Astros (Last Week: 1)- The Astros are still looking good, but they did just drop two close games to the Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland. A scare occurred the other night as well when second baseman Jose Altuve had to leave the game after a collision with an outfielder. The good news however, is that Altuve won’t miss anytime because of it. Carlos Correa and Altuve are the heart of this team and will be the ones to take them places in 2017. Some good news for the Astros also, is that it is becoming more and more apparent that they are in one of, if not, the weakest division in baseball. This will help them to gain confidence and wins as the season progresses.
4. New York Yankees (Last Week: 6)- The Yankees are getting better and better as the season moves along. They just won 2 games at Fenway Park, and are continuing to show us why many players on this team have been nicknamed the “Baby Bombers.” They’ve been hoping for a lineup that could produce a decent amount of runs game in and game out to give their pitching enough room to shine, and that’s exactly what’s been happening recently. They’ve beat Boston by scores of 3-1 and 3-0 the last 2 nights, and this method that they’re using is seeming to start paying off for the Yankees.
5. Arizona Diamondbacks (Last Week: 4)- The Diamondbacks didn’t really do anything to be moved down on my list this week, but they dropped a spot because the others teams ahead of them have performed so well. They took 2 of 3 from the Dodgers last weekend and have been handling San Diego as they should for the most part as well. I just don’t see Colorado being able to hold up because of their pitching, so therefore, I see Arizona taking control of this division moving forward and making a statement out west.
6. Cleveland Indians (Last Week: 9)
7. Chicago Cubs (Last Week: 5)
8. Colorado Rockies (Last Week: 10)
9. Milwaukee Brewers (Last Week: Not Listed)
10. Boston Red Sox (Last Week: 3)