Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Baseball thoughts at midway point

Reds minor league prospect Billy Hamilton has 104 stolen bases in 82 games and will threaten Vince Coleman's minor league record of 145. Only guy in MLB to top 100 steals 4+ times? You guessed it, Billy Hamilton in the 1880's.

If Oakland could score runs, they'd be a threat for the postseason in the AL. They lead the league in ERA at 3.38 but also are last in the league in runs scored. It's so bad, their only productive regular that could qualify for the batting title is Josh Reddick, who is hitting .268. Regulars like Kurt Suzuki, Cliff Penningtom, and Jemile Weeks are hitting under .235. Any chance they move some young arms and make a run at a hitter?

On May 6th, the Pirates lost to the Reds 5-0 as they gave Andrew McCutchen a day off. The team at that point was 12-16 and had the 3rd worst record in the NL. The Bucs are 36-21 since and have soared into 1 st place in the NL Central. Not coincidentally, McCutchen has gone off since that day off as well. In 56 games since May 6th, Andrew is hitting .390/18/53 and is the front runner for league MVP at the break.

The Braves need to cough up a couple prospects and get Zach Greinke to try and make a strong run at the NL. The Nats are still real young and have arms already about to reach the most innings they've ever thrown and the Bucs/Mets/Reds/Cards/Dodgers/Giants aren't scary. McCann has started to come around, and if Uggla hits post-ASB like he did last year, a front line starter could be just what this team needs. Let's head into October with Greinke/Hudson/Hanson with Medlen/O'Flaherty/Kimbrel at the end and see what happens. If Wren doesn't make a big move I'll be upset, as Chip certainly deserves a legit shot at the WS in his final season.

Another deal that is hot on the rumor mill is Cole Hamels to the Rangers. That would make Texas the clear favorite for the WS, as they could run out a lineup that's scored more runs than any other team and have Hamels/Darvish/Harrison/Oswalt. Wow.

Mid-season predictions...

Giants over Nationals
Braves over Reds

Yankees over Tigers
Rangers over Angels

Giants over Braves
Rangers over Yankees

Rangers over Giants

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