The MLB all-star break is upon us and that means games that matter are right around the corner. Fans are finally at the point where single games matter and playoff efforts on the field are the norm.
This is a list of my top five teams that have what it takes to win the World Series this year.
Pitcher, Adam Wainwright continues to dominate. Wainwright has been nearly unstoppable, with a 10-3 record and a 2.18 earned run average in 14 starts this season. If they continue to deny hits, this team is going to be a terror come playoff time. As a team the Cards are batting .276 and third overall in runs. This yearís Cards have a great balance of pitching and hits.
The Reds still have the second-best record in baseball, yet they are still in second place in their own division. Thatís going to be a great chase. An extended Jay Bruce hot streak could help Cincinnati close the gap on St. Louis; in June, Bruce is hitting .364. When the dust settles, would I be surprised if the Reds fought their way out of the Central Division to represent the National League? No. This team is a gritty team that doesnít care how it wins as long as it wins.
Since his first three starts, backup pitcher Julio Teheran is 5-3 with a 2.42 ERA and has allowed more than three runs just once. Itís going to be tough to bump him from the rotation when Brandon Beachy returns. Thatís a great problem to have. Your backup pitcher has a hot hand and your starting pitcher is finally getting healthy. If only every team could be so fortunate.
Of all the turnarounds on this yearís Red Sox team compared to last seasonís disaster, pitcher Clay Buchholzís has been one of the most impressive. He has yet to lose a game while sporting a 1.71 ERA entering this week.
Chris Davis entered this week leading the majors with 23 home runs. The rest of the Oís lineup isnít to be taken lightly either. With the first ranked slugging percentage I expect big things from the Oís. I donít know if this is the year they take home the title, but being second in earned runs gives them a shot.
I usually donít break out the midseason predictions for baseball until the after the all-star break, but this yearís races are tightly contested. Everything is up for grabs and even a casual baseball fan like myself finds himself checking the stats a little more.