Contender or Pretender: MLB Edition

Contender or Pretender: MLB Edition

Ava Nicole Shasha

It is almost to the halfway point of the MLB regular season which means punching a ticket to playoffs is starting to rise to the minds of teams and managers.

So far, the arguably best team in the MLB, the New York Yankees, have had some unbelievably good regular seasons, but have fallen short to add another world series ring to the long list. B

ack in 2019, the biggest underdogs of the whole playoffs, the Washington Nationals, took everyone by surprise when they beat the Houston Astros to win the championship. But, this article is logically based. So here are my MLB team playoff Contenders, and Pretenders. 

       Getting started right off the bat, the Yankees. The Yankees are simply contenders. The Yankees are, and have been the best power hitting team for a few years now. The home runs play a huge role for the Yankees, and their offense. The Yankees team thus far has hit 98 league-leading home runs, with Aaron Judge having the most, with 24 home runs, which is also the most in the MLB.

But the most dominant factor for the Yankees this season has been the pitching.

Statistically, the Yankees have the best pitching staff in baseball. With the staff pitching to a 2.85 era, which is the lowest in baseball, and a .215 opponent batting average. Pitchers who have played the biggest role for the pitching has been, starting pitcher Nestor Cortes, who is a big time contender for the AL Cy Young, another pitcher whos played a big role for the Yankees this season is relief pitcher, Clay Holmes, who currently has 9 saves, a 0.31 era, and has only allowed 1 run the entire season so far.

With the Yankees lineup, and Yankees pitching staff, and holding the best record in baseball , 44-16, the Yankees are easily the biggest contender right now. 

         Let’s move on to a pretender.  I hate to say it, but the Los Angeles Angels. Many people, including myself, had high hopes for this Angels team, including the best player of modern baseball, Mike Trout, and 2 way player Shohei Ohtani. But the angels have been nothing but disappointing. Currently holding a 29-33, 3rd in the AL west, the angels last week decided to fire head coach Joe Maddon. 

The Angels dating back to May 28th, have been swept, since then the Angels have been swept by 5 teams, and their series against the Dodgers is starting tomorrow, and with how the Angels have been playing, it looks to be another sweep coming for them. The Angels would have to have a crazy good second half to fully put their mark on the playoffs, until then, The Angels are just pretenders. 

          Let’s start with the pretenders for the national league. The San Francisco Giants. A lot of people would disagree , but the Dodgers are way too good of a team, and the Padres are a very good team as well. The Giants are a very good team, but have yet to prove to be a good playoff team recently. Not to say the Giants can’t pull it off, I just don’t see it happening because of the 2 teams above the Giants. The Giants lineup does not have the depth of the Dodgers and Or Padres. Along with other teams in the National League like the Mets, who have been one of the best teams in baseball. When it comes to edge, the Dodgers have it with a lineup consisting of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman,Trea Turner and pitchers like Klayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias.

         One team that is a contender is the Saint Louis Cardinals, who currently have a .05 lead in the NL Central above the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals have proven they can beat good teams, for example the Cards swept the Padres in a 3 game series.  Also, the Cards have a gold-glove infield , lead by – 3rdbaseman ,  Nolan Areando, 1st baseman,  Paul Goldscmichdt, and behind the plate, Hall of Fame catcher, Yadier Molina. Other key players that the Cards currently have, center fielder Harrison Badder, pitcher Adam Wainwright, and hall of fame player, Albert Pujoles. 

      Now I could be totally wrong with my predictions, and thoughts. But this again was logic based, and statically based. Not everyone can be right, but currently where we are with the season, this is what I believe.