The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 2.0

Now getting deeper into the baseball season we are starting to see teams really separate themselves from one another.  There are teams already making that playoff push and becoming true contenders while others are heading for the cellar..fast.  Let’s take a look at how teams have been doing lately and who has been standing out and who has been falling out.

The Good:

StLouisCardinals
Cardinal swinging the lumber, just like the real Cardinals; picture from en.wikipedia.org

 

St. Louis Cardinals- The ‘Red Hot’ Cards are out in front of the NL Central sitting at 35-17 and have the best record in baseball.  They are 8-2 in their last 10 games and are soaring led by their fantastic pitching.  The ageless wonder Carlos Beltran leads the team in RBIs and HRs and is making this Cardinals offense run as good as it ever has, even when they had Pujols..maybe.

Oakland A’s- The A’s are actually the hottest team in baseball having won 9 of their last 10 and continue to get it done with their no name ball club.  That’s just how Billy Bean would want it though, successful without a budget breaking payroll.  They don’t hit particularly well as a team but they do score lots of runs as they are 4th overall in baseball in runs scored meaning they get those timely hits which is really all that matters really.  They are nipping at the heals of the Rangers and looking to defend their division title.

Honorable Mention: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Bad:

Kansas City Royals- The Royals are sitting at last in the AL Central with a record of 21-29.  At one point they were 20-20 but have lost their last 9 0f 10 and have really taken a tumble.  They looked as if to be turning a corner, finally, only that to be dashed by them falling back into their ole’ Royals’ ways.  Struggling to score runs and getting on base has been killing them and you just can’t win when you can’t score.  So remember KC fans, even when you think things might be turning around just remember, you are still the Royals.

 

dodgers_doom
Ethier frustrated like all Dodgers; picture from Spike.com

 

Los Angeles Dodgers- Baseball’s biggest disappointment I would have to say because of all the money put into this team and where do they sit?  That would be last in the NL West with a record of 22-29.  What is wrong with this team?  I’ll tell you what’s wrong.  It’s not the lack of star power on the team or the injuries or even the pressure of the bright lights of LA.  No, it’s as simple as this, they just don’t play good, team baseball, and when you can’t do that it doesn’t matter who is on your team, you aren’t going to win.

Honorable Mention: Cleveland Indians

The Ugly:

Houston Astros A regular to appear in the ugly section and if their lucky, maybe make it to the bad section but that’s a stretch.  What’s the Astros deal?  They just aren’t good.  They are actually in the high 20’s in runs and hitting, which is way better than I thought, they just can’t win..period.  They will be like this all year and were expected to be like this all year too so Astros’ fans brace yourself because it’s going to be a long, long bumpy ride.  Houston, we have a problem.

7APD9.St.56
Marlins Park empty; picture from MiamiHerald.com

 

Miami Marlins Oh boy, the laughing stock of the baseball world and guess what, no one feels sorry for them either, at least not feel sorry for the organization.  You kind of have to feel sorry for the players and coaches though because they don’t call the shots and play the business system of baseball, they just try to go out there and win.  Bless their hearts, they do try but like the Astros, they just aren’t good, they are even worse though, they are literally a AAA team.  They sit at 13-40, in the cellar of the NL East, last in virtually every category in baseball stats and possibly the worst team in baseball history.  Not to mention, they are on an 8 game losing streak.  When they score runs, they give up more than they have, when they don’t give up many runs, they don’t score anything.  It’s a sad sinking ship for the Marlins and will not get any better.  Only bright spots seem to be the youngsters that get to play because of all the injuries they have had to normal starters.  Other than that, nothing to look forward too, well except the day Loria is run out of Miami.

Honorable Mention:  Milwaukee Brewers

 

So there you have it, the good, bad and ugly that has taken place recently.  It’s been exciting to watch this baseball season and I am enjoying watching it unfold.  If your team wasn’t featured this time, there’s always next time.  As long as they are good enough, bad enough, or down right ugly, your team has got a chance.

NBA Playoffs Round 2 Predictions

Predictions by our NBA Consultant Harrison Churchman

Eastern Conference

1Miami VS 5Chicago Miami in 6 games

lebron james harlem shake

The Heat have had trouble with Chicago this season, that being said, the Heat are also the best team in the league. LeBron James is seemingly on a mission to show everyone that he is King James. The Heat will go back and forth, but will take game 6 in Chicago, after battling the home court battle with each other.

The Skinny: LeBron, on a mission

2New York VS 3Indiana New York in 7 games

carmelo anthony

This brings back the old school rivalry with some new blood. Carmelo Anthony seems to be on the mission that LeBron was last season, as he doesn’t really miss any shots anymore. The matchup of J.R. Smith and Paul George will be one to watch as this series progresses, but this one will work out into just each team winning home games for the Knicks to knock off the Pacers in 7 games.

The Skinny: home court, Carmelo Anthony, JR Smith VS Paul George

Western Conference

1Oklahoma City VS 5Memphis Oklahoma City in 7 games

kevin durant

This series will also be a nail-biter, especially since Russell Westbrook has torn his meniscus and will be out for the remainder of the post-season. There will be many close games and the play down low of Randolf and Marc Gasol will keep this one interesting. Kevin Durant may just be too much for them to handle.

The Skinny: Kevin Durant, Depth on both sides

2San Antonio VS 6Golden State San Antonio in 7 games

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game One

Another great matchup, but the Warriors lack the experience to knock off an elite team like the Spurs. This is due in large part to Greg Popovich and his relentless will and perfectionist attitude. The Spurs will not overlook the Warriors, but the Warriors will also give the old men of the Spurs everything they can handle.

The Skinny: coaching, veterans, depth

Braves don’t put up with any Nattitude

tim hudson

Fresh off of Tim Hudson hitting his 3rd career home run, and winning his 200th career game; one thing has remained the same all year, the Braves are not going to let the Nationals beat them this year. The Braves are 5-0 so far this season against the Nats. They have faced the likes of Steven Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, and they have not lost. This Braves team, among being one of the best in the majors, also has a well-taught sense of urgency to focus on these games more throughout the entire season, even April. The games this month are just as important as the ones in August and September, especially in this division where there are at least 3 legitimate contenders(Braves, Nationals, and Phillies).

justinupton+gattis

These two studs above (Justin Upton and Evan Gattis) have been powering the middle of the lineup for this team, with 18 April home runs combined. They have been on a recent skid as of late, coming back down to earth, but these Braves are here to stay for the long haul.  Frank Wren has built a legitimate contender and when Jason Heyward comes back and can get hot as well as B.J. Upton getting going from the plate, they will continue their impressive offensive production. This team is also missing its only perennial all-star in catcher Brian McCann.

The pitching so far this season has been up and down, but the talent is there and possibly the Braves’ best pitcher is still on the DL, Brandon Beachy. He should return in the second half of the season, much like fellow teammate Kris Medlen did last season. Hopefully he can enjoy the same type of success this season.

Let’s Go Braves!!!! Braves Country is here to stay!!!

Written by Daniel, hammockd29