Toronto Blue Jays have had an up-and-down season so far this year. After dominating Arizona Diamondbacks, their lineup appeared frozen against San Diego Padres at home. Toronto boasts plenty of talent in its lineup to be a formidable force; however, more consistent results can only come by adding quality relievers and finding another closer.
The San Francisco Giants may be one of MLB’s most unpredictable teams. While they have experienced some long winning streaks this season, they also experienced several tough stretches. Now it appears as though they’re back on an upward swing.
The Cincinnati Reds may benefit from adding starting pitching at the trade deadline, though it might not necessarily be necessary. Since June 25th, Reds’ starters have posted an MLB-leading 3.86 ERA. While their 3.32 BB/9 and 4.55 FIP still indicate room for improvement, other positions need attention, such as upgrading a bullpen that has posted 4.29 ERA/WHIP ratio over its last 92 innings pitched – fix that, and the Reds have an opportunity at winning their division
The Milwaukee Brewers are currently one of baseball’s hottest teams, boasting an 18-8 record over their last month. Back atop NL Central with players returning from injury, the Brewers should use this as an opportunity to be prudent buyers this summer, hoping it could pay dividends come October.
Tampa Bay may only be 3-7 in the second half, but their struggles can be traced back to just before the break. They have come back to earth since the great start and now trail the Orioles in the AL East.
Yordan Alvarez has returned from injury, Kyle Tucker is playing at an MVP-caliber level and Chas McCormick is making strides forward; everything seems to be going right for the Houston Astros on the field, providing their front office with exactly what it needed to see. Houston has already made several waves on the trade market by linking themselves with numerous pitchers on offer – one or two smart moves could put them back in contention for World Series.
This week, after opening with such promise for Texas Rangers fans in the AL West division, could not have gone worse for them. After sweeping the Rays to extend their winning streak to six games and take sole ownership of first place in the division. They ran into the Dodgers losing by a combined 27-8 on Friday and Saturday.
Although the Dodgers haven’t had their usual dominant pitching performance in recent seasons, they’ve managed to regain the top spot in the NL West thanks to a surging offense led by Freddie Freeman this past week. Freeman hit an astounding.583 (14-for-24), hitting three homers, three doubles, one triple, seven RBIs, and only striking out three times while working five walks while striking out only three times! This helped the team claim two road series victories over first-place teams Orioles and Rangers, taking two of three against both.
After starting their week by dropping two of three against the Dodgers, Baltimore sent out a strong signal by taking three of four from the Tampa Rays. Felix Bautista has held teams scoreless in 21 of 22 outings, contributing significantly towards Baltimore being atop of the AL East Division this week!
Ronald Acuna Jr.’s MVP-caliber season – on track for 38 homers and 76 stolen bases – makes it easy to forget how dangerous the rest of Atlanta’s lineup can be. Austin Riley served notice of that this week by homering in five consecutive games (including two homers against Arizona D-backs in a wild 16-13 loss), amassing six homers and 16 RBIs for a Braves squad that leads the Majors by 3 1/2 games, with the best record in baseball.
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