After what can be described as an odd season last year, the MLB is finally getting back to normal. Fans are being allowed in stadiums, as the Texas Rangers are allowing full capacity at their new stadium, Globe Life Field. The playoff structure is also going back to normal with the wild card round and no more 16 teams in the playoffs. So far, this season has been fun to watch with lots of breakout teams, and disappointing teams.
In the NL, most of what has happened so far has been expected. The Saint Louis Cardinals are at the top of the NL Central after acquiring third baseman Nolan Arenado via trade this offseason. He has been a complete game changer for the Cardinals both with the bat and defensively. He has been a great duo with first baseman Paul Goldscmidt, as they look to seal the NL Central and try to bring a 12th World Series to Saint Louis. One very disappointing team in the NL Central is the Cincinnati Reds. They have a lot of young assets and there was a lot of hype around them this offseason, but they have not lived up to it, being 19-21. They have been very inconsistent at the plate and all around disappointing
The NL East has been up and down, or just down for just about every team. In first place is the New York Mets, they acquired shortstop Francisco Lindor this offseason. He has been nothing but disappointing at the plate, and despite being in first place the Mets have been disappointing in general. The Atlanta Braves made the NLCS last year and they have a very talented team, but are 19-23. They may have not yet recovered from the NLCS as they choked a 3-1 series lead to the Dodgers. This year they have not been good, living up to their nickname “Chokelanta”
There has been some unexpected business in the NL West this season. In first place is surprisingly the San Francisco Giants. They practically came out of nowhere and are leading the powerhouses of the Dodgers and the Padres. The defending champions are the Los Angeles Dodgers, who started off very hot and went on a heavy losing streak causing them to be sitting in 3rd place. The Dodgers basically have a super team because they are a big market and can outbid every other team, which makes the league very boring. They sign big name free agents constantly each year, and they only have one World Series Win the past 30 years to show for it.
In the AL, most of what is going on has been pretty expected. As for seen by many, the Chicago White Sox are currently leading the AL Central after a slow start. With Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, last year’s AL MVP, this team can make a run at the World Series this season. In third place in the division is the Kansas City Royals. They had a great start to the season, at one point having the best record in the league. They brought up Kansas City’s hopes thinking it was time for 2015 again, the Royals followed this up with a 11 game losing streak. Now they sit at a depressing 19-22 with an atrocious pitching staff.
The AL East has been anything but normal. The Boston Red Sox went from the bottom to the top. They are currently in first place heavily due to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Him and the Red Sox have been amazing so far this season as they look to continue to surprise the league. The Yankees are in 3rd place, after a very poor start. They are another team like the Dodgers, pay all the players they want, but don’t have any recent rings to show for it. They have tons of star power on the team, and are now starting to pick back up pace as they look for their 28th World Series this season.