Right before last week’s Major League baseball trade deadline, the New York Yankees pulled the trigger on a couple of big moves. The Yankees are hoping that in the last couple of months they can make run for at least a wildcard if not an AL East Division win. Are the Yankees poised to overtake Tampa Bay and Boston? And what will happen in the other divisions. Check out our MLB Predictions for the final two months of the baseball season. Be sure to check out the latest MLB odds and lines at our online Bitcoin sportsbook.
Yankees don’t make the playoffs because they didn’t add pitching
The Yankees traded for former Cub Anthony Rizzo and former Rangers’ slugger Joey Gallo. Both should help the Yankees score more runs. Rizzo bats .256 and has a .828 OPS. Gallo has blasted 25 home runs this season. But even though Rizzo and Gallo will push NYY to score more runs, the Yankees won’t catch the Rays or Red Sox in the AL East.
As of July 31, the Yankees are 7 games behind the Rays and 6 ½ behind the Red Sox. Expect New York to make up 2, maybe 3, games on both. The issue? NYY ace Gerrit Cole’s ERA has ballooned to 3.11 and nobody else in the rotation has picked up the slack. On July 29, Tampa blasted Cole for 7 earned runs off 6 hits in 5.1 innings. The Rays beat the Yankees 14-0. So unless a starter emerges who can shut down opposing lineups, New York won’t make a postseason appearance.
The Atlanta Braves overtake the New York Mets in the NL East
Heading into August, the Braves are 4 games behind the Mets in the mediocre NL East. The Phillies are just 4 ½ games behind while the Nationals are 7 ½ out of first place. No team from the NL East should make waves in the MLB Playoffs. If you’re looking to back a team to win the division, though, consider putting your money behind the ATL.
Mets’ ace Jacob deGrom is out until September. Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker are decent starters, but NYM ranks 29 th in runs per game. The Mets average 3.81. There are just 30 teams in MLB. Atlanta ranks ninth in runs per with 4.77. For sure, the Braves have enough time to close the gap on the Mets.
San Francisco hangs on and wins the NL West
At the end of July, the Dodgers were 3 games behind San Francisco for the division lead. Because the Dodgers traded for the great Max Scherzer, most feel they’ll motor past the Giants and win the NL West. But before jumping on Scherzer and the Dodgers, it’s important to consider how the Giants have played this entire season.
San Francisco ranks third in Team ERA and first in Team WHIP. WHIP, walks and hits per innings pitched, is a great indicator of how well a pitcher can keep himself out of trouble. Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen has a 1.34 WHIP.
Giants’ closer Jake McGee has a .78 WHIP, which means the Giants will have an edge in the final couple of innings no matter how well LAD’s starter performs. The Dodgers’ trading for Scherzer is a big deal, but it won’t be enough to stop rival San Francisco from winning the division.
The Houston Astros secure the MLB’s best regular season record
Heading into August, the San Francisco Giants have the best record in MLB at 65-39. The Astros are at 64-41. The guess here is that Houston dominates in these next couple of months. The Stros take on Seattle 9 times and the Rangers 6 times. Houston also gets to play the Los Angeles Angels 10 times.
Oakland poses a threat, like always, but the Astros don’t battle the A’s until late September. Minnesota, who is 44-61 at the end of July, and the 45-58 Kansas City Royals are also on the schedule.
The Stros rank first in batting average and runs per. The rotation ranks tenth in Team ERA and let’s be fair, Houston hasn’t cheated. All of it adds up to the best record heading into the postseason.
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