Time flies and in the MLB this saying couldn’t be truer. It’s mid-May and already teams have played close to forty games. It’s been an interesting season thus far coupled with a few overachievers and a few underachievers. The Houston Astros have been a pleasant surprise, as they sit 5.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West.
The Astros pitching staff have performed well and they also lead the MLB in home runs which has helped them get off to a quick start. The New York Mets have also impressed storming out to a 22-16 record relying on their pitching which currently ranks second in the league with a team earned runs average of 3.00. Other teams haven’t played so well entering the season with big expectations and so far failing to live up to their perceived standards. The Seattle Mariners entered the season as one of the favorites but they’ve stumbled out to a 17-20 record. The Mariners have failed to get run support, while their pitching has been average at best. With more than 120 games remaining plenty is going to change as teams find their identities, let’s take a look at some clubs that look primed to challenge for a World Series title.
Los Angeles Dodgers +600: The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2015 season with high hopes and it’s no surprise that they have managed to get off to a great start. Los Angeles is 24-13 and has a 4.5 game cushion in the National League West. The Dodgers are led by Adrian Gonzalez who is second in the majors with a .356 average, while also spanking nine home runs out of the park. Los Angeles is one of the only teams in the league that has shown great consistency with both their run support, and their pitching ability. The Dodgers are top five in both runs scored and team earned runs average which bodes well for them going forward. On paper this is one of the best teams and they have a great opportunity to win the World Series if they continue playing the way they have.
Washington Nationals +600: Washington is one of the most talented teams in the majors this season and they have shown glimpses of their potential on both sides of the field. Washington is second in the National League East, trailing the Mets by 0.5 games with a 22-17 record. The Nationals are the heavy favorite to win this division and it will be a huge surprise if they fail to do so. Bryce Harper is one of the top young player in the majors and he’s showing off his amazing ability this season, to the tune of 14 home runs and an average of .338. The Nationals have several players who know how to get on base, batting over .300 and doing a marvelous job of creating run support. The Nationals have a talented pitching staff that has somewhat underachieved so far. If guys like Stephen Strasburg can step it up this is going to be a very difficult team to deal with going forward.
Kansas City Royals +1000: The Kansas City Royals had a magical run to the World Series last season only to watch their dreams disintegrate in a game seven loss to the San Francisco Giants. Many people expected the Royals to take a step back this season but that hasn’t been the case. Kansas City is first in the very competitive American League Central, where four teams are playing .500 baseball. The Royals have the league’s best team average at .287 and have been getting run support all year, storming out of the gates. They have also been blessed with a solid pitching staff that is getting support from several different arms. The Royals blew a golden opportunity last season but they have shown their intestinal fortitude and have impressed on both sides of the field. The American League Central is a very tough division and if the Royals make it out on top they’ll be well prepared for another World Series run.