Travel Day

Blockbuster trades may be looming, the Blue Jays are rolling and two divisions have established themselves as the power of their leagues head this week’s Travel Day.

Stars On The Move

In recent years the deadline trade market has been rather weak.   Jerry Crasnick of ESPN had a classic line last year when he called covering the deadline trade news like an episode of Seinfeld, it was writing about nothing.

This year’s circumstances appear to have this deadline trade market one withe potential to excite and delight many teams and their fans.

Giancarlo Stanton, Cliff Lee, Justin Morneau, Andre Ethier, Chase Utley, Carl Crawford, and Matt Garza could all have new homes before or on July 31st.

The fact that it makes sense for the teams who possess these players to trade them is one reason the trade market could be humming very soon.  The other big reason is that the number of teams being labeled as buyers is large.

Among teams labeled as buyers are the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, A’s, Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, Braves, Pirates, Reds, Cardinals, and Giants.

Something to watch for are trades to be made much earlier than in recent years involving key players.  The competition for these key players who may be available will be steep amongst the buyers and at least a few GM’s will see the value in acquiring a key player sooner rather than later.

Soaring Jays

Many people picked the Toronto Blue Jays to win the AL East before this season began. I was one of them. As a matter of fact, I picked the Blue Jays to win the AL and head to the World Series.

In April and May as the Jays struggled and occupied last place in the AL East, a friend asked me how I could have been so stupid as to have bought into the preseason hype of the Blue Jays. My response was that everything that could have gone wrong for the Blue Jays had gone wrong and that when their pitchers got on track and they got healthy that they would come charging.  What is surprising is that the charge has come in June and with such incredible force.

The Blue Jays are coming at the AL East leaders like a downhill runaway train.  Not only are the Blue Jays a winner of their last eleven games, the last ten games were wins against teams who are all over .500.  The Rangers, Rockies,  and Orioles were all swept by the Jays.

Not only are the Blue Jays now hitting and pitching at the level they anticipated before the season began, opponents will be very unhappy to hear that SS Jose Reyes and P Kyle Drabek are on their way back soon.

Drabek made his first rehab start on Saturday and should be back to the Jays very soon, which will give them even more depth in pitching.  Reyes, expected to be a major catalyst for the Jays this season, will most likely rejoin the Jays on Thursday against Boston.

The Blue Jays are going to be a very tough team to beat the rest of the way.

The AL East and NL Central Are A Cut Above

The AL East continues to impose its will upon their rivals.  Every team in the Al East possesses a winning record, a remarkable achievement as the season is less than a week from the halfway mark.

The teams in the AL East have a combined record of 205-174.  Removing the divisional games from that record, the AL East is a combined 117-86 against the rest of the teams in MLB.  It’s almost unfathomable that a division could be a combined 31 games over .500 against teams from other divisions.

Only five games separate the first place Red Sox from the last place Jays and Rays as all teams in the AL East are clearly in playoff contention.

The NL Central clearly stands out as the powerhouse of their league.

Incredibly, the Cardinals(18 games), the Pirates(16 games), and the Reds(13 games) represent 47 games over .500 against their rivals.  These three teams also happen to have the best three records in the NL.  It is very rare indeed to see the best three records in a league come from the same division this late in the season.

All three of these teams are serious playoff factors that may propel the NL Central to become the first division to send three teams to the playoffs in just the second year that such a feat would be possible due to the expanded playoff system.

If The Playoffs Began Today

In the AL:

The Oakland A’s would host the Baltimore Orioles in a one-game playoff to determine who would face the Texas Rangers in a best-of-five series.

The Boston Red Sox would host the Detroit Tigers in the other best-of-five series.

In the NL:

The Pittsburgh Pirates would host the Cincinnati Reds in a one-game playoff to determine who would face the St. Louis Cardinals in a best-of-five series.

The Atlanta Braves would host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the other best-of-five series.

About Michael P.

I am a Saratoga Springs, Ny resident whose been sports obsessed since I was 5 years old.

Posted on June 24, 2013, in No Category. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. the trade market seems better this year than in recent years where the trade deadline has been pretty dull

  2. Nats are looking for a starter, send them Hughes for Giolito or Cole, both are young pitching prospects.

  3. Michael, the Jays have had their run, every team in the East has the potential to make a run. The Rays have the pitching to run off 6 in a row, the O’s have the hitting to do the same, while the Yanks have yet to put a group of regulars on the field. The season is a marathon with the Jays just being this weeks flavor of the week.

    • Doug, the most talented team doesn’t always win but it’s certainly the team to bet on. In the case of the AL East there is simply no doubt that the Jays possess the most talent. With Reyes coming back it will make them even more dangerous. Would you switch the rosters of the Jays and Yankees as a Yankee fan if you could? I know I would in a heartbeat.
      When I hear of the Yankee regulars coming back I really have to wonder who, if anyone, will help. Teixeira is obviously in need of surgery for his tear and even if he comes back I don’t expect much more than the sad and sorry performance he has given so far this year. Granderson hasn’t been of value since July of last year. What will Jeter bring? He hasn’t played since early October of last year. Will his stroke be the same? Can he run? Can Nunez hit better than .200 when he comes back? Does A-Rod have anything left?
      Last year you argued about the parity in the AL East. You were wrong. This year you are arguing about it again and again you are wrong. You argued with what I wrote two weeks ago about the Al East when 7 1/2 games separated all the teams, now you are arguing again when the separation is only 5 games?!!! LOL!!

      • How would he be wrong about arguing that about parity in the AL East this year. The division is the exact definition of parity this year. Couldn’t be any closer

      • Michael, I totally disagree, the Yanks are one game out of first in the loss column with Tex, Jeter, A-Rod, and Grandy out. I have to believe that they would be at least five games better right now without the injuries. The subs for these players aren’t hitting too well, you don’t think Grandy would have hit better than Wells, A-Rod better than Adams, Jeter better than Nix and Tex better than Overbay, just check their track record. A healthy Yankee team would be 10 games up on the Jays right now. You were quiet while the Jays were struggling but now they are the best team in baseball. Just for the record the Yanks won the East last year. You were the one that was wrong.

  4. Pitching wins, and the Jays are 20th in pitching!

  5. Tampa pitching 27th, and O’s 29th, this doesn’t set up well for the playoffs. Unless these teams do a complete about face, it will be the Tigers or A’s who come out of the AL. The Cards look like the best in the AL. They have 2 stud rookies waiting in the minors.

  6. The Jays finished 22 games back last year with the Sox finishing 24 games back.

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