Now comes Memorial Day and my annual look at the Major League Baseball season to date and my predictions of what might happen the rest of the campaign.
We'll start with the American League East teams where last year’s MLB Champion Boston Red Sox reside.
Looks like right now the Beantown boys will have a hard time repeating as they seem to be stuck in the division’s last place.
Surprisingly, Toronto is leading the division and if Jose Bautista and gang can keep it going, they will be in the playoffs.
The Yankees and Baltimore are just a few games back and though Tampa Bay and the Sox are not playing well right now, they both have teams that can make some noise.
All the noise made in the American League Central is being made by the Detroit Tigers.
With hitting power led by Miguel Cabrera and a pitching staff that includes Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, it's hard to even contemplate the Tigers doing anything but continue to run away with this division that includes the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City, Minnesota, and Cleveland ... teams that do not strike a lot of fear in anybody.
Which the American League West leader Oakland doesn't do either. But what the A's do is win. The average baseball fan probably couldn't name five Oakland players but the home of Moneyball just continues to stay at or near the top of the AL West.
The only team in their division that could overtake them is the L.A. Angels whose lineup is led by a resurging Albert Pujols. Texas and Seattle could make a little noise in the division. It's doubtful Houston could make any noise in the Southern League.
Right now the Atlanta Braves are the class of the National League East. After a mild slump the Braves have righted the ship and appear solid enough to hold onto the division lead.
Miami has surprised some folks and with their youth could be a team of the future if the front office doesn't trade them all away.
Washington seems to have trouble staying healthy and Philadelphia and the Mets are anything but consistent.
Milwaukee and St. Louis have certainly been consistent in the National League Central and that should continue the rest of the way as both seem to have pitching. That's something the rest of the division lacks as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati struggle from the mound. Of course, the Cubs struggle from everywhere.
The pitching rises in the National League West also as the top two teams, San Francisco and the Dodgers, seem to have plenty of it. Colorado has played well to date but pitching will wind up hurting the Rockies. Everything seems to be hurting the Padres and Diamondbacks. Both already have next year’s plans on their radar.
If the season ended right now the playoff teams from the American League would be Toronto, the Yankees, Detroit, Oakland and Los Angeles. I know it's a long way to go but I think these will be the league’s playoff teams at season's end.
In the National League the playoff teams today would be Atlanta, Miami, Milwaukee, St. Louis and the Giants. I think before season's end the Dodgers will replace Miami in the picture.
Of course teams in both leagues could be replaced. There's always winning streaks, losing streaks, injuries, and who knows what else could pop up. But that's baseball, and ain't it fun following it?