Top 5MLB World Series Contenders in 2010
by Jeff Hochman of JHSportsline.com
As Major League Baseball enters its final month of the regular season let’s take a look at my top fivecontenders to win the this year’s World Series. It’s been the Year of the Pitcher in 2010 and will continue to be a pitcher’s league for quite some time. You know about all the no-hitters, perfect games, and near perfect game,but did you know there have also been 36 games were the final score ended 1-0. I am sure that number will end around 50 by the end of the regular season.Now you know why the totals are being set the lowest they have been in over ten years.
New York Yankees (2/1)
What’s not to like about the team with the best record in all of baseball at press time. They have a loaded line-up that is willing to take walks if they don’t get their pitch to hit. The Yankees are batting .269 as a team, which currently ranks tied for sixth in the American League. They have hit 155 home runs which ranks third in the AL.The Yankees pitchinghas beenfantastic all season (3.89 ERA)with the likes of CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and A.J. Burnett (struggled lately). Since Andy Pettitte has been on the DL the Yankees team ERA is about one run higher. They need the big lefty back in their rotation as soon as possible.
Tampa Bay Rays (5/1)
Before the season started I picked this team to reach the World Series and play the Phillies. You wouldn’t believe how many calls and E-mails I received that stated otherwise. I knewTampa Baywas on a mission this year and they certainly are proving me right so far. I also knew about the tremendous young talent they possess throughout their roster. They are so deep in pitching they don’t even needstarterJeremy Hellickson until next season. He is a stud in the making and might be used out of the bullpen come playoff time.The offense will struggle to score some runs at times (.253 team batting average)but their “lights out” bullpen and stingy defense makes up for it. They know how to manufacture runs as they lead the league in stolen bases (150) by a wide margin.The Rays team ERA is 3.54 which ranks them second in the American League.
Philadelphia Phillies (5/1)
My team to represent the National League before the season started. Nobody wants to play this team in the postseason, especially ina short series. The Phillies rotation is “sick” with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt. The bullpen is a bit of a concern, because you never really know what you’re going to get with Brad Lidge trying to get the final three outs. He can be great but can also be a disaster at times. The Phillies are currently batting .258 as a team,but injuries toChase Utley, Jimmy Rollins (again), and Ryan Howard are contributing factors. The good news is that the Phillies seem to be getting healthy andshould make a serious run at post-season play.
Texas Rangers (6/1)
The Rangers have a team batting average of .275 (2nd in AL) and have a team ERA of 3.88 (4th in AL). That combo will have you winning a lot of games and you can book an AL West Title for this team right now. It seems when Manager Ron Washington went public with his past discretion’s, the Rangers got closer as a team and really started playing great baseball. You have to give RonWashington a lot of credit for what he did and I for one have the utmost respect for him. This team can win any type of game, weather itbe a slug-fest or pitcher’s duel. Don’t take this team lightly in the playoffs!
Atlanta Braves (6/1)
Another manager I have a lot of respect foris Bobby Cox. As you already know this willbe his last season as Managerand his resume speaks for itself. Bobby has been named manager of the yearfour times (1985, 1991, 2004, and 2005) and is one of only four managers to have won the award in both the American and National League. He is also the only person to have won the award in consecutive years. On June 8, 2009, Cox won his 2,000th game with the Atlanta Braves, becoming only the fourth manager in Major League history to accomplish that feat with one team. He only has one World Series Title but with a good line-up and even better pitching staff (3.45 Team ERA)Cox may go out in style. Take care Bobby and enjoy the Fishing after the season ends.
Good Luck this MLB post-season!