Some Random Baseball Thoughts about the Contenders

I know you all missed the weekly MLB Round-Up posts and they may return in the future. Until that time, here’s a little bone to chew on. I don’t intend to jump into some deep thoughts, but rather a quick look at each team with questions before the post-season.

American League

New York Yankees – The offense is dynamic, even without A-Rod, but do they have enough pitching outside of C.C. Sabathia to repeat?

Tampa Bay Rays – Great young nucleus, but rumor has it they may be looking to add Manny Ramirez through the waiver wire if he becomes available. Why mess up their team chemistry with a nutcase?

Boston Red Sox – Injuries, injuries, and a former idiot says no to a return. It’s a season of What-Ifs for Red Sox nation. What if they make a miracle run despite the injuries?

Minnesota Twins – Always a good ball team, the Twins find themselves at the top of the division once again. Can they beat they Yanks or Rays in a series?

Chicago White Sox – After falling to second place in the AL Central, the Chi Sox have some work to do since the Wild Card seems about unreachable. Can Ozzie Guillen rally the troops for a playoff push?

Texas Rangers – A runaway with the division crown, Texas can look forward to its first post-season appearance in a long time barring a New York Mets-esque collapse. The key in October though is will Cliff Lee be enough to beat the Yankees or Rays?

National League

Atlanta Braves – The Braves could still use some help on offense, but the veteran Derek Lee could provide that spark down the stretch. Can they hold off the Phillies for the division?

Philadelphia Phillies – One week, the Phils look like their World Series self. The next, they’re losing two straight games to the Astros at home. Will the Phillies pull it all together for a fourth straight division crown?

Cincinnati Reds – As long as they’re not playing the Cardinals, the Reds look like serious contenders. How will their young pitching hold up down the stretch and into a possible post-season birth?

St. Louis Cardinals – A team with Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter ought to be leading its division, right? Wrong. The Cards just can’t put everything together it seems.

San Diego Padres – The NL’s best team continues its great play. Does anybody believe in them outside the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park?

San Francisco Giants – Same story, different season: great pitching, but a lackluster offense. Can the Giants overcome their offensive shortcomings to grab the Wild Card or even the division?