Monday, August 11, 2008

MLB's First Place Teams

1. Tampa Bay Rays: Perhaps my article was a jinx for the team, because the first place ball club now has 2 of its star players on the DL. Carl Crawford and All-Star Evan Longoria are both currently on the DL, a terrible blow to the Rays' offense. I still think the Rays have a good shot of making the playoffs, just that it won't be as easy as I first suspected. The 4 game cushion should hold up until both leaders can return to the lineup.

2. Arizona Diamondbacks: The NL West leaders added another slugger to their potent offense. Long-time power hitter Adam Dunn was signed by the D-backs of waivers on Monday in exchange for two minor league pitchers. Although Dunn has a .247 career batting average, over the last 4 seasons, he has crushed at least 40 home runs, and is poised to repeat that feat this year. Bottom line: this guy knows how to drive in runs. To me, this is exactly what the young Diamondbacks team needed. Furthermore, the addition of Dunn to Arizona balances out the Ramirez trade with to the Dodgers. I know, I know: Ramirez is a much better hitter than Dunn, but both players will have a similar effect. I think that the Diamondbacks will get to the playoffs, which is not a very bold position. On a more risky note, I also think that Arizona will advance at least to the NLCS if not the World Series led by a great pitching staff in a weak National League.