Read on for the crew’s opinions…
Archie: Given the fact the Blue Jays are leading the AL East at this point,
and, that they look to be in the post season, I would have to say that J.
Donaldson leads the candidacy for AL MVP.
Earl: The Bringer of Rain has been crushing it. Crushing it.
Look, the Blue Jays are going to make the playoffs. They’ll either win the AL East or be one of the Wildcard teams but they are in.
The Angels? Better luck next year.
Josh Donaldson has had a huge season and has been carrying the Blue Jays on his back this whole time. He has to be the AL MVP.
Joe: I’m going with Donaldson… as of 9/4 he has 104 runs, 37 doubles, 36 HRs, 111 RBIs and a slash line of .304/.372/.589.
Trout has 84 runs, 25 doubles, 33 HRs, 74 RBIs and a slash line of .297/.397/.575.
Yes, Donaldson plays on a very strong oriented offensive team and gets lots more chances that Trout might get… but… all in all Donaldson is putting up the numbers in the middle of a hot pennant race between the Yanks and the Jays…
The Angels might not make the playoffs.
Steve: A month ago I would have said Trout would win this in a close vote. Since Trout has struggled this month, and, Josh Donaldson has been steamrolling. I think Josh Donaldson has the upper hand right now, and is your AL MVP.
Not only is he having a career season, he is also about to lead his Blue Jays to their first post season berth since 1993, when they won the World Series. I don’t think this MVP race is over, as Trout still has the ability to perform in September.
Also keep your eye on Chris Davis of the Orioles, as he is having yet another great season.
I like Donaldson though because he is playoff bound, where the other two are not.
2) In the AL East, do the Toronto Blue Jays or the NY Yankees win the division?
However, the Yankees is about the only team left that is good at all that the Blue Jays have left on their schedule. But they do have 7 games left with the Yankees.
Of course, the same goes for the Yankees in that those 7 games are probably going to decide the division crown with the exception of the 3 games against the Mets just in front of their three games
against the Jays.
So, the schedule actually favors the Jays for the rest of the way out. I will go with the Blue Jays to win the division.
Earl: As I type this the Blue Jays are 1.5 games up on the Yankees, and, I expect Toronto will hold on.
The Jays are 13-4 in their last 17 games and show no signs of slowing down. Jays all the way!
Joe: Good damn question… how hot can the Jays stay? And, can their pitching put up some zeros on the opponent’s scoreboard for the rare moments when the Jays don’t score 6 or more runs? Adding Donaldson, and, then Tulo and Price pre-trade deadline was a big plus.
The Yanks have been hot and cold all through the year. Somehow they still found a way to win some games and be in the middle of a pennant race.
Yanks do miss Teixeira and ARod ain’t as good as he was about a month ago but still they had rookie callus that seem to be contributing in a big way… Greg Bird at 1st and Luis Severino at pitcher.
Big time series coming up at the Stadium between the Jays and the Yanks… 4 games that could decide it all.
Warning, warning, warning… Homer pick… Yanks win the East.
Steve: Finally the Blue Jays have done it. They are headed to the playoffs for the first time in 22 years. They have fought and spent so much in order to field a winning team, and, it appears that the trade that they made Reyes for Tulo has paid off and the Blue Jays are on their way to their first division championship since 1993.
I don’t think it stops there either, as Toronto could be headed to another trip to the World Series as I think they are playing the best baseball of any team right now in all of baseball. If, they can keep this going, they are the team to beat.
3) In the AL West is it the Houston Astros or the Texas Rangers winning the division?
Archie: That division is the Astros to lose.
I can’t see where they will back off down the stretch even though Texas is streaking right now. They
each play only their division the rest of the way out and the Astros have a much better record against the division than Texas does to this point. I can’t see why that trend should change.
I hope not because I love the feel good story that has been the Astros, but, the momentum looks like it’s on the side of the Texas Rangers.
I think the Astros hang on to win the West, but, I also think they may not get further than the 1st round, too.
Just a feeling I got.
I had them finishing fourth in the division just ahead of… yep, The Astros.
As a matter of fact, if you take the AL West and flip flop it, that is how I had the teams finishing. I thought Seattle was going to be better than they have been, and, I didn’t think anyone could stop the Angels offense. I had no idea that the Astros were going to be this good. Keuchel is pitching better than anyone in the league right now, and, the young kids Correa, Altuve, and the addition of Carlos Gomez will keep Houston afloat.
What can they do in the playoffs? That is the real question.
4) The Kansas Royals should win the AL Central going away… are they the favorite in the AL to go to the World Series or is there someone else you like better?
Archie: I really like their chances of going to the WS this year. They pretty much picked up where they left off last year with destiny in mind and I think they have a great shot.
IMO they have played the best ball this year even though they are currently mired in a 4 game losing streak.
Earl: As I sit here, wearing a Blue Jays t-shirt, I should say Toronto, but, I think the favorites are the Royals.
Getting to the World Series last year, was the ultimate confidence booster for this team and they’ve come out this season looking like the favorites to not only get back to the Series but to win it this time.
Out of all of the AL teams, I think only the Blue Jays can stop the Royals but I don’t see it.
Joe: More and more I am thinking either the Jays or the Yanks could sneak in there to take the World Series invite away from the Royals.
But, until they get beat, they do look like the favorite to make the WS with the other two teams close by waiting for their chance.
Steve: They have to be considered the favorite to win the American League again this year. They have the AL’s best record going away, and, always find ways to win games just like last year.
However, there are some very good teams that will give them a run for their money. Take the Blue Jays for instance. They are playing the best baseball in the second half, especially since the Tulowitzski trade.
Sure, the Royals are the favorites. They are the defending champs with the best record in the league. My money is on Toronto with that offense and pitching rotation. The Blue Jays are the team to beat in the AL as of right now.
5) Who is your 2015 AL manager of the year?
Archie: I have liked the man for years and I really think Ned Yost should receive the award this year. What he has done with that small market club is a real “feel good” story for the Royals and their fans. IF they win the WS this year it will be a no brainer.
But, regardless of how they finish, I feel he deserves the award.
Earl: John Gibbons.
Yes, I know it should go to Ned Yost, and, I’d have no problem with him winning it BUT if I had a vote it would be to Gibbons for the great job he’s done with the Blue Jays this season.
Joe: KC gets punished… they been there last year and did that… sorry, Ned Yost.
So, I see the AL manager of the year being between Joe Girardi and John Gibbons of the Yanks and Jays, respectively.
I’m going with Girardi and not so much as a homer pick this time.
The Yankees were destined to finish last in their division by a lot of the preseason prognosticators and may be a legitimate WS candidate.
Something that most folks had not predicted for their destiny in 2015.
Steve: This is a very very close race and I had to debate on several candidates.
Ned Yost of the Royals is having a spectacular season, John Gibbons of the Blue Jays is set to put the Jays back in the post season after years of trying so hard. Joe Girardi, who has taken an injury plagued team to most likely lead the Yankees back into the playoffs.
My vote however goes to Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch. The Astros averaged 54 wins from 2011 through 2013 before having a break out year last year and winning a whopping 70 games. Hinch has led the Astros to the top of the heap in the AL West for the majority of the year. The Astros went on a a slide when the Angels held the lead for a few weeks, but, the Astros rebounded, made some moves to get Gomez and Kazmir, and now should win the AL West, a year or two earlier than many pundits thought they would compete for a playoff berth.
I had the Astros last in the AL West, but Hinch has put these guys into playoff contention.
Question posed on talk radio…
ESPN’s Mike and Mike…
Who is the better shortstop, Ripken or Jeter?
I know of the Iron Man’s big record of consecutive games, however, Jeter’s overall offensive numbers are better.
I would have to go with Jeter.
Earl: Tough question.
The New Yorker that I am would say Jeter, and, I’d love to be someone who’d provide stats or give some sort of rational explanation but I’m not that guy.
Joe: Jeter by a smidgen… Problem comparing the two players is that Jeter played his whole career essentially at short… 20 years/2747 games; while Ripken plays 21 years/2302 games at short but also had 675 games at 3rd.
Ripken has more power than Jeter and has the 11th best fielding pct at .979 while Jeter’s fielding pct is stands at 30th… or .976… notice a mere .003 pct points separates 11th and 30th…
Jeter out hit Ripken in one less year… 3465 to 3184 and has the better slash line .310 /.377/.440 to Ripken’s .276/.340/.447
The biggest edge Ripken as over Jetes is the awards stuff… Ripkin got more bling… 1 ROY and 2 MVPs to Jetes 1 ROY. But… Jeter got more WS bling… 1 MVP and 5 rings.
I give the edge to Jeter by that proverbial hair.
Steve: I think that Ripken is the better shortstop over Jeter, but, this is very very close.
I think that Jeter, and his accomplishments, meant more to the Yankees, than Ripken’s accomplishments did for the Orioles. While, I think Ripken had the better career, and, has a couple MVP’s to his resume to Jeter’s 0, Jeter’s post season accomplishments far supercedes anything that Ripken has done.
Ripken does have one World Series to his credit back in 1983, but, that was his only ring in his career.
Jeter has 5 and even more World Series appearances.
Ripken is the better player, but, Jeter meant more to his organization.
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