It not the most wonderful time of the year, but it close.
Indeed, with the exception of perhaps opening day and the beginning of October, mid July may be the best time of year to be a baseball fan. On the heels of the Midsummer Classic, the first half retrospectives and second half predictions are done, and teams are either gearing up for the post season stretch run or pondering whether it may be time to focus on the future. MLB July 31 non waiver trade deadline only adds to the intrigue.
The Story: Injuries, inconsistency and sloppy play have seen the Jays jerseys sink like a stone, while the Orioles jerseys just keep plugging along. Unless the Jays jerseys can get healthy in a hurry, they are no longer the biggest threat to knock the Orioles jerseys off their perch in the AL East.
The X Factor: The Orioles jerseys schedule. The O emerge from the break to face the mighty Oakland Athletics jerseys then head straight to Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels jerseys, who have won nine of their last 10. It not until the middle of next month they face a team with a losing record. Then there the division free for all during the last few weeks of the season. Lots of opportunity for teams to move up or fall back.
Toast of the Town: Detroit Tigers jerseys
The Chaser(s): Kansas City Royals jerseys (61/2 GB)
Dark Horse: Ummm the Royals jerseys? Let cheap baseball jerseys face it, the Royals jerseys displacing the Tigers jerseys would be a fairly big surprise. The rest of the division? Sorry, no.
The Story: The Royals jerseys teased their fans with a 10 game win streak that culminated in the team actually overtaking the Tigers jerseys for top spot in the AL West. That, of course, was the middle of June, after which the Royals jerseys dropped six of their next seven. Sound familiar, Jays jerseys fans? The Tigers jerseys and the Royals jerseys hooked up for a four game set entering the all star break, with the Tigers jerseys winning three.
The X Factor: Some of the Royals jerseys big bats most notably Billy Butler, cheap Mike Moustakas jersey and cheap Eric Hosmer jersey have struggled mightily for large stretches of the season so far. If they can all get pulling in the same direction, perhaps they can give the Tigers jerseys a run for their money.
Toast of the Town: Oakland Athletics jerseys
The Chaser(s): Anaheim Angels jerseys (11/2 GB)
Dark Horse: Seattle Mariners jerseys (8 GB)
The Story: Oh, man, I love this stuff! This promises to be one of the most exciting division races the rest of the way. Recent moves suggest A GM Billy Beane believes his team is prepped for a deep playoff run, and he may be right. But the Angels jerseys boasting a truly frightening lineup with names like cheap Mike Trout jersey, cheap Albert Pujols jersey and cheap Josh Hamilton jersey are the hottest team in baseball right now. There the setup now let watch what happens.
The X Factor: Again, the schedule. A little nugget from ESPN Buster Olney: of Oakland final 67 games are against the Rangers jerseys and Astros jerseys. In case you were wondering, no, the Angels jerseys are not quite as fortunate.
Toast of the Town: Washington Braves jerseys
The Chaser(s): Atlanta Nationals jerseys
Dark Horse: Anyone else
The Story: No, I didn mix up the teams names. The Braves jerseys and the Nationals jerseys have battled better than half the season to a tie atop the NL East, and it didn seem fair to drop one into second place prematurely. The Nats are better at home, but the Braves jerseys are better on the road, and both entered the all star break on back to back wins. And they the only two teams in their division with winning records.
The X Factor: Not that the Nats are necessarily short on talent, but the health of their two headed monster of cheap Stephen Strasburg jersey and cheap Bryce Harper jersey is always a concern.