This year in the MLB there are a lot of Cinderella teams that are trying to make a name for themselves. Three of the teams I will talk about is the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs. These three teams maybe not be a complete surprise that they are doing so well, but can they keep up their hot streak and win it all.
The first team that is making a surprise run in the Baltimore Orioles. As of June 29,2016, the Orioles are four and a half games ahead of Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East. The Orioles are a fairly young team, their average age as a team combined is 28.1. This is really good because if they can keep this up they have a shot not just be done after having a couple good seasons. Right now the Orioles are on a six game win streak. They have two players that are leading the team in hitting they are Mark Trumbo and Manny Machado. Trumbo is leading the team in home runs and RBI, while Machado is leading the team in batting average, OPS and hits. As a team as a whole their batting average is .271. There are other players that are helping, but these two are the ones if they lose due to an injury it would hurt them the most. Their pitching is where my concern is at. Their best starting pitcher ERA is 3.52. That number is kind of high, especially right now there are pitchers with an ERA under 2, but on the bright side Chris Tillman as a 10-1 record with an ERA so high. Now their closer Zach Britton is doing awesome. He has an ERA .83 with 23 saves (which he is leading in save in the American League). This team maybe the team to beat in the American League.
Unless the Orioles have to face the Cleveland Indians. (Yes, I’m just as shocked to mention them too) The Indians are on a roll this 2016 baseball season. They are five games ahead of the World Series Champions Kansas City Royals by five games. They are on a 11 game winning streak after getting swept by the Royals. This winning streak matches their longest winning streak they have had in 34 years. The Indians aren’t missing Marlon Byrd as he is out due to a suspension that was given to him in the beginning of June. He was having a great season up to that point. The Indians still can depend on Mike Napoli, who is leading the team in home runs and RBI. While, Francisco Lindor is leading the team in batting average, OBP and hits. Their teams batting average is .260. Another reason they are winning is their pitching staff. They have two pitchers that have nine wins. One of their starters Danny Salazar has an ERA of 2.40, which is the second best right now in the American league. Their closer Cody Allen has 15 saves. Are the Indians just feeling the moment or will they become a real contender in the playoffs?
The last team which isn’t too much a shocker to the world that they are doing good in the Chicago Cubs. Last year they made it to the NLCS but lost. The Cubs were also predicted by many analysts they would win the NL Central this season. They are a young team which means they could be good because if theycan keep this up, they have a shot to have several good seasons. Cubs are ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals by 10 games in the National league central. This team is dangerous they have Kris Bryant, who is leading the team with RBI, hits and home runs. They have Ben Zobrist, who has the best batting average on the team. Jake Arrieta isn’t too far behind Zobrist in BA with .294 and they also have Anthony Rizzo, who is leading the team in OBP. Their team batting average is .256. Now what is really killing other teams is their pitching staff. They have four pitchers in the top 20 so far this season. Which by the way they are the only team with four players that high. Jake Arrieta is leading the National league and the team with 12 wins. Jon Lester is leading the team with an ERA of 2.03, which is the third best in baseball. This team is actually lately looking a little shaky. Their last nine games they have lost six of those games. There is plenty of baseball left, but will they be able to keep up their hot streak or will they crash and burn.
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