The two best teams in baseball right now are the Red Sox and the Dodgers. That doesn’t mean they will meet in the fall classic, but they should.
The Sox have the best everyday lineup. Any team that can have the second-best record in the majors while suffering through the adjustments of David Ortiz for 2½ months has got to be good.
Much of the slack in that department has been picked up by Jason Bay. He is having an MVP season and making his contract year one that is going to cost some club a lot of cash.
The starting pitching is a problem that has to be worked out. The Sox starters’ ERA is 4.78, 11th in the AL. The offense, fourth in runs and first in on base percentage, will give the team time to figure it out.
The Dodgers have chewed up their own Western Division opponents with a 26-10 record. That in part makes them tough to read, even if they do have MLB’s best record.
The Giants, Rockies, Padres, and Diamondbacks are not very good. Those other Western Division teams are all below .500 in games within the division-and the Dodgers are 26-10!
With the return of Manny Ramirez, the Los Angeles offense will be better. Despite his suspension, Ramirez’s teammates want him back and there should be little disruption in the clubhouse when he returns July 3.
Albert Pujols is the best player in the game right now and will vie for the title of “best ever” if he avoids injuries.
Last week Pujols, while facing the Indians, called three home runs in advance, according to Indians’ first base coach Luis Rivera. The two chatted during the game with Pujols playing first and Rivera coaching there.
Pujols is a student of hitting. He has more than just a plan when he comes to the plate, using the first at-bat to gauge the at-bats to come.
On Friday night Pujols told Rivera after his first at-bat that he was going to launch one the next time up because he had figured out how the pitcher was going to go after him.
Pujols made good on the prediction.
The next day Pujols hit two more homers and both times told Rivera in advance he had figured out his next at-bat approach.
Said Rivera to Pujols the next time he came to first, “I don’t want to hear anymore. Stop talking to me.”
Pujols has a shot at the triple crown, last won by Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. There have only been 15 such
Joe Mauer is chasing his own numbers with the Twins. Ted Williams was the last .400 hitter in 1941. Mauer has a chance to be next.
Because of injuries and games missed, Mauer does not show up on the individual leader charts since he does not have the minimum at-bats needed, but he will have those soon.
It would be a treat for baseball fans to have a second half of the season where both the triple crown and a .400 average were being chased by two genuine stars of the game.