Below are six “outrageous” hot takes for the second half of the MLB season. Most will have you scratching your head with disbelief or asking yourself “are they crazy” but that’s the point of this piece. We hope you enjoy your read!
Someone on the Nationals will win MVP… But his name is not Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman or even Max Scherzer. By@dadsox
Yes, you heard me. Anthony Rendon will end up being the 2017 NL MVP even though he wasn’t elected into this year’s All Star Game. Rendon didn’t hit his first home run until April 30th, but since then Rendon has been on an absolute tear. Since the homer on April 30th, he is slashing .356/.462/.731 to go with 20 home runs and 59 RBI (Rendon has 64 RBI on the season) while adding in 5 stolen bases for the Nationals powerful lineup. Rendon currently leads all National League hitters in WAR at 5.0 the only player he trails in the MLB is Aaron Judge who currently sits at 5.3 on the season. Usually, with that type of power comes strikeouts, but the Nationals’ 3rd baseman has a terrific K/BB ratio with 53 walks against 49 strikeouts this year! Anthony Rendon may not be the first name you think of when you think about the Washington Nationals, but he will finish first in the 2017 National League MVP race after continuing his dominance throughout the remainder of the regular season.
The winner of the American League East will not be the Red Sox….or the Yankees. By @bstabz1
The Tampa Bay Rays will win the AL East. Boom. There it is. Boston and New York are favorites by Vegas and by many baseball watchers to win the AL East, however, the Rays have remained at least 4 games above .500 all season and are currently 2 games behind Boston for the top spot in the division. They also have the 3rd highest slugging percentage in the AL with breakout seasons from Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison, and a healthy Wilson Ramos. The Rays rotation isn’t eye-popping but could improve mightily with the potential call up of screwballer Brent Honeywell and if Honeywell meets Rays fans’ expectations. The Rays are currently 7-3 in their last 10 while Boston and New York are 4-6. While powers of the division struggle, look for the Rays to use the upcoming trade deadline to potentially bolster their pitching staff, specifically their bullpen.
Milwaukee Finishes 4th…in the National League Central. By @pdnorton3
After three teams in the NL Central won 90+ games back in 2015 and the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, the division has been a bit of a disappointment. If the restart after the All Star Break is any indication of what the next sixty-five games may entail, the Brew-Crew will slip into fourth place only ahead of the Reds to end the 2017 season. After a promising start and a comfortable division lead heading into the break, a slump will overtake their season and their young core won’t be able to recover without strong veteran leadership in the clubhouse. They’ve exceeded expectations to this point, but watch for them to come back down to earth in the near future.
The Nationals will choke away the NL East. By @jacksongilbride
This is easily one of the most outrageous posts in this piece but, to this point (7/19), Washington is 57-36 and no other team is even above .500 in their division. But the Miami Marlins are using the long ball to their advantage this year and have a drive like no other since Jose Fernandez passed last September, with Stanton on fire at the moment (nine HRs in last 10 games) look for Miami start piling on some wins and get within reach of Washington. Don’t count out Atlanta, either. The Braves are a young and talented squad potentially looking to make a run if they can acquire some pitching before the trade deadline, as reported. If the Nationals do nothing other than adding Madson and Doolittle to their bullpen from the Athletics, it’ll be Doolittle, Doo-late. Relying on starting pitching only gets you so far in the National League and they are lacking all effort in the bullpen.
The AL MVP plays for the Houston Astros… but is not named Jose Altuve or Carlos Correa. By @prosportsfandom
At the moment, Aaron Judge looks like the sure-fire pick for winning AL MVP. I predict Aaron Judges will simmer down in the second half and one player will grow his game exponentially. That player is George Springer of the Houston Astros. Springer is hitting .304 on the season with 27 homers and has played a pivotal role in the Astros’ dynamic offense. Then again, for this to happen, Aaron Judge will have to slow down rapidly along with the Yankees. What I predict to happen is Judge to slow down his efforts and George Springer to light-up the world in the second half, finishing the year with 45 HRs while hitting over .320 and finishes the year leading the league in WAR.
The Diamondbacks will win the NL West. By @rjsmith_99
The Arizona Diamondbacks are 54-39 but find themselves 10.5 games back in the NL West behind the scorching hot Dodgers. With the acquisition of slugger, JD Martinez, the D-Backs look to continue their strong play into the second half of the season. Led by MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and co. I feel the D-Backs are in a position to go on an impressive run. But keep in mind, getting to the Dodgers will be tough and in order to do this, the Dodgers will need to slow down and I feel that is a possibility. You should expect regression from players like Alex Wood who is currently 11-0 on the year with a 1.56 ERA and even Bellinger who is on pace for over 45 HRs. In order for the D-Backs to catch up to the Dodgers a lot will need to happen, but nothing that is impossible.
Thank you for reading our some-what outrageous takes for the remainder of the MLB season. Each writer’s Twitter handle can be found next to the title of their take. Make sure to follow @prosportsfandom on Twitter for more