We are one week away from the MLB All-Star break and inching ever closer to the July 31st league-wide non-waiver trade deadline. We have watched more than one half of the season and we are starting to get a good idea of the playoff picture, trade fits, standings, and award candidates. That’s why I felt that it was the perfect time to release a massive guide to the second half of the baseball season. My guide is here, complete with predictions and analysis on the trade deadline, final standings, playoffs, and season awards.
Table of Contents:
Trade Deadline Predictions- PG. 2
Standings Predictions- PG. 3
AL Playoff Predictions- PG. 4
NL Playoff Predictions- PG. 5
World Series Predictions- PG. 6
Season Awards Predictions- PG. 7
Concluding Thoughts- PG. 8
As Willson Contreras said after the Orioles series, “We’re Back” I guess it is safe to say that the champs are back to its winning ways and it is also safe to say that Maddon has the offense and pitching back on track. With the help from their star players including Bryant, Rizzo, Contreras, Zobrist and the revamped pitching staff the Chicago Cubs were able to take two out of three games at home in front 40,000 plus fans all weekend. Jose Quintana allowed three runs and struck out seven in six innings in his Cubs home debut Sunday against the Cardinals. Since the all star break the Cubs are 8-1 with a whopping 20 home run just though 9 games. With that addtion of pitcher Jose Quintana it seems that it has most definitely sparked a surge in the Cubs clubhouse. The two players that standout most to me is Contreras and Bryant. Contreras has been seeing the ball like to a beachball, he’s been hammering homers left and right. As for his catching abilities I put him up there as a young Molina, no doubt in my mind he will always be an All-Star. As for Kris Bryant, he’s back to his MVP ways, whether it’s him getting clutch hits, cranking homers or just heads up base running he seems it be in the right state of mind when it comes to it. Now the next 4 days for the Cubs will be the crosstown classic. Two at home (Monday and Tuesday) and two away (Wednesday and Thursday). I believe that Quintana will pitch Thursday, wouldn’t that be something to watch him face his old and hopefully muster a win for the Cubs. As for trade rumors the Cubs are eyeing, Yu Darvish, Jonathan Lucroy, Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander and Alex Avila. The smart move would to acquire Darvish and Lucroy for the simple fact that they both are from the same team, they know signs and they know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It will be interesting to see how the next couple of weeks play out when it comes down to the trade deadline.
Early Friday morning, MLB writer Peter Gammons joined The Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score in Chicago. It seemed like the typical discussion about baseball on a sports radio network and in all honesty, it was… Until Gammons dropped a bombshell for Major League Baseball and the Chicago Cubs.
Projected to hit free agency after the 2018 season, Bryce Harper has been linked to the Cubs. According to Gammons, Harper would consider joining the Cubs and their core group with Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in 2019. We’re still ways away from Harper potentially hitting free agency, but speculation about where Harper will play in 2019 has been a topic of discussion since his previous two-year contract extension with the Nationals.
There are a few things to consider:
- Harper’s agent is Scott Boras. Boras is well known around the league for his tough negotiations and getting his clients every penny they deserve… and more.
- Harper is only 24 years old. While chasing a championship will be on his mind, he’s got plenty of years to do so.
- The New York Yankees have been previously rumored to be a possible destination for Harper.
- It has been speculated that Harper could receive the richest contract in MLB history, possibly reaching the plus side of $400 million.
- Kris Bryant and Harper both grew up in Las Vegas. Not really too important, but Harper and Bryant are reportedly close.
Obviously, more information will be posted as it becomes available and these are early reports that Harper may be interested in playing for Chicago, but any news about a superstar like Bryce Harper is worth noting. Stay tuned!