MLB Rivalries and Updates  


Ryan Johnson, Staff Writer

As the MLB regular season continues the grueling 163-games journey, rivalries are heating up as  teams attempt to claw for the limited number of playoff spots. Teams like the  Dodgers, Yankees, and Padres have poured big money into stars such as Aaron Judge, Trevor  Bauer, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis, and more.  

Unsuspecting Underdogs and Underperformers: 

The Oakland A’s started out the season as a team with minimal expectations. However, after a 13  game win streak, they are in the early run for the playoffs. Although it is very early in the season, these  games still matter, and coming off of a 13-game win streak they are currently sitting at 17-12,  one game ahead of the Mariners, another underdog team showing that baseball is not just about  big names and hundred million dollar contracts.  

On the contrary, the Yankees just clawed their way up to .500 after a 7-3 record in their  last 10. With stars like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole, D.J. Lemahiou and Gleyber  Torres all on big contracts, expectations are certainly high. However, the Yankees are only 2.5  games behind for the division, meaning that if they stay hot like this, they should see themselves  at the top of the AL East sooner rather than later.  

Their NY neighbors, the Mets who recently signed former Indian, short stop Francisco Lindor for a  contract totaling $341 million, are sure to be dissatisfied with his performance thus far. The Mets started out hot and showed the league they had something to prove, but have stumbled after  going 3-7 in their last ten games.  

Who is the Best in the West?  

Colossal signings by both the Padres and the Dodgers in recent years have propelled an intense west coast rivalry. The Padres are led by Fernando Tatis, Manny Machado, and Benny Snell, and  the Dodgers, the World Series favorite looking to repeat are led by Cody Bellinger, Corey  Seager, Trevor Bauer, and Mookie Betts. However, these tight West Coast games usually come  down to the players on smaller contracts.  

But, it isn’t the Padres on Dodgers in first in their division right now, but the Giants. Led  by veterans Buster Posey and Evan Longoria, this team has struck hot. So why are all of these teams winning games? It comes down to doing the smaller things right. The Giant  pitchers have a cumulative 3.08 ERA, meaning that every game they allow three earned runs,  meanwhile the Dodgers boast a 3 ERA and the Padres show off a 2.80. This proves winning  games is not all about hitting homers and throwing 100MPH, but having smart at-bats, running  the bases well, and getting timely hits. All of these are traits the Yankees have not been able to do in  recent years.    

As baseball continues to heat up, teams are starting to figure out how to win games, not necessarily by big margins, but consistently. Although massive contracts and star players bring hope to some franchises, one player  is usually not the answer, especially in baseball when a team needs to win the pitching, hitting  and defensive aspects of the game.