Here we go!
Baseball’s second half is fully underway. That means the trade deadline is on the horizon, records are on the path to being broken and pennant races will go up a notch.
With the All-Star Game in the books, it’s time to take a guess at how the season will play out.
Here are seven bold predictions for baseball’s second half.
Clint Frazier for Bauer has always made too much sense not to happen. The Yankees add a top-of-the-rotation arm to counteract a huge move by the Astros. It’ll pay off in October.
2. Mets trade away Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Todd Frazier and Wilson Ramos.
After an offseason that was filled with big moves, big talk and big bravado, the Mets reset quickly before July 31. Wheeler heads to the Phillies. Frazier to Oakland. But the blockbuster happens when Syndergaard and Ramos head to Houston in a package that includes outfield prospect Kyle Tucker.
3. Phillies find a way to October baseball.
Team president Andy MacPhail wasn’t kidding when he said his team wasn’t one piece away from winning a title. That also didn’t mean the Phillies wouldn’t be opportunistic about filling holes before July 31. Add Wheeler to the rotation and Adam Jones’ bat to the bench and we’re looking at a different Phillies team down the stretch.
4. Giants trade Madison Bumgarner to Twins, Braves land Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays. Neither advance past the LDS.
The Twins, led by one of the great home run hitting teams ever, add one of baseball’s great big-game pitchers ever.
The Braves, in need of one more veteran arm to take pressure off of youngsters that will hit an innings wall, land Stroman from Toronto.
It won’t ultimately mean much when the Braves are taken out by the NL Central winner and the Twins are downed by the Astros in the League Division Series in early October.
5. Max Scherzer moves himself into all-time special category.
By the end of the season, Scherzer won’t just be talked about as one of the great pitchers of this generation—he’ll be an all-timer in any time period. Scherzer is this generation’s Randy Johnson: Late bloomer that became the best in his league for an extended period. Don’t be surprised if he finishes with an ERA under 2.00 and leading the league in strikeouts.
6. Home runs will slow down.
Yes, the year of the home run will tail off—a bit. The all-time record (set in 2017) will still be broken after a crazy first half, but we won’t be talking as much as about home runs as the season goes along.
7. Dodgers over Yankees in the World Series.
New York outlasts Houston in the ALCS, in part due to Bauer’s head-to-head wins over Syndergaard. Los Angeles takes down the Cubs in the NLCS. It’s finally the Dodgers years.
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