Out of the Shadows

Photo Credit: Christian Petersen | Getty Images

by: Ryan Cameron @RyanCameron22

The 2018 MLB season has been one of great confusion thus far. 

Teams we had high hopes for at the beginning of the season like the Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, and pretty much the entire National League West, have all struggled to a certain degree.

You also have teams who have shocked the baseball world throughout the first half. I want to talk about those teams and why they've had so much success this year.

Seattle Mariners
The Mariners are 57-34 and only three games back of the defending champion Houston Astros.

After they lost Robinson Cano most people counted them out. However, they are pretty safely in a Wild Card spot which is where I had them in the beginning of the year.

How has Seattle gotten here? Your guess is as good as mine!

They are a middle of the league team in almost every statistical category. Seattle has a 30-23 record against teams with a winning record and a 27-11 record against teams with a losing record. They are winning the games they are suppose to win and staying afloat against the league's better teams. They can also win at home and on the road which will be key in the playoffs.

I believe this team has great chemistry and enough talent to contend for this division and a run in the playoffs.

Oakland A's
Oakland is by far the least talked about success in the majors this year.

They are 51-40 but with the New York Yankees and Mariners playing so well, it will be tough for them to make it to the playoffs. This doesn't mean they don't deserve credit for what they've done so far.

A big reason for their success is the lineup.

The A's are fourth in the majors in Home Runs, 10th in RBIs, and 11th in OPS. They have a good enough pitching staff to keep them winning. However, if they want to make a run at the playoffs, they are going to need to improve that pitching staff at the deadline.

They have a good farm system and will need to decide if they want to wait another year or compete now by trading some prospects.

Atlanta Braves
No one, including myself, saw the Braves in first place in mid July. Never the less that's where we are at.

The Braves are 50-40 but are starting to slow down a little. I don't see much reason for Braves Country to panic however.

They are stacked with a mix of young and veteran talent. 

While they don't have a lot of power, they rank in the top ten in Runs, Hits, Doubles, Average, and RBIs. The pitching staff has also been above average this year. Atlanta does allow the fourth most walks in the majors, but they don't allow many hits.

If the Braves could get some bullpen help and a power bat at third, look out National League.

Philadelphia Phillies
The city of brotherly love continues to not let us down this year.

The Phillies are off to very unexpected 51-39 start and tied with Atlanta for first in the NL East. The Phillies offense has been awful this year ranking 26th in batting average.

The pitching staff is definitely the reason for the teams success. 

Ranking top ten in ERA, Walks Allowed, and Strikeouts. While it's been impressive, Philadelphia will need to get some offensive help at the deadline to keep competing.

The pitching staff can't continue to carry this team for an entire season.

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