7/11 – With the All-Star break upon us, WagnerToCutch and DiNardo take a review of the National League and weed out the contenders and pretenders. Currently, there is really only one division that looks to have a real race in the N.L. West. The Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Rockies appear to all have a battle brewing within that division.
Currently the Dodgers have an unbelievable two headed monster in Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood. Both have a combined 1.99 ERA on the season, but the team has concerns with pitching depth. WagnerToCutch feels there is also room for an outfielder, maybe? The Diamondbacks are middle of the road offensively but have a superior rotation. We discuss their needs being outfield as AJ Pollock has not been his normal self this year and Daniel Descalso is, well, Daniel Descalso. With the Fernando Rodney lead bullpen, it is easy to see they will target bullpen arms as well. Lastly, the Rockies have surprised some people with not just their performance, but the type of performance they have displayed. Currently, the Rockies are 29th in wRC+ and it has been the pitching getting it done in the mile high city. The Greg Holland deal is looking more and more amazing each day and they will soon be getting back Jon Gray, Chad Bettis, and David Dahl for a second half push. We discuss if this team has what it takes to possibly make a big push down the stretch.
The N.L. Central is pretty pathetic with the Brewers leading the pack, but DiNardo and WagnerToCutch aren’t sure if they have staying power atop this weak division. The Cubs have averaged 100 wins the past two season and do have players underperforming. Theo Epstein has been on record stating that they won’t make a big splash, yet there have been plenty of talks between he and the Tigers. Will Kyle Schwarber get dealt? Do Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer, and J.D. Martinez stay in Detroit? It is clear that if the Cubs do make any deal it will be for starting pitching. The rotation currently ranks 9th in the NL in FIP (4.50).
The last division that is all but locked up is the N.L. East with the Washington Nationals clearly running away with the pennant. With that said, this team still have plenty of holes even while going ‘all in’ this offseason. The injury to Adam Eaton earlier this year was a minor obstacle, but now pile on the Trea Turner injury and the 29th ranked bullpen in baseball and you’ll have yourself a very active GM this July. As we mentioned last week, its more than likely that they actually target an outfielder rather than a short stop at this time along with loads of bullpen arms. A very real possibility is in Pittsburgh as Andrew McCutchen, Juan Nicasio, and/or Tony Watson could certainly fill some voids for a World Series ring.
At the very end, we have another Dugout Debate featuring a question by our Super Producer as to who we would select to pitch a do or die game. Could it be Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Jon Lester, or Dallas Keuchel? Listen and you will find out. Also, we hear from Garrett our Kid Correspondent after a few week hiatus.