By Eriq Rivera
We have about a month left of regular season baseball, playoff stretch is here. We now teams that are done and teams that still have a pretty good shot. Here’s our list of teams that surprised us with their performance this year.
10. Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox were supposed to be like that magical World Series 2013 team that entered the playoffs after an awful 2012 season. Unfortunately, that’s clearly not the case this year. After letting go of Jon Lester during the offseason, the 2015 Red Sox had to battle through injuries and through disappointing seasons from a revamped lineup that includes Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. With the season ending for ace Clay Bucholz and a new GM in Dave Dombrowski, the Red Sox have already set their sights on 2016.
9. New York Yankees
Despite A-Rod being out for the entire year last year, he has surprised MLB by continuing to hit well, Mark Teixereira hasn’t done to bad either but with a new short stop, a struggling C.C. Sabathia and a recovering Masahiro Tanaka, the 2015 Yankees have been on top of the division for the most part of the season and are battling for it still with the Blue Jays.
8. Chicago Cubs
People did expect a lot from the Cubs after hiring manager Joe Maddon and signing Jon Lester but then again, they’re the Cubs. Maddon has done a fantastic job with star rookies, good enough to have them battle the Pirates, Giants and Nationals for the Wild Card spots throughout all September.
7. Washington Nationals
Although the Nationals have done ok this year, you’d expect them to be dominating the division instead of being behind the Mets. You give all this money to Max Sherzer to join star pitchers Gio Gonzalez, Strasburg, Zimmerman and you have star hitters like Werth, Harper, Desmond and you’re still 2nd place…to the Mets.
6. Toronto Blue Jays
You have a division with the Orioles, the Yankees and the Red Sox, you knew they had potential but when would it all be put together? The answer is 2015. With the help of newcomers David Price, Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin, the Blue Jays are rolling and leading the division that was won by the Orioles last year.
5. Baltimore Orioles
After winning the division last year and going to the ALCS, the Orioles were expected to continue division dominance but the attention has been all over the Blue Jays and the Yankees. They’re 10 games behind the division and are barely fighting for a Wild Card spot.
4. Detroit Tigers
You have one of the best hitters in the game, and you have of the best pitchers in the game but the Tigers are in LAST place in the Central. Sure, Cabrera has been out for most of the year but Detroit had the same talent they had a year ago. They’re struggles has talked them into selling David Price and it also has them searching for a new GM.
3. San Diego Padres
The Padres were expected to have outstanding success due to their offseason that had them acquiring stars like Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Derrek Norris, James Shields, Craig Kimbrel. Though they’re currently in 4th place in the West and 5 games behind .500.
2. New York Mets
The Mets have come with surprising young pitchers and a comeback season from Matt Harvey. They’ve also acquired stars like Cuddyer and Cespedes as New York has made the Nationals and their fans bite their nails.
1. Houston Astros
Not bad for the worse team a year ago. The Astros have pretty much dominated the AL West, a division that includes the Angels, the Rangers and the Mariners. But the question remains, are the Astros for real?