Well the all-star game was last night and while I am not a big all-star game guy what a great moment for Mariano Rivera. Very well deserved. I am going to break down the teams in contention still for a division title or one of the wild card spots. I also going to tell you what area's these teams are looking to improve before the trade deadline.
The good news is at the break the Braves have a 6 game lead in the loss column over the 2nd place Nationals & 7 over the 3rd place Phillies. Bad news is I would be very concerned with the Braves lineup and all these injuries in the outfield. I think the Braves pitching is fine but I think getting a veteran OF who is a solid bat would be a very prudent move. If David DeJesus gets healthy I think he would be a good fit and shouldn't cost much.
What has killed the Nationals all year is injuries, inconsistent play and production from their 4th & 5th starters. Dan Haren has been bad & Detwiller has been dealing with a back issue. The Nats had huge expectations this season and because of that don't be surprised if they make a big move such as landing Matt Garza. Maybe a trade of Detwiller & a prospect gets Garza.
The Phils are kind of in no man's land. Not in a good position to buy or sell. At this point I think the Phils have to hope they can get enough production out of the bats they have & their pitching gets hot. I think they stand pat.
The Cardinals are just 1 game ahead of the Pirates & the Reds are lurking being just 5 games back. If the season were to end today the Cardinals, Pirates & Reds would all make the playoffs. The Cardinals have concerns at shortstop & come the big games can they rely on Mujica? But honestly I think they stand pat in those regards unless something falls in their lap. To me the Cardinals need another starting pitcher. The Cards have been struggling with their 5th starter all year & Lance Lynn is wearing down again as he did last year. To me the Cardinals who have a deep farm system should go get Matt Garza. They land Garza to go with their top starters not only does that make them a huge favorite to win the division but also a great bet to go to the World Series.
The Pirates are deep in pitching but they need another bat. Just a solid bat be it a shortstop or an outfielder. Pirates have a chance to make this season a very special one. Been a long time for Pirates fans and their organization and they need to be aggressive.
To me the Reds can stand pat as long as they are going to get Cueto, Broxton & Marshall back sooner rather than later. If not then the Reds might want to look to land another bullpen arm. Tony Cingrani who has been pitching great is giving them plenty of coverage in the rotation.
In 1st place but barely over .500. Have a 2 1/2 game lead over LA, 4 1/2 over Colorado & 6 1/2 over the Giants. I think the Padres are cooked they are not a good team. Provided the D-Backs can figure out their bullpen they have another depth in their lineup they need a strong starting pitcher such as guess who Matt Garza. Cahill & McCarthy are currently injured and have been ineffective this year. Ian Kennedy has been a huge disappointment & Wade Miley has been okay but not like the all-star he was last year. Landing Garza to me is the difference of the D-Backs winning the division or coming up short.
They are finally over .500 and should get Matt Kemp back this weekend. They recently landed Nolasco from the Marlins to get them quality at the back end of the rotation. The Dodger organization is a team desperate to win their division and obviously money is no object. So I can them being aggressive if it's another bat at Third Base or a relief pitcher or even another starting pitcher.
Rockies to me are a team under .500 and building. The next 2 weeks we decide if they are a seller. Even if they are in contention for the division the buys they might make would be small. They are looking for starting pitching.
The World Champs should feel lucky that they are in the NL West. The Giants really are not in a position to sell and given the division they are in they should try and make a run in the 2nd half. They need an outfield bat badly.
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NL King - C.Lizza