MLB headlines: Yankees are hot, wild NL West, and more

Yankees' Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton make baseball's most powerful duo - Pinstripe Alley
THE BRONX BOMBERS: Yankees outfields Aaron Judge (left) and Giancarlo Stanton (right) celebrating on the road in Boston. Winslow Townson / USA Today Sports

Jack Hagen | Sports Editor

May 27, 2022

As the Major League Baseball season begins to heat up, here are some of the major headlines about a month away from the All-Star break:

Yankees rule the AL East

Arguably the best division in baseball, it already seems as if this race is going to come down to the wire. The New York Yankees lead the division with a league-best 31-13 record. “The Bronx Bombers,” Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, seem to finally be playing to the expectations the organization had for them when bringing the two in, with Judge boasting 17 home runs—the league high. Not far behind, the Tampa Bay Rays have a legitimate chance to give the Yankees a run for their money. This scrappy small market team is very different from the Yankees and shows that baseball is truly anyone’s game.

To say that the Toronto Blue Jays are underperforming is an understatement, to say the least. Coming in with very high expectations as such a young team, the Blue Jays are struggling, while still capable of improving their position. At the end of the day, any of these teams really could win the division. There is still a whole lot of baseball left to play this year and plenty of time for the Rays or even Blue Jays to dethrone the Yankees.

Mets pitching staff struggles with more injuries

Yet again, the New York Mets pitching staff is beat up. First, star Jacob DeGrom didn’t even get to start the season after suffering an injury in Spring training, then newly acquired star Max Scherzer was forced out until, at least, the All-Star break with his own injury. This is all-too familiar for Mets fans. In past years, stars like pitcher Noah Syndergaard (now with the Angels) also found themselves hurt while playing for the Mets. Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery, a procedure sometimes done on baseball pitchers to repair a torn ligament in the elbow. It is still unclear when the two arms will be back, but the organization is hopeful they will return sometime soon after the All-Star break. 

“The Mets pitching staff could be so good,” senior Ryan Dunbar said. “We’ll see if they can get healthy because that will make a very big difference for them.”

The wild NL West

Another strong division, the NL West is locked in tight competition. The Los Angeles Dodgers are favorites as perhaps the most star-filled team in baseball, thanks to a massive salary cap. The San Diego Padres are right behind them with a 28-16 record, and the San Francisco Giants follow with a 24-19 record. The NL West is still wide open. Any one of these teams can make a run. It is still too early to call, but one thing is for certain, it is going to be fun to watch.

Can the Angels do it?

Noah Syndergaard excels in debut with Angels, who blank Astros - Los Angeles Times
POST TJ SUCCESS: Angels pitcher Noah Syndergaard is off to solid start after coming back from Tommy John surgery. Ashley Landis / AP

With the two best players in baseball on the team in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, it is amazing that the Los Angeles Angels have not seen really any success. This year is different, though; they have pitching. With major free agent signings of Noah Syndergaard and Michael Lorenzen, the Angels staff is in a great position to win. Just behind the Astros in the standings, look for this team to get hot soon and make a run at a division championship and possibly even a World Series ring.

“The Angels started off extremely hot and continue to dominate,” senior Kaden Giles said. “Although they slowed down a little bit now, I think they have a legitimate shot at making a run in the playoffs.”

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