By Stefan Anderson
Lemon, Gwynn, Seaver, Carter and the legendary Ted Williams, they all have one thing in common, California bred baseball players. California has always been known to produce standout players as well as great baseball teams. This season is a true testament to that statement, with the California’s teams being the most dominant of all the 50 states with franchises.
Aside from the Padres, all the teams in the golden state have produced great baseball this season and all can have a chance at winning the pennant in their own right.
With honorable mention to the big city in California, Los Angeles has been creating a roar of their own. The Angels have found their bats again after struggling last season. They currently sit at 35-28 and are top 10 in RBI and HR while averaging .257 as a team. Also in LA, you have the Dodgers, who are playing mediocre record wise and are a major run away from competing for the NL West or Wild Card position. They are swinging the bat good as well as their National League competitors but have received a great boost from their bullpen and starting pitching staff. Their NL leading 571 strikeouts, led by Haren, Beckett, Ryu, Kershaw and Grienke, the Dodgers have arguably the best starting rotation in the bigs and matchup nightmare for opposing rosters if they can withhold.
Then there are the Bay Area teams: The A’s and Giants.
By far the hottest teams in the MLB, other than the Blue Jays who are streaking and sitting a .5 game behind the AL leading A’s, the Bay has produced the best baseball this season.
After being bounced out by the Tigers in the past two seasons in the playoffs, the A’s are back to playing their style of baseball, “Moneyball”. Maximizing the effort of their players, and are in route to conquering their 3rd consecutive AL West title. Led by savvy vets like Coco Crisp, Scott Kazmir, Brandon Moss and Jed Lowrie and a budding superstar in Josh Donaldson, the Athletics are playing great ball. With a MLB leading 310 RBI’s and ERA sitting at 2.91 have created some staggering numbers. In most cases run differential does not mean anything to playoff races or wins. But not in the A’s cases their impressive +125 run differential has proven the ideologists wrong as their continue to pile up their wins and continue on run for a pennant.
The Giants have been one of the more consistent teams of the past few seasons bringing in their fair share championship and fashionable style of baseball. But after a struggling season in the one that just past they have bounced back in a rare form. Although the Giants struggle to put players on the base, they certainly execute when they have the opportunity to do so, driving in 271 batters home this season they have made the most of their inconsistent bats. Despite not manufacturing a great amount of runs, they have protected their wins a lot by their great pitching staff and bullpen. With a 3.16 ERA and allowing opposing teams to only bat at .236, tied for 4th best in the majors, have lead them to the league leading 65 wins.
It is still early to predict what can happen in October, but I am willing to make a bold prediction and state that one of the California teams will fighting for the pennant at seasons end.