MLB continues chaotic season

Christopher Gibson, Courier Staff

This summer was a rough one: COVID-19 was running rampant and cancelling sporting events left and right, including baseball. But, now that America’s pastime is back, you can’t help but wonder if the game will revert back to the way it was pre-COVID.

Obviously, baseball lovers and purists aren’t the biggest fans of the changes that the MLB has put into place for this season, like the man on second in extra innings, but these types of changes and rules will help baseball in the long run. The game was already dying and losing fans left and right; these rules help to draw in 50/50 fans, the ones that wouldn’t usually watch a game that didn’t have their team in it. Seeing that two teams are tied going into the 10th inning knowing that each team will have a runner on second to start the inning, helps to take that 50/50 fan and get them to tune into the sport. Honestly, I’m not sure that the MLB should change this back. It draws in more fans and makes for some pretty dramatic endings.

I also believe that knowing that each and every game matters in a 60 game season is another main attraction. While I wouldn’t want to only have 60 game seasons from here on out, I do think that it helps this season more than it hurts. It makes each and every division, cross-town and rivalry series, more special. Fans know that when the Cubs and Cardinals battle each other this season that each and every game could shake up the division standings and then move back to how it was after the next game. This again helps to draw fans back into the game and help to make sure that baseball doesn’t completely die.

All of these things help to make this season an offensive season. Teams that can hit will go further than teams that tend to rely on their pitching and defense. Take a look at the Cubs. Their bullpen is not helping them whatsoever, but they’ve been able to win a lot of games so far this season because of the offense that their guys can put up. Look for them to make it out of the division and deep into the playoffs. The same thing can be said for the Twins. However, there is really only one team that is hitting on all cylinders and that is the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Dodgers are sitting with the best record overall in baseball at 22-8. When you take a look at their run differential you can tell why: they have a +79. This means that they have 79 more runs scored than allowed. This isn’t too surprising when you look at their lineup. Mookie Betts is pacing the team with 11 homers on the season, and Cody Bellinger is too far behind with eight. These two are in the top 16 in the league and with those two carrying the offensive load, they should be in a good position to stay ahead of the rest of the league. I’d look for them to make it far in the playoffs, maybe even the World Series

Whoever ends up in the World Series, I’m just glad that sports are back. People took them for granted and even watching baseball games is something that excites the fans. I hope that the viewing numbers for MLB continue to rise. So, make sure that while you are getting settled back into the swing of classes, you make the time to watch some baseball. Every game matters, making the game even more exciting.