MLB and NFL Seasons Begin

Written by Carter Cox (Sports Editor)

The San Francisco Giants had come back from early in the game and brought it to a tie at five to five, after trailing earlier in the game five to zero. The SF Giants were playing the Seattle Mariners and it was the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs. Up to the plate, Darun Ruff came to pinch-hit for the Giants hoping to prove his worth. The pitcher threw two strikes; he wasn’t going to allow him an easy at-bat. Ruff accepted the challenge and on the next pitch blasted a home run to help the Giants win the game. In the end, the Giants beat the Mariners six to five, another classic baseball game. Here is a look at the upcoming return of the MLB and NFL seasons during the national COVID pandemic. 

This regular season is unlike any other. There were no fans in the stadiums, The season was shortened to sixty games. It is a whole new ballgame but still just as exciting. In the beginning when the regular season started the MLB players knew it would be one season to remember. In the regular season, there were a lot of teams and players that did unexpectedly well or didn’t do well. The regular season originally is one hundred and sixty-two games. This season has sixty games with expanded playoffs. Many teams struggled because there weren’t as many games as there usually was. For example, the Washington Nationals didn’t end up having a great record because of the shortened season. The Nationals have never been known to have a good start. The team usually falls behind at the beginning of the season and during the second half of the season. They have a spectacular finish and always find a way to make it into the playoffs. The last season baseball was played the Nationals made it into the playoffs and won the World Series. In the first half of the season, they didn’t do too well. In the second half of the season, they played spectacularly. If the Nationals played in this format of the regular season they wouldn’t have made it to the playoffs. Or won the world series. Since the season has been shortened there is an expanded MLB playoff. In a regular MLB season, only five teams could make the playoffs in each division. But in this season eight MLB teams can make the playoffs which give more teams a chance who don’t have the best regular-season records to make it. 

In the regular season, some teams did fairly well, those who didn’t, and there were lots of surprises. One of the teams that stunned people was the Chicago White Sox. Last season they were one of the worst teams, but now they are one of the best teams. Some other teams that did fairly well in the American League were the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, the Minnesota Twins, and the Oakland Athletics. One of the surprises in the American League was that the Astros didn’t do as expected. The team was arguably the best in the American League last year.  The team has a record that is about a .500 win percentage which was a lot lower than last season.  One of the teams that surprised a lot of people and did a lot better than thought was the San Diego Padres. The team didn’t make the playoffs last year and didn’t do that well in the regular season.  This season the San Diego Padres are one of the best teams in the league. The teams that are doing fairly well in the National League are the Atlanta Braves, the Miami Marlins, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs, the St Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the San Diego Padres. Two teams that were expected to do well but didn’t do that well was the Colorado Rockies and the Milwaukee  Brewers. Last season they were one of the best teams in the league.   this season they might not make the playoffs which surprises a lot of people. This surprises them because they were both projected to do well. Sometimes you have to have the hard seasons to be able to bounce back. 

As of Sunday in the American League the baseball teams that are in the playoffs from first to eight. The Tampa Bay Rays, the Chicago White Sox, the Oakland Athletics, the Minnesota Twins, the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros, the Cleveland Indians, and the Toronto Blue Jays. Other than those teams, it is not too close for the race to the MLB playoffs. The closest team to the Blue Jays is the Seattle Mariners that are four games behind them. The second closest team is the Los Angeles Angels and the Baltimore Orioles, they are four in a half games behind the Blue Jays. These teams have a shot at making but it will be hard, anything can happen. In the National League the baseball teams that are in the playoffs from first to eighth: the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, the Atlanta Braves, the San Diego Padres, the Miami Marlins, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Cincinnati Reds. The National League playoff race is close. The Cincinnati Reds, the San Francisco Giants, and the Brewers have a record that is a winning percentage of fifty percent. It is close and it is going to come down to it. It is going to be a wild end to the season and a challenge. The team that can accept change and differences while being able to find a way to work together. Will be the team that makes it and reaches the top. Many are excited about the finish. 

One player that had an outstanding season was DJ LeMahieu, LeMahieu has had a great season and averaged a batting average as of Sunday .361. Which is good, He is great at defense too. This player surprised a lot of people. Another player that put in the work was Luke Voit. This player had the most home runs in the regular season and they had twenty-one home runs. They were great at batting and paired with Lemahieu, they were quite the pair. One other player that did well was Jose Abreu. He batted fifty-three runners in. Abreu was key in big moments and was a great overall player. This was one of the reasons the White Sox did well. A pitcher that did outstanding was Shane Bieber; Bieber had a 1.74 era and had nine regular-season wins. The relief pitchers that have the most saves are Brad Hand and Liam Hendricks. Both players delivered for their teams.   Since it was a shortened season a lot of player’s stats might seem low or high. Regardless of that the players still come out to play. 

It was overtime in week two in a game that came down to it. It was the last two minutes of the game and the Kansas City Chiefs were tied with the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs kicker was going to attempt to kick the field goal from fifty-eight yards. If the kicker makes it, it would be one of the longest field goals of all time. The kicker calls hike, and the San Diego Chargers players are not going to make it easy for them. They dash over the line and attempt to block the field goal. The defenders will not make it easy for them. As the players close in the kicker squares to attempt the field goal. The kicker then kicks the field goal and it makes it through. The defenders were so close to blocking it, the Kansas City Chiefs won 23-20. In this article, I will talk about what is happening with the regular season format and NFL playoff format, how most teams are doing up to week two, and how players are doing. 

This NFL regular season is the same format as last season. With sixteen games played and one bye week. The NFL playoff format is kind of like this for each conference the team that gets first automatically goes to the divisional round, while the other six teams battle it out in the wild card for a spot in the divisional round. The lowest seed plays the first seed. Then the team with the next lowest seed plays the team with the next highest seed. Then in the divisional round whoever wins the round goes onto the conference and whoever that one goes to the Super Bowl.  The winner takes the title. Last season it was kind of similar except that in the wild card two teams played instead of three. Then instead of the top two seeds making it in the divisional round, the second-place team has to play in the wild-card. This could create problems for a lot of teams. 

Some teams that are starting well so far are the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Baltimore Ravens, the Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints. These teams have a record of two wins and no losses.

These other teams are doing fairly well, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the San Francisco 49ers, the Washington football team, the Dallas Cowboys, the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, the Los Angeles Chargers, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Indianapolis Colts. Those teams have a record that is one win and one loss.

The teams that aren’t starting well but they could do pretty good are the New York Jets, the Miami Dolphins, the Denver Broncos, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Houston Texans, New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, the Detroit Lions, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Carolina Panthers. These teams have records of two losses.

This season it’s going to be tight since there are so many good teams out there. In the National League, it is going to be a tough season but rewarding season.

In the NFC East, it is projected that it is going to be close. There is a lot of talent in that division. So far the top two teams in that division are the Washington Football team and the Cowboys.

In the NFC West, it is going to end off in a dramatic finish,  this is arguably the best division. The NFC West is going to be hard since most of the teams are starting undefeated. 

The NFC North is going to be challenging since a lot of the teams in that conference have known for being good, like the Packers and the Chicago Bears.

In the NFC South, it is projected to be close too. The New Orleans Saints and the Buccaneers are going to be the teams to beat.

In the AFC East and West, both are going to be interesting. Since in both of their divisions, there are a lot of young teams that are developing. In the AFC North and South, there are a lot of teams that are starting to progress and get better. It will be interesting to see how they finish off the season. 

Many players in the NFL are doing well. One player that is having a great season is Russell Wilson for the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson is so consistent with always exceeding everyone’s expectations. The Seahawks have been unstoppable because of Wilson. Aaron Jones and Davante Adams are having an amazing season with the Packers. In the past two games, both players have contributed to the team. Helping them get the win. Kansas City TE Travis Kelce is having a great season so far too. Kelce makes big plays to help better position the team for success. Deandre Hopkins for the Arizona Cardinals is fantastic with amazing catches and plays to boost the team. Carolina’s Christian McCaffrey is delivering with making big runs and some catching plays to help the team. So far this NFL season has been just as impressive as the others don’t forget to watch some NFL games.

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