Four best MLB rivalries to watch this season

The competition is hot in baseball this season! New teams are rising up to the task of taking over their division. It’s not an easy task to dethrone the former divisional winners and find a seat to the post-season. Thankfully the fans have 19 games to watch their favorite teams battle it out in their respective division. There are a few franchises who have given us such intense match-ups that baseball fans shouldn’t miss the action whenever their games are in session. Here are the top four rivals who you should be watching this season:

 

4. Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals have been unattested among their division for a number of years. This season the winds have finally shifted as the Phillies are on the rise, and the Atlanta Braves are driving in runs like it’s going out of the style. The Braves already have a great hitter with Freddie Freeman. Now tack on the young Ozzie Albies who has hit not one, but two grand slams in his rookie season. Any matchup between the Braves’ hitters going against Max Scherzer on the mound is definitely worth watching.

 

3. Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros

It’s never easy being in the same division as the reigning world champions Houston Astros. The Mariners have impressed everyone in baseball by making it look like a piece of cake. A healthy James Paxton has helped tremendously for Seattle by having a Cy Young caliber season. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander continues to prove his worth to the Astros by having the lowest earned run average in the MLB. Between Jean Segura and Jose Altuve, there is a lot of fun games to watch with these teams. Although Seattle currently holds the top place in the AL West, the Houston Astros will fight to take their crown back.

 

2. Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs

For the past few years, the Brewers and Cubs have been climbing for the top of the NL Central. The Cubs usually get the spoils by the end of the season, but this year things are different. Chicago has dominated the Brewers so far the first half of the season. The Brewers continue to bounce back and still hang on to the top of the division. The Cubbies may have the best roster in the central division, but Milwaukee has the best depth. The Brewers have the best record the NL being the first team to 40 wins. Chicago is not far behind them, and will constantly be reaching to pull the Brew Crew down to second place. If things are this intense between the ball clubs now, imagine how insane the games will be in September down the stretch.

 

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

Is this really a surprise for anyone? It might be one of the greatest rivalries in sports history. This season both franchises are proving why that statement is true. Both teams are above 40 wins, are incredible to watch, and have stacked rosters. Didi Gregorius is achieving what we thought was impossible by living up to Derek Jeter’s standards. Boston acquired one of the best players in the free agency market with JD Martinez. Going from Aaron Judge to Mookie Betts the dingers keep on coming between these two teams. It’s extremely difficult to predict which club will win the AL East this year, but it should be a safe bet that both will make the post-season. It should be a wild ride all the way to October, and baseball fans should watch out for the overwhelming talent coming out of Boston and New York.

Max Scherzer’s immaculate inning solidifies incredible career

Tuesday night Max Scherzer threw nine perfect pitches to strike out the sides against the Tampa Bay Rays giving him his second immaculate inning of his career. Scherzer is the fifth pitcher in MLB history to have the talent to pull it off twice. What’s more impressive about the National’s ace pitcher is the first time he pitched immaculately was just last season. Scherzer continues to prove why he’s a back-to-back Cy Young winner in the NL, and already on pace to win his third in a row this year.

Max Scherzer’s value with the Washington Nationals is significant. It has been the elephant in the clubhouse that Bryce Harper wants to be traded after the 2018 season. The best way to keep Harper on the Nats is by paying him the contract he would feel is worth staying for. That would cause an issue down the road when it’s time to pay Scherzer’s contract extension. At this point, Scherzer is pitching better than anybody in the NL — possibly in all of MLB. That includes monumental names like Kershaw and Kluber. Depending on where Harper goes might also change the outlook of the Nationals’ future.

The Nationals have dominated the NL East for a few years now. There hasn’t been much competition among the division until recently. The Nats would easily glide into the post-season only to be knocked out immediately every year. Towards the end of last season Bryce Harper expressed the outlook of his career of possibly heading towards the Chicago Cubs. The frustration with the club is understandable, but with Max Scherzer pitching as great as he is, there has to be a little faith left in there.

Losing Harper would leave an open gap in their slugging department for a while. Already with 18 homeruns this year, it’s hard to replace such a dominant hitter. Washington still has talent in its lineup to still give pitchers like Scherzer run support. Players such as Trea Turner, Anthony Rendon, and young Juan Soto. With the Atlanta Braves currently leading the NL East, and a talented Phillies team on the rise, would it possibly be better to try and trade Harper before the deadline? It’s a high-risk move that almost asks to throw away the rest of the season and put it in a wash. The Washington Nationals doesn’t seem like a team that will want to lie on its back and accepts defeat.

This year will be the most competitive season the Nationals have faced in a long time. Despite the slumps and struggles they may go through, the team can always rally behind Max Scherzer — the best pitcher in baseball.