As we move forward towards the end of May, the MLB teams are starting to show their true colors.
These three clubs in particular seem ready to compete for the playoffs.
3. Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins finished last in the AL Central Division last year, losing their best player (Byron Buxton) and pitcher (Kenta Maeda) due to injuries and traded fans’ favorite slugger (Nelson Cruz) in a rebuilding year.
As it turns out, it was a retooling season with an eye on the controversy this year.
Their faith and their plan paid off.
They have expanded to Buxton, who is currently making healthy and great numbers (11 homers, .535 slugging percent plus excellent center field defense), bringing in Carlos Correa and strengthening their rotation with Dylan Bundy, Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan, one of the pitchers. They received cruise trade last year.
They also believed in their farm system, promoting Joan Duran, Josh Winder and other contributors.
Oh, and the shortstop Royce Lewis is ready at Triple-A whenever they need to.
Minnesota has done a great job this season, from top to bottom: player development staff, front office, ownership, managers and of course the players.
They look like 27-17 and legitimate competitors.
All of these parties will # Next season If the season ends today.
Will they be there at the end of the year? pic.twitter.com/A2Gn0Z5M5C
– MLB (@MLB) May 18, 2022
2. Los Angeles Angeles
The Angels are a group that has changed their vibe and their list to take the next step towards conflict.
Last year, they missed the playoffs again, but in 2022, they are actually hanging out with the Houston Astros.
The Astros lead AL West, but at 27-18, the Angels are just two games behind.
Mike Trout, who missed most of last season with a serious calf strain, looks like baseball’s best hitter with the .319 / .425 / .674 line and 12 home runs so far.
But the team is enjoying a breakout season from Taylor Ward (2.7 Wins Above Replacement, or War) and of course bipartisan star Shohei Ohtani.
Ohtani is heading a talented rotation that also prides itself on Patrick Sandoval, Noah Cindergard, Michael Lorenzen and Rocky Reid Detmars, who threw a no-hitter last week.
The Angels are in a good position to do the post season for the first time since 2014.
– Austin Wolford 🐺 (wolford_16) May 11, 2022
1. San Diego Padres
When it was revealed that shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. had broken his wrist and would miss several months, many thought the San Diego Padres had been destroyed.
Going through the season without your best player for a few weeks is not easy.
But the Padres got the MVP-caliber game from Manny Machado, and it has saved their season so far.
The Friars are second in the NL West Division with a 28-16 record, just 1.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Machado dropped to .361 / .437 / .590 with eight home runs and seven steals, and Tatis is making sure the Dodgers are within striking distance when they return.
That should be sometime in June.
San Diego has also received significant contributions from Eric Hosmer, but the pitching has been excellent overall.
Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Mike Clevinger, MacKenzie Gore, Sean Manaea, Taylor Rogers, Nabil Crismatt, and a few others have done better than expected.
They have good shots to make the playoffs, and Tatis’ upcoming comeback will help.