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Sunday, July 30, 2006
End of July Baseball Report

Now it gets serious.

American League:

Best Team: Detroit. It's not even close; they're seven wins ahead of anybody in the majors. Yeah, I'm stunned that it's happened, but 104 games into the season it's silly to deny the obvious. This is a 100-win team and maybe a 110-win team. They're having the lightning-in a bottle season like 1984 and 1968, although with those teams it was more a case of hanging around among the good teams then suddenly putting it all together for a year.

Best Player: David Ortiz seems to have separated himself from the pack as a hitter, but he's of no value defensively. Among the rest, there's very little difference, with Manny Ramirez probably the best otherwise.

Best Pitcher: Johan Santana. He's done it consistently every year and he's doing it again this year. Like the position players there are a lot of guys right around Santana, so this could change by the end of the year.

National League:

Best Team: The Mets. They're as good as the Cardinals are at home, but they win consistently on the road whereas the Cards are .500 away from St. Louis.

Best Player: Pujols got all the attention early, but this is a dogfight. I'd pick Chase Utley based on production this year--hits like a slugger and fields second base.

Best Pitcher: Brandon Webb. He's doing everything right. He's got the best ERA in the league despite playing in an extreme hitter's park.
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