A user on Reddit (subreddit r/baseball) posted this picture of Russia’s malfunctioning Olympic rings, photoshopped into a sort of diagram of the current talent makeup in the American League West:
If we tried this for the other five divisions, which organization would be the broken ring?
AL East: Blue Jays
AL Central: Twins
NL East: Marlins
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Padres
AL Central and NL Central were tough calls. The White Sox finished last in 2013 and the Twins have elite prospects on the way in Byron Buxton, Alex Meyer, and Miguel Sano. But if we’re basing it off the current MLB roster, Chicago is in a better place. It’s a similar situation in the NL, with the Cubs boasting a group of exciting youngsters (Javier Baez, Kris Bryant) but the Brewers looking more competitive for 2014.
You can watch a replay of the Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony malfunction at this link.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.