The Brooklyn Nets granted point guard Kyrie Irving his wish on Sunday, trading him to the Dallas Mavericks, along with Markieff Morris, in exchange for Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, and multiple draft picks. Irving is hoping to make his Mavericks debut on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
As we sit at the midway point of August, we are about a month and a half away from the beginning of postseason baseball. It's at this point, and even earlier, where many get the vibe of who are the true playoff hopefuls, who are for real, and who just doesn't have enough. Out of the teams who are for real, many try to decide which ones have enough to make a playoff run deep in to October. Usually those teams who dominate in the regular season seem to be the favorites when it comes to postseason baseball. Although, that is not always the case, and this season is on the path to proving that point. The Athletics, Angels, and Orioles from the AL, and the Brewers from the NL are teams who sit at the top of their leagues, but may not have enough for a deep run. The Athletics have been the best team in baseball for nearly the entire season, and the only reason why the Angels have been in the Wild Card mix is due to them being in the same division as the swinging A's. The Orioles lead the majors in home runs, helping them pull away in the AL East. Meanwhile, the Brewers have been at the top of the NL Central division since just about opening day. They say pitching is what carries a team in the postseason, which creates a big issue in the cities of Baltimore, Anaheim, Oakland, and Milwaukee. None of those four teams have a proven ace with postseason experience to rely on in October's big-game atmosphere. Oakland made the big move by acquiring Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Cubs, but Samardzija is still young, and Hammel has struggled in an Athletics uniform. Sonny Gray is a good young pitcher, and looks to be on his way to becoming great, but he's not there yet. The Angels used to be able to rely on Jered Weaver, but injuries the last couple of years have brought his numbers down. Garrett Richards should have been an All-Star this year with a 13-4 record, but still may be too young to succeed in the postseason. Matt Shoemaker is 11-4, but his ERA is near 4 (not ace material). The Orioles have relied solely on their bats, out-hitting their opponents to back up their pitchers, but that hasn't proven to be key in the postseason just yet. The Brewers have leaned on 25 year-old Willy Peralta, who in his rookie season sits at 15-7. Depending on a rookie may not be the wisest move in October. Their former ace Yovani Gallardo's numbers have declined from what they once were, so his dependability remains a question mark. These 4 teams may be having tremendous regular seasons, but if their pitching does not step it up down the stretch, it's bound to be as far as they get.