Sunday, July 9, 2017

Major League Baseball - All-Star Break Summary

It's just about mid-July and that means it's time for the annual All-Star Break for Major League
Baseball and what an interesting season it has been.
The Chicago Cubs, the defending World Series champions, have been average at best and are currently tied for second place with St. Louis in the National league Central division, 5 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers, along with the Minnesota Twins (in contention in the American League Central division race) have been the two biggest surprises of the season.
On the flip side, the Cubs and San Francisco Giants (second worst record in all of baseball) have been huge disappointments to this point. Another flop has been the Toronto Blue Jays, a team that made the ALCS the last two years, but is dead last in the AL East at the break this time around.

A quick breakdown of the American League and National League races with a synopsis of each team follows as the 30 MLB teams hit the All-Star break.

East Division
Washington Nationals (52-36) - Right where they were expected to be.
Atlanta Braves (42-45) - The Braves could finish at or above .500 this season.
Miami Marlins (40-46) - So-so team going nowhere it appears.
New York Mets (39-47) - Too many injuries.
Philadelphia Phillies (29-58) - This team stinks.

Central Division 
Milwaukee Brewers (50-41) - Can the Brew Crew keep it up, unlike in 2014 when they collapsed after the break?
Chicago Cubs (43-45) - It's not early in the season any more Cubs fans. This team must get going or else.
St. Louis Cardinals (43-45) - The Cardinals are hanging around, but not very formidable this year.
Pittsburgh Pirates (42-47) - The Buccos look like .500 finish at best.
Cincinnati Reds (39-49) - This team is coming back to reality after a hot start.

West Division
Los Angeles Dodgers (61-29) - This team is the best in the game right now.
Arizona Diamondbacks (53-36) - Looking like a playoff team this year.
Colorado Rockies (52-39) - Can the pitching hold up to get them into the post-season?
San Diego Padres (38-50) - Team's future looking better as they stay out of the basement so far.
San Francisco Giants (34-55) - This team has been lost all season long. Huge disappointment.

East Division
Boston Red Sox (50-39) - After sluggish start, the Bosox are where they expected to be.
New York Yankees (45-41) - Rookie Aaron Judge leading the "baby bombers" to a surprising first half.
Tampa Bay Rays (47-43) - Surprising offensive power this year so far. Could snag a wild card spot.
Baltimore Orioles (42-46) - They can slug the ball, but their starting pitching is next to worst in the league.
Toronto Blue Jays (41-47) - Perhaps this team should sell at the trade deadline.

Central Division
Cleveland Indians (47-40) - The Tribe hasn't really gotten it going full steam yet, but still are in first place.
Minnesota Twins (45-43)  - Team lost 103 games last season, but in contention for playoffs to this point.
Kansas City Royals (44-43) - One last hurrah for this team before the sale begins?
Detroit Tigers  (39-48) - This team looks old and tired.
Chicago White Sox (38-49) - Future looking better as they continue the growing pains of rebuilding.

West Division
Houston Astros (60-29) - This team could very well win the World Series this time around.
Los Angeles Angels (45-47) - Mike Trout is coming off the DL soon and team is in wild card race.
Texas Rangers (43-45) - Like the Blue Jays, this team has been struggling mightily this summer.
Seattle Mariners (43-47) - Looking like also ran team once again.
Oakland A's (39-50) - Right where they were expected to be halfway through the season.

Whatever happens after the All-Star break, look for the Dodgers, Astros and Nationals to make it to the playoffs. After that, it's anybody's guess to what might happen in the other races as October approaches.
The original pick here before the season started was the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox in the World Series with the Cubs repeating as World Series champions. However, the Astros and Dodgers are way ahead of the pack and unless something dramatic happens between now and late October, look for those two to battle it out, with the Dodgers winning it all.

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