How are the AL Teams Doing?
We are officially a third of the way into another long, 162-game summer in Major League Baseball. Many teams have seen their outlook on the season rise, but others have begun to see the window close on their playoff chances. Let’s take a look the American League teams, and summarize their situation. Let’s start in the AL East:
Toronto Blue Jays(28 wins – 30 losses): A Wild Card team last season, the outlook was positive before the season began. Sadly, it quickly turned sour when the Jays were racked by injuries. The most hindering were to former MVP Josh Donaldson and star pitcher Aaron Sanchez, who was a surprise contender for AL Cy Young Award last season. Both are back now, if the Jays can get healthy and get on a roll, watch out.
Baltimore Orioles(30-26): Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, and the rest of the offense has been good, the defense has been predictably subpar, and the pitching average. Expectations have been on par here.
Tampa Bay Rays(29-31): They have the second most home runs in baseball, which is a surprise, and an improvement over last season. Otherwise they have a low batting average, the starting pitching is good, and the relievers are bad. A .500 winning percentage is the reality and the future.
New York Yankees(32-23): If the breakouts of right fielder Aaron Judge, who’s putting together an MVP-type season in his rookie campaign, and young starting pitcher Luis Severino, are real. This team can keep this division-winning pace.
Boston Red Sox(32-25): They are scary. Without ace David Price for the first ⅓ of the year. They still almost lead the division. Around the diamond, all-stars roam. This is a team you can count on in October.
Now let’s move to the Central Division.
Chicago White Sox(25-31): They don’t have a super bad record, but don’t be fooled. This is a bad team. Only plus: they have three Garcia’s on the team (Willy, Leury, and Avisail).
Kansas City Royals(25-32): The former World Series cinderella has fallen from grace in a big way. The pitching is no longer a plus, Lorenzo Cain has not gotten better with age, and Eric Hosmer’s .300 batting average still comes without much power, for a first basemen.
Detroit TIgers(28-29): Many people have predicted the demise of the Tigers due to their aging core of players. However, this has not happened yet. Detroit is not a great team just because of their pitching, but they can beat anybody on a good day with their hitting.
Minnesota Twins(29-24): This is a big surprise. Last year’s worst team is now leading a division (in June). Miguel Sano has 14 home runs, and is the new star in Minneapolis. If the supporting player can carry some of the weight, this could be a playoff team.
Cleveland Indians(29-27): Last year’s AL champion has some work to do after a pedestrian start of the year. The offense is struggling, but the pitching should carry Cleveland to the postseason even if the Edwin Encarnacion signing turns out poor.
Finally, let’s look at the AL West:
Los Angeles Angels(30-32): You can put this Angels’ season up in heaven, because it’s dead. Their record is nothing to cry about, but they lost MVP Mike Trout to a torn thumb ligament. He will be out at least two months.
Houston Astros(42-18): The Astros have a lot in common with last year’s Cubs. They have a homegrown core of players. They have a long World Series drought, never winning it in their history. And now they have the best record through 60 games since the 2001 Mariners.
Seattle Mariners(30-30): The M’s have gone through injury after injury. King Felix went down, then right fielder Mitch Haniger. Now they have won nine of their last ten games, and Felix and Haniger are on rehab assignments in the minor leagues. This M’s team may be the late bloomer of this season.
Oakland A’s(26-33): This was going to be a rebuilding season in Oakland, and so far it has. Khris Davis is an All-Star power hitter, and Yonder Alonso looks like an All-Star at first base, yet they don’t have enough talent to be above .500.
Texas Rangers(27-32): Nobody knows what is up with the Rangers. Last year’s division winners are struggling at the plate and with pitching. Luckily they got rid of Sam Dyson, their closer, who had performed so poorly that he could take literally all the blame for a couple of their losses. Still, this team has far to go, especially with the Astros on a record pace.