1. St Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have been on fire, and their best-in-the-MLB record of 41-22 proves it. Numerous Cardinals have been successful in their lineup, including Molina with a .354 batting average, Holliday with 45 runs, ten homeruns, and 37 RBIs, and Carpenter with a .332 average, five homeruns, and 50 runs. But offense is not everything, pitching has also been strong. Wainwright has nine wins on the season, 91 strike outs, and an impressive 2.34 ERA.
The AL East race gives me a headache. Currently, it is the Red Sox with the lead, thanks to their 40-25 record on the season. Pitcher Buchholz has been nothing but dominant, he has nine wins, 81 strikeouts, and a 1.71 ERA. He has also given up two homeruns on the season.
The Braves have been leading the NL East since the very beginning. At 39-25, they are currently ahead of the Nationals by seven games. Of the two Upton brothers, it is Justin who has been the more contributing factor. Justin has 43 runs to BJ’s 14, 56 hits to BJ’s 31, 14 homers to BJ’s 6, and 29 RBIs to BJ’s 12. Justin also is currently hitting a .250 batting average, while BJ is struggling at .165. While BJ’s struggling hasn’t necessarily been hurting the Braves, it would definitely be a successful factor come the postseason.
It seems two people are to thank for the Rangers’ success: Beltre and Darvish. Beltre has been an offensive leader in the lineup. He has a .304 average, 38 runs, fourteen homeruns, and 38 RBIs. Yu Darvish has been the most dominant in the Texas starting rotation. He has seven wins, 118 strikeouts, and a 2.75 ERA, all team-leading stats. They are only half a game ahead of the Athletics, but these two will help bring them to success.
The Reds have one of the best records in the league, but they are currently second in the NL Central four games behind the Cardinals. Their pitching is solid; Latos has an ERA of 2.87, Leake with 2.93 and Arroyo with 3.35. And hitting has been strong thanks to Joey Votto, hitting .325 with 50 runs, 78 hits and ten homeruns.
The Oakland-Texas AL West race will be a fight to the finish. It is the only real AL West competition; seeing as the third place Mariners are ten games back. The Athletics have seen an increase in improvement from someone not Crisp. It actually comes in the form of 3B Josh Donaldson, with his .324 average, 33 runs, nine homers, and 42 RBIs.
While there is not a set superstar on the Yankees, they have managed to stay in the hunt despite numerous injuries. They are currently one and a half games behind the Red Sox. Gardner leads the lineup in batting average at .284, which isn’t great but makes up for it with his 34 runs. Cano is also staying consistent with his fifteen homers and .272 average.
The Pirates are definitely proving themselves as the Cinderella team of this season. Which is surprising, seeing their 37-26 record puts them at third in the NL Central. They owe a portion of their success to Andrew McCutchen, who is hitting .290, with 40 runs, seven homeruns, 30 RBIs, and fifteen stolen bases.
The Diamondbacks are still holding on to their lead of the NL West. Their pitching can be summed up in one word: Patrick Corbin. Corbin has an 1.98 ERA, 65 strike outs, and is 9-0. Hitting is also lead by one bat: that of Paul Goldschmidt. He leads his team with his .318 average, 43 runs, fifteen homeruns, and 59 RBIs.
The Orioles bats have come alive this season. Chris Davis has been on fire since the start of the season and has shown no signs of slowing down. Davis (.335 average, 45 runs, 20 homers, and 52 RBIs), Machado (.315, 41 runs, 27 doubles), and Jones(.301, 45 runs, 13 homers, and 43 RBIs) ) have been the teams leading contributors. Bats like these will help them potentially push past the Yankees and Red Sox for the AL East crown.
11. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies are another sleeper team like the Pirates this year. They have three players hitting over .300, Tulowitzki at .353, Fowler at .303, and Gonzalez at .300. Gonzalez has also hit 18 homeruns, which is second in the National League. Tulowitzki is right behind him at 16, which is third in the NL.
12. Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay won’t give up the AL East without a fight. Only four games back, they still have a chance at the title. Pitcher’s ERA is low for some, like Cobb at 2.95, while high for others, like Hernandez at 4.91. Longoria is still consistent with his bat, but it is Loney who leads the team in batting average at .322.
13. Detroit Tigers
The Tigers have an impressive lead in the AL Central, 5.5 games ahead of the Indians and 6.5 games ahead of the Royals. And recently when you hear about the Tigers, it’s all Miguel Cabrera. The third baseman has been nothing short of phenomenal, 91 hits, 51 runs, eighteen homeruns, and 69 RBIs on the season. He is second in the AL in homeruns behind Chris Davis, and is projected to reach 46 homers.
The Giants are slowly falling in the NL West; they are third in the division two games behind the Diamondbacks. Their batting success is coming from multiple spots in the lineup, including Scutaro, Posey and Pence. Matt Cain is somewhat struggling on the mound, he’s 4-3 and has a 5.09 ERA. It is Bumgarner with the best ERA on the team at 3.58.
15. San Diego Padres
The Padres are starting their decline. Jedd Gyorko is on the DL which takes a major toll on the lineup. He was strong with a .284 average, 66 hits and eight homeruns. Thankfully there is still Everth Cabrera, who leads the team with a .293 batting average, has 76 hits and 24 RBIs on the season.
Unfortunately for the Nationals, Bryce Harper is still dealing with knee issues and has been placed on the DL. The Nats are second in the NL East, seven games behind the Braves. They are sitting at .500 on the season, certainly a record the team or their fans expected. Thankfully Zimmerman has been strong on the mound, while Strausburg is once again dealing with arm issues. They just have to hope the injury bug goes away and stays away.
I think the reign of the Indians is definitely over. While they are second in the AL Central, they are five and a half games behind the Tigers. In eight games last week, they lost all eight of them. One reason for this has been their tough schedule, including many teams with winning records. Facing the struggling Nationals and Royals this week should help level the playing field.
The Phillies may be eight games back in the NL East, but they are still one game behind the Nationals for second place. Regardless, at 31-33 they have been struggling. Halladay is still has an ERA of over eight, is 2-4 on the season, and has only pitched 34.1 innings. They also don’t have a bat in their everyday lineup hitting over .300.
The Royals are third in the AL Central, six and a half games behind the Tigers. They are only one game behind second place Indians. P Ervin Santana has been strong, 2.99 ERA, 68 strikeouts, thirteen walks, all while going 4-5. Alex Gordon has been a leader on offense, .304 average, six homeruns, 37 runs, and 76 hits.
20. Seattle Mariners
The Mariners might be third in the AL West, but they are ten games back. Pitcher Iwakuma has been dominant, and his continued success will be important if the Mariners want to move up in their division. Morales has been consistent on offense, leading the team in batting average at .292.
Chicago might be at the bottom of the AL Central, but at only eight games back they can always turn it around. Alex Rios has been a leader in the lineup, leading his team in almost every category. Base running and defense has been a problem, and reliever Ramon Troncoso has struggled.
22. Minnesota Twins
Minnesota is definitely in the race for second in the AL Central. They are seven games behind the Tigers but one and a half games behind the second place Indians. Mauer has been a strong bat for their lineup, hitting .330, with 37 runs, 77 hits, and six homeruns.
The Dodgers haven’t managed to get it together since the beginning of the season. A team expected to be in contention for the NL West is now last in their division, seven and a half games behind the Dbacks. Kershaw has been an uplifting point for the starting rotation, with his impressive 1.88 ERA and 96 strikeouts. Gonzalez has also been leading his team on offense, especially with his .315 average, eight homeruns, and 43 RBIs.
The Blue Jays are stuck at the bottom of the AL East. They are eleven games back and it doesn’t seem like they will be moving anytime soon. Their lowest ERA is 5.06, and R.A. Dickey has not been the same quality he was last year. He is 5-8 with a 5.11 ERA. Not the same player that won the Cy Young last year.
The Angles were a team like the Dodgers with high expectations, but with low performance. Pitcher’s ERAs are high while wins are low. Trout and Trumbo have the talent to bring their team to success, but the team as a whole has only managed a 27-37 season.
Like the Cubs, the Brewers are 16 games back in the NL Central. However, their top three hitters are hitting over .300 (Segura at .340, Gomez at .316, and Braun at .304). With the news of the Miami clinic scandal, Brewers fans have to hope they don’t lose Braun to a suspension. He leads the team with 36 RBIs and has nine homeruns on the season.
27. Chicago Cubs
Looking at their individual stats, you would not think the Cubs are sitting on a 25-36 record. Alfonso Soriano has been strong at the plate, .268 average, 60 hits, seven homeruns, and eight stolen bases. P Travis Wood has also been strong on the mound, he is 5-4, 2.65 ERA, 56 strikeouts in 78 innings pitched.
28. New York Mets
The Mets are struck at the bottom of the NL East with nowhere to go. Thirteen games back at 23-35, they can’t seem to move up or down. Pitcher Harvey has been strong this season, he leads his team with a 2.10 ERA, five wins, and 95 strikeouts. Daniel Murphy (.287 average, 37 runs, 68 hits, and five homers) and David Wright (.275 average, 32 runs, 60 hits, and eight homers) have been leaders on offense.
29. Houston Astros
In regards to the AL West, the race for the bottom of the division seems to be closer than the race to the top. The Astros are seventeen games back, and in fourth the Angels are 11.5 games back. Their leading ERA is 3.47 from Norris, which is not bad but could use some improving. Norris also has five wins on the year.
30. Miami Marlins
There are not many good things you can say about this 19-45 Marlins team. They are 19.5 games back in the NL East, their leading hitter is only batting .245, but their pitching has kept their ERAs to under four. With that said, none of the pitchers have more than three wins.