The Major League Baseball season is a long 162-game grind where any team can have a 10 game win streak and completely change the standings in their division. On the verge of the All-Star break, there are some teams so far that have either performed better or worse than expected prior to the start of the season.
1. The New York Yankees
A year after the release of Alex Rodriguez and other significant players, it was expected for the Yankees to go through a few years of rebuilding with younger players. However, with the success of their young right fielder Aaron Judge and second baseman Starlin Castro, who have two of the top five batting averages in the American League thus far, the Yankees are in a tight race with the Red Sox for first place in the American League East.
2. The Colorado Rockies
In a division that has been dominated by the Dodgers and the Giants in the past decade, it didn’t look like the Rockies would have much of a chance for a playoff push. However, with 72 games played so far this season, the Rockies are leading the division by half a game over the Dodgers, and have the second-best record in baseball. Their success comes mainly from their explosive offense, as they have three of the top six RBI-producers in the National League.
3. The New York Mets
With all of the excitement about the young, effective pitching rotation for the Mets just two years ago, it seemed that the Mets would be a playoff contender for years to come. However, with the digression of starting pitchers — such as Matt Harvey, who has a 5.25 ERA thus far — the Mets can’t seem to produce enough runs to make up for the lack in pitching success.
4. The San Fransisco Giants
For a team that has been considered a baseball dynasty for the last decade, it’s a surprise that the Giants have fallen as far as they have so far this season. It’s expected for a team such as the Phillies to have the worst record in baseball, but not many would have guessed the Giants would have the second-worst record in baseball, and be twenty games behind the Colorado Rockies in the NL West. The Giants have scored 91 less runs than their opponents through 72 games, which is second worst only to the Padres.
5. The entire National League Central, except the Reds
With the Cubs winning the World Series a year ago, they were expected to ride their young talent deep into the playoffs again this year. It is still very probable with the length of the season, but to say that the Pirates, Cardinals, and Cubs are fighting for first place in the NL Central behind the Milwaukee Brewers is unbelievable at this stage in the season. The Brewers success comes from the home run hitting of first baseman Eric Thames, who has 20 so far this season, and the hitting of third baseman Travis Shaw, who is tied for tenth in the National League with 48 RBI so far.