The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams like the Baltimore Orioles and Texas Rangers are looking for the same production from the first half of the season. Other teams are looking too make additions to there roster through trades or the minor league call ups in order to get over the hump and get into the postseason. Let’s take a look at the teams division by division. Starting with the American League East.
The Baltimore Orioles had a solid first half of the season. The birds are currently at top of the American League East at 53-39. Led by super star third baseman Manny Machado and slugger Chris Davis, the birds look to finish the second half of the season on top.
The Boston Red Sox are on the Orioles tails at second place with a record of 52-39. With the solid play of the infield, Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts and the inspiring play of the soon to be retired David Ortiz, the potential for this team in the second half is scary.
Not far behind the Sox and Orioles are last years American League East champs the Toronto Blue Jays at 53-42. Josh Donaldson is once again playing at an MVP level along with Edwin Encarnacion. Not to mention David Bautista intends to come off the DL in the next few weeks. This division belongs to these 3 teams.
Not quite the same story for the New York Yankees who stand at fourth place at 47-46 . The former king of the division may finally be looking to blow up its roster. General manager Brain Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner are currently at odds on what to do with the roster. Bullpen pieces Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran are rumored to be up for grabs.
At the bottom are the Tampa Bay Rays 36-57. Whether they can get hot behind third baseman Evan Longoria to make the post season remains to be seen.
.@BringerOfRain20? Just call him Aquaman. https://t.co/onNX8iu2Sc pic.twitter.com/ZHoPiriZzQ
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) July 20, 2016
Looking to the Central Division the Cleveland Indians sit on top at 55-38. Seemingly inspired by the Cleveland Cavaliers magical run to a NBA championships, the Indians went on a magical run of their own setting a franchise record with 14 straight wins during the first half of the season. Since that magical run the Indians play has been average. The Indians are just 4-6 in there last 10 games and will need to play better if they hope to make the playoffs for just the second time (2013) in the Terry Francona era. The Indians are now in the mist of a series against division rival Royals.
Speaking of the Royals, the defending champions sit in third place in the division with a 47-46 record. Manager Ted Yost hopes that the offense All-Star MVP Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez provided during the All Star Game will help push the Royals into the postseason for a chance at a third straight World Series appearance.
Skipping back to second place are the Detroit Tigers who have a 49-46 record. The Tigers hope to make strides in the second half of the season with All Star Miguel Cabrera, a rejuvenated Justin Verlander and All Star J.D Martinez once he gets back from the disabled list.
After a solid first month to the season the White Sox have been disappointing and are in fourth place at 46-47. After making the move in the off season to acquire Todd Frazier to bolster their offense, the results have been mediocre. Star pitcher Chris Sale hopes the offense comes around so he can make his first postseason appearance and the Sox franchise first postseason birth since 2008.
The Minnesota Twins are another member of the Central Division and have the worst record in the American League at 35-59 and are in the middle of another rebuilding year after firing General Manager Terry Ryan.
MVP? Jose Altuve leads @mlb in BA (.354) and AL in SB (25). He's 3rd in AL in WAR (5.2), 4th in OPS (.984). @astros pic.twitter.com/8GwQ9TfcHu
— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) July 20, 2016
Lastly the A.L. West, the Texas Rangers are in first at 55-40. Lead by All Star pitcher Cole Hamels and veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre, the Rangers will hope to mimic their first half success in the second half.
Not far behind in second place are one of the youngest teams in baseball in the Houston Astros at 50-44. From Carlos Correa to George Springer to Jose Altuve to even AJ Reed, this team is stacked with talent. Astros hope reigning A.L. Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel regains his form for a strong second half.
In third place are the Seattle Mariners at 47-47. With Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz having excellent seasons the Mariners hope that former Cy Young award winner Felix Hernandez returning from the disabled list can help propel them into the postseason for the first time since 2014.
In fourth place, the Los Angeles Angels sit at 42-52. In possession of the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, the Angels organization hope to surround him with talent to make the playoffs in 2016 even though this season seems in doubt.
Bringing up the rear—the Oakland Athletics at 42-52 . Just a couple years removed form a postseason appearance in 2014, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Billy Beane hopes he can once again find the money ball formula in order to turn the season around.