- We’re nearing the halfway point of the MLB season, and the contenders for the 2019 World Series are making themselves known.
- In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers have dominated, while the Philadelphia Phillies have struggled to meet the high expectations that came with the signing of Bryce Harper.
- Meanwhile, the New York Yankees and Houston Astros remain the front-runners of the American League, with the Minnesota Twins surprisingly in the mix as well.
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The biggest surprise of this season so far has been the Minnesota Twins, who have rode brilliant performances from across the roster to a blistering 52 wins. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Orioles have played just as expected.
Take a look below at where every team ranks at the halfway point of the season as we head into the second half of the season.
Playoff chances based on FiveThirtyEight’s latest projections.
30. Baltimore Orioles
Chance at the postseason: One thing to know: The Orioles remain the basement-dwellers of Major League Baseball, currently on pace to pass their dreadful 115-loss mark set last season. Chris Davis’ hitless streak is finally over, but he’s still batting just .167 this year.
29. Kansas City Royals
Chance at the postseason: One thing to know: The Royals posted a disappointing 4.93 ERA as a team, but their one surprising bright spot this season has been designated hitter Jorge Soler. Soler has a .239 batting average but has hit a team-high 21 balls out of the park – a steep increase from his previous high of 12 home runs.
28. Detroit Tigers
Chance at the postseason: One thing to know: Closer Shane Greene has been impeccable for the Tigers this season, despite the disappointing year they’re having. Greene has allowed three earned runs in 29 appearances and has recorded 21 saves with a 0.90 ERA, which is the lowest in the league among relievers (minimum 20 innings pitched).
27. Miami Marlins
Chance at the postseason: One thing to know: You could say that Derek Jeter’s stint as owner of the Marlins is going according to plan – the team is undoubtedly emphasising long-term success over winning this year. Still, there’s been some bright spots for Miami in the first half of the year, including a recent sweep against the division-rival Phillies.
26. Toronto Blue Jays
Chance at the postseason: One thing to know: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hasn’t matched what he was able to do in the minor leagues, but he’s still getting all the hype. The rookie third baseman has seven home runs in 49 games with a .255/.322/.420 slash line. Call it time to adjust, but that line doesn’t come close to what the former No. 1 prospect was expected to perform.
25. Seattle Mariners
Chance at the postseason: One thing to know: The Mariners are looking to sell at the trade deadline according to Jeff Passan, and they have already begun to do so after dealing Jay Bruce to the Phillies and Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees. It seems as though general manager Jerry Dipoto will be a popular man during the upcoming month.
24. New York Mets
Chance at the postseason: 5%
One thing to know: The Mets have had a lot of issues as of late that doesn’t help an already disappointing season, but Pete Alonso’s success has managed to bring some positive attention to the team. The first baseman set a franchise record with 27 home runs before the All-Star break and is close to Mark McGwire’s all-time record of 33. Alonso’s also put up a .279/.370/.634 slash line and his consistency has been one of the brighter spots for the Mets this season.
23. San Francisco Giants
Chance at the postseason: 1%
One thing to know: The Giants are the worst-hitting team in the majors right now, with Kevin Pillar’s.247 batting average topping the San Francisco lineup. Yikes!
22. Chicago White Sox
Chance at the postseason: One thing to know: Lucas Giolito has worked his way into the Cy Young conversation at the start of the summer, sporting an impressive 2.87 ERA and 111 strikeouts over 91 innings pitched.
21. San Diego Padres
Chance at the postseason: 8%
One thing to know: Manny Machado is having an impressive June after signing a 10-year $US300 million contract before the season. He has posted a .281/.358/.503 stat line, but only recently started to tear the cover off the ball. The slugger had an 11-game hitting streak in June during which he’s hit .469.
20. Cincinnati Reds
Chance at the postseason: 12%
One thing to know: The Reds currently sit in last place in the NL Central, but their +40 run differential is good for second in the division and could be an indicator that they’re poised to make a run through the second half of the season.
19. Pittsburgh Pirates
Chance at the postseason: 19%
One thing to know: The NL Central is an absolute mystery at the halfway point of the season, with all five teams within six games of each other. The Pirates sport a run differential hovering around -76, indicating that they might be most vulnerable to fall off the pace of the divisional race in the second half of the year.
18. Los Angeles Angels
Chance at the postseason: 3%
One thing to know: Mike Trout is still the best player in baseball, and the Angels still have no idea how to put him in a position to win. Now in his eighth major league season, Trout still has yet to win a postseason game and seems unlikely to this year. After signing the richest contract in the history of American sports back in March, Trout has to hope that the Angels figure out a plan to make better use of his talents over the next decade.
17. Arizona Diamondbacks
Chance at the postseason: 34%
One thing to know: The Diamondbacks have had a back-and-forth season that has put them well out of range of the Los Angeles Dodgers, whom no one can stop. If they play solid baseball the rest of the season, they may end up with a wildcard spot. They have got utility player Ketel Marte, who has been tearing it up with a.314 average, but their pitching needs to get up to par. Their team ERA is ranked No. 7 in the NL.
16. Colorado Rockies
Chance at the postseason: 17%
One thing to know: Charlie Blackmon has been producing like crazy this season, hitting .329 and slugging .369. He also has 18 home runs this season.
15. St. Louis Cardinals
Chance at the postseason: 22%
One thing to know: Marcell Ozuna has found his swing in a big way for the Cardinals, hitting 20 home runs through the first half of the year after hitting just 23 in all of last season. The NL Central is entirely up for grabs at this point of the year, so if St. Louis can build some momentum, there’s no reason to think they couldn’t make it to October.
14. Texas Rangers
Chance at the postseason: 6%
One thing to know: At 36 years old, Shin-Soo Choo is still a key part of the Rangers lineup, slashing an impressive .287/.385/.500 to go along with 12 home runs and six stolen bases. If he can keep those numbers up, it could be Choo’s best year at the plate in a decade.
13. Philadelphia Phillies
Chance at the postseason: 38%
One thing to know: Bryce Harper’s first of 13 seasons with the Phillies hasn’t had the honeymoon start many had hoped, but the team still has the potential to make a strong run at the Braves in the NL East if they hit their stride. The loss of lead-off batter Andrew McCutchen hit the team harder than many expected.
12. Milwaukee Brewers
Chance at the postseason: 39%
One thing to know: Christian Yelich is proving his MVP season last year was no fluke, sporting a .336/.428/.731 slash-line and leading the majors in home runs. While the Brewers are still far off the pace of the NL-leading Dodgers, Yelich’s bat should prove enough to get them to the playoffs and possibly further.
11. Washington Nationals
Chance at the postseason: 58%
One thing to know: The Nationals have been on a rollercoaster ride all season with some good series and some not so good. They demolished a stretch of games heading into the All-Star Break against the Miami Marlins, Detroit Tigers, and Kansas City Royals that rushed the team back into contention in the NL East.
10. Oakland Athletics
Chance at the postseason: 34%
One thing to know: The Oakland Athletics season has been defined by streaks, with the A’s following up an impressive 10-game winning streak in May with a six-game losing skid that carried into June. They don’t need a 20-game streak like the one of the Moneyball Athletics years ago, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt their chances.
9. Chicago Cubs
Chance at the postseason: 55%
One thing to know: The Cubs addressed the biggest issue lingering over the first half of the season by signing closer Craig Kimbrel to a three-year deal in June. Through the first half of the year, Chicago had blown 12 of their 30 save opportunities on the season.
8. Boston Red Sox
Chance at the postseason: 47%
One thing to know: The Red Sox bullpen has been the bane of the team’s existence this season. They have blown 15 saves, and only the Mets (19) and Pirates (16) have blown more. On the bright side, the team played MLB’s first regular-season games in Europe against the Yankees at London Stadium.
7. Cleveland Indians
Chance at the postseason: 60%
One thing to know: 33-year-old Carlos Santana has been the Indians’ leader on offence this season. He leads the team in nearly every offensive category except triples, average, and strikeouts.
6. Tampa Bay Rays
Chance at the postseason: 62%
One thing to know: The Rays had a rough go of it recently, losing eights of their last 12 games, including two rocky starts by Blake Snell. The Yankees are building a much larger gap and if the Rays want any chance of giving them a run for the top of the AL East, they have got to turn their struggles around.
5. Atlanta Braves
Chance at the postseason: 92%
One thing to know: Josh Donaldson and Freddie Freeman make a duo that’s too hot to touch for the Atlanta Braves. Freeman continues to be a threatening force in the lineup with a .311/.593/.991 line with 21 home runs, while Donaldson has hit .322/.365/.729 over a 15 game-stretch in June. With the Philadelphia Phillies plummeting, the Braves have taken advantage to pull ahead in the NL East.
4. Minnesota Twins
Chance at the postseason: 92%
One thing to know: Minnesota’s lineup leads the MLB in both home runs and average, and they’re running away with the AL Central. Jorge Polanco is second in batting average with a .326 behind Yankee DJ LaMahieu. The shortstop isn’t slowing down, and his 11 home runs have nearly hit his record of 13 from 2017. If he continues to play this well, and the Twins as a whole keep it up, they will be hard to beat for the AL Central crown.
3. New York Yankees
Chance at the postseason: 98%
One thing to know: After a slew of injuries sidelined the likes of Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton, no one would have faulted the New York Yankees had they been merely average through the first half of the year. Instead, the Bronx Bombers’ makeshift lineup kept them well atop the AL East. With Gregorious and Judge back in the lineup, the Yankees could hit a brand new stride.
2. Houston Astros
Chance at the postseason: 98%
One thing to know: The Astros have their usual producers in Jose Altuve, Josh Reddick, etc. that are hitting well, but it’s rookie Yordan Alvarez who has been an incredible addition to the team since he was called up earlier in June. The designated hitter smacked seven homers in 13 games, slashing .327/.417/.788 before the All-Star break.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Chance at the postseason: >99%
One thing to know: The Dodgers are the clear favourites to represent the National League at the halfway point of the year, with Cody Bellinger leading the way for a team with an MVP-calibre year. As long as fans refrain from storming the field to hug him moving forward, Los Angeles should be looking forward to a deep run into October.
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