With Major League Baseball’s All Star Game already in the books, it’s now time to focus on the second half of the season as the playoffs in October will be here in a blink of an eye. Here is a quick rundown of each team currently in first place in their division, and what to expect from them in the second half.
In the American League East, the New York Yankees currently find themselves in first place by a comfortable five and a half games. Coming into the season, a lot of people questioned the health and age of the Yankees, but that hasn’t been a problem so far. Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez are both healthy and producing huge numbers in the middle of the Yankees’ order. The Yanks also have a lethal combination in their bullpen; Delin Betances and Andrew Miller give opposing teams nightmares. If the Yankees can continue to stay healthy, they can certainly be a contender.
The Kansas City Royals find themselves in first place in the American League Central by seven and a half games. The Royals have a surplus of young talent with players like Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain, and they have a lights out bullpen that has the ability to shorten games. Watch out for them.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols have put the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in first place in the American League West. The Angels have really turned it on as of late and recently overtook the Houston Astros for first place in the division. If the players around Trout and Pujols continue to produce, then the Angels can be a dangerous team as the season winds down.
Now let’s head to the National League. In the East, Bryce Harper and the Nationals currently sit atop the division. With position players like Bryce Harper, and starting pitchers like Max Scherzer, it’s easy to see why.
In the central, the St. Louis Cardinals are in first and have the best record in all of baseball at 60-34. This organization is just a model of consistency. They just do everything right. And, it doesn’t hurt to have one of the best catchers in the game in Yadier Molina.
Finally, in the West, the Los Angeles Dodgers hold a slim lead over the San Francisco Giants. I personally feel sorry for opposing lineups that might have to go up against Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in a short series in the playoffs.
All of these teams have the ability to hold onto their respective leads in their divisions. But, don’t forget about the two wildcard spots in each league. Last year, the San Francisco Giants won the World Series as a wildcard team. In baseball, anything can happen, and that is what makes it one of the best games in the world.
Cody Crandall is an intern at the Jamestown Gazette. To read more of his insights, commentaries, and news about the world of sports and the Jamestown Jammers, visit www.jamestowngazette. com. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.