Here is a look at how teams around baseball stack up going into the seasons 2nd half.
#1. Philadelphia Phillies (57-34) – The Phillies tied a franchise best 57 wins pre-break and hold the leagues best record. All this despite various offensive holes and a series of injuries to the pitching staff. Impressive.
#2. Boston Red Sox (55-35) – Despite a nightmare start to the season the Sox have bounced back and hold the American League’s best record. A good pitching staff and sick offense will be a lot for the league and division to keep up with in the 2nd half.
#3. Atlanta Braves (54-38) – A team that does not get as much attention as the Phillies holds the 2nd best record in the NL. The rotation is 5 deep and the back two in the bullpen are filthy. Not to mention a lineup that when clicking can beat you any day.
#4. New York Yankees (53-35) – Yankees remain a force in the AL East despite relying on some stars of the past (Colon, Freddy Garcia, Andrew Jones, etc.). They are still getting healthy and you know they will make moves. All this and they still have the leagues 3rd best record.
#5. San Francisco Giants (52-40) – World Champions are still the champs until someone beats them. They go into the break with a 3 game lead in the west. They are built for a run in October with the same championship pitching staff and an offense that continues to get clutch hits.
#6. Texas Rangers (51-41) – The defending AL Champs went flying into the break on a high note, winning 7 in a row to complete the first half.
#7. Milwaukee Brewers (49-43) – The Brew Crew boasts a lineup of MVP caliber sluggers and a rotation filled with CY Young ability. With some reinforcements in the bullpen the sky is the limit to the potential of this squad.
#8. Detroit Tigers (49-43) – The lineup is loaded, the top 2 in the rotation are lethal. The lack of ability in the central should help them find their way to October baseball.
#9. Tampa Bay Rays (49-41) – The team has some young talent around the diamond and in the staff. The question is, can they keep up with the big money teams up north?
#10. LA Angels (50-42) – The Halo’s are anchored by the pitching staff. Can they muster up enough offense to keep pace with the Rangers in the west?
#11. St. Louis Cardinals (49-43) – Pujols, Holliday & Berkman should keep baseball exciting through September in St. Louis.
#12. Arizona Diamondbacks (49-43) – We know they can score runs. But will the rotation be able to keep up the excellence in the grinding second half.
#13. Cleveland Indians (47-42) – The surprise story for much of the first half. They have had some struggles lately but they still find themselves within a half game at the break.
#14. Pittsburgh Pirates (47-43) – Things are going well in Pittsburgh. PNC Park is even filling up. The quest for .500 is looking more and more likely by the day.
#15. Seattle Mariners (43-48) – The pitching staff has been among the best in baseball. On the other hand, Adam Kennedy in the 3 hole is an issue.
#16. Cincinnati Reds (45-47) – Disappointing first half hasn’t buried them so hope is still alive for Cincy.
#17. Colorado Rockies (43-48) – Despite the first half struggles they remain a serious threat in the NL West.
#18. Toronto Blue Jays (45-47) – Jose Bautista has been unreal for 1 1/2 years. Can he keep it up?
#19. New York Mets (46-45) – The Mets have been respectable in the first half. Many thanks to Jose Reyes & Carlos Beltran’s bounce back seasons. Then again the fire sale began over the break with Francisco Rodriguez’s departure.
#20. Washington Nationals (46-46) – Splitting the season so far is pretty good considering the fact that they’ve had 3 managers and a worthless Jayson Werth to this point.
#21. Minnesota Twins (41-48) – Its been a brutal season for Rod Gardenhire’s squad. That being said they remain in the race which is outstanding work given the lack of production out of the teams stars.
#22. Chicago White Sox (44-48) – The good guys haven’t been so good on the south side in 2011.
#23. Los Angeles Dodgers (41-51) – At least the Dodgers faithful can enjoy Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier & Clayton Kershaw from innings 3-7 as long as payroll keeps up.
#24. Florida Marlins (43-48) – Remember the good old days of May in Miami?
#25. Kansas City Royals (37-54) – They are taking a beating but the future is bright in Kansas City. You’d always rather lose with young talent then a collection of slop.
#26. Oakland Athletics (39-53) – Trendy pick in the AL West this year due to a great pitching staff on paper. Then again its a horrendous lineup both on the field and paper. 12 games back in the AL west. Come on Billy Beane get someone who can hit chief.
#27. San Diego Padres (40-52) – Look like sellers in a few weeks. Peace out Heath Bell, Ryan Ludwick and others.
#28. Baltimore Orioles (36-52) – They are not intimidated by the $180 million payroll of the Red Sox. Kevin Gregg hates Big Papi. They can’t play consistent baseball well.
#29. Chicago Cubs (37-55) – Blame the goat.
#30 Houston Astros (30-62) – Blame Ed Wade & lack of talent.