first half

MLB First Half Winners and Losers

The All star break has passed, and that means the first half of the season has been completed. Everyone will take a few days to relax and recharge for the race to the postseason. Trade winds will be at a season-high as the trade deadline rapidly approaches. Naturally, there will be some buyers as well as some sellers. Depending on their first half performances teams will likely fall into one of the two categories. That being said, there are some teams that have been big winners as well as big losers so far. Let’s explore who those teams are. 

Winner #1 New York Yankees

The Yankees came into this all star break with a massive 13 game lead in a division that could see 4 teams make the playoffs. With their 64-28 record the Yankees are on pace to have one of their best regular seasons in franchise history. This is a franchise with 27 World Series, which is by far the most in the MLB. Top to bottom this team has been firing on all cylinders. Their pitching has been absolutely superb so far. Their hitters have been mashing like they are having their own personal home run derby. Based on this first half, the Yankees are strong candidates to win it all.

Loser #1 Los Angeles Angels

The Angels started off the season 27-17 and looked primed for a long awaited playoff spot. Then they lost 14 straight, which cost manager Joe Maddon his job. Things haven’t improved much, if at all, since the firing. The team limped into the all star break with a 39-53 record despite having two of the league’s most electric stars. Somehow having Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani hasn’t produced a competitive team. At this point, it will take divine intervention to make the playoffs. Another wasted year will only make questions of Trout and Ohtani’s future grow louder.

Winner #2 AL East

I know it’s a bit weird to declare a whole division a winner, but it’s hard not to. Baltimore is in last place, but has a .500 record while the other 4 teams are currently in the thick of the playoff race. As mentioned before, this division could send 4 teams to the playoffs. The fact that all five teams are alive and well at this point of the season only goes to show how strong this division is. Now, I fully expect reality to hit Baltimore and eventually cause them to fade away. Boston has shown signs of fading away as well. That being said, this will be the division to watch as the season winds down. It should be an entertaining dogfight to the finish. 

Loser #2 Unwanted Central Divisions

While everyone else is doing their best to win their respective divisions, it would appear that nobody in either of the central divisions wants to do the same. In the AL, the Twins hold a small lead in the division. But the real story is the underperforming White Sox, who find themselves in third. In the NL, the Brewers lead by half a game, but they have failed to impress anyone. The Cardinals aren’t much better by evidence of them being in second place. This was a team that was supposed to be a contender, yet they’ve consistently floundered. Can someone from the Central please step forward and assert themselves?

Winner #3 Mariner Fans Playoff Hopes

Seattle had not made the playoffs since 2001, which is astonishing considering that year they won an MLB record 116 games. Since then it has been a consistent streak of disappointment with a few dashes of heartbreak thrown in. This year was meant to be different. But early on it seemed like this franchise was destined for more of the same. But out of nowhere, this team roared into the all star break with a massive 14 game winning streak. They currently sit in a playoff spot and looked poised to finally end their playoff drought. 

Loser #3 Detroit Tigers and Washington Nationals 

The Tigers find themselves on this list solely because this season really feels like a missed opportunity for them. The AL Central looks ripe for the picking, yet the Tigers have failed to capitalize. Their hitting was historically bad earlier this season, but has picked up a bit. Still in another universe, the Tigers are surprise leaders of the AL Central. The Nationals are here because things have gone from bad to worse. This season was always going to be one filled with losses and elements of a rebuild, but to have the crown jewel Juan Soto reject their offer to a contract extension stings. They certainly didn’t help things by refusing to charter Soto a flight to the all star game. As things stand, Soto is likely to be traded. While they should get a massive package for him, it usually doesn’t bode well for the team trading away their superstar. 

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