A Short Assessment of the First Half of the 2019 MLB Season: American League Edition

Surprise! The 2019 baseball season has already reached its halfway point, and it’s time for every team’s midseason review.

Starting with all teams in the AL East

New York Yankees: 54-28

Despite being infected with injuries to nearly all their stars at various points in the year, the Yankees stand tall, leading the Majors with 476 runs scored. If they can improve their defense – which has committed 64 errors, second most in the majors – then they can push through and win their 28th championship in franchise history.

Tampa Bay Rays: 49-36

One of the two surprise teams of the year, the Rays continue to dominate with their outstanding pitching staff, having allowed only 303 runs. If only they had a better ballpark than Tropicana Field, then fans would actually watch this team that currently ranks second last in home attendance with 14,643 spectators per game.

Boston Red Sox: 44-40

The Championship hangover that stuck with the Red Sox throughout April is long gone. A revived hitting core led by Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Rafael Devers has guided the Red Sox back over .500. However, they are inexplicably 20-22 when playing at home in Fenway Park. Get better there, and the Red Sox are in the playoffs again.

Toronto Blue Jays: 32-53

The championship window has officially closed for the Blue Jays. A combined ERA of 5.35 for the starting pitchers does not help matters. At least their fans can watch Vladimir Guerrero Jr. blossom into a superstar, and they can boast that they are better than the Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles: 24-60

This team is chasing the 2003 Detroit Tigers for baseball futility. That Tigers team went 43-119; these Orioles are on pace for 46-116. Having a lineup where Trey Mancini is their only good hitter and a pitching staff with a combined 5.74 ERA will do that.

AL Central

Minnesota Twins: 53-30

The other surprise team of baseball, the Twins continue to defy expectations thanks to a powerful offensive attack that has hit 157 home runs, the most in the majors. They don’t have any glaring weaknesses, so the biggest question is if they can keep it up. This is a position the Twins franchise has not been in since 2010, so this will be interesting to observe.

Cleveland Indians: 45-38

The Indians are lucky to be where they are. Their run differential is zero, meaning they have given up the same amount of runs they have scored. This is no fault of the pitching staff, which boasts a 4.03 ERA despite many of their starters getting injured. The entire lineup, other than Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana, needs to improve and fast.

Chicago White Sox: 39-42

Lucas Giolito is a valid contender for the Cy Young award, given to the best pitcher in each league. However, he has been the only good starting pitcher for the White Sox, who are probably a year away from contending for the division title. A more consistent offensive attack would help out too.

Detroit Tigers: 27-52

Any remaining hope for a playoff berth is gone in Detroit due to an ongoing 9-32 slide. Their 271 runs scored is 28 runs fewer than the second worst team in the league. That, combined with a 12-29 record at home, leads the Tigers experiencing their worst paid attendance mark since 2003, with just 18,529 spectators per game.

Kansas City Royals: 29-56

Whit Merrifield is the only bright spot for the Royals as the rest of the lineup is mediocre at best, and nobody on the pitching staff has stepped up, as proved by their combined ERA of 5.07. They also have a road record even worse than the Orioles at 13-31.

AL West

Houston Astros: 53-32

It’s the same old song and dance for the Astros, who are on pace for their third consecutive 100-win season. A powerful lineup led by Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley and a shutdown bullpen have them striving for their second championship in three years. Can they get past last year’s ALCS collapse against the Red Sox?

Texas Rangers: 46-38

This team is hard to judge. On one hand, their lineup is still producing at a solid rate and their starting pitching has done better than advertised. On the other hand, nothing about this team screams, “Championship contender.” If the bullpen improves, then the Rangers can surprise their way into the playoffs.

Oakland Athletics: 46-39

Another baseball season, another year of overachieving for the A’s. The cause for this is adequate pitching and another great season for Khris Davis and Matt Chapman. Like the Rangers, the A’s are overlooked and can sneak their way into the postseason, but they’ll need somebody to join Frankie Montas as a shutdown starter.

Los Angeles Angels: 42-43

This is exactly the wrong time to do a take on the Angels. All I can say is the team is wasting another MVP-caliber season from Mike Trout and is stuck in mediocrity for the 5th year in a row, nowhere near the playoffs. In all seriousness, rest in peace Tyler Skaggs.

Seattle Mariners: 37-51

The memories of a 13-2 start are long gone from the Seattle faithful, thanks to a combined starting pitchers’ ERA of 5.41 and a league worst 87 errors, 23 more than the next-worse team. Unless a miracle happens, the Mariners will miss out on the playoffs for the 18th straight season.

Come back soon for a look at all National League teams and some predictions!

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