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MLB

Memorial Day MLB standings

Now that it is Memorial Day, baseball fans can look at the standings, including who is the biggest surprise and who is the biggest letdown

Jeffrey May
Update:
Now that it is Memorial Day, baseball fans can look at the standings, including who is the biggest surprise and who is the biggest letdown
Jayne Kamin-OnceaUSA TODAY Sports

Baseball fans traditionally avoid looking at the standings before Memorial Day since the early games can give a false sense of trends and staying power in a gruelling six-month season. Baseball is one of the few sports that needs time to let the divisions settle into themselves, instead of relying on a short, every-game-is-critical type of schedule.

Well, we are here. It is Memorial Day. Let’s take a look at the big picture around the Major Leagues.

We will start with the American League and the East division stacks up with the Yankees taking a firm grip on things, stretching to 4.5 games over their nearest rival, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yes, Memorial Day is still early in the season, not quite halfway to the All-Star break, but things that fans can blow off early in the season as an uncharacteristic blip, start to look ominous when they are left too late. The Boston Red Sox are now in that area, a full ten games back in fourth place. Of course, there is no reason to think that they won’t have a turnaround at some point, pulling ahead of the Rays and Jays, but with the Yankees playing as strong as they are this season, that ten games could be very slow to whittle down.

AL EastWLPCTGB
New York Yankees3315.688-
Tampa Bay Rays2819.5964.5
Toronto Blue Jays2720.5745.5
Boston Red Sox2325.47910
Baltimore Orioles2029.40813.5

One of the most shocking things about a baseball team is when they are meant to do well and they don’t. With all of the money spent by the Minnesota Twins in the off-season, you could reasonably expect them to be north of 30 wins at this point in the season. That is not to say that they are not a strong side, they are. Sitting at 29 wins, they are still above .600 and sitting atop the AL Central division, but with tough competition in the form of the White Sox, a .500 team only five games behind them, and a somewhat surprising Cleveland Guardians who are just behind them at 7.5 games back, one slip and the Twins could find themselves battling it out in a division that they should have walked away with.

AL CentralWLPCTGB
Minnesota Twins2919.604-
Chicago White Sox2323.5005
Cleveland Guardians1924.4427.5
Detroit Tigers1729.37011
Kansas City Royals1630.34812

The Houston Astros are, in this writer’s opinion, the strongest team in baseball at the moment. I felt that way at the beginning of the season, and nothing that I have seen in the first two months has swayed that opinion. They are known for their extremely potent offense, and their bullpen has shown a depth and width this season that has made them the team that gets my vote for eventual World Series Champions.

The AL West is a tight race at the top of the division, with the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers giving serious chase. The Angels are sitting where everyone expected them to, at just 3.5 games out of first place, but perhaps the big surprise here is the Rangers. They should be, by most reckoning, either far below or far above their third place spot. With the amount of money that they have shelled out on their middle infield, you might expect them to be one of the best teams in the majors, but then after playing organ donor to the Yankees in the off-season, they have been gutted of their best and brightest.

AL WestWLPCTGB
Houston Astros3018 .625-
Los Angeles Angels2722.5513.5
Texas Rangers22 24.4787
Seattle Mariners2028.41710
Oakland Athletics2030.40011

The National League stacks up well against their American League counterparts and provides some of the most competitive baseball on offer. No longer having to waste a bat on the pitcher, teams on this side of the table have really let their offenses rip this season, and the NL West in particular has been the home of the strongest games of 2022.

In the NL East, the Mets have been cleaning up house, dominating the division while the reigning champion Atlanta Braves are struggling something awful. The Mets have an impressive .653 win percentage, but a lot of that is at the expense of the lower end of the table, with sweeps of the Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies early on. Later this week, the Mets will head out west and face the Dodgers, the Padres, and the Angels in their California road trip and then will face both the Brewers and the Astros later in the month. June will be the month that truly tests their mettle.

NL EastWLPCTGB
New York Mets3217.653-
Atlanta Braves2325.4798.5
Philadelphia Phillies2127.43810.5
Miami Marlins1926.42211
Washington Nationals1831.36714

The Milwaukee Brewers are looking unstoppable in the NL Central, with only the St Louis Cardinals giving any meaningful chase. With the Pirates, Cubs, and Reds all vying for the worst team in baseball crown, this division looks to be a two-horse race. The Brewers pitching staff is truly outstanding, and is what is keeping them in the running for the pennant race. If their bats ever decide to come alive, they will be a fall contender, but at the moment they look to be invited to the postseason so that they can make up the numbers.

NL CentralWLPCTGB
Milwaukee Brewers3018.625-
St. Louis Cardinals2621.5533.5
Pittsburgh Pirates1927.41310
Chicago Cubs1927.41310
Cincinnati Reds1631.34013.5

The most exciting baseball at the moment is being played in the NL West. The Dodgers look amazing. Of course they do. Because they always do. They posted the highest number of wins last season and were many people’s, including my own, pick to win the World Series. When Atlanta, with only 88 regular season wins, took home the trophy, it was shocking in so many ways, but not least of which was the fact that the Dodgers were the better team. And still they found ways to lose.

There is no doubt that the Dodgers will make the post season, and perhaps even into the World Series, but the strength of the schedule facing the California teams will ultimately be their undoing, with the Padres or the Giants, or perhaps both, falling at the last hurdle.

NL WestWLPCTGB
Los Angeles Dodgers3314.702-
San Diego Padres3017.6383
San Francisco Giants2521.5437.5
Arizona Diamondbacks2326.46911
Colorado Rockies2126.44712

Of course, it is still early days, and we have a trade window opening up soon that will see incredible movement across the league. Expect the Reds, Cardinals, Braves, and White Sox to make big signings and a late run by any of these teams can flip the whole table on its head. But for now, this is how it stacks up on Memorial Day 2022.

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