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Major League Baseball - Who’s hot and who’s not?

Major League Baseball is now at the season’s quarter mark. Teams have played 25 percent of the games on the regular season schedule and are halfway to the All-Star break, which will be played at Dodger Stadium on July 19.

Major League Baseball - Who’s hot and who’s not?
Joseph McMahon
Major League Baseball is now at the season’s quarter mark. Teams have played 25 percent of the games on the regular season schedule.
Geoff BurkeUSA TODAY Sports

National League

The current standings can be deceiving because the win column depends on the strength of the schedule they have faced to date. Case in point: the Milwaukee Brewers. They are at the top of the National League Central division, but so far half of their games have been against the Reds, Cubs, Pirates, Nationals and Orioles. Will they be able to stay atop their division with the St. Louis Cardinals close behind?

The Cardinals have the second-best run differential in the National League, a statistic that proves they are better than their second-place position indicates. If veterans Yadier Molina, Albert Pujols and Noland Arenado can stay hot, there’s a good chance they will be in first place at the halfway point in July.

The New York Mets are already 7.5 games ahead of the Braves and Phillies in the NL East. Their bats have been as hot as their pitchers, despite Max Scherzer being put on the injured list. The Mets are flying high and there are no indications to suggest that will change any time soon.

Out west, the LA Dodgers and San Francisco Padres are battling it out at the top. The Dodgers’ Mookie Betts and Freddy Freeman’s OPS are at .957 and .850, respectively, while the team is being carried by solid pitching from starters Julio Urias, Walker Buehler and Tyler Anderson.

The Padres’ pitcher Joe Musgrove is 5-0 with a 1.90 ERA and Manny Machado is having an all-star start to the season with an OPS of 1.027 and an impressive .361 batting average.

There is no surprise to the other side of the coin in the National League: The Cincinnati Reds are on their way to having one of the worst records ever in MLB history. The Pittsburgh Pirates are playing as expected and keeping the Reds company in the NL Central’s basement. The Washington Nationals in the NL East are struggling so far with a 14-30 record. Right fielder Juan Soto is one of the team’s few bright spots, but trade talks are in the works, which would be a tough blow for fans.

American League

The Yankees are having a hot start to the year, but even though they are 30-13, the Tampa Bay Rays are only 4.5 games back. The Bronx Bombers need to stay hot in a division where the only team that can be currently ruled out are the Baltimore Orioles. Don’t rule out the Red Sox, they started off slow, but are 8-2 in their last ten games.

Special mention goes to the Yankees lineup, which doesn’t really have a weak link from 1 to 9. Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Donaldson and highly motivated, soon-to-be free agent Aaron Judge, who already has 17 home runs, are a nightmare for opposing pitchers.

Meanwhile, in the AL Central the Minnesota Twins seem to have everything under control with some solid pitching and hitting on a team without superstars, but with a core of players that get the job done day in day out.

Out West it’s a two-team race between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels. Mike Trout is having a stellar season so far with a 1.129 OPS alongside superstar teammate Shohei Ohtani, who is a two-way threat on the mound and in the batter’s box.

It will be fun watching the Angels lineup do damage during the rest of the season as they battle with the Astros for first place.


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