MLB Standings heading into 2011 All-Star Game
Now that the 2011 All-Star game has been completed, it’s a good time to review what happened in the first half of the season and check the MLB standings to see if things played out the way experts predicted back on opening day. We’ve only witnessed half of the marathon season that MLB is but the table has been set. By now we know who will be contenders because those not able to contend find the cellar quickly.
Only three clubs have above .600 winning averages and two of them, the Boston Red Sox (55-35) and New York Yankees (53-35), are in the American League East Division, the other, Philadelphia over in the National League East. There are no surprises here as these three were picked to be battling for the top from the beginning. The Red Sox currently hold a 1-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East but these rivals have been swapping the lead all season. Count on it, this will be a battle that will run the course of the season. Tampa Bay (49-41) is within reach in third, and as expected, Toronto and Baltimore occupy fourth and fifth.
The Texas Rangers (51-41) were one of three teams expected to contend so it’s no surprise they lead the Angels by a game in the AL West. Seattle acted competitive for awhile but lost five straight heading into the break and is five-games below the .500 mark. The biggest disappointment in that division is the Oakland (39-53) mired in last place 14-games below .500. The A’s, based on their pitching rotation, were expected to be much better.
If the AL Central goes the second half as it did the first, we will be watching Detroit (49-43) or Cleveland (47-42) in the playoffs. The Indians broke out of the gate quickly and led the majors in wins through much of June but have come back to the pack and now actually trail the Tigers by a half-game in the standings. Chicago is lurking five back and the Twins have been disappointing 6 1/2-back in fourth. After a promising start, the Royals have returned to their losing ways and are in last place 11 1/2-games back.
The Philadelphia Phillies, with a 57-34 record, have set the bar in the NL but haven’t been able to run away and hide with the second place Atlanta Braves (54-38) breathing down their necks in the NL East. The third place Mets (46-45) have shown improvement from a year ago and are currently in third, but at 11-games off the pace, will not be able to challenge the Phillies. At .500 the Nationals (46-46) have been a pleasant surprise while the Marlins in last place have been disappointing 14-games back.
Honestly, there’s very little exciting news to report in the NL West. The San Francisco Giants (52-40) lead the way with Arizona lurking three games back in second. Colorado’s winning percentage of .446 has them in fourth 8 1/2 back while the bankrupt Dodgers (41-51) languish near the bottom, 10-games below .500 in fourth. Bringing up the bottom is San Diego (40-52), not exactly a surprise.