The All-Star Game is next week, which means that we’re basically at the halfway point of the MLB betting season. Let’s take a look at the latest balance of power in the great game.
Who’s most likely to keep playing well? Kansas City has a reliable bullpen and a solid defense. Those are likely to remain solid, but what will change is that the starting rotation won’t be the chaotic mess that it was during much of the first half of the season. They could look to bring in some outside help as well. The rest of the American League Central continues to lack much in the way of sustained winning. The Royals, though, look to have that same juju that they had last season.
MLB Betting: This Week’s Power Rankings (July 10, 2015)
Who’s most likely to fall off the pace? I have to admit that the Houston Astros are fun to watch. Dallas Keuchel is a favorite candidate to win the Cy Young Award, and Carlos Correa might be the league’s best shortstop already. However, the bullpen lacks depth, as does the rotation. The offense leads the American League in home runs – but also in strikeouts. In on base percentage and batting average, the Astros rank in the league’s bottom third. Now it’s difficult to pick which team behind them will catch fire and take over the division, but the Angels look like they might be righting the ship. Don’t be surprised with a much more modest second half from Houston.
Who’s most likely to go from OK to not so OK? The Minnesota Twins have Kyle Gibson and Tommy Milone prime for regression, and the team ranks in the lower half of the league in the majority of the offensive categories. When Miguel Sano is a reliable power hitter and Byron Buxton is a force in the leadoff spot, this team will contend, but they’re not likely to do that this year.
Who’s most likely to keep underachieving? How can the Seattle Mariners be this bad with a legitimate ace (in King Felix), a legitimate designated hitter (in Nelson Cruz), an elite second baseman (in Robinson Cano) and the rest of the talent that this team has? Many people thought the M’s would carry the West crown away this year, but that’s not going to happen – not with this moribund offense. That stomach bug that keeps bothering Cano appears to be irritating the whole team.
Who’s least likely to keep underachieving? The Boston Red Sox have been slumming, but they’ve taken three straight series – against Tampa Bay, Toronto and Houston. The Red Sox need to be buyers, and general manager Ben Cherrington will open the vault and the farm system after the All-Star Game.
So here are the rankings:
#30 – Philadelphia Phillies(here to stay?)
#29 – Colorado Rockies
#28 – Miami Marlins (set to trade Mat Latos?)
#27 – San Diego Padres (who kidnapped Matt Kemp?)
#26 – Chicago White Sox
#25 – Cincinnati Reds (say goodbye to Johnny Cueto)
#24 – Milwaukee Brewers (same goes for Adam Lind)
#23 – Seattle Mariners (could Mike Montgomery be for real?)
#22 – Oakland A’s (buying or selling?)
#21 – Texas Rangers (is Adrian Beltre starting to decline?)
#20 – Arizona Diamondbacks
#19 – Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber is an awesome pitcher with a 4-9 record)
#18 – Atlanta Braves (complete rebuild)
#17 – Boston Red Sox
#16 – New York Mets (0-7 against the Cubs this year)
#15 – Tampa Bay Rays (welcome back, Matt Moore)
#14 – San Francisco Giants
#13 – Baltimore Orioles (paging Chris Tillman)
#12 – Toronto Blue Jays (needs another starting pitcher)
#11 – Detroit Tigers (remember when they started 11-2?)
#10 – Minnesota Twins (Paul Molitor for Manager of the Year?)
#9 – New York Yankees (could A-Rod win the East?)
#8 – Washington Nationals (thank you for the weak division)
#7 – Los Angeles Angels (winners of 8 of 9 and 4 straight with a 43-10 aggregate score)
#6 – Los Angeles Dodgers
#5 – Chicago Cubs
#4 – Kansas City Royals
#3 – Houston Astros (they did just sweep Kansas City in three by a total 16-6 score)
#2 – Pittsburgh Pirates (give Gregory Polanco some more time)
#1 – St. Louis Cardinals (even though they have only won three of nine)