As the old saying goes, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” A few teams in the MLB have proven just that. Sure, these squads have quite a few players have stood out from the rest of the crowd. But it’s when every teammate does its part that consistently brings wins to the clubhouse.
From fearsome pitching staffs to bruising batting presence, the best of this season have made their ways to the top of experts’ Mid-season power rankings. But it’s not enough for these squads. Spots in October are in scarce supply. The following franchises have positioned themselves ahead for a spot in the playoffs.
Mid-Season Power Rankings: American League
1. Boston Red Sox, Record: 63-29
Taking a slim lead in the American League East (and our mid-season power rankings) are the Boston Red Sox. Manager Alex Cora has no doubt made a statement in his first year as skipper. Sure, It doesn’t hurt to have stars like Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Chris Sale all in the same uniform. But Cora has constantly found winning formulas day in and day out with this amount of star power. Not an easy task, especially for new managers.
The Red Sox, as a team, lead the AL in batting average, total RBI’s, and slugging percentage. Boston has also won eight of their last ten games. This momentum will be needed to retain their division pendant.
2. Houston Astros, Record: 61-31
While Boston paves its way via the batter’s box, the Houston Astros have made their mark from the pitcher’s mound. The reigning World Series Champions boast the only pitching staff in baseball with a team ERA of under 3.00. Not to mention that they have allowed the lowest batting average from the mound. On top of that, Houston houses the greatest fielding squad in the AL. It does help when your pitchers include Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton. But right now, there are few teams whose team chemistry is as solid as Houston’s is.
3. New York Yankees, Record: 59-30
Like Boston, the New York Yankees have abundant success with a new manager in 2018. Aaron Boone and company have their sights set on being more than a Wild-Card team in the playoffs. From the batter’s box, the Pinstripes have belted more home runs than any clubhouse this season. The Yankee’s pitching staff is a beast as well, yielding the second lowest ERA and batting average allowed this season. New York will need to continue riding high if they wish to overtake Boston for the AL East.
Mid-Season Power Rankings: National League
1. Milwaukee Brewers, Record: 54-36
Craig Counsell and the Brew Crew have kicked things up a notch after just missing the playoffs last season. Milwaukee stands atop the NL Central by a small margin. In addition, they have won seven of their last 10 games. The Brewers’ pitching squad has helped substantially. The squad boasts the third lowest ERA and the lowest batting average in the NL. Along with names like Jesus Aguilar on the offensive end, seeing Milwaukee in the playoffs should not surprise anyone.
2. Chicago Cubs, Record: 51-36
The Chicago Cubs are hot on Milwaukee’s tail for the NL Central. Chicago has also won eight of its last ten games. Joe Maddon and company have hit high notes from the batter’s box this season. As a team, the Cubs lead the NL in batting average and runs batted in. Their pitching roster is no slouch either, with a 3.60 and an allowed batting average of .230. Chicago have stepped it up with only a week til the All-Star Game. But to keep their division pendant, they’ll need to replicate their success after the Midsummer Classic. Expect Milwaukee and Chicago to keep trading leads for a while.
3. Atlanta Braves, Record: 50-39
The race for the NL East is also very tight, between Philadelphia and Atlanta. The Atlanta Braves have become well-versed in multiple areas in 2018. Atlanta’s batting crew stands with a .259 batting average (2nd in NL) and has tallied 418 RBI (also 2nd in NL). The Braves’ pitching and fielding stand more than solidly on their own merits as well. But with the Phillies 8-2 in THEIR last ten games, Atlanta can not afford to go on cruise control.
Coming Up Next…
One of the big missions for these teams is continuing this success after the All-Star Game. Once that staged has passed, the race for October heats up. These are only the mid-season power rankings. Every game will count with only ten playoff spots available.
Featured Image courtesy of Brew Crew Ball
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