MLB: The First Half

The All-Star break has come and gone, signifying the official halfway point of the 2018 season. Yes, I realize that my fellow OCD folks out there are aware that, mathematically, we’re far beyond the halfway point. But we’ll stick with tradition here. Who makes a run in the second half? What trades will reshape the playoffs? One big one happened already, more to come, I’m sure.

AL East: This is a 2 team race. Boston has a slight lead over the Yankees heading into this weekend’s games. The potential additions over the next two weeks could very well determine the outcome. No one else in this division has a chance at this point. Too far back, not enough talent. At least not this season.

AL Central: The Central is the Indian’s division to lose. They have a 7.5 game lead at the break and the Twins are the only team even attempting a threat. Barring a collapse, I can’t see anyone but Cleveland coming out of the Central. But the Indians better add some bullpen help before the trade deadline. They won’t get to the World Series with their current pen.

AL West: This is a tight division. The reigning world champs Houston Astros are currently in 1st place. But don’t count out the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland A’s. Likely, one of these teams will get the second Wild Card spot, but baseball is a beautiful and unpredictable sport. The division games over the next two months will be pivotal.

NL East: Here’s another tight race among three teams. Philly has a half game lead over the Braves with the Nationals just five games behind them. I personally feel the Braves take this division. If the Nationals don’t come out hot this weekend, do they go ahead and trade Bryce Harper if they can’t sign him to an extension? If I’m playing GM, I’m cutting my losses and grabbing what I can for him.

NL Central: The Cubs retained their rightful place at the top of the Central right before the break, thanks to an abysmal collapse by the Brewers. The Brewers are hurting, they need to fix it now. The Cardinals have all but checked out and the red hot Reds are here to play spoiler.

NL West: The Dodgers just traded 5 players in order to rent Manny Machado for the rest of the season. They started slow this year, but now they’re healthy and have a 4 time all-star at shortstop. This division is tough, but the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Giants better up their game if they want to compete with the Dodgers down the stretch.

So many other factors over the next 2 weeks will help shape all of this up. I’ve seen a lot of names that could be changing addresses. Nolan Arenado, Jacob deGrom, Rasiel Iglesias, to name a few. As we get closer to the July 31st deadline, we’ll see if desperation plays a role in any of these potential moves.

All we can do is sit back and watch it happen. But it will undoubtedly be an interesting couple of weeks. Enjoy. #PlayBall

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