Right before the the North American Major League Baseball season began, I wrote a myTake predicting how each team in the MLB would prefer. It was titled "The Good "The Good and Bad of Every Major League Baseball Team of 2015!" As the title implies, I also gave the "good" and "bad" news for each team as to why I expected them to perform as such(and I also gave my opinion on each team.)
So, this will be a mid-season recap(AKA "Midsummer Recap.) In this recap, I will give each team's record and division placement. Once again, I will give the "good" and the "bad" for each team so far, as well as how accurate my prediction was at this point. Every team has at least played half of the games in the season(at least 81 games.)
American League East
First Place: New York Yankees
The Good News: The Yankees are proving the doubters that age is just a number, especially with their surge of offense.
The Bad News: They play in the toughest division in baseball, and every team in the division is doing nearly as good in them every category, so any team has an equal chance to win the AL East.
Is my Prediction correct so far? I'm one of those people who thought they would finish with a losing record mainly due to their age. I also thought losing team leader Derek Jeter will hurt their esteem, and Alex Rodriguez would be washed up. So far, I coudn't be more wrong.
Second Place: Baltimore Orioles
The Good News: They're putting up a solid defense and well rounded pitching and defense, which are key to contending for the division. They're doing better than experts predicted.
The Bad News: They need to figure out how to catch up to the Yankees, and their inconsistent hitting is not going to do it.
Is my prediction correct so far? Absolutely! I predicted they would hover around the .500 mark, primarily due to the free agent deficiencies(Cruz, Markakis, and Andrew Miller), which seems to be hurting them in the offense aspect.
Third Place(Tied with Rays): Toronto Blue Jays
The Good News: Their power-hitting and offense in general is destroying nearly every team they face, thanks to big dogs such Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, and Edwin Encarnacion. This team is a terror to pitch againt.
The Bad News: Their pitching is a complete joke, especially their starting pitching. They need to learn how to pitch if they want to move up in the division.
Is my prediction correct so far? It's exactly correct! I predicted them to hover around .500 and I knew their pitching would be their blessing, and their pitching would be their curse.
Third Place(tied with Blue Jays): Tampa Bay Rays
The Good News: Some unexpected pitchers are pulling through, and their defense is still supurb.
The Bad News: Their offense is doing awful. Also, these recent weeks leading to the All-Star Break have been disastrous.
Is My Prediction Correct So Far? They're doing better than I thought they would. I thought for sure they would have a losing record in dead-last place by this time. They've impressed me so far.
Fifth Place: Boston Red Sox
The Good News: They have a decent offense(Thanks to Bogaerts, and Sandoval), and they're still easily in contention.
The Bad News: Their starting rotation is one of the worst in baseball, which caught many people off guard. I never knew losing Jon Lester would be this big of a deal(even though he's struggling for the Cubs.)
Is My prediction correct? Not even close. I thought for sure their offense(and decent pitching) would have them soaring in first place, potentially going to the World Series. I'm stunned at how poor they are performing.
American League Central
First Place: Kansas City Royals
The Good News: Seemingly everything: They have arguably the best overall offense, great pitching, good pitching, five of them are going to the All-Star Game and they're proving that they weren't a fluke after all. They look quite safe in first place at the moment.
The Bad News: They just lost Alex Gordon for at least eight weeks, due to a strained groin. He is a excellent player for the team.
Is My prediction correct so far? Not quite. I thought they were a fluke, since they solely won the Wild Card last year. I also thought losing the leader, Billy Butler, would hurt their chemistry. Apparently not.
Second Place: Minnesota Twins
The Good News: They are going against all expert predictions, with a surprise performance from the ancient Torri Hunter, and Dozier serving as a team leader. They're doing well!
The Bad News: They don't excel in ANY category: They just do "average/good" in several categories. I think this is taking a toll, as they've went downhill in the weeks leading to the All-Star Break.
Is My prediction correct so far? Out of every prediction I've made, this is probably my worst one. I predicted them to have the worst record in baseball and they now have a winning record, pushing first place. I'm speechless.
Third Place: Detroit Tigers
The Good News: They still have a surging offense(the best average in baseball) and always hit for the clutch. They're still a terror to pitch to.
The Bad News: Injuries are killing them. Having Justin Verlander out for most of the season hurt, and they just now lost Miguel Cabrera for at least another four weeks(Ouch!)
Is My prediction correct so far? Not really. I thought they would be a World Series threat and be killing the division so far(Losing Max Scherzer did hurt too.) To be fair, I couldn't predict the injuries.
Fourth Place: Cleveland Indians
The Good News: Their home-grown, young talent is providing chemistry among each other to help them win games. They don't need "stacked" talent.
The Bad News: Kluber is not the ace they were expecting and oddly enough, they slack in almost every category(yet, their record remains a winning one.)
Is My prediction correct? Not quite but not too far off either. I figured they would come in last place with a losing record, and I still think that's highly possible.
Fifth Place: Chicago White Sox
The Good News: Well, they're still in contention for their division. There is that. They also have Chris Sale and Jose Abreu doing well.
The Bad News: Almost everything else. Their team is struggling in everything and they're the only team in their division with a losing record.
Is My prediction correct so far? Roughly, yes it is, although I had higher hopes. I figured their acquisitions would help more but I also knew their pitching(especially bullpen) would hurt them(which is what IS hurting them right now.)
American League West
First Place: Los Angeles Angels
The Good News: Their team still doesn't have many flaws, as their pitching continues to do very well and they still hold a solid offense. Pujols has redeemed himself.
The Bad News: Mike Trout isn't having a "Trout-year" and that may be holding them back, as well as their offense in general.
Is My prediction correct? Not really(even though I predicted the to win the division.) I knew they would do well but I thought they would be dominating this division as a potential World Series threat. I still may be right, since I feel the Astros may be a fluke.
Second Place: Houston Astros
The Good News: Their pitching staff has shocked everyone(as well as the team itself), as Dallas Keuschel turns out to be a surprise star! Their team chemistry is perfect as well. And don't forget about Altuve the Great. It's also great proving experts wrong, right?
The Bad News: Their hitting is still terrible and they very well could be a fluke this first half.
Is My prediction correct so far? Not at all! But WHO did predict this? They were a lousy team going into this season(with no key acquisitions, mind you) and they've completely stunned everyone! I must say, it's exciting so far!
Third Place: Texas Rangers
The Good News: They have done exceptionally well in the past month or so and have really caught up, to what was going to be an atrocious season.
The Bad News: They need to improve the team with some trades before the trading deadline. They clearly can't pitch or field a ball.
Is My prediction correct? Very much so. I predicted they would struggle the entire season, despite the fact their team is healed(this is one of my most accurate predictions.)
Fourth Place: Seattle Mariners
The Good News: Nelson Cruz has proven to be the star he promised to be, along side with some key young stars.
The Bad News: Nelson Cruz and Felix Hernandez can't do it all. Their offense is still lousy and is hurting them in key games.
Is My prediction correct so far? Absolutely. This IS my most accurate prediction. I knew their offense would be what kills them and pitching what helps them. I knew the addition of Cruz wouldn't help them that much.
Fifth Place: Oakland Athletics
The Good News: They debuted the first switch-pitcher in MODERN day baseball history, as well as great pitching, and offense.
The Bad News: They have the worst defense in baseball, by a LONG shot. However, I don't see how that is bad enough to make them the worst record in the American League. Their record baffles me a little.
Is My prediction correct so far? Yes, but for different reasons. I thought losing a big part of their team(Especially with Donaldson and Cespedes) would hurt but their problem isn't offense OR pitching, it's defense and the fact they can't win games(for some odd reason.) This is a weird situation.
National League East
First Place: Washington Nationals
The Good News: They're in first place, they have Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper. Enough said.
The Bad News: Their defense is weak and this could harm them worse than people think.
Is My prediction correct so far? Yes! I figured they would win the NL East with relative ease and I knew they would do very well. So far, so good.
Second Place: New York Mets
The Good News: Matt Harvey and their pitching staff is showing the National League they aren't a fluke and are serious.
The Bad News: They have the worst offense in baseball and it's not even close. They struggle just to get a hit in most games.
Is My prediction correct so far? This is another one I predicted right on. It's obvious the Mets would have great pitching and a Cuddyer-lead offense(which can't be good.)
Third Place: Atlanta Braves
The Good News: Their offense, led by Freddie Freeman, is trying to bring them back in contention, and let's not forget the Braves seem to work miracles in the NL East.
The Bad News: For the first time in a long time, their pitching isn't doing well. They need some more additions if they want to compete in October.
Is My prediction correct so far? Pretty much. I figured their acquisitions and defficiencies would balance out and I knew they would hover around the .500 mark.
Fourth Place: Miami Marlins
The Good News: Their defense saves them a lot of games, since it's one of the best, and they just got Jose Fernandez back from the Disabled List.
The Bad News: The HEART of their team, Giancarlo Stanton, is still injured at least for another two weeks(probably more) and their team is slacking in nearly every category. It's going to be ugly for now.
Is My prediction correct so far? Yes! I knew they would struggle to win, and their fan-base still refuses to support this team.
Fifth Place: Philadelphia Phillies
The Good News: There isn't too much good news for a team on pace to finish with 52 wins. At least Jonathon Paplebon is a great closer and sometimes, Ryan Howard can carry an entire game.
The Bad News: Do I even need to explain? They're on pace to lose 110 games, they have atrocious pitching, fielding and offense, as well as an inexperienced manager, with a team whose age IS showing. This is a total abomination.
Is My prediction correct? How could it be? I knew they would be a disaster but I didn't think they would be on pace to finish with one of the worst records in baseball history.
National League Central
First Place: St. Louis Cardinals
The Good News: Pretty much everything! They're on pace to win 105 games, they will probably surge as they usually do in the post-season(as they usually make it), they have the best pitching in baseball, great hitting, decent defense, and they've been winning like crazy as of lately as well.
The Bad News: They've battled injuries the entire season, with key players such as Adam Wainwright out for the season, Matt Adams out for at least two more months, and Matt Holiday out for probably another month. However, this doesn't seem to stop them. The bad news isn't there for this team(and hasn't been for over a decade.)
Is My prediction correct? Of course it is. When do the Cardinals ever have a bad season? When do they NOT make the post-season? I saw this coming as usual.
Second Place: Pittsburgh Pirates
The Good News: They have had a phenominal month since mid-June and are continuing their surge, and their pitching is unstoppable.
The Bad News: It seems they still have a little chance of catching up with the Cardinals, and their defense could be better.
Is My prediction correct? Not at all! I thought they would have an off-season and finish with a losing record. It looks like I'll be wrong.
Third Place: Chicago Cubs
The Good News: Their pitching is surprising everyone(even at Wrigley Field) and they're in post-season contention as of right now(the World Series seems close for Cubs fans.)
The Bad News: They have such immense competition with the Pirates and Cardinals, and Jon Lester is not living up to his expectations(and their hitting is terrible.)
Is My prediction correct so far? Pretty much. I figured they would have a winning record but I also figured they would miss the post-season(and they might make it now.)
Yours truly, @CincinnatiRedsFan, at Opening Day during the Cincinnati Reds game.
Fourth Place: Cincinnati Reds
The Good News: My team is doing well against teams with a winning record and they have among the best defense in baseball. I also see young talent emerging and a comeback year for Joey Votto.
The Bad News: My Reds are plastered with injuries, closing in on last place, their pitching has gotten much worse as the season progresses, and they're closing in on last place. There isn't much hope for my Reds :(
Is My prediction correct? Not quite. I knew they would do bad but I actually thought their record would be worse than it is and I thought they would easily be in last place. At least they're doing a little better than my expectations.
Fifth Place: Milwaukee Brewers
The Good News: They've been "hot" in the past four weeks and could very well take the Reds spot for fourth place. Oh, and Ryan Braun still exists.
The Bad News: Pretty much everything else. There isn't one category they do well in, and even though they have been a little "hot", they're going to have to pull some miracles to make it back in contention.
Is My prediction correct? Not really. I figured last year was a fluke in the first half and their collapse was their actual team, however, I thought they would have spots swaped with the Reds.
National League West
First Place: Los Angeles Dodgers
The Good News: Their team is dominating everyone in their division, so they are comfortable in first place. Also, a re-surging Kershaw and Zach Greinke is carrying the team(and Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig don't hurt either.)
The Bad News: They still have the Giants to worry about, and Adrian Gonzalez has been in a slump lately.
Is My prediction correct so far? As usual, yes. I always predict them to do exceptional and they always do. It's their choking status in October which is unpredictable.
Second Place: San Francisco Giants
The Good News: They have a winning record, they have Madison Bumgardner, and they have Buster Posey. And they're the Giants. This is pretty much all they need.
The Bad News: They're going to have to work a little harder for a Wild Card spot this time around.
Is My prediction correct so far? Exactly, so far. They usually come in second place and follow up with a World Series victory(sarcasm but it feels like it.)
Third Place: Arizona Diamondbacks
The Good News: They have excellent defense, great hitting, and Paul Goldschmidt.
The Bad News: They have no pitching and Goldschmidt can't carry a team, especially with the Dodgers beating them down further.
Is My prediction correct so far? Very much so. I knew they would struggle and I knew Goldschmidt couldn't carry the whole team. Again, they're too young.
Fourth Place: San Diego Padres
The Good News: On paper, their team looks solid: Justin Upton, Morneau, Cashner, Kimbrel, and many other good talents.
The Bad News: For some reason, they can't put it together and do better. They struggle in every category but nobody can figure out why.
Is My prediction correct so far? Almost, but I figured they would do a little bit better, due to their improvements. However, they're still the Padres.
Fifth Place: Colorado Rockies
The Good News: They are among the best hitting teams in all of baseball, thanks to Tulowitzski and Blackmon(especially.)
The Bad News: They have the absolute worst pitching in baseball(and you can't use Coors Field as an excuse.) They don't have a single good pitcher on the entire team. It also doesn't help they're in the basement of a division being ran by one team.
Is My prediction correct so far? Everything I said was correct. I knew their pitching would be terrible and it wouldn't matter how good their hitting is. I also knew they would have a losing record.
So, there is my recap! Enjoy the All-Star Break (even though seven Royals will be in the game.)