Rather than just looking at individual teams I thought it would be fun to take a look at how each of the divisions is doing as a whole after the first month.
When you look across an entire division there really is not much separation when it comes to numbers, so most of this is based upon opinion, and the general direction of the division.
No real surprise here as the AL East is always one of the most solid divisions in baseball. They boast the two teams with the best record in baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees.
Both of those teams figure to be near the top all season, and should make runs at the playoffs.
After starting the season strong the Toronto Blue Jays have faded recently dropping six of their last ten. The Boston Red Sox, on the other hand, appear to have turned it around somewhat having won seven of their last ten.
Every division has their cellar dweller, and the Baltimore Orioles appear to be that once again. They are already 10.5 games out of first place, and look to be mathematically out of it sometime in May.
2. NL East 59-55 (.518)
The NL East barely edges out the West because they have the hottest team in baseball right now, The New York Mets.
The Major League choke artists of recent years are getting out to another fast start, having won nine of their last ten, including eight in a row. Only time will tell if they can sustain it.
The shock of the division after one month of play has to be the Washington Nationals who are in second place in the division at 13-10.
Their potential future ace is rumored to be making the jump to AAA next week and if he continues to succeed don’t be too surprised if he ends up in Washington by June.
The bottom three teams have all struggled of late, and none more than the Atlanta Braves who are 9-14 having lost nine of their last ten.
3. NL West 59-55 (.518)
Who would have thought San Diego would be at the top of the division at any point this season? Not me, but they are at 15-8 having won eight of their last ten.
It is just one of those strange things that happen in baseball in April.
The San Francisco Giants are also playing well at 13-9, but only broke even at 5-5 in their last ten.
The rest of the division is still trying to figure themselves out, with no one more confused than the LA Dodgers. Welcome to Mannywood.
4. AL West 46-48 (.489)
I was tempted to move the AL West up a notch, but decided to leave my bias on the side for now. In what is absolutely the most competitive division from top to bottom there is still no clear cut leader.
Oakland started out hot but has faded of late losing seven of their last ten.
The Angels look confused after losing John Lackey, Vladimir Guerrero, Chone Figgins, etc. in the offseason.
The Mariners are pitching lights out, but their offense also has the lights out.
The Rangers have been the strongest team of late, and have looked really good against their division foes which may bode well for the future.
5. NL Central 65-73 (.471)
Despite having the lower winning percentage the NL Central is a little more competitive than their AL counterparts.
St Louis is out in front where they will be the rest of the season on their way to another division title, mark my words.
The middle of the division is staying in striking distance and Cincinnati is playing well having won five in a row. They even have a better record than St. Louis over their last ten games at 7-3.
The bottom of the division is just that, the bottom. Milwaukee and Houston look downright ugly, with no real signs of improvement.
6. AL Central 56-59 (.486)
The least competitive division in baseball sits at the bottom for now, and I wouldn’t expect them to go skyrocketing up anytime soon.
This is essentially a two horse race between Minnesota and Detroit.
Despite losing their closer before the season, Minnesota has looked strong and refuses to fade after the first month of play.
This further reaffirms my belief that too much is made of a closer being indispensable.
Detroit continues to play solid ball, and has been improving lately. After going 7-3 over their last ten they have improved from being a .500 team to four games over .500.
The rest of the division is already six or more games out, and I don’t see them turning it around anytime soon.
I realize it is still very early in the season, and there is still a lot of baseball to be played, but some early frontrunners are starting to appear.
Besides the expected Yankees and Cardinals there are a number of other teams that are starting off the season right.
Tampa Bay is exceeding expectations and is using their lineup to perfection.
The Mets appear to have put the pieces back together and may surprise us by not choking at the end of the season.
I realize I am a little biased but the most exciting race will likely be in the AL West. Let’s hope that their later starting times won’t keep the rest of the country from watching because it should be exciting.
It is so nice to have my favorite sport back in full swing, and I am so excited for what the summer has to hold.