It is a misnomer to say that the season is half over at the All-Star break, with the Angels having played 91 games and having only 71 games left when they return after the midsummer classic. That being said, it is time to look at the current division leaders and the teams that are still contending in those divisions.
The Yankees have the best record in the majors at the break with a 56-32 record and a .636 winning percentage. The Rays, also in the AL East, have the next best record with a 54-34 mark and a .614 winning percentage.
Both teams lead the majors in run differential with the Yankees scoring 117 more runs than their opponents, while the Rays are scoring 105 more. On the other hand, the Pirates are the worst team, giving up 194 runs more than they have scored in 2010.
The White Sox moved into first place yesterday with a half game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central. On June 8, the White Sox were 24-33 and nine games under .500, but have played 25-5 baseball since then. They will enter the second half with an eight-game winning streak, and a 9-1 record in their last 10 games.
Falling back into third place, the Twins have played 6-13 baseball since June 20. They need to address their starting pitching problems before the trading deadline, with Carl Pavano and Kevin Slowey having the only winning records among their starters.
Joe Mauer, who led the majors in batting with a .365 average in 2009, is hitting .293 this season, while hitting .229 in July. Last season, he hit a home run every 18.7 at bats, but this season, he is homering every 72.5 at bats.
The financially troubled Rangers have not let those problems affect their play on the field, with the largest margin in the majors over the second place Angels, who were only a half game behind the Rangers on June 12, but are now four and a half games behind Texas.
With the addition of Cliff Lee last week, the Rangers should be even stronger after the break. No team in the AL West has a current winning record in their last 10 games. The Athletics showed that they can contend in the AL West, by outscoring the Angels 20-3 in their last two games.
It was almost a foregone conclusion that the Phillies would be leading the NL East at the break, but instead, they are in third place and four and a half games behind the Braves. The Mets are four back and a half game ahead of the Phillies, and with the return of Carlos Beltran after the break, their offense should be even better.
On this date a year ago, the Reds were in fifth place in the NL Central and trailing the first place Cardinals by five games. A year later, the Reds are holding a slim one-game lead over the Cardinals, but have lost their last four games. The Cardinals are not playing much better as they and the third place Brewers, like the Reds, are all 4-6 in their last 10 games.
No NL Central team has a winning record in their last 10 games.
The Padres lead the Dodgers and Rockies, who are tied for second place in the NL West. Both teams are trailing the Padres by two games. The Padres lead the majors in team ERA with a 3.21 mark, and are also holding opponents to the lowest batting average at .237.
AL Wild Card Standings
The Rays are currently leading the Red Sox by three games, the Tigers by five games, and the Twins by eight games in the AL wild card standings.
NL Wild Card Standings
There is a tie for the lead in the NL wild card standings with the Dodgers and Rockies in first, the Mets one game out, the Phillies a game and a half behind, and the Giants and Cardinals two games behind.