No baseball tonight. This is your discussion thread for the evening. Let's catch up with the other teams in the division.
I'm flabbergasted that the Twins are still doing this well. The general consensus is that they're winning because of favorable sequencing.
Brian Dozier is their main offensive cog at second base, but Trevor Plouffe at third and Torii Hunter in right field have been above average on offense. They also called up notable prospect Miguel Sano, who is a thumper. However, they give a lot of plate appearances to guys who haven't had good offensive seasons. Joe Mauer just isn't who he used to be.
On the pitching side, Glen Perkins is still an elite closer. Their starters have this weird thing where many of them have huge differences between their ERA and FIP. Phil Hughes and Mike Pelfrey are the exceptions, but they have been below average. Hughes' down year is a bit unexpected for me; I expected regression, but it's swung far in the other way. Ervin Santana has made two unimpressive starts.
Their offense is as potent as ever. J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes are thumping, and Miguel Cabrera was having another amazing season before his injury. Victor Martinez is starting to get back to being himself. It's the pitching that's the problem. Their rotation is far and away worse than last year; David Price is still himself, but they haven't found any answers behind him. We know about their bullpen.
Jason Kipnis is the main bright spot on offense. The rest of the guys are either "good", "platoon player", or "really bad". Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher almost seem like their days as productive offensive players are gone. Their team defense is still bad, but it doesn't rate as bad as last year.
They still have a good crop of starters, led by Corey Kluber, and their bullpen is OK enough. It's the defense and the offense that seem to be lacking.
White Sox (41-45)
Jose Abreu is their only above average offensive performer by wRC+. The last 30 days have been more kind to the offense, but who knows if it'll continue.
The team has a pretty good crop of starters in spots 1-4, with Chris Sale leading the way, and their bullpen isn't terrible (it's not great either). However, both DRS and UZR hate their defense. Offense and defense are lacking for this team.
The Royals have a 4.5 game lead over the Twins to begin the "second half". Go team go Royals, who by the way practically won the AL home field advantage. J.K. Ward will have a league-wide roundup tomorrow.