Not since the heady days of Michel de Nostradame has so much been forsworn to truth. Or at least a good day of trying to figure out how the rest of the year is going to go.
The Royals lead the American League Central and have the second-best run differential in the league. Ho hum. The American League West has tightened up: Houston has lost six in a row, and Texas is 2-8 in their last ten, letting the Angels ride a 7-3 stretch to take over first. 6.5 games separates first and last place in the American League East, so it is anybody's race. But really, it is likely to come down to New York, Baltimore, and Toronto (Go Jays).
Over on the Senior side, the St. Louis Cardinals lead the National League Central, but are having a tough time holding off the surging Pittsburgh Pirates, who swept St. Louis leading into the break and have won thirteen of their last sixteen. The Cubs are an interesting Wild Card team who, after struggling early, are starting to come around, with more prospects left in the system. The Los Angeles Dodgers are holding court out in the National League West, with the San Francisco Giants trying to keep up. Arizona has been the most meh team this year, with a 0 +/- run differential and a 42-45 record. San Diego's Operation Marlins World Seris Woohoo has not panned out, and are likely to be sellers in the next couple of weeks.
Top Ten Position Players, by fWAR:
- Bryce Harper, 5.7
- Mike Trout, 5.5
- Jason Kipnis, 4.8
- Josh Donaldson, 4.7
- Paul Goldschmit, 4.5
- Manny Machado, 4.2
- Lorenzo Cain, 4.0
- Giancarlo Stanton, 3.9
- Todd Frazier, 3.8
- J.D. Martinez, 3.8
Top Ten Starting Pitchers, by fWAR:
- Max Scherzer, 4.7
- Chris Sale, 4.1
- Corey Kluber, 3.9
- Clayton Kershaw, 3.7
- Sonny Gray, 3.4
- Jake Arrieta, 3.4
- Dallas Keuchel, 3.4
- David Price, 3.2
- Zack Greinke, 3.2
- Chris Archer, 3.2
Of the twenty players listed, Jake Arrieta and Corey Kluber did not make the All-Star game.
- Lorenzo Cain is the first Royals player to post 4.0+ Wins Above Replacement in the first half since George Brett in 1985. Brett hit .358/.456/.580 in eighty games to start the Royals World's Series campaign.
- Kendrys Morales' 61 RBI is second in the American League (Mark Teixeira, 62). It is also just thirteen behind Kansas City's RBI leader last year (Alex Gordon, 74).
- The Royals have the best defense in the American League (31.6 Runs Saved), good enough for third in MLB. The next highest American League team is in eleventh place (Tampa, 16.7).
- Kansas City's bullpen ERA is 2.11, best in the majors. The Rockies are the worst (4.52), but by fWAR the leaders are the Dodgers (3.7 WAR, 3.56 ERA) and the Tigers (-0.6 fWAR, 3.97 ERA).
- Alex Gordon is amazing.
So whattaya got for the second half?