2015 MLB Mid-Season Report

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Awards

AL MVP – OF Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels

NL MVP – OF Bryce Harper Washington Nationals

AL Cy Young – Chris Sale Chicago White Sox

NL Cy Young – Zack Greinke Los Angeles Dodgers

AL Rookie of the Year – SS Carlos Correa Houston Astros

NL Rookie of the Year – 3B Kris Bryant Chicago Cubs

AL Manager of the Year – Ned Yost Kansas City Royals

NL Manager of the Year – Clint Hurdle Pittsburgh Pirates

Report Cards

American League

Elite Class

Kansas City Royals 52-34

They’re out to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke. They have a strong bullpen and a lineup that actually is better than last years that brought them to the brink of a World Series title. It will be interesting to see if they make any moves to subtle improve for another postseason run.

Los Angeles Angels 48-40

When their GM Jerry DiPoto resigned, it seemed that the wheels might start to fall off. That wasn’t the case as the Angels finished the first half in first place ahead of the Astros. Whether the Angels make a move for another bat will be worth watching for.

New York Yankees 48-40

The lineup is stacked as usual with any Yankee team. The pitching is a concern, especially the starting rotation. They’ll likely make a move to stay ahead in the AL East.

Contenders

Minnesota Twins 49-40

No one had the Twins at the top of the Wild Card standings at the break. They can certainly make a move or two to stay atop for a possible postseason berth. Don’t expect it as they don’t want to give up on some promising youngsters that are helping them this season.

Houston Astros 49-40

They have been in first place for most of the season. Don’t expect them to just let it go away without a fight. They’ll be aggressive to make a trade or two, but their young talent is coming together rather quickly.

Tampa Bay Rays 46-45

Their lineup has a lot of holes that need to be filled, but Tampa Bay won’t give away any pitching surplus to fix that this season. Expect those kinds of moves in the offseason, but Tampa Bay certainly could surprise some with a late run.

Baltimore Orioles 44-44

It hasn’t been the kind of year the Orioles had hoped for, but the AL East has been beating each other up for the most part. Baltimore could make some moves for a starting pitcher, but don’t expect anything big.

Detroit Tigers 44-44

For them to be in this position is a bit shocking, but once Miguel Cabrera returns from injury the Tigers should get right back to business. They can only hope that some of their pitchers return to form as well.

Toronto Blue Jays 45-46

They should be the most aggressive at making improvements. Mostly to their pitching staff. They could use another starter, but more importantly a closer. Their lineup is a huge threat if they make the postseason.

Outside Looking In

Cleveland Indians 42-46

They’ll probably explore some options to sell off some assets, but don’t expect them to do too much. It is a disappointing season, but they don’t want to start a fire sale.

Texas Rangers 42-46

Nothing is going right for them, but having a healthy Prince Fielder has been the lone bright spot. If they start to pick up some ground in the standings, pitching will be a necessity for them.

Chicago White Sox 41-45

Jeff Samardzija will be a highly sought after pitcher before the trade deadline. Chicago will want a sizable return for him. Unless they start to turn things around look for that move to be made.

Prepare for Spring Training 2016

Boston Red Sox 42-47

Some have called for the Red Sox to jump ship from the Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval signings. Chances of that happening are slim at best. They could trade some expiring contracts or some pitchers, but don’t expect a big splash.

Seattle Mariners 41-48

Aside from Nelson Cruz, Seattle is where perennial hitters go to rot. It just hasn’t come together for the Mariners and heads could roll in the front office when the season ends. It will be interesting if more trades are made to try and right this ship.

Oakland Athletics 41-50

Billy Beane isn’t shy about making moves and I would be surprised if he doesn’t make at least one trade before the deadline. He’s already dismantled the 2014 roster in the previous offseason, but that doesn’t he’ll wait to do the same to the 2015 roster in July.

National League

Elite Class

St. Louis Cardinals 56-33

With the best record in baseball they don’t have many weak spots. Health is a concern with Matt Holliday and Matt Adams needing to return to form. Their pitching staff has been amazing without Adam Wainwright.

Pittsburgh Pirates 53-35

They like their division rivals the Cardinals, have elite pitching. Their lineup is good, but they could use another bat to either catch or stay atop the Wild Card standings.

Los Angeles Dodgers 51-39

Make no mistake that the Dodgers will be active at the deadline. A starting pitcher will be one move they have to make with depth being a issue right now. Their lineup is solid, but having an extra bat for off days and pinch hit opportunities doesn’t hurt either.

Washington Nationals 48-39

Their pitching is their strong suit. Whether they need to make a move to shore up their lineup is the question right now in DC. It isn’t a bad idea with the Mets on their heels.

Contenders

Chicago Cubs 47-40

All that talent is coming together and there is more on the way. Getting a reliable bullpen arm will help keep those leads and maybe another starting pitcher. Although Joe Maddon is having fun with the young stars at his disposal.

New York Mets 47-42

They need bats and a healthy David Wright would be a start. However, with the possibility of Wright not coming back to form the Mets needs at least two reliable hitters to keep pace in the standings.

San Francisco Giants 46-43

It’s that right time of year for them to all of a sudden turn on the switch. If Brian Sabean makes a move it will most likely be for a bat, but he could stand pat as well. With the return of Hunter Pence that could be all the defending champions need.

Outside Looking In

Arizona Diamondbacks 42-45

Not that I expect them to make a flurry of moves to get into contention, they do have a good core to build around. They could use some bullpen help, but that alone won’t put them ahead of the Giants or Dodgers.

Atlanta Braves 42-47

They had an excellent start, but have fallen back down to earth. John Hart could continue to stock pile prospects for future seasons by trading a couple veterans on his roster.

San Diego Padres 41-49

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Padres are in this position. All that player movement doesn’t always mean 80-90 wins. Justin Upton will be highly sought after as will Craig Kimbrel. Expect those two to move on.

Prepare for Spring Training 2016

Cincinnati Reds 39-47

Now that the All-Star game is over look for the Reds to begin planning for the future. Could Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto be up for grabs? Certainly, but who would want those contracts? Most likely to go are Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman. Todd Frazier should be off limits.

Colorado Rockies 39-49

Now would be a good time to explore trading Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Colorado would probably get better deals in the offseason, but the time is now for these two to find a new place to call home.

Miami Marlins 38-51

The dysfunction continues in Miami with the GM Dan Jennings also being the manager before the summer. Losing Giancarlo Stanton for an extended period of time sucked the life out of the 2015 season, but when he returns it should put the teams focus back on the field.

Milwaukee Brewers 38-52

They’ve already changed their manager and the next step will be getting some players to build for the future. Francisco Rodriguez and Kyle Lohse should bring back some needed help down the road.

Philadelphia Phillies 29-62

The fire sale should be happening at any moment. Jonathan Papelbon certainly wants out and I’m sure Chase Utley and Ryan Howard do to. More names are involved so the Phillies shouldn’t hold out any longer.

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