The MLB regular season has hit the All-Star break and I wanted to take some time to look back over the 1st half and give my predictions on how I see all six divisions playing out the rest of the way.

American League East

Current Standings

  1. New York Yankees (48-40)
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (46-45)
  3. Baltimore Orioles (44-44)
  4. Toronto Blue Jays (45-46)
  5. Boston Red Sox (42-47)

Coming into the season the favorite to win the AL East was the Red Sox, but the offense hasn’t produced like expected and they lack the starting pitching has been a major problem. Still, Boston finds themselves just 6.5 games out of 1st at the break. It really wouldn’t come as a surprise if any of these 5 teams finished on top of the standings at the end of the year. I give the slight edge to New York to remain on top, though I do think the Blue Jays are going to make a serious push down the stretch.

Projected Finish

  1. Yankees (85-77)
  2. Blue Jays (83-79)
  3. Rays (81-81)
  4. Orioles (79-83)
  5. Red Sox (78-84)

American League Central

Current Standings

  1. Kansas City Royals (52-34)
  2. Minnesota Twins (49-40)
  3. Detroit Tigers (44-44)
  4. Cleveland Indians (42-46)
  5. Chicago White Sox (41-45)

I don’t think it’s a huge surprise that the Royals are leading the AL Central, though I will admit that I didn’t think they would be this good. The biggest shock right now is the team in 2nd place. Almost everyone had the Twins picked to finish last in the division and yet they are just 4.5 games back of Kansas City and 4.5 ahead of 3rd place Detroit. With that said, I think Minnesota is going to struggle to sustain their early success and will eventually be surpassed by the Tigers. As for the Indians and White Sox, both have been major disappointments so far.

Projected Finish

  1. Royals (90-72)
  2. Tigers (84-78) *Wild Card*
  3. Twins (82-80)
  4. Indians (81-81)
  5. White Sox (76-86)

American League West

Current Standings

  1. Los Angeles Angels (48-40)
  2. Houston Astros (49-42)
  3. Texas Rangers (42-46)
  4. Seattle Mariners (41-48)
  5. Oakland A’s (41-50)

Seattle was the popular pick to win the division coming into the season, but they haven’t come close to playing up to their potential, largely due to the poor play of 2nd baseman Robinson Cano. One of the biggest surprises so far in all of baseball has been the play of the Astros, who have finally put all that young talent to good use. While the Angels hold a slim 1/2-game lead going into the break, I think Houston ends up winning the division, while Los Angeles secures one of the two Wild Card spots.

Projected Finish

  1. Astros (88-74)
  2. Angels (87-75) *Wild Card*
  3. Mariners (81-81)
  4. A’s (78-84)
  5. Rangers (77-85)

National League East

Current Standings

  1. Washington Nationals (48-39)
  2. New York Mets (47-42)
  3. Atlanta Braves (42-47)
  4. Miami Marlins (38-51)
  5. Philadelphia Phillies (29-62)

While it comes as no surprise to see the Nationals sitting on top the NL East, I think most people expected Washington to have a commanding lead in the division by now. Instead, they have just 2-game lead over the Mets, who look to be their only serious threat. Atlanta has played better than expected, while the Marlins have underachieved.

Projected Finish

  1. Nationals (89-73)
  2. Mets (82-80)
  3. Braves (77-85)
  4. Marlins (72-90)
  5. Phillies (68-98)

National League Central

Current Standings

  1. St. Louis Cardinals (56-33)
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates (53-35)
  3. Chicago Cubs (47-40)
  4. Cincinnati Reds (39-47)
  5. Milwaukee Brewers (38-52)

The NL Central has sent at least 2 teams to the playoffs in each of the last 4 seasons, including 3 in 2013. All signs point to that streak contining in 2015. In fact, I think both the Pirates and Cubs will make the postseason via the Wild Cart, setting up a thrilling play-in game. Pittsburgh was able to close the gap to just 2.5-games with huge surge before the break, but I don’t see them catching St. Louis when it’s all said and done. Both the Reds and Brewers are non-factors the rest of the way.

Projected Finish

  1. Cardinals (95-67)
  2. Pirates (91-71) *Wild Card*
  3. Cubs (86-76) *Wild Card*
  4. Reds (77-85)
  5. Brewers (72-90)

National League West

Current Standings

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers (51-39)
  2. San Francisco Giants (46-43)
  3. Arizona Diamondbacks (42-45)
  4. San Diego Padres (41-49)
  5. Colorado Rockies (39-49)

One of the biggest disappointments of the 2015 season has to be the Padres, who many thought would contend for a Wild Card spot and potentially challenge the Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West. San Diego hasn’t come close to their expectations and I don’t think they have enough going for them to make a late push. While the Giants are just 4.5-games out of 1st, I think the Dodgers are going to run away with the division over the final months of the regular season.

Projected Finish

  1. Dodgers (93-69)
  2. Giants (82-80) *Wild Card*
  3. Padres (78-87)
  4. Diamondbacks (76-86)
  5. Rockies (73-89)