Half way through the season and these are the 8 teams who would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. we are going to look at some of the top performers thus far for these teams and talk a little bit about the teams currently on the bubble that have a great chance to break into the top for in their respective divisions.
In the Picture
The home run juggernaut has four players with double digit home runs the pitching isn’t slacking either with the leagues 2nd lowest ERA and first in the SC. These specific statistics combined along with great OBP and AVG help the team garner the best run differential.
The Grinders doing what Grinders do..grind out wins. leading the JC yet again, with dominant pitching, 2.5 ERA and 2.7 FIP, lead by wins leaders Alex Meza ,9, and Luis Hoak tied for 3rd with 7.
Death, Taxes, and the Apostles piecing together a playoff run. Currently in 2nd behind Houston in the SC a less dominate version of the Apostles as we have seen in the past but they get it done, with a 41 run differential. Lead by the wily vet Dennis Aubin, 6-3, emerging impact bat Mario Gonzalez in his second season from Cuba, and Jerry Woods dialing up another fantastic season flirty with a 2nd straight .350 AVG.
Roger Montoya and Matt Nickerson are the catalyst behind the 27-17 record for the Grunge right now. Nickerson the model of consistency playing out of his mind right now batting .362, an improvement over last years great .335 mark. Montoya leads the the staff with a 6-1 record, the wiry lefty has hand great command of his pitches through the first half.
Jay Stellings is having a monster season so far in his first season in “The House Tumbleweed Paid For”. The rest of the Warriors are getting it done with a mix of performances for young guys and vets. Segura still producing at 32 having a solid season and still playing plus defense at the hot corner. Young arm Paul Sawinski has been solid in his first 4 starts sporting a 2-1 record in 28 innings. Oakland splits hard towards home with 20-3 record playing in their confines.
The Mariners sit in 2nd in the JC behind great performances so far in the season from the likes of young stud SP Casey Lynch, vet closer Andres Pintado, and the reigning two time hit champ for the JC Blake Krebs. if the Mariners could cut back on walking apposing hitters and playing better defense they may give the Grinders a run at 1st.
The Pilots back at it this season after a down year in the previous one, payroll got high and production went down, keeping them from repeating playoff appearances. Back to 98′ form getting close to that .288 team AVG, currently .281, and unorthodox scoring methods put the Pilots at a 25-19 record. 2nd in runs scored and hits but 9th in home runs and stolen bases means a lot of doubles and aggressive base running for the club and they need it with the way their pitching has been thus far.
The Rogues are the polar opposites of Atlanta, maybe they should get together and give each other pointers, however they are both in at this point so if it ain’t broke. this Chicago staff is lights out right now lead by the man with the most phenomenal name in all of sports SP Pasqualino Borromeo who is sporting a filthy little 1.62 ERA and on his way to a career season. Scott Jordan and Jerry Stender are carrying the heavy burden of producing offense for the Rogues and maybe the team looks to give them some assistance in a playoff push.
Out of the Picture
The Railroaders have a solid pitching staff and are actually just the odd man out right now, they need some more run production. Look for them to call up or trade for a bat to get this ship moving up the standings.
The two best things the Roadrunners do is not strikeout at the plate, and strike opposing batters out at the plate. I’m not really sure what that says about your team but another squad that is struggling to produce runs, the low walk and home run totals need to be improved so those guys that are putting the ball in play can push some runs around the bases.
Only 3 games back in the SC Toronto is hanging around with a bit of luck. 5-1 in extra inning games and 11-6 in one run games give that bullpen and those clutch hitters some high fives, however you also need to figure out how to win by some wider margins, the negative run differential with catch up to you sooner or later.
The good ole Larks keeping themselves in the mix with strong defense and hitting home runs, however they are letting up more home runs than they are able to hit. I am not sure that the .245 batting AVG with cut it for a playoff team so look for them to improve that and their low OBP so that the sluggers can knock in some more runs.
Good luck to the teams and players in the second half of the season!