With the All-Star break coming up, most teams have reached 81 games marking the halfway point for the season. Some teams have had surprising first halves, while others have not. The biggest disappointments and most impressive teams of 2014 are starting to show and playoff races are being forged.
Best Team: Oakland Athletics
The Athletics have proven to be the best team without a doubt in the league. The big statistic here is the A’s run differential. Putting up 422 runs, while allowing only 288 runs, means you’re winning ballgames and that’s exactly what they’ve been doing.
Biggest Surprise: Milwaukee Brewers
The Brew Crew is leading the way in the central by a large margin and they will look to keep rolling into post-season. Jonathan Lucroy has come into his own this year and is leading the Brewers offense to wins. Along with a solid pitching staff, the Brewers doing this well shouldn’t actually be a surprise.
Biggest Disappointment: Tampa Bay Rays
Not only are the Rays underperforming, if they don’t stop underperforming they will lose their ace and one of the best pitchers in the league in David Price. The offense will really need to get hot if they expect to contend, but luckily they’re in the worst division in baseball.
Mid-Season MVP: Troy Tulowitzki
Leading in most offensive categories while playing some stellar defense will often lead to an MVP award. Sadly for Troy, he plays for the Rockies and he will likely get less consideration due to their poor record. Still, expect Tulo to continue tearing the cover off the baseball after the All-Star break.
Mid-Season Cy Young: Johnny Cueto
This was a tough choice. Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees is having an incredible rookie season. He leads the league and wins and holds a great ERA. However, Cueto holds the best ERA and also has the lowest WHIP in the league. He is Cincinnati’s MVP and for that he wins the Cy Young
Rookie of the Year: Jose Abreu
What a year Jose Abreu is having. He is putting up All-Star numbers and is a rookie. The Chicago White Sox got a one-in-a-million star player with Jose Abreu.
World Series Matchup: Oakland Vs. Milwaukee
My mid-season prediction has the A’s facing the Brewers in the World Series. I expect Oakland to dominate the series finishing in five games.
Nothing is set in stone and there are still many close divisions. What team moves up in the standings is to be seen and there will likely be some close finishes and exciting ones at that.