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What Do All 30 MLB Teams Do Now?

With 40+ games of the regular MLB season left to go, what do all 30 MLB teams do with the rest of the year?


1. Atlanta Braves 83-44; 1st Place in NL East

The Major League-leading 83-win Atlanta Braves and their .654 winning percentage are on a violent pace to 100+ wins. The dominance across the board is represented beyond sending an astonishing eight Braves to the 2023 All-Star Game in Seattle. 1st in MLB in home runs (2nd place isn’t close), 1st in OPS (2nd place isn't close), 1st in batting average, 1st in runs, this take is not hot: the NL East is over.


2. Baltimore Orioles 80-48; 1st Place in AL East

Spoiler Alert - notice this “which one does not belong?” in the run differential department SAT question amongst the top five teams: Atlanta Braves +218, Baltimore Orioles +86, Tampa Bay Rays +168, Texas Rangers +169, and Los Angeles Dodgers +152. Ahead of schedule in this rebuild, the Orioles are getting a little more love than Tampa, even if it is living on a little borrowed time against the Rays at the top of the historically good AL East. How exciting to see the needed starting pitcher move made at the deadline by signing Jack Flaherty. Flaherty fits right in with this club's window.


3. Los Angeles Dodgers 79-48; 1st Place in NL West

8-2 in their last 10, the Dodgers have returned to the routine atop the NL West. Yes, this might be the most unguarded we have seen them in years, yet they still sit in first place. Where do we begin? A potential name to step up is Julio Urias. Urias has been uncharacteristic all year in the 4-5 ERA range, nowhere sniffing his Cy Young caliber average of 2.72 the last four years. A second-best home run total, third-best OPS, and third-best RBI total combat any worries. Freddie Freeman and his seventh-best Wins Above Replacement (WAR) will lead LA to another NL West title.


4. Tampa Bay Rays 78-52; 2nd Place in AL East

When we talk about the Orioles and Rays, we are talking about the 27th and 29th teams in payroll spending. This Rays’ lineup is everything they need to be to be ready for October: fourth in home runs, fourth in OPS, sixth in batting average, fourth in RBI. The most impressive metric comes from the pitching staff however: An MLB 2nd best opponent batting average (.233). Third in run differential, this team might not spend, but they spend better than anyone. They’re built for October now.


5. Texas Rangers 72-56; 1st Place in AL West

30.1 innings pitched, 6 games started, 2 wins, 45 strikeouts, 2.67 ERA. That’s what the Rangers were able to get out of 5-year, $185 Million Jacob deGrom. Yet, this pitching staff fights uninterrupted with a ninth-best opponent batting average (.241) and 12th-best ERA (4.03). This lineup led by Josh Jung, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Adolis Garcia, and Jonah Heim does more than “fight on”, they’re as good as you’ll find: second in batting average, second in OPS, fifth in home runs, and second in RBIs. I don’t recall a recent year I saw more resiliency amongst teams league-wide. Whether it be injuries or lack of spending, teams are overachieving in droves, this Rangers staff included. This Rangers team is not just winning, they’re winning with dominance: second in the league in run differential (+169) proves that alone.

6. Houston Astros 72-58; 3rd Place in AL West

The Justin Verlander reunion has brought a surge of energy for everyone, not just the rotation. This fifth-ranked ERA in the league is built for a run for a team who as odd as it sounds, the light bulb still can cut on for more than we have seen this year. Not to pick on him, but Jose Abreu has got to show a better stat line than a .234 average and 10 home runs upon return from the 10-Day IL.


7. Seattle Mariners 72-56; 1st Place in AL West

I’ve in the past discussed if the Blue Jays were a case of “really good is not good enough” in the AL East. Are the Mariners a case of “really good is not good enough” in the AL West? Even on a 9-1 run and a strong 72-56 record, can the Mariners hang with the tenured Astros and the high-paying Rangers? A second-best ERA in the bigs deserves a better turnout from their 20th-ranked lineup. The most positive deadline move was relieving themselves of A.J. Pollock. This AL West run down the stretch is going to be the most exciting in baseball.


8. Toronto Blue Jays 71-59 3rd Place in AL East

Best ERA in baseball. Seventh-ranked lineup. It is not the Blue Jays' fault they are in a historic AL East alongside the monstrous Rays and Orioles, having top-three MLB kind of years thus far. One game back of the AL Wild Card is really wild to imagine a team of Toronto’s caliber from a talent and productivity standpoint not being a playoff team. A healthy Bo Bichette and “win now” additions in Jordan Hicks and Génesis Cabrera have me pulling for Toronto.


9. Milwaukee Brewers 71-57; 1st Place in NL Central

Other than Christian Yelich more so returning to form with a .286 BA/16 HR/67 RBI stat line, this Brewers lineup doesn’t have much to show for or be excited about. It’s a wonder they’re as high as they are, being held down with a league rank of 25th in OPS, 28th in batting average, 22nd in home runs, and 22nd in runs batted in. A top 10 pitching staff and a weaker division are continuously bailing them out. Imagine someone telling Milwaukee before the year that the Cardinals would be 56-73. Milwaukee would laugh the Central is over. Cincinnati says not so fast my friend! Bats are needed if October is to be taken seriously.


10. Philadelphia Phillies 70-58; 2nd Place in NL East

Leading the NL Wild Card is the best the Phillies can do. It is not their fault they are in the NL East with the MLB-best Braves. Hot Wild Card team down the stretch was the identity of this team last year all the way to an NL Pennant. Getting their hands on Michael Lorenzen only bolsters an already Top 10 rotation alongside Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Taijuan Walker, and Ranger Suárez.


11. Boston Red Sox 68-61; 4th Place in AL East

Is “good” good enough? The Sox have their eye on competing for a Wild Card spot at this point, as the Orioles and Rays are not losing control of the legendary AL East. The returns of Chris Sale and Trevor Story are the surging talk of the town to give hope sitting three games back of a Wild Card spot for a team that has largely seemed quiet this year as a contender.


12. Chicago Cubs 67-61; 2nd Place in NL Central

Holding onto Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman through the deadline is full steam ahead in this NL Central race. Dansby Swanson could be a candidate to close some gap and pick up the pace down the stretch as a veteran only seeing a .245 average.


13. Arizona Diamondbacks 68-61; 2nd Place in NL West

Sitting one game back in the NL Wild Card, the Diamondbacks had to be buyers at the deadline, particularly beefing up a struggling late-inning bullpen with the Paul Sewald acquisition. Currently 21st in the league in ERA, this is where Arizona has to close the gap to get a Wild Card spot.


14. Minnesota Twins 67-62; 1st Place in AL Central

Someone has to finish above .500 in the AL Central and win the thing, right? With the 25th remaining strength of schedule, the Twins and their five-game lead just need to keep doing what they are doing. A top 10 ERA will need to be the cane they can lead on to try and keep up with more talented teams down the stretch. Will they go deep in the playoffs? No.


15. San Francisco Giants 66-62; 3rd Place in NL West

3-7 in their last ten, the Giants need to trend in the opposite direction if they want to hold on to an NL Wild Card spot. 13.5 back of the Dodgers seems steep at this point considering a 12-13 July and an 8-10 August don’t point to steam down the stretch right now. A 24th-ranked lineup is not good enough for this good of a baseball brand.




16. Cincinnati Reds 67-63; 3rd Place in NL Central

The gap to be closed for the Reds to clinch the NL Central over Milwaukee and Chicago is simply put: pitching. The 25th-ranked ERA as a team in the league with a horrendous 4.75 is not going to cut it as a playoff team. Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo look to bring a much-needed surge to a fun team we’re all pulling for it seems. (Simultaneous with publishing, Lodolo has another setback.)


17. Miami Marlins 65-64; 3rd Place in NL East

The Marlins have less than half the payroll of the Braves and a third of the payroll of the Mets. This team is not built to contend in the NL East. It was nice to see the forward initiative in signing Josh Bell, David Robertson, Jake Burger, and Jorge Lopez. Give the Marlins time, they’re always going to steer a contender year every few years.


18. New York Yankees 62-66; Last Place in NL East

What the hell are General Manager Brian Cashman and the Yankees doing? 2-8 in the last 10, last place in the AL East, 18 games back of first place with no hope, yet no action at the deadline? The Yankees have the 29th-ranked lineup in the league to contrast the lowest opponent batting average in the league (.232). That is a pathetic effort from the biggest brand in the sport. Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Staton for starters are not getting any younger. The window is closing and it does not look promising.


19. Los Angeles Angels 62-67; 4th Place in AL West

A tough schedule remains for the Angels, but they made sure to bolster themselves and make a statement by holding on to megastar Shohei Ohtani (who was never going anywhere) and adding possibly the biggest pitcher name to be moved in Lucas Giolito. While Giolito headlines as the blockbuster, C.J. Cron and Randal Grichuk can add a surge to a .250 lineup. A team headlined by Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani should be better than .500. No excuse.


20. San Diego Padres 61-68; 4th Place in NL West

What the hell are A.J. Peller and the Padres doing? The second-highest payroll in baseball can’t even get you a .500 record? A 23rd-ranked lineup is it? A lineup hole has to be there for a fifth ranked rotation in the league to be this irrelevant. Do they think they’re contenders? The additions of Scott Barlow, Rich Hill, Ji-Man Choi, and Garrett Cooper would say so. This gap has to be filled very quickly. The money is spent.


21. Cleveland Guardians 61-69; 2nd Place in AL Central

Kyle Manzardo, Noah Syndergaard, Kahlil Watson, and Jean Segura as far as additions have shown some win now by the Guardians and a belief that they will hang with the Twins in this weaker AL Central race. The third-best ERA in the league begs the question, can the lineup get it done down the stretch? This rotation and bullpen can’t bail them out forever.


22. Washington Nationals 60-69; Last Place in NL East

I’d like to see the Nationals and their $93,123,072 payroll win the big battle of the NL East for fourth place with the Mets and their MLB all-time record $343,998,033 payroll. The Nationals as a team with no postseason hopes really had a quiet deadline and continue to ride the high of selecting Dylan Crews second overall. At what point does this team turn it around? Or do they not?


23. Detroit Tigers 59-69; 3rd Place in AL Central

Stunning that Eduardo Rodriguez vetoed a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a lock that Rodriguez would be moved at the deadline to a contender. This kept Detroit out of the sellers' category at the deadline. Exciting to see a star claim he wants to be there versus bolting.


24. New York Mets 59-70; Last Place in NL East

If you don’t pull for the Mets, you should be laughing at the Mets a little. If you do pull for the Mets, you should be laughing at the Mets a little. A $344 Million payroll earns you last place in the NL East. Justin Verlander did not even make it through the year. The highest payroll in MLB history has the 24th-ranked team batting average in the league. Where do the Mets go from here? This has been demoralizing. Last place with the highest payroll ever. You have to try hard to do that.


25. Pittsburgh Pirates 58-71; 4th Place in NL Central

This Pittsburgh team has put up a great fight this year to hardly have much more financial support than the A’s. The Pirates are one of those teams you have no affiliation with but want to see succeed. Some nice realistic momentum is being shaped since drafting stud pitcher Paul Skenes as Number One Overall in the MLB Draft. Turning Carlos Santana, Rich Hill, Ji Man Choi, and Austin Hedges into prospects and international bonus pool money continued some good vibes toward more hope for an incredible fanbase that deserves better than in recent years.


26. St. Louis Cardinals 56-72; Last Place in NL Central

Unlike some of these lower-tier mentioned teams in this article, these Cardinals fans aren’t used to this. Moves such as Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, Jordan Hicks, and Paul DeJong were bold for rookie sellers planning for 2024 at this point. A 28th-ranked opponent's batting average won’t look to get better after selling at the deadline.


27. Chicago White Sox 50-79; 4th Place in AL Central

General Manager Rick Hahn did well to be realistic and realize it was time for a Fire Sale. Sending Tony LaRussa to the golf course wasn’t enough to kickstart this South Side rebuild. Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Reynaldo López, Keynan Middleton, and Kendall Graveman are quite the arms sale. Hell, I’ll be interested to see the rotation/bullpen they field to end the year. As far as a positive note, the Sox should be excited about acquiring Top-50 prospect catcher Edgar Quero.


28. Colorado Rockies 48-80; Last Place in NL West

A 42-66 record with the toughest remaining schedule in baseball will leave you dealing CJ Cron, Randal Grichuk, Pierce Johnson, and Brad Hand at the deadline. This team is on pace to be the worst in team history (64 wins is the previous worst). Hitting statistics would leave you thinking this team is a hair better than they are, but that 29th-ranked ERA in baseball humbles you back down to knowing the Rockies are lost.


29. Kansas City Royals 41-90; Last Place in AL Central

Versus the A’s, the Royals have a young star who seems to not be headed out of town in Bobby Witt Jr. Beyond that, the A’s being historically awful is keeping a little heat off of Kansas City: there’s not much to be excited about here. Sending non-tender Nicky López to Atlanta at the deadline for crumbs about sums up the KC vibe. Maybe pitching development looks to be the next move after moving Ryan Yarbrough, Scott Barlow, and José Cuas at the deadline.


30. Oakland A's 38-91; Last Place in AL West

I’ll always remember the rallying of the A’s fans this year. No matter how much weight it carried or not, they tried. It’s impossible not to currently compare A’s owner John Fisher to Major League's own Rachel Phelps. This team has zero chance to succeed until they at least attempt to achieve in Vegas. Selling Sam Moll, Shintaro Fujinami, and Jace Peterson at the deadline was traditional: all the A’s ever do is sell.



 

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