Philadelphia Phillies (37-50 5th NL East): Ryan Howard may be coming back soon, but it's going to be too little too late. Roy Halladay isn't back yet, Cole Hamels is on the trading block, and this team has fallen flat on its face since opening weekend in Pittsburgh. Papelbon has been everything they'd hoped for...the only problem is the Phils can't get to the 9th inning with a lead for him to hold. It's been a rough ride. The hopes for a 6th straight division title are on life support. The fat lady hasn't started singing yet, but she's practicing in the dressing room. Oh how the mighty have fallen...FEH!
Pittsburgh Pirates (48-37 1st NL Central): No, you didn't read that wrong. The Battlin' Bucs have the 2nd best record in the NL at the break. Andrew McCutchen is playing like an MVP. The lineup is finally starting to produce consistently, and the pitching staff has been outstanding. They won 10 of their final 12 games before the break, and will be buyers at the deadline. They also have the best home record in baseball at 29-14. Throw in the fact that this team is perfect when leading after 7 innings, and this could actually be the year the streak finally comes to an end. Do you believe in magic? Baseball is relevant in Pittsburgh again...MM-HAH!
San Diego Padres (34-53 4th NL West): This team is once again terrible. The trade for Mat Latos worked out pretty well for the Reds and not so much the Friars. Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley are on the trading block, and one of them will be moving out before the end of the month. This team needs to rebuild from scratch. How many players will they send away at the deadline? Only one word can describe this team...FEH!
San Francisco Giants (46-40 2nd NL West): The Giants lost 7 of their last 10 heading into the break, but they're still right there atop the division with the Dodgers. The anemia is back in their lineup. The pitching staff is doing well, save Tim Lincecum. This team could be so much better. The lack of hitting may be their demise in the second half. I can't really give this team a stellar grade, but they're certainly not a bad team, so...EHH.
Seattle Mariners (36-51 4th AL West): Congrats Seattle, you're the first AL team with 50 losses! Yeah, this team is pretty inept this year. They're 16.5 games behind the Rangers at the break. Nothing is working for them, and Oliver Perez is not going to help matters, he's still a head case. Better luck next year, Seattle fans...FEH!
St. Louis Cardinals (46-40 3rd NL Central): Tony LaRussa retired, Pujols is gone, Carpenter hasn't even stood on the mound, and this team is still in the midst of the battle for the NL Central crown. They've defied the odds, and are just a half game back in the Wild Card and 2 1/2 back of the Bucs for the division lead. They've impressed so far, and there's no reason to think a team that's been there and done that can't keep it up for the second half too...MM-HAH!
Tampa Bay Rays (45-41 3rd AL East): The Rays have had their ups and downs. Longoria is still hurt, and this team had been on a roller coaster ride to say the least. I'm not sure what to make of them. If they get all their players back, they could compete, but as of right now they look to be middle of the road. They're not back to being the laughing stock, but they're also going to be watching the playoffs from the living room...EHH.
Texas Rangers (52-34 1st AL West): The Rangers are tied with the Yankees for the most wins at the break. I wanna show you my E-Trade Baby shocked face. That's no surprise. Josh Hamilton is doing his thing, and wouldn't you know they have the best run differential in baseball at a +72. This team can hack and pitch, and they appear to be well on their way to another AL West crown unless the Halos can beat them in their head-to-head matchups. Otherwise they're running away with the division again...MM-HAH!
Toronto Blue Jays (43-43 4th AL East): They're a .500 team and that's about where they're going to stay in the second half. Joey Bats is hitting the living hell out of the ball like he always does, but the Jays are going to spend another year in the shadows of the Yankees and Rays, and maybe eventually the BoSox too. They're outspent and outplayed in their division...EHH.
Washington Nationals (49-34 1st NL East): They were projected to be a pleasant surprise, and boy have they been! That pitching staff is scary good, the lineup is producing nearly every night, and I see no signs of the Nats slowing down. Do you believe this? The Bucs and Nats have the 2 best records in the NL at the all-star break...whodathunkit?! 2 years ago they were battling for the #1 draft pick, now they could face each other in the playoffs...MM-HAH!
Did I go wrong with your team or anyone else? Tell me below if you think I did. Will the first half trends continue? Will the teams that were supposed to do well but are struggling find their way? Will the pleasant surprises all fall flat on their faces again? Only time will tell.
Until next time, I'm Bryan Kramer for The Blitzburgh Pit Stop saying enough of the break, let's get back to baseball! It's going to be an exciting second half.
BK over and out