It's That Time Again, FanIQ Grades Your Favorite MLB Team at Halfway
I'll be grading each team based on their performance through the first half of the season. To make this fair, this will not be a ranking, the 30 teams will be listed alphabetically.
For those who have been around, you know how this works by now. For those of you that may be new or forget, I will tell you right off the bat (all puns intended) that this is not your father's grading scale. I instead use the Myron Cope method...allow me to explain. Back in the mid 1980s, the late creator of the Terrible Towel once graded each Pirates player, and he had three grades. If the player was having a good year, he received a MM-HAH! If the player was so-so or he had no opinion, the player received an EHH. Finally, if the player was complete crap, Myron gave him a very emphatic FEH! That's the grading scale I'll be using below.
Enough of the hoopla, let's get started...presenting your 2013 MLB FanIQ mid-season report cards...
Arizona Diamondbacks (44-41, 85 GP, 1st NL West)
The Snakes are leading what has turned out to be quite possibly the weakest division in all of baseball. Nobody is making a statement yet. They're the only team in the division with a winning record, but all 5 teams are within 4 games of each other. Their run differential is nearly even, a +1. Nobody impresses me in the NL West, but none of them are embarrassing either...EHH.
Atlanta Braves (49-37, 86 GP, 1st NL East):
The Bravos are kind of running away with this division. We knew they'd be good, but who knew the Nats would just be hovering around .500? Their +72 run differential is 2nd best in the NL behind St. Louis who leads all of baseball in that category. Their team ERA is also in the top 2 in the NL. The Upton experiment hasn't panned out quite as well as everyone had hoped, but they're still a very good team...MM-HAH!
Baltimore Orioles (48-39, 87 GP, 2nd AL East):
The O's are at it again, proving that last year was no fluke. They have a 3-game lead in the Wild Card standings, and only 2.5 back of the BoSox for the division lead. This team is for real folks, and what a hell of an offense, one of only 3 teams in baseball with over 400 runs at halfway. Their pitching has been suspect, but with that explosive offense, expect them to hang around in the second half too...MM-HAH!
Boston Red Sox (53-34, 87 GP, 1st AL East):
The Sox have the best record in the AL, and were the 2nd team to reach the 50-win plateau this year. They have the best run differential in the AL, and second in the entire league only to the Cardinals. It's been home sweet home for the Sox too, who have the best home record in baseball. You can bet the Sox will be sticking around all season, I don't foresee a collapse this year...MM-HAH!
Chicago Cubs (36-48, 84 GP, 4th NL Central):
Chalk up season #105 without a championship for the Cubbies, because once again they're not going anywhere. Their pitching has given them chances, thanks to the likes of Jeff Samardzija and Travis Wood, but there hasn't been much to write home about. They're still rebuilding, and it's getting worse before it gets better. Sorry Cubs fans, not this year...FEH!
Chicago White Sox (34-48, 82 GP, 5th AL Central):
Things are bad at the Friendly Confines on the North Side, and it's not much prettier down on the South Side of Chicago either. The White Sox have blown some huge leads, and scoring crooked numbers is a rarity for them, as they're one of 5 teams that have scored less than 300 runs. It's bad, and I can only imagine Hawk Harrelson in that double header the other night...FEH!
Cincinnati Reds (49-37, 86 GP, 3rd NL Central):
The Reds have fallen the last couple weeks, just 3-7 in their last 10 games. They also seem to have a bullpen problem. There's been talk of injuries, but to me the biggest problem has been their completely healthy set up man, Jonathan Broxton. People have also figured out how to swing a tick earlier and make contact with Aroldis Chapman's pitches. The silver lining is that they're still 4.5 games ahead of the Nats for the 2nd Wild Card spot. This teams needs to get it back together though, so with that in mind...EHH.
Cleveland Indians (45-41, 86 GP, 2nd AL Central):
The Indians seem like the streakiest team in baseball this year. They go on runs like the 7-3 mark they had to finish June, but then they go on extended losing streaks. They are Jekyll and Hyde this year and I'm not sure they're going to be able to keep up with the Tigers in the second half. This team just doesn't impress me, and it's all riding on Jason Kipnis. That's umm, not good...EHH.
Colorado Rockies (42-44, 86 GP, 2nd NL West)
The Rockies are once again among the top scoring teams, 2nd in the NL behind St. Louis. That's no surprise. However, they just aren't consistent. 4-6 in their last 10, and again this whole division is lackluster. Nobody jumps out at you, and it's anyone's division crown to win. Who wants it? I'm not sure the Rockies are the team to win it...EHH.
Detroit Tigers (47-38, 85 GP, 1st AL Central):
Max Scherzer has been unbelievable, and Miguel Cabrera may not win the triple crown for the 2nd year in a row, but he's once again at or near the top in nearly every offensive category. Right now they're on a 4-game win streak and have taken the division lead back from the Indians. In the end I'm thinking they will still run away with the division crown, there's just too much talent for the other 4 teams to keep up with...MM-HAH!
We will be right back on Page 2 with the next 10 teams on our list after a quick commercial break.