It’s time to get back into my division-by-division mid-season prediction alterations!
If you had the Houston Astros atop this division at the mid-season point, you are either clairvoyant or insane.
Houston has been outstanding in every facet of the game so far this season. A slow, organic rebuild that seems to be working (small glimmer of hope Magic fans?). Their farm system seems to be an endless stream of studs, and every single one of them have panned out in the show so far.
I don’t know if anybody can stop this Astros club, but then again they did drop a couple against the AL East cellar dweller Boston Red Sox. They’ve struggled as of late on the road, and that’s where things can get dicey heading down the stretch. Anaheim isn’t an easy place to play, especially in a divisional race August and September.
Speaking of Anaheim, the Angels are looking like the scary team we thought they’d be two years ago. LA is 8-2 over their last 10 games and have crept within 3.5 games of the Astros in the division.
Albert Pujols seems to be back in Albert Pujols form for the most part with 25 home runs and 53 RBI at the half-way point, on pace for around 50 homers and 106 RBI…not a bad season for a “washed up” player huh?
Beyond Pujols, Mike Trout is being Mike Trout as well with 21 home runs and 45 RBI and is hitting .299…but the offense isn’t really all too responsible for the Angels’ success. The Pitching is.
The Angels rank 5th in batting average against, 6th in walks and hits per innings pitched and 11th in team ERA. Hector Santiago has been great, even if his 5-4 record doesn’t suggest it his 2.40 ERA does.
Beyond these two teams, I have no faith in the AL West. The fact that the Rangers are just 1 game below .500 impresses me tells me all I need to know about the bottom three teams in this division.
The Seattle Mariners are challanging the San Diego Padres for the Inside the Mind of Ditti “Let Down of the Year” Award. They have Nelson Cruz with 21 home runs, 50 RBI and a .300 batting average. They have Felix Hernandez who is 10-5 with 106 strikeouts and a 3.02 ERA….and that’s it. This team has been very unimpressive after so much pre-season hype.
The most baffling statistic out of the AL West has to do with the last place Oakland Athletics who sit 11 games behind Houston. The A’s have a +49 run differential but sit 9 games below .500. That’s the second best run differential in the division…better than the Angels by more than double.
Yet the A’s are done. Look for them to sell on July 31st.
Mid-Season Final Standings Prediction
- Los Angeles Angels
- Houston Astros
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Oakland Athletics
Sorry Astros fans (including my cousin Brian), I just think it’ll get too tough down the stretch and the youth will show. That being said, 2015 is just the beginning for this Houston club. Their involvement in a late season divisional race will mature the young talent and give them experience they’ll need as they continue to improve.
The Angels just have too much talent all over the field to think they’ll miss the playoffs again. Now that Pujols is cruzing and Trout continues to dominate, the Angels have at least a 1-2 punch offensively to go with their solid pitching. I see the wins stacking up in the late summer months. This Angels team could be a force in October as well.
On to the National League tomorrow!
Any and all feedback welcomed! Get me on Twitter (@Ditti33) or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!