As most teams either have or are on the cusp of playing 81 games, I wanted to take an objective snapshot of where "it would appear" teams are heading into the dog days of summer. My methodology was to take all teams rankings in offense, starting pitching, bullpen and defense, assign the numerical score for each category and compare the total numbers. Following are my rankings using that criteria:
1. Texas Rangers
2. NY Yankees
3. Chicago White Sox
4. California Angels
5. Boston Red Sox
6. Tampa Bay Rays
7. Detroit Tigers
8. Cleveland Indians
The first 3 are obviously possible division winners and the other 5 are potential wildcards as of today. The difference between the teams ranked 4, 5 and 6 are negligible and there is quite a dropoff for the 7 and 8 teams who would have to considered "long shots" heading into the all-star break.
A few random observations include the fact that the Sox are a .500 team against AL competition enjoying a 3 game over .500 cushion during inter-league. They were 9 and 3 against the Marlins, Phillies and Cubs. The Yankees have played very few games against division opponents and seemingly have navigated an extensive stretch of over .500 opponents dating to May including the entire inter-league schedule. After today, 48 of their remaining 81 regular games are in the AL East. A strange scheduling anamoly and a rainout has resulted in the Yankees and Red Sox only having played 2 games through the first 81. Of course, 4 this weekend will jumpstart the 2d half and after this weekend the Sox will still have 4 series left with one at home and three on the road vs the current division leader.
Potential MVP candidates among teams in the division would include Bautista, Cano and Ortiz. David Price appears to be the the one division starter with the best shot at the Cy Young Award. At the end of the day every team has suffered through injuries, underperformance and inconsistency. It's for others to assess the impact of those on their respective team's past performance and future potential.
Those are my thoughts for what it's worth and I welcome the "objective" perspectives of others. Happy 4th of July to all fans and their families!