Published on July 15th, 2013 | by Sam Chimenti0
Surprising and Disappointing Teams from First Half of MLB Season
Pittsburgh Pirates: I thought the Pirates were going to be better this year, but I definitely wasn’t expecting this. Not only are the Pirates number one in pitching, but they are also one of the best teams in the MLB with a first half record of 56-37, their best finish at the break since 1992. A couple bats (most specifically in RF and at SS) and the Pirates may become the team to beat in the National League.
Cleveland Indians: Ok, this team is truly remarkable. I would NEVER have expected the Indians to finish the first half with 51 wins. But with a high octane offense lead by Carlos Santana and the new guys (Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds, and Michael Bourn) the Indians offense has been remarkably better then in years past. And even their pitching, which was considered to be one of the worst staffs in baseball at the beginning of the year, has been good enough to keep the Indians in most ballgames. A starting pitcher and a reliever are needed if the Indians want to keep pace with the Tigers in the AL Central, but things are definitely looking bright so far in Cleveland.
Washington Nationals: D.C.’s team may be the biggest disappointment in the MLB so far. Many baseball fans pick to win the World Series (including me), the Nationals have been plagued with injuries and a surprisingly inefficient offense. While they may still be a game over .500 at the break (48-47), the Nationals are going to need to come out of the gates hot if they want any chance of catching the Braves in the East. Especially because it looks as though both wildcards will be coming out of the NL Central. So while they may not be having a “losing season,” the Nats are nowhere near where I was expecting them to be at this point in the beginning of the season.
San Francisco Giants: it kills me to say it, but my Giants are definitely not where they want to be. With a first half finish of 43-51, and a combined June record of 9-16, and July record of 4-10 so far, the defending world series champion Giants look the worst team in baseball of this rough month in a half stretch. The good news for Giants fans like myself: first off, they did end the first half with some momentum by taking 3 of 4 from their division rival San Diego Padres, with one of those games including a no hitter by Tim Lincecum. Second off, the Giants are in the NL West, the worst division in baseball this year. So despite being 8 games under .500, the Giants are still only 6.5 games out of first place. However, just like the Nationals, the Giants will need to come out of the gates hot, especially because the first team they play are the division leading Diamondbacks. There is still hope in San Fran, but 8 games under .500 come at the midway point? That’s a huge disappointment for the 2012 World Series champs.