What the list got right about MLB teams
The Mariners and Cardinals continue to be disappointing. However, if there was a spectrum of disappointment, they would be at opposite ends. At the time of my previous article, Seattle was at a surprising and sad 11-14, with issues surrounding offensive production. Currently, they sit in third place in a somewhat competitive AL West, and are over .500, which is, on paper, better than they were in April.
Before the All-Star Break, the Mariners won seven out of their last 10 (with a series win over their division rivals, the Houston Astros). Yet, something feels lacking. With Julio Rodriguez coming out of his sophomore slump (hopefully), the Mariners should remain afloat. At this point, they kind of remind me of the 2021 Braves, where for the longest time, they could not crack .500.
St. Louis, on the other hand, well … let’s just say they’re definite sellers at the deadline. The NL Central is back to its usual levels of competitiveness, so when you’re in last place in that division, things don’t bode well for the team. Their offense isn’t too torrid — it ranks ninth league-wide in OPS and is the same as the (first place in the NL Central) Reds. The fault lies in the pitching, as I wrote previously. I hate to say it, but something needs to be said about Adam Wainwright, who’s last three starts culminated in a combined total of 17 earned runs. However, there have been some glimmers of hope, like winning a series against the Dodgers in May and a series against the Yankees in June. Needless to say, with the roster that they have, the Cardinals should be doing better than they are.
The Rangers continue to surprise going into the second half of the season. Offensively, they are on fire. They lead the league (or are at least in the top 10) in batting average, RBI, and hits. Five Texas Rangers made the All-Star starting lineup, and when star Nathan Eovaldi joined in the second inning, six Rangers were on the field, making it the first time since the 1950s that a team had that many representatives at the same time during the All-Star Game.
One would think that with an injured Jacob deGrom, things would be spiraling downward fast. Going into the second half, the Rangers are 52-39 and sit at first in the AL West. Before the break, however, there was some cause for concern. The team lost seven out of their last 10 games, including losing a series to the Washington Nationals, being outscored 15-5 over the course of their last two games. Despite playing over .500 versus their division (16-11), losing a series to the Houston Astros, who are now two games behind them, doesn’t help their chase for the pennant.