The unofficial first half of the baseball season comes to a close at the conclusion of tonight’s Chicago-St. Louis matchup. There were many headlines and stories that deserve a lot of attention, but the story of the first half has to be the Boston Red Sox. In complete shambles in the offseason after a 69-win 2012 campaign and an unloading of several star players, many people had little to no expectations for the Red Sox this season. However, with several good additions during the offseason, the hiring of coach John Farrell, and a complete team effort, the Red Sox have cruised to a 58-39 record, best in the American League. Despite this hot start, the Sox play in the MLB’s toughest division, and must battle the Rays, Orioles, Yankees, and Jays. I still think that the Red Sox are strong enough to win the AL East, but it will be a close race in the 2nd half.
After winning the Triple Crown in 2012, Miguel Cabrera has picked up where he left in 2013. In fact, he’s putting up even better numbers so far this year than he did last year, becoming the first player ever to have 30 HR and 90 RBI before the All-Star break (finished with 30 HR, 95 RBI). Standing in his way of a 2nd straight triple crown is Orioles break out star Chris Davis, who has mashed his way to 37 HR and 93 RBI at the all-star break. It will certainly be an exciting race to watch these two battle til the end for MVP.
After a disappointing start to the season with high-paid acquisitions Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Zack Greinke, the Los Angeles Dodgers have turned things around thanks to rookie sensation Yasiel Puig. Puig hit .443 with 8 home runs in his first 27 games in the big leagues, putting him historic company and bringing the Dodgers back into the race in the NL West. Unfortunately, two teams that also were expected to contend with several high profile acquisitions are at the bottom of their divisions. The Angels acquired Josh Hamilton to make a lethal lineup along with Trout, Pujols, and Trumbo, but Hamilton has been struggling greatly in his first season with the Angels and Los Angeles is over 10 games behind Oakland in the division. The Blue Jays acquired Mark Buerhle, Jose Reyes, and R.A. Dickey in the hopes to contend for the AL East, but remain in last place at the break. Finally, the Pittsburgh Pirates are 19 games over .500 and look for their first winning season since the year I was born.
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