MLB MIDSEASON REPORT CARD: All 30 teams in 30 words or less

castalanni

Chris Castellani

AL EAST
New York Yankees
Grade: B+
The resurgence of A-Rod and Tex + a wicked one-two punch in the bullpen + great management + a small park – a bad rotation = One of baseball’s biggest surprises.

Baltimore Orioles
Grade: B+
Showalter continues to make all the right moves. Despite having no rotation to speak of, the O’s just to find ways to stay afloat.

Toronto Blue Jays
Grade: C+
The best offense in baseball. Donaldson is an MVP candidate. Buehrle continues to get it done. Rest of the pitching staff is practically near atrocious. One or two pieces away.

Boston Red Sox
Grade: C-
A month ago I would’ve said F. Rotation is the worst in baseball. Injuries and inconsistency have hurt the lineup. Still only five and a half back.

AL CENTRAL
Kansas City Royals
Grade: A
With the exception of some inconsistent starting pitching, the Royals have been the AL’s elite. Solid offense and a bullpen that just won’t quit.

Minnesota Twins
Grade: A-
Paul Molitor is in contention for manager of the year. Every time they seem to be sliding, they recover. Great combination of veterans and solid, young prospects.

Detroit Tigers
Grade: C-
They hold the AL’s worst record since May. The bullpen is worse than ever. Rotation without Price is just as bad. Dombrowski needs to make moves or else it’s over.

Cleveland Indians
Grade: C-
They’ve recovered nicely from a horrible start. Rotation not as good as advertised. No consistent threats on offense except Kipnis and Brantley. Still not out of it.

Chicago White Sox
Grade: C-
No consistency to speak of. None of their new pieces have lived up to expectations. On the bright side, Chris Sale just struck out another batter.

AL WEST
Houston Astros
Grade: A-
Baseball’s biggest surprise. A great story, but the power numbers are going to decrease in the second half. Unfortunately for them, Dallas Keuchel can’t pitch every day.

Los Angeles Angels
Grade: B+
Quietly playing great baseball. I’d be shocked if they didn’t overtake Houston. The emergence of Hector Santiago boosted the rotation. Pujols looking as good as he has in years.

Texas Rangers
Grade: C
They’ve done all they can to stay in the race, but the pitching just isn’t good enough. They seem to have some good prospects. Prince looks as good as ever.

Seattle Mariners
Grade: D-
I can’t believe I picked this team to win the AL. The lineup, with the exception of Cruz, hasn’t done squat. Not out of it, but they’ll need to catch fire.

Oakland A’s
Grade: C
They’ve been exactly what I thought they’d be; pretty bad with some bright spots. I could see them playing spoiler to some potential playoff teams.

NL EAST
Washington Nationals
Grade: B+
Werth injured, Span injured, Fister injured, Rendon injured, horrible start….and they’re still in first place. They’ll win the division by at least five games. Harper for MVP.

New York Mets
Grade: B+
Scary rotation, good pitching all around. Their lack of power and consistency in the middle of the lineup will ultimately cost them a chance at the division.

Atlanta Braves
Grade: C
Probably the most okay team in baseball. The offense? It’s okay. The rotation? It’s okay. The bullpen? It’s okay. Okay won’t cut it in a tough National League.

Miami Marlins
Grade: F
This is the worst franchise in sports. Everything they do is so inept that it makes me wonder why they still exist. Lots of great talent is being completely wasted.

Philadelphia Phillies
Grade: F
This team is terrible. Philly, I’m so sorry.

NL CENTRAL
St. Louis Cardinals
Grade: A+
They’re amazing. This team has had so many injuries and lost so many pieces, but they just keep winning. Give Mike Matheny the manager of the year award.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Grade: A-
I said this team wouldn’t make the playoffs unless they found an ace. They found one in Gerritt Cole. A.J. Burnett has saved his best for last.

Chicago Cubs
Grade: B+
Their prospects seem to be panning out and Kris Bryant has lived up to the hype. It won’t be this year, but the Cubs have a championship in their future.

Cincinnati Reds
Grade: C-
They have a lot of great individual pieces, but they are just lacking in too many areas. I’d be surprised if they weren’t sellers at the trade deadline.

Milwaukee Brewers
Grade: D
Their season was over after about twenty games. Craig Counsell hasn’t done that bad of a job all things considered. The starting pitching has been nonexistent.

NL WEST
Los Angeles Dodgers
Grade: A-
Their offseason moves seem to have paid off. Greinke is currently baseball’s best. Kershaw has turned a corner. This team is dangerous.

San Francisco Giants
Grade: B
They’ve done fine considering the pieces that they lost from last season. If they can stay above .500 until Aoki comes back, I like their playoff chances.

Arizona Diamondbacks
Grade: C
A pleasant surprise. I thought this was going to be a one hundred loss team. By no means are they good, but they might have something going for the future.

San Diego Padres
Grade: D
A major disappointment. No chemistry, no management, no consistency. The injuries have obviously been a factor, but they should not be this bad.

Colorado Rockies
Grade: D
What can I say? We thought they’d be bad and guess what? They’re terrible. The lineup is fun to watch. Nolan Arenado is the best third baseman in baseball. Bad pitching will always be their achilles heel.

WHO WINS IT ALL?
It’s impossible to pick who is going to win the World Series. Who knows who is going to buy and and who is going to sell? Who knows who is going to trade for whom? You just can never tell. I’m going to stick with the team that I picked in the preseason, the team that is yet to play a single game without their entire roster, the team with the deepest rotation. The World Series champion will be…..the Washington Nationals.

Tell me what you think. Follow me on Twitter- @Castellani2014

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