The .500 Win % Clubs Near 2015 MLB Mid-Season

Put that big flag pole from Tal's Hill somewhere! - We need a place to be reminded of either World Series Champions flag - or else - the flag pole itself to remind us of our last  World Series win!

Put that big flag pole from Tal’s Hill somewhere! – We need a place to be reminded of either our World Series Champions flag – or else – the flag pole itself to remind us of our last World Series win!

Nearing mid-season by about a rough dozen games per team, we wake up on Monday, June 22, 2015 to find that 18 0f the 30 MLB clubs are playing .500 ball or better.

10 of the 18 “winning” clubs are American League members; 8, of course, are National League pennant contenders.

Things often change during the second hard stretch in the season schedule, but the probability remains that most of the ten playoff clubs (3 division winners in each league and 2 wild cards in each league that will have to sudden death each other to reach the first round of 4 team series competition in each league on the way to determining the World Series representatives for both the AL and NL groups will mostly come from 18 clubs shown here.

The six MLB division leaders are shown in bold types below, but none, not even the Cardinals, have insurmountable division leads that guarantee anything in the second half of the season. As per usual, injuries, the presence or absence of quality inning starters, the fatigue upon relief staffs when the starters falter, defense, consistent strategic hitting, luck, and the good or poor management of each club’s strengths and weaknesses down the stretch will prove again to be the major difference-makers as to which club ultimately survives as the last standing winner in October:

POS TEAM LEAGUE /DIV’N W L PCT GB
1 CARDINALS NL C 45 24 .652
2 ROYALS AL C 39 27 .591 4.5
3 ASTROS AL W 41 30 .577 5.0
4 PIRATES NL C 39 30 .565 6.0
5 RAYS AL E 40 31 .563 6.0
6 DODGERS NL W 39 31 .557 6.5
7 CUBS NL C 37 30 .552 7.0
8 YANKEES AL E 38 31 .551 7.0
9 TWINS AL C 37 32 .536 8.0
10 GIANTS NL W 38 33 .535 8.0
11 t RANGERS AL W 37 33 .529 8.5
11 t NATIONALS NL E 37 33 .529 8.5
13 ORIOLES AL E 36 33 .522 9.0
14 BLUE JAYS AL E 37 34 .521 9.0
15 TIGERS AL C 35 34 .5072 10.0
16 METS NL E 36 35 .5070 10.0
17 t BRAVES NL E 35 35 .500 10.5
17 t ANGELS AL W 35 35 .500 10.5

As to where the Houston Astros now stand as a winning prospect, we of The Pecan Park Eagle are still not sold on how the club will fare over the whole season. We believe in the strategy at play, but, after all these years of living and dying in Houston with what can happen late in the season, the proof remains in the October pudding.

We love the addition of Carlos Correa at shortstop and the storming weekly improvement in hitting from George Springer, and we do like the power bop that threads it way through the lineup. We simply don’t think we can hold up for a whole season without the acquisition of another quality starter, the proven coming of age of a guy like Lance McCullers and, hopefully, one of the others, plus strategic hitting that also comes from players who also hit for average. For now, as we saw in Sunday’s game at Seattle, Houston’s strategic hitting seems too reliant upon the long ball from one of our “hit or sit” ball crushers. Is there anyone out there who really believes Luis Valbuena could become the first AL HR leader with 40 to 50 dingers on the year and still fail to reach .200 as a season batting average?

Let’s remember too. – The Astros are doing a lot this year, so far, without the much bigger bat that Jose Altuve brought to the plate last year. We hope that he gets past the current hamstring sideline with a sudden discovery of his old batting champion magic of 2014. Altuve, Springer and Correa hitting on all cylinders at the top of the lineup could be just the combo tonic we need for strategic hitting that included savvy on the base paths running and some table-setting in Houston like we’ve never seen for the big boppers hitting behind them.

We are fans of Jeff Luhnow’s rebuilding strategy and have become big managerial fans of Astros mentor A.J. Hinch in a very short time of paying him any attention. I personally think that he and his staff have done a great job to date of managing the strengths and weakness of the club, but we also know that the wear and tear on pitching may be hard to conceal in the second half, if we cannot add quality to the starting rotation by the trading deadline. Harris, Sipp, and Qualls already are showing some fatigue and, if McHugh slips further as a starter, we are going to need more than one new quality guy up front.

That’s our Astros nutshell for the morning and there’s still ample reason to hope for good things. – Winning it all, however, would sure taste better in October than all of the soup that some writers will make with the theme of how much improvement the Astros made in 2015 as opposed to actually winning anything that mattered.

We think we can speak for many ancient Houston Astros fans when we say this: “Our days of dining contentedly on “consolation custard” are over!”

If you don’t believe us, check the turnstiles.

eagle

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One Response to “The .500 Win % Clubs Near 2015 MLB Mid-Season”

  1. gregclucas Says:

    Main thing for the Astros is they have been playing at “only” about a .500 pace for the last month to six weeks. They have to start winning a number of series and get more pad over that rate if they are going to be able to hold off one of any number of teams who likely will play at a far better than .500 pace the second half of the year. The reasons you have pointed out– less effective starting pitching than earlier, tiring bullpen and an all or nothing offense make the club still somewhat of a long-shot even with their outstanding record so far. As for the fans it is far better to be pessimistic and then pleasantly surprised than to be completely optimistic and then have hopes dashed down the stretch.

    Altuve’s return to being Altuve and the continued smart hitting of George Springer are crucial. Club has to get what it can from Correa and Tucker, two rookies for whom their lack of major league experience has not allowed a full “book” to be compiled detailing the best ways to get them out. Springer appears now to have been around long enough that he had read his “book” and is using the lessons taught to become an all round good major league hitter. Let’s hope more of the Astros can read, too.

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