The MLB season is in full swing, with teams jockeying for position in the standings and players making their case for individual awards. As we approach the halfway point of the season, let’s take a closer look at the power rankings, including a dip for the Los Angeles Angels, a climb for the Texas Rangers, and a far-too-early look at the awards races.
The Los Angeles Angels had high hopes heading into the season, with the addition of superstar outfielder Anthony Rendon and the return of two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani. However, the Angels have struggled to live up to expectations and have seen a dip in their power ranking.
As of mid-June, the Angels sit in fourth place in the AL West with a record of 33-35. Their pitching staff has been a major issue, posting an ERA of 4.82, the second-worst mark in the American League. To make matters worse, the team has been hit hard by injuries, with Mike Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon all missing time.
Despite the struggles, there is still time for the Angels to turn things around. If their stars can stay healthy and the pitching improves, they could climb back up the power rankings and make a push for the playoffs.
Rangers Keep Climbing:
On the other end of the spectrum, the Texas Rangers have been on the rise in the power rankings. After a slow start to the season, the Rangers have won eight of their last ten games and sit just three games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West.
The Rangers’ offense has been a major factor in their recent success, led by slugger Joey Gallo and breakout star Adolis Garcia. The team has also gotten solid production from their starting rotation, anchored by the reliable Kyle Gibson.
If the Rangers can continue to get contributions from their offense and pitching staff, they could make a run at the playoffs and surprise some people in the second half of the season.
Far-Too-Early Look at Awards Races:
It’s still early in the season, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the individual awards races. Let’s take a look at some of the early favorites for the major awards.
AL MVP: Shohei Ohtani has been the talk of the league this season, and for good reason. He leads the league in home runs while also posting a 2.81 ERA on the mound. If he can stay healthy and continue to put up these numbers, he could be the first player in decades to win the MVP as a pitcher and hitter.
NL MVP: The race for the NL MVP is wide open, but Fernando Tatis Jr. is making a strong case. He leads the league in home runs and stolen bases while playing excellent defense at shortstop. If the San Diego Padres continue to play well and make the playoffs, Tatis could be the front-runner for the award.
AL Cy Young: Gerrit Cole is the early favorite for the AL Cy Young award, posting a 2.31 ERA with a league-leading 117 strikeouts. He has been dominant on the mound for the New York Yankees and should be in the conversation for the award all season.
NL Cy Young: Jacob deGrom is making a strong case for his third Cy Young award, posting an absurd 0.54 ERA with 111 strikeouts through his first 10 starts. The New York Mets ace has been virtually unhittable this season and should be the clear favorite for the award if he can stay healthy.
The MLB season is full of surprises and it’s always difficult to predict which teams will come out on top and which players will take home the major awards. As we approach the halfway point of the season, keep an eye on the power rankings and the individual performances of players as the race for the playoffs and awards heats up.