Rich 10 MLB Rankings – (All-Star break)

We have reached the All-star break, it’s a massive time of reflection for many fan bases across the MLB. Whether your team is underperforming to this point like the Yankees or stunning the league like the Giants, there are changes every team needs to make in order to make their postseason push. As player health becomes a factor later in the season, which teams will be able to adapt and overcome changes in the lineup. With anticipation for the second half of the season growing, where do the top teams in the league stack up?

Just a bit outside: (Tie) Seattle Mariners (48-43), Cincinnati Reds (48-42)

Previous Rankings: Mariners (Just a bit outside), Reds (Unranked)

Records over past week: Mariners (4-3) Reds (6-2)
I was almost convinced to kick the Mariners out of the Rich 10 Rankings entirely, however, both teams now sit three and a half games back from the last wild card spot in their respective leagues. The Mariners recorded a July 4th win against the Rangers in Seattle before dropping two of three hosting the Yankees. The Mariners were able to salvage their spot in the rankings defending home against the Angels, taking their final series two games to one, and wrapping up a nine-game homestand.

Contrary to the Mariners, the Reds had to go on the road for their final stretch of the first half and managed to take two of three in Kansas City and three of four in Milwaukee. With both teams equidistant from a wildcard spot, it may depend on the current spot holders stability during the second half of the season on whether or not these teams will reach the postseason. But with both these teams warming up at the right time, the Padres and the A’s need to watch their tails, or one of these teams will be taking their spot in the playoffs.

10. New York Mets 47-40

Previous Ranking: 10

Record over past week: (4-4)

The NL East this season has felt very similar to the NFL’s NFC East. No teams are particularly great, there isn’t a lot of disparity within the division, and everyone is hovering around the .500 mark. The Miami Marlins who are in last place of the division only sit nine games back. The Mets will remain the lowest division leader in the rankings until they can prove that they may be some sort of playoff threat, or they inevitably get overtaken in the division. Either way, it’s going to be difficult to keep a playoff spot if they continue to play down to teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

9. Oakland Athletics (52-40)

Previous Ranking: 8

Record over past week: (3-4)

After dropping back-to-back series against the Red Sox and the Astros, the A’s managed to take care of business on the road against the Rangers maintaining their wild card spot going into the All-Star break. With their inner-division competitor the Mariners hot on their heels they are going to need to get hot coming out of the break, in order to maintain their standing. 

8. Milwaukee Brewers (53-39)

Previous Ranking: 4

Record over past week: (2-6)

After dropping a game to the Pirates on the Fourth of July, the Brewers dropped back-to-back series against the Mets and the Reds, only winning one game in each series. Now only four games separate the Brewers and the Reds in the NL Central. The Brewers will need to right the ship quickly having to go back on the road to Cincinnati for their first series coming out of the break. 

7. San Diego Padres (53-40)

Previous Ranking: 6 

Record over past week: (4-4)

The Padres wrapped up the first half with a seven-game homestand in which they split a four-game series with the Washington Nationals and lost two of three against the Colorado Rockies. If the Padres want to be a playoff team and a legitimate postseason threat they need to win games outside of the NL West against non-playoff teams, and against the Rockies and Diamondbacks within the division. The Padres now only hold their playoff spot by three and a half games and will need to bounce back quickly coming out of the break to hold their playoff spot and put some distance between them and the Reds, and potentially catch up to the Giants and Dodgers. 

6. Tampa Bay Rays (53-37) 

Previous Ranking: 9

Record over past week: (6-1)

The Rays have managed to go on a little run leading into the All-Star break, after avoiding the sweep Fourth of July weekend against the Blue Jays. After that series, the Rays went on to sweep Cleveland in a three-game series and get revenge against the Blue Jays taking two of three at home to wrap up the first half on a 6-1 run. The Rays are now within one and a half games of division lead narrowly trailing the Red Sox in the AL East. 

5. Boston Red Sox (55-36)

Previous Ranking: 5

Record over past week: (3-4)

After losing back-to-back series against the Angels and the Phillies, the Red Sox division lead hangs by a thread. They have cooled down from their epic hot streak that was late June and early July. The Red Sox start off the second half with two four-game series against the Yankees, and seven games against the Blue Jays, one four-game series, one three-game series. With a good opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the division, it will be important to see how their first stretch coming out of the break plays out in the AL East.

4. Chicago White Sox (54-35)

Previous Ranking: 7

Record over past week: (5-2)

The White Sox took advantage of an easy closing schedule, winning their final five games of the first half and putting up a lot of runs in the process. With Cleveland struggling the White Sox have built the largest division lead in the MLB now eight games ahead in the AL Central. The White Sox may be the biggest lock to win their division of any team in the MLB. 

3. Houston Astros (55-36)

Previous Ranking: 3

Record over past week: (4-3)

The Astros managed to win two of three against the Athletics during this final stretch. I think it is safe to say that the Astros are in sole control of the AL West at this point and don’t need to be overly worried about losing control of the division. Their first series out of the break is against the White Sox in Chicago, if the Astros take the series win they will be back in first place in the American League.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (56-35)

Previous Ranking: 1

Record over past week: (4-4)

If the Dodgers want to overtake the Giants in the NL West, they can’t be dropping series to the Marlins or losing games against the Diamondbacks. It was a disappointing week for the Dodgers and the Giants retook the division lead by two games. The 22-1 victory over the Diamondbacks felt like the turning point for the Dodgers and may have been enough to get them out of their slump before the All-Star break. It would not be surprising if the Dodgers are one of the hotter teams right off the bat starting the second half. 

 1. San Francisco Giants (57-32)

Previous Ranking: 2

Record over past week: (5-2)

Ending the first half on a four-game win streak after dropping their first two games against the Cardinals, the Giants took advantage of the Dodgers’ struggles and reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NL West. At the All-Star break, a team that was pictured as the third-best team in the NL West during preseason now holds the top record in the MLB. It is going to take consistent play from either the Dodgers or the Padres to knock the Giants off their throne, but neither of those teams has proven they can do that as of late. Meanwhile, the Giants have continued to be the most consistent team in the MLB. Give it up for the Giants, the first-half MLB champions. 

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