Thursday, July 2, 2009

At the Half (AL)...

We have some great races and a few surprises as we close in on the halfway point. Around the world...

AL North: Augusta rode a hot start to the division lead, but Cincy and Columbus are hanging in (despite being under .500). One 12-of-16 streak might decide this division.

AL East: For the first time since Season 7, Cleveland has a challenger. After years of patient rebuilding, flynnp has D.C. battling the mighty Katanas. The Revenge are excellent across the board: 2nd in runs scored, 3rd in ERA, and 3rd in fielding %. 1B Eric Brantley (1.053 OPS) and 3B Vinny Ma lead the offense, while Fausto Ontiveros (9-0, 2.95 ERA) and Norm Barkley (8-3, 3.56 ERA) pace the staff. And...look out AL for years to come...13 players on the ML roster are 25 or under. Meanwhile, Cleveland is playing its usual .700, leading the league in runs by a wide margin, and pitching to the tune of a 3.78 ERA. Should be a great race.

AL South : Only division with all 4 teams over .500 - Jackson's in control and on a 20-6 streak. Standout performances include the Holes' Del Mendoza (leading the league with 11 wins; 2.78 ERA) and Wilson Costello (leading the world in HR -42, RBI - 93, and OPS - 1.182).

AL West: Boise has forged a 10-game lead and looks like they'll cruise in. San Diego, Portland and San Francisco are all in rebuilding mode and could well be dealing at the deadline.

MVP: Hard to see anyone challenging Costello and his 93-HR pace.

Cy Young: Just as wide-open as MVP is shut. Jackson's Mendoza and Johnny Collier, Rochester's Ken George, Little Rock's Del Ramirez, Cleveland's Lorenzo Rodriguez and Aaron Torres, and Washington's Fausto Ontiveros are in the mix, but there might be 5 or 6 more who could win it with a big second half.

ROY: Little Rock's SS/CF Jerry Bernaro probably has the edge, but Cleveland's Otis Langston has 30 roundtrippers. Charlotte's Harold Bryant and Washington's Brook Wengert lead the pitchers.

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