This article was written as the games were wrapping on on Saturday, June 10th.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
In the last couple weeks the Boston Red Sox have dropped to last in the East. In that time they have made a lot of roster moves including but not limited to moving LHP Chris Sale from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL. This move will most likely make them sellers at the deadline unless they choose to stand pay and just prepare for the offseason. The Rays have extended their lead over the surging Baltimore Orioles by two games currently holding a 5.5 game lead in the division while the Yankees have kept their spot at third place in the division.
Stories to watch:
- Who do the Yankees try to bring in as rentals at the deadline?
- Do the Yankees sell their system to steal Ohtani and extend him at the deadline?
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
The Minnesota Twins have constantly stayed in first place this season while the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Cleveland Guardians have all been moving around in the middle of the division standings. Two weeks ago the Sox were coming off of a ten game losing streak. As I write this they are home playing the Miami Marlins and have found a way to move from fourth place in the worst division in baseball to third place. That leaves the Guardians and Tigers. The Tigers were in second place behind the Twins a couple weeks ago but they are 29th in On Base + Slugging (OPS) in the last 30 days and that has caused them to fall to fourth putting the Guardians in second.
Stories to watch:
- White Sox: Will they buy or sell at the deadline? Kopech is a free agent after this year so they might make a white flag trade.
- Twins Bullpen: While the Twins have held their first place spot in the division they are desperate still desperate for bullpen help right now.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
The focus in the west has stayed on the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. With the Angles main headlines revolving around Ohtani. The division has not moved at all in terms of who sites where in the standing. However, it would surprise me in a big way if the Angels stand pat at the trade deadline. Personally, I think they might be sellers and the big trade we could see Ohtani traded and extended by his new team. Then there is the Jose Altuve story. Since his return from the thumb injury a couple weeks ago he has been slow to show he is back to his old self but has had more bright spots than I expected in the stat lines.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
The Atlanta Braves are still looking down on the rest of their division as the Kings of the NL East. However, the Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Mets have all moved around a bit. The Mets have lost seven of their last ten games including being swept by the Braves. As the trade deadline nears the Mets will be the team to watch closely with Pete Alonzo out 3-4 after suffering a wrist injury in his first at bat of Wednesday’s game agains the Braves.
Stories to watch:
- Kyle Schwarber: Aside from hitting home runs he has been struggling with the bat in Philly… will the Phillies try to trade him?
- Mets slow start: Big changes coming in New York after Steve Cohen’s comments this week?
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
The Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburg Pirates are still tied for first in the division. The Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs have traded places in the last two weeks though. The Cubs offense has continued to struggle after a great April in the last 30 days they are 28th ahead of only the Tigers and Oakland A’s in OPS. With Kyle Hendricks back I was correct that Hayden Wesneski would be recalled around the same time. That said, it seems he is being used mostly in long relief since his return. Also, while still not entirely resolved the Cubs bullpen problems are a bit more under control. The second worst division in baseball has the two teams who are usually battling for first place battling for last place as I write this. Will either of them be buyers at the deadline?
Stories to watch:
- Willson Contreras: A couple weeks ago many Cubs and Cardinals fans alike were claiming that Willson was being made into the scapegoat because of how bad the Cardinals pitching has been mediocre at best. It does not help that Adam Wainwright is showing his age and on his way out.
- Kyle Hendricks: He is 1-2 in four starts since his return including an eight inning outing tonight that looked like it could be his first no hitter until his second to last batter. He appears to be back at full strength but is he?
- The Pirates have been lighting the world of fire almost literally. Is their rebuild completed?
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
The NL West standing have also been very solid the last two weeks with no movement. The Padres four games against the Cubs last weekend was looking to be a chance for them to overtake third place with how bad the Cubs offense has been over the last month. However, they ended up splitting the series and watching the Cubs take the season series. This just goes to show that being big spenders will not always lead to being atop the division and thus we could see the Padres watching from home when the playoffs start even though they spend a ton in the winter.
With that… it’s time for first pitch around the league on this fine Sunday!
If you cannot play with them, root for them!