The MLB standings are coming into focus, with the American League East, West, and Central all in their own little division. As of today, the Astros are still the reigning World Series champions, but the NL Central is currently led by the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals. The Red Sox and Yankees are just a game back of those four. The Yankees have been in the top spot for nearly the entire season, and were expected to stay there for the rest of the year. While the AL East isn’t as competitive, there are still respectable teams in the AL East, such as the Yankees, Orioles, and Blue Jays.
After the conclusion of the regular season the standings are decided and the playoffs are set. But what about the teams that are eliminated before their time? We have compiled the standings for all teams that missed the playoffs at this point of the season.
is Memorial Day and that means something extra special for MLB fans: You can now officially view the MLB roster. There’s an old saying among baseball fans that you shouldn’t check the score until Memorial Day Setting aside two months for the season would allow time to take small samples across enough games to understand what we are seeing in each division. While your team’s current ranking is no guarantee of how it will finish the season, the concept is not without merit: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 59% of the teams (84 of 143) that won on the morning of 1. June was only in first place, their division in the Wild Card era (since 1995 and excluding 2020). With that in mind, we asked ESPN MLB experts Bradford Doolittle, Buster Olney and David Schonfield to take a look at the current standings to understand how the 2021 MLB season is going so far.
What is the first thing you notice when you look at the painting?
Olney: The NL East, the division normally considered the best and most competitive, is an absolute disaster. It looks like a NASCAR race after a 25-car collision on lap 15, and it looks like the teams will need a lot of time to sort out their problems, injuries, roster issues and holes in the lineup. Doolittle: The distribution could hardly be more concentrated. Overall, the Marlins have the best run differential in the division, despite the absence of Starling Marte for several weeks and Sixto Sanchez for the entire campaign. The loss of Brian Anderson hurts, but Miami still seems to be on the mend, while the presumed top four in the NL East are not. 2 Connected Schoenfield: Yes, the NL East stands out, especially with the Dodgers coming back into the game after their 4-14 debacle. At one point a few days ago the Mets had 16 players on the injured list. They used a lineup that might not work well in Triple-A, especially given Francisco Lindor’s early problems at the plate. The rest of the league should be ashamed that they weren’t able to take a small lead over the Mets under those circumstances – except, of course, that they all had serious injuries as well. Could we see the division’s first champion under .500? (Not counting the 1994 AL West, where all four teams were under .500 when the strike ended the season in August).
Which team will rise or fall significantly in the rankings in the future?
Doolittle: I’ll mention two related teams: I think Cleveland and Minnesota will eventually trade places in the AL Central. Cleveland has too many holes in the lineup, and the rotation isn’t very good either. Too much weight on Jose Ramirez and the bullpen there. Also: Cleveland has played one of the easiest schedules in the MLB so far. Meanwhile, the Twins have too much talent and depth to play as poorly as they have the last two weeks. They’re already back in shape. David Birding – USA Today Sports Schoenfield: I agree with Brad. I think the Twins can emulate the 2019 Nationals, a team that was 19-31, but things have changed, they won the Wild Card, and they’ve moved up in the postseason. They need to fix the lockout situation and possibly trade him for Seattle’s Kendall Graveman or the Rangers’ Ian Kennedy. I’m also a little skeptical of the Brewers. They are at .500, although Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burns and Freddy Peralta enter the weekend with a combined ERA of 2.03. Some decline of this excellent trio is to be expected. I’m not sure they have enough attackers, even if Christian Yelich recovers from his back problems and starts scoring again. The pitching staff is too good for a complete free fall, but the Cardinals and Cubs can get on the winning side. Olney: It looks like low-hanging fruit picking, but the Dodgers will continue to gain ground with the return of Cody Bellinger and other players from the injured list, as well as those that Los Angeles will add before the trade deadline
Which position in the league is most disappointing at the moment?
Olney: It must be the Angels, right? Shohei Ohtani has been the most valuable player in the sport this year because he is so valuable. Before Mike Trout was injured, he was having the best season of his career. But the Angels are still not close to winning. The starting pitchers around Ohtani were surprisingly bad. Doolittle: Since I have already dealt with the issue of twins, I will now move on to angels. You’d think they’d get lucky with a good pitcher for at least one of those seasons, but maybe not. Too bad, because a postseason with Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani would have been very interesting to watch. Schoenfield: Twins and Angels is the answer to that question. You can list the entire NL East if you want, but I’ll mention the Royals. After a good start (14-7), there was hope that this team could compete for the AL Central title, but they quickly spoiled that good start by losing 11 games. The thing is, it’s not exactly a young team. If you go by the average age based on Baseball-Reference playing time, the Royals have the fourth oldest team in the Major Leagues. They are younger in terms of pitchers – 10, but the young rotation has yet to prove itself. In some ways, this is a team built to win now, with 30-year-olds like Salvador Perez Carlos Santana and Whit Merrifield on offense, but right now the Royals look like a .500 team at best.
Which place in the table was the biggest surprise in a positive sense?
Doolittle: My prediction system didn’t like the Giants, but when I commented on them during the preseason, I always made sure to mention in the predictions that they were a likely candidate to win. It’s just a very well run club with a smart manager and a core group of players who have been involved in many wins. Will they be able to keep up the fight against the Padres and Dodgers? It’s a tough road, but so far the Giants have done well. Follow the 2021 MLB season on ESPN and the ESPN app. Monday, 31. May Twins – Orioles, 1 ET on ESPN Red Sox – Astros, 4 ET on ESPN Pirates – Royals, 8 ET on ESPN Wednesday, June 2 Red Sox – Astros, 8 ET on ESPN Olney: The Red Sox Haim Bloom has spent the last year building the infrastructure of the talent organization, and with that progress and the return of Alex Cora as manager, Boston is back in the running for the AL East. The question now is how much the owner wants to bet on the team’s playoff chances and whether he is willing to spend money before the trade deadline Schoenfield: In fact, I’d vote for the Mets. Let’s see: Lindor has struggled, Dom Smith has struggled, James McCann has struggled – and those are just three players who have been healthy. Jacob deGrom missed several starts. Carlos Carrasco has yet to play, and Taijuan Walker played very well before coming to IL. David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi are a combined 2-7. Cameron Maybin batted 0-for-26 and Michael Conforto hit two home runs And yet, they come first. Did we mention that the NL East is bad?
Which order must go into sell mode in the time before the auction ends?
Olney: The Angels should certainly be sellers, with the free agency on the horizon for many players – and they should already be thinking about the looming contract issue. It’s very difficult for teams with a big market to get three contracts over $30 million a year. Mike Trout, of course, remains an Angel for life, and Anthony Rendon makes a lot of money too. With Shohei Ohtani still a few years away as a free agent, it’s entirely possible he’ll become a $30 million a year player – and if he continues to play this well and with this much attention, the Angels will want to keep him. Therefore, the team should consider actively trying to move as much of Rendon’s contract as possible to put the team in a better position to retain Ohtani. Doolittle: The Rockies better stand up for Trevor Story, because this team isn’t going anywhere. They are coming off a .143 shutout win and have nearly doubled their lead on the road. It’s time to take this thing apart and start over with a new team. Schoenfield: It will be interesting to see what Farhan Zaidi ultimately plans to do with the Giants. Even though they are six or seven games behind the Dodgers and the Padres, the second Wild Card could still be in play. Kevin Gausman, who is a free agent, will be one of the most attractive pitchers on the market when he becomes available – but he is also a pitcher who can win this Wild card game Ranking of Shohei Ohtani’s top 5 strikeouts – and pitches – for the 2021 MLB season. Alden Gonzales Jerry Dipoto, on the other hand, is an easier decision. The Mariners aren’t very good, can’t hit, and are still rebuilding. Kendall Graveman did not allow a single point and could be an option for contenders late in the game. Mitch Haniger is having a breakthrough season, and while he’s under team control for another season, Jarred Kelenic is already in the majors and Julio Rodriguez could be next season. Given the need for attackers in the league, Haniger should get some good prospects in return (although he could help the team next year).
Who will end the season with the most wins in the AL and how many?
Doolittle: The Rays are back in first place in the league with 96 wins. Everyone else is dealing with injuries or holes in the lineup, while Tampa Bay already has all kinds of spares ready to go in case a screw breaks. Olney: The increase is 98 wins. Schoenfield: Getting up is a fucking miracle, isn’t it? They’ll just find a way. But I vote for the White Sox with ….. 95 wins. The division is easier than the AL East, a strong rotation and bullpen that should prevent a continued losing streak, and a good offensive line even without Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Plus, they’ve only played the Tigers three times so far, so there will be 16 more games against them.
Who will end the season with the most wins in the NL and how many?
Doolittle: The Dodgers will win 104 games, two more than the Padres. The presence of the latter explains the gain of the former. These teams will put pressure on themselves all season to avoid playing against the Wild Card, and it will be glorious. With two months to go until draft day, it’s time to see how each player selected in the first round will play. mock draft 1.0 by Kiley McDaniel Olney: The Dodgers are on a long winning streak and will finish with 102 wins. Schoenfield: They n’t make my prediction of 110, but I’m also betting on 102 for the Dodgers. With his 101 wins, he is one game ahead of the Padres.
Which team loses the most games and becomes the first pick in next year’s draft?
Olney: The Orioles, beaten by four AL East organizations, are really trying to win in the postseason. Doolittle: The Orioles have the advantage, and have proven over the last few years, that there isn’t a single useful veteran they wouldn’t fire if it would get them a few more points in the L column. Schoenfield: This will be one of the most intriguing storylines of the last two months, as super prospect Elijah Green is a gem in the 2022 draft, a high school outfielder who could be the most promising draft pick since bryce harper It’s like a four-team race between the Orioles, Tigers, Pirates and Rockies. The Orioles have the advantage of playing in a division with four other good teams. The Rockies still have 13 games to go against the Padres and 12 against the Dodgers, and it’s likely that Story will be traded right after the All-Star Game (which, remember, is in Denver this year). Pirates are terrible. At least the Tigers have a good pitch. I’m picking the Orioles too, even though John Means single-handedly has their worst record.
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