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Mid-Season Grades AL East

So were just over halfway through the season and approaching the all-star break so it’s a good time to look at the season so far, who has delivered who has underperformed and who is on track to preform better in the second half of the season

 

First off, the American League East

 

(As of 2nd July 2024)

Baltimore Orioles – Half Season Grade B+

 

Current record 53-31

 

Last 10 games 4-6

 

Last season 101-61 (Lost 0-3 to Texas Rangers in ALDS)

 

The Orioles have continued last years run of being a great regular season team. The main thing they needed to improve and one thing it could be said they didn’t have last year was a starting ace they secured this with the trade of Corbin Burnes in 17 games he currently has a 2.29 ERA. The Orioles have built their farm system so well in previous years they can now have a team that will be strong and will be the same core for many years to come. Top prospect Jackson Holliday came up and soon went back down but the plus side for the Orioles now is they don’t have to do this immediately. Injuries have hit the pitching but overall the O’s have had a very good start to 2024. Gunnar Henderson has been on fire and currently sits on 26 home runs only 2 shy of his 28 in the whole of 2023.

 

Stand out player so far – Gunnar Henderson

New York Yankees – Half Season Grade B+

 

Current Record 54-32

 

Last 10 games 3-7

 

Last season 82-80 (Failed to make the playoffs finished 4th in AL East)

 

After a terrible 2023 changes needed to be made and the major change the Yankees made was the trade for Juan Soto. The Yankees started on fire and if the grades were given 3 weeks ago the Yankees would have been an A. A few things have changed though and the starting rotation that was the best in baseball at this time has now dropped off a little, this should helpfully get back on track for the second half of the season with Gerrit Cole arguably the games best pitcher and current AL CY Young award winner back. The hitting has dropped as well and the loss of Giancarlo Stanton batting cleanup to injury has made the pitching to Juan Soto and Aaron Judge not as scary proposition as it was during the first few months. Soto and Judge are as advertised however and after a slow April Judge has followed up with 2 months of extraordinary hitting. He is now currently on pace to possibly break hit 62 home run record from 2022. It will be a straight fight for the AL East title between the Yankees and Orioles. Surely the closest and most fun divisional fight in baseball.

 

Stand out player so far – Aaron Judge

Video Taken from MLB's YouTube channel

Boston Red Sox – Half season grade C+

 

Current record 44-39

 

Last 10 games 6-4

 

Last season 78-84 (Failed to make the playoffs finished bottom of AL East)

 

After finishing bottom in the AL East last year the Red Sox seem to be building a good young team that seem to be based on looking towards the future. Alex Cora in possibly his last year as manager seems to be placing faith in some of the lesser-known players this season and it seems to be paying off. Big free agent pitching signing Lucas Giolito got injured before the season started and regular shortstop Trevor Storey soon joined him on the injured list. The Red Sox are looking better of late and exploiting stolen base opportunities with fast young players is making them a team to watch. Expect them to chase a wildcard slot going forward now they are on a plus .500 winning team. Jarren Duran being promoted to leadoff has been a great call by Cora and he’s the now the leadoff for the new look Red Sox .350 OBP gives the team the top of the order they need.

 

Stand out player so far – Jarren Duran

Tampa Bay Rays – Half season grade D

 

Current record 42-42

 

Last 10 games 7-3

 

Last season 99-63 (Lost 0 -2 in Wild Card series to Texas Rangers)

 

Last season the Rays finished with 99 wins and in many ways were unlucky to not bypass the wild card round with nearly 100 wins. This season it’s a different story the Rays have dropped off. The Rays have been known to always out preform their payroll but is this finally now the Rays regressing back to the mean. Many times, when it comes to a star player reaching free agency the Rays need to trade that player or lose him to free agency as they won’t pay the mega money deals like what has happened this past off season with Tyler Glasnow. One of the star players they did invest in Wander Franco is no longer around due to non-baseball reasons and rumours are the Rays are willing to listen to trade offers for Randy Arozarena and Yandy Diaz. It’s looking like a possible consolidation and reset year for the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

Stand out player so far – Isaac Paredes

Toronto Blue Jays – Half season grade D-

 

Current Record 38-46

 

Last 10 games 3-7

 

Last season 89-73 (Failed to make the playoffs finished 3rd in AL East)

 

The Toronto Blue Jays have had a poor half to the season the stars haven’t shone, and the rest of the players haven’t exactly pulled up trees. Players like Bo Bichette and George Springer have failed to live up to true potential and until recently so had star man Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has been a solid free agent pickup, but the Blue Jays will have to have a much better second half to even have a sniff at a wild card spot currently being 8 games behind .500. The pitching is looking a little better starters Chris Bassitt, Jose Berrios and Yusei Kikuchi are all having good seasons but it was sad to see one of their better bullpen arms of Tim Mayza DFA’d last week after a poor start to the season. It will be interesting to see what the Blue Jays do come the deadline with rumours for the first time I can remember about potential trades for franchise mainstays Guerrero Jr and Bichette. Will they give up on the season and trade for prospects? Only time will tell.

 

Stand out player so far – Chris Bassitt

Stats taken from baseball-reference.com

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