The “mythical” first-half of the MLB season (all teams have played at least 93 games) is behind us and it’s time to look ahead to the “mythical” second half in the West.
Just a month after it appeared there could be another Bay Bridge World Series in Oakland and San Francisco, the Giants went south and lost all of their 9 ½ game NL West lead to the Dodgers, who have the pitching, defense and just enough offense to hold off all division challengers.
Not so fast in the AL.
The Athletics have been the best team in all of baseball for most of the season, but there’s something about the Angels that should strike fear in manager Bob Melvin’s A’s. Good thing for Oakland, though, is the two powerhouse teams face each other just five more times – two at the end of August in Anaheim and three in Oakland in late September.
On the other hand, the Giants and Dodgers still have nine head-to-head clashes with six of the games in SF and the final three in LA in the next-to-last series of the regular season for both teams.
Not only that, but several of the MLB West teams will be fighting it out for Wild Card playoff berths.
Indeed, it could be a rip-roaring second half in the West.
Here is this week’s Power Rankings:
1. Athletics (1): The team behind them in the AL West is closer than it appears in a mirror
2. Angels (2): The Major League’s hottest team probably wishes the All-Star Game was much later
3. Dodgers (3): Too bad a Kershaw vs. Felix matchup in the All-Star Game won’t happen
4. Mariners (4): Taking two of three from the division-leading A’s a good way to end the first half
5. Giants (5): While he’s at the All-Star Game, perhaps Madison Bumgarner could compete in Home Run Derby
6. Astros: (6): Raise your right hand if you knew Jose Altuve is a two-time All-Star. No hands, huh?
7. Padres (8): It took a week, but the NL finally came to its senses by adding closer Huston Street to the All-Star team
8. Rockies (9): Injury-riddled starting rotation could be almost whole again by the end of the month
9. Diamondbacks (10): It will get hotter in the desert, but the West’s worst team unlikely to follow suit
10. Rangers (7): One of the worst stretches in club history has knocked the Rangers into GW Power Rankings basement for the first time
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)