Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 9:42 AM
HERE'S OUR JIM SEZ AMERICAN LEAGUE MID-TERM REPORT CARDS
The 87th Baseball All-Star Game takes center stage in the sports world next Tuesday night from San Diego and we'll have our own Jim Sez ideas next week on what Major-League teams we should all be watching immediately after the break.
Hey, there's American League Mid-Term Report Card grades to hand out in a second here but first this key reminder:
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are banging outs lots of winners in Major-League Baseball these days and all you need to do is check in either right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for the weeknight action, after 11 a.m. ET for weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners. Plus, the Football Season isn't that far off as NFL Preseason action swings into gear on Sunday, August 7th with the annual NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Indianapolis Colts versus the Green Bay Packers - just cannot wait, right?
AMERICAN LEAGUE MID-SEASON REPORT CARDS
TEXAS (53-34) - Best team in AL showing a little wear-and-tear at this stage (see 3-7 in last 10) but second-year manager Jeff Banister has pushed all the right buttons and how about all this winning with RHP Yu Darvish giving 'em all of three starts?
CLEVELAND (51-34) - Gotta say not many teams could lose their best hitter (OF Michael Brantley, only 39 at-bats) practically the entire season and still be playing .600 ball. The rotation is second-to-none and isn't it about time we heard RHP Danny Salazar's name as a Cy Young candidate (see 10 wins, 2.36 ERA)?
BALTIMORE (49-35) - The Birds are 31-13 at home and a rock-solid 22-13 against fellow AL East teams and dare we say most baseball fans couldn't name three guys in their starting rotation ... so manager Buck Showalter and Company are doing plenty of things right and not just smacking dingers (see AL-best 131 home runs).
BOSTON (46-38) - That's no typo, the Red Sox team ERA is a bloated 4.52 (10th-best in the junior circuit) and can you imagine where they'd be if LHP David Price was the ace?
TORONTO (49-39) - No question the Blue Jays are starting to fit all the puzzle pieces together quite nicely with a six-game winning streak while heading into this on-going four-game weekend series versus Detroit. Still, this is a team that was expected to be right there in the AL East and so the Jays are right around where they should be.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX (44-41) - Real Jekyll and Hyde season for the Pale Hose who've managed to stay on the plus side of .500 even though Chisox can't count on anyone but LHP Chris Sale (14 W's) to win a start.
DETROIT (45-41) - Recent hot streak by the Tigers has saved the season (and saved manager Brad Ausmus' job) and where on earth would Motowners be without rookie RHP Michael Fullmer (9 wins)?
HOUSTON (46-40) - It's been a long climb back from that rotten start for the 'Stros but keep in mind the "experts" said this AL West crew would win 86 games. Yes, 2B Jose Altuve (.346 BA and .418 on-base percentage with 64 runs scored) is your MVP frontrunner at press time.
SEATTLE (43-43) - Season fell apart a couple of weeks back when M's were swept by the Rangers and when RHP Felix Hernandez went to the sidelines.
KANSAS CITY (44-41) - Defending world champs simply have been one of MLB's biggest enigmas but why be surprised with this shaky starting rotation? Come back, Johnny Cueto!
NEW YORK YANKEES (42-43) - So what that the Yanks have the proverbial "big three" at the back of their bullpen with All-Stars Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller plus closer Aroldis Chapman ... they still stink plus they're boring!
OAKLAND (37-49) - No-name A's rank 12th in the league in runs scored, 12th in home runs and 14th in team ERA ... 'nuff said, folks.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS (36-50) - Gotta say we absolutely hate the way the Halos have fallen apart this year; yes, there's key injuries to the rotation and CF Mike Trout gets precious little support in this lineup (see next-to-last in the league in total home runs with 84). As we said in an earlier-week Jim Sez, manager Mike Scioscia should have been given the heave-ho a long time ago.
TAMPA BAY (34-51) - We're ashamed to admit we though the 2016 Rays would win it all! Pathetic efforts produced 17 losses in a 21-game stretch.
MINNESOTA (30-55) - Things went ker-plunk right out of the starting gate and Twinkies just hope to avoid 100 losses.
Note: More MLB and NFL Team Glances in next week's Jim Sez.