By: Ross Sutton
1. Red Sox (59-29)- Boston is back on top of these power rankings as they have been unstoppable recently, outside of losing two of three to the Yankees. The Sox just completed a three-game sweep of the Nationals, and will face the Royals, Rangers, and Blue Jays to finish off their first half. I don’t expect to the Red Sox to make any major moves at the deadline since they already have such an expensive roster, but they will probably look to acquire another arm or two for their bullpen.
2. Yankees (56-28)- The Yankees have won three series in a row, and are in a great spot as the first half of the season is winding down. I think the Yankees will try to make a big splash at the deadline in order to acquire another starting pitcher; possibly Cole Hamels, Blake Snell, or J.A. Happ. New York has an off day on Thursday, but then they will play in Toronto, Baltimore, and Cleveland before breaking for the All-Star break.
3. Mariners (55-31)- This really could be the year the Mariners make the playoffs, as they are currently eight games ahead of the A’s for the second wild card spot. Not only have they played well all season, but the Mariners are red hot right now, as they have won eight in a row and nine of their last ten. Seattle is in the middle of a series against the Angels right now and then they will face the Rockies, Angels again, and Rockies again before the All-Star break.
4. Astros (56-31)- Houston might be a better team overall compared to the Mariners, but the Mariners are so hot right now I wanted to give them a good deal of recognition. The Astros are by no means struggling right now as they have won six of their last ten games and they will face the White Sox, A’s, and Tigers to finish off what has been an excellent first half in Houston.
5. Brewers (50-35)- The Brew Crew has been a pretty under the radar team this year, as they currently own the best record in the National League, and have been able to hold off the Cubs for most of the first half. I think Milwaukee will be active at the deadline, hopefully going after a starting pitcher in order to stabilize their rotation going into the home-stretch of the regular season.
6. Cubs (48-35)- The storyline for most of last season for the Cubs was their apparent World Series hangover and how they were not playing to their capability. That has not been the case in 2018, as the Cubs have been a great team for most of the year. The Cubs will likely be looking at a lot of arms that could help their bullpen at the deadline, but they really need Yu Darvish to get healthy and back to his usual self if they are going to have a good chance to win the World Series this year.
7. Braves (49-36)- I think the NL East is officially a two-team race, as the Nationals definitely do not look to be the dominant team that they have been over the last couple of years. That being said, the Phillies are also a really good team and the Braves will probably be active at the deadline in order to stay ahead of Philadelphia. The Braves will have three days off before the All-Star break, so they should be extremely well rested as they start the second half of the season.
8. A’s (47-39)- I will (probably) stop talking about the A’s for a while after this, as I have been having a bit of a love affair with the overachieving A’s recently. They really have been a fun team to watch though, and I really hope they go after some pitching at the deadline to try and catch the Mariners in the Wild Card race. Oakland does have a bit of a tough schedule moving forward though, as they will face the Indians, Astros, and Giants before the All-Star break.
9. Indians (47-37)- As expected, the Indians are cruising through their terribly weak division and are already 10.5 games ahead of the second place Tigers. I think the Indians could be very active around the deadline, as their bullpen needs help, and they have been rumored to be talking to the Orioles about a potential trade for Manny Machado. That would be a blockbuster deal that would shake things up in the American League playoff picture.
10. Dodgers (46-39)- Speaking of teams that could be in on Machado, the Dodgers are making a comeback after a slow start to the year, as they are only a game and a half back of Arizona right now. I believe the Dodgers will eventually win the NL West, as they have the more talented roster in my opinion. The Dodgers will face the Angels, Padres, and Angels before the All-Star break.
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