We’re already about halfway through the shortened MLB season, so it’s time for each American League team to receive their mid-season grades. These evaluations are based on how well each team was expected to perform and how well they’ve actually done. Of course, injuries will be taken into consideration as well. Recently published was MLB Report Card: NL Teams.
Tampa Bay Rays: A
The Rays were expected to be a top 5 team in the league, and they have been. They’ve been very streaky which could help or hurt them in the playoffs, but Tampa Bay looks like a World Series contender.
New York Yankees: A
The Yankees were doing everything they were supposed to be doing when they were healthy. Their injuries have hurt them a bit, but this is a team that’s already looking ahead to the postseason and wants to be as healthy as they can when it really matters.
Baltimore Orioles: B
The Orioles were considered by many to be one of the worst teams in the league before the season started. Even being competitive this season would have been a surprise. But Baltimore is currently fighting for a playoff position in the AL, having swept series against the Phillies, Nationals, and Rays.
Toronto Blue Jays: B-
The Blue Jays were a lot of people’s sleeper playoff pick that would take advantage of the expanded playoffs. Others thought they were still a few years away from seriously contending. In reality, both parties might be right, with Toronto being very close to the last AL playoff spot. It also has to be mentioned that Bo Bichette is an emerging star.
Boston Red Sox: F
The Red Sox won the World Series just 2 years ago! Sure, they traded away Mookie Betts, but Boston still should have been a playoff contender. Instead, they’re one of the worst teams in the league with one of the worst farm systems. It might take several more years to get back to where they were only 2 years ago.
Minnesota Twins: A
All the Twins were expected to do was hit a lot of homeruns and make a deep playoff run. They aren’t mashing homers like fans wanted them to, but they’re winning anyway with the second best run differential in baseball. Minnesota looks primed to advance in the playoffs.
Cleveland Indians: A
The Indians have some holes in their lineup, as everyone knew when the season started, but they’ve been getting it done all season anyway. Shane Bieber looks like the best pitcher in baseball right now and Cleveland is looking at a potentially high seed in the expanded playoffs.
Chicago White Sox: B+
After some hard to watch years of rebuilding, the White Sox showed everyone that they were ready to be contenders after bringing in some big name free agents and calling up some big time prospects. Chicago has proved that they are, in fact, ready to contend, as they’ve had a more than solid start to the season.
Kansas City Royals: C-
Everyone knew that the Royals were still a couple years away from contending, even with the shortened season and expanded playoffs, and they’re not. However, Kansas City’s young players have shown brilliant flashes of potential that can put them back in the World Series in a few years- but definitely not this year.
Detroit Tigers: C-
The Tigers are in almost the exact same boat as the Royals, meeting the low expectations this season but showing why they can be great a few years from now. Detroit will almost certainly land another high draft pick, but that will only add to their impressive farm system and bright future.
Oakland A’s: A+
A lot of people knew that the A’s would be a great team this year. But not a lot of fans were expecting this. Oakland has been great offensively and their young pitching is very impressive with the help of their elite defense. The A’s are serious World Series contenders this year, and seeing them win it all wouldn’t be surprising whatsoever.
Houston Astros: C+
No one really knew what to expect from the Astros this season with carryover from their sign stealing scandal, a new coach, and the loss of their ace. Regardless, it seems that the Astros should be better than how they’re performing. It’s a small sample size, and they’re in playoff position, but this team was in the World Series last year.
Texas Rangers: C-
The Rangers weren’t ready to seriously contend yet, but they were supposed to be fighting for a playoff spot. Injuries have slowed them down a bit, but Texas is simply underperforming. Their future looks good, but the present is a tad disappointing.
Seattle Mariners: D+
The Mariner’s rookies have looked stellar so far this year, and they have some great prospects ready to join them soon. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Seattle’s refusal to commit to a full rebuild in recent years is letting them down now. As well as their young players are performing, the Mariners are not talented enough of a team to contend right now.
Los Angeles Angels: F
Anthony Rendon and Dylan Bundy have been great additions for the Angels. Unfortunately, that’s not nearly enough. The top of the order has been very good for LA, but offense isn’t their problem. This team has allowed the second most runs in baseball because Bundy can only pitch once every five days. The pieces are there for the Angels, but an expected World Series contender shouldn’t be struggling nearly this much.