Baseball Has Seen Very Little Change In The Standings From This Time Last Year
Losing Star Free Agent Has Led To Three Win Increase For Nationals; Gaining Him Has Led To Decrease Of Three For Phillies
Other Than Minnesota's Twenty Game Improvement, The Standings Are Nearly Identifal
As the baseball immortal Yogi Berra once said, "It's deja vu all over again." That redundant observation certainly applies, for the most part, to the standings in Berra's beloved sport this year.
Here we are with just over a week to go before the trade deadline, and one third of the teams are within four wins of the total they had at this time last year. In fact, two of those clubs have the exact same record on July 22 now as they did on this very date in 2018.
The New York Yankees currently have 64 wins with 34 losses, which is exactly the record they held on this day last year. A huge difference, however, is that they have a nine game lead in the American League West, whereas last season they were three back of the 70-31 Red Sox.
Boston meanwhile has seen a reduction of sixteen wins this year, accounting for the eleven game deficit that has them currently in third place. The team between the Red Sox and Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays, have improved by four games since July 22 of 2018.
Joining the Yankees in having the same record this year as last is the team they eliminated in the Wild Card game, the Oakland Athletics. Manager Bob Melvin's team stood at 57-43 on this date last year, which is exactly where they are now one year later.
The team trailing them in third place in the A.L. West, the Los Angeles Angels, are one win better than the fifty they had in 2018. Under them is Texas, whose wins have dipped from fifty to 42.
That drop is nothing compared to the downturn of the team in the basement of the division, who have have twenty fewer wins than they did at this point in 2018. Back then the Seattle Mariners were sixty and forty, but this year those numbers are reversed.
MInnesota, much to the delight of Twins fans, has seen an increase nearly as steep as Seattle's reduction. Last year on July 22 the Twins were nine games under .500 with just 44 wins, a total that is at sixty this season and has propelled them to the top of the A.L. Central.
Cleveland, the team chasing the Twins, has dipped by just three in the win column. Because of the incredible surge of Minnesota, the Indians are three games out instead of being eleven up like they were in 2018.
Part of Minnesota's turnaround can be credited to not only several free agent signings, but also the hiring of new manager Rocco Baldelli. Unfortunately, the change in managers has not had much effect on the other club who hired a new skipper, the Cincinnati Reds.
The last place team in the National League Central in 2018 finds itself there again 365 days later, in spite of having hired David Bell as their manager over the off season. On July 22 last year the Reds were 43-55, and currently they are 44-54.
On top of Cincinnati's division is Chicago which, like second place Milwaukee, has seen a four game dip in the win column. Third place St. Louis, on the other hand, has experienced a very slight improvement from 50-48 to 51-49.
The biggest improvement in the National League belongs to the Dodgers, whose increase in wins has them with the best record in all of baseball. Los Angeles has gone from 55 wins in this date last year to its current total of 67, an impressive home that still is shy of the win improvement of the Minnesota Twins.
Every team below the Dodgers in the N.L. West has increased their victory number by at least three, except for last place San Diego. By the way, it was the Padres who made the headline deal over the winter, signing Manny Machado to a lengthy ano lucrative free agent contract.
Speaking of free agents, signing Bryce Harper has led to the Philadelphia Phillies from a 55-45 mark in 2018 down to 52-48 today. The team Harper left, on the other hand, has experienced a three game increase in the win column. The Washington Nationals have gone from 49-49 to their 52-45 record today, which has them almost two games up on the Phillies.