The MLB has 2 leagues (American & National), and 6 Divisions (East, West, & Central in each league). There always seems to be a side-debate on which division in baseball is the best and the worst for the season. The good news is, I’m ranking those for you today, so now you’ll have something to talk about at the water cooler this week that’s baseball related.
1. AL East— This division is clearly the best in baseball this season, and is arguably the most historic and competitive division in baseball year in and year out. For starters, the league’s two best teams are in this division (Red Sox & Yankees). Both the Yanks & Sox compete almost every year, and they bring an added pressure to the rest of the division. The Blue Jays, Rays, & Orioles are always pushing to make the next big move because of the division that they compete in. Toronto is having a good season so far, but the Rays and Orioles already seem to be playing for pride at this point. However in 2018, this division seems to be the best overall, in large part to the historic rivals at the top of it.
2. AL West— The AL West is the home division of the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. This already makes them a good division, but nobody expected them to have this much competition this season. The Angels are playing great baseball in large part to the addition of Shohei Ohtani, and the Mariners are playing above average baseball too. However, what makes this division the 2nd best in the MLB to me, is that even the teams in 4th & 5th place are still okay teams. The Oakland A’s are 6-3 against the AL East so far this season, which says a lot for a team who is 4th in their division. They aren’t a bad club, and neither are the Texas Rangers. They’re just simply in a good division, from top to bottom.
3. NL East— This division has been probably the most surprising in baseball so far in 2018. Who would’ve thought that the Atlanta Braves & Philadelphia Phillies would be 1st & 2nd in this division by mid-May. The NL East Champions from a year ago (Washington Nationals) find themselves in 3rd place, in front of the Mets & Marlins. While much isn’t to be expected to be from the Marlins this season, the Mets can still do some damage when playing good. This may very well be the division that the National League representative in the World Series comes out of.
4. NL Central— The NL Central is looking pretty good this season, but there’s something slightly different about the division. The Cubs are 4th…and the Brewers are 1st. Yes, we’ve seen the Brewers choke at the end of the season in years past, but they have a more experienced team this season. The Pirates have been surprisingly good after trading Gerrit Cole & Andrew McCutchen, and the Cardinals are right behind the Brewers in the standings. The Reds are still pretty awful right now, but hey, they recently got Matt Harvey.
5. NL West— This division is still a good one, but they don’t seem to be as strong as the rest currently, and a lot of that has to do with the poor play from the Dodgers. The Dodgers find themselves at 16-24 right now, and are sitting at 4th place in the division. They’re only a half-game ahead of last place San Diego, who hasn’t been relevant in this division in a long time. The Diamondbacks and Rockies are keeping up their great play from a year ago, and the D-Backs are even looking like potential World Series contenders right now. The Giants are playing around .500 ball right now which is much better than the season that they had a year ago, so they seem to be on the rise. Overall, this division right now seems that it is Arizona’s for the taking, and that’s about it.
6. AL Central— I have been really surprised by how bad this division has been. The Indians hold the lead right now in the AL Central, and they’re only 20-19! Cleveland is the only team in this division with a winning record to be exact. Minnesota has played well-below expectation so far, but hopefully they can recover. The Tigers, Royals, & White Sox all seem to be having re-building years right now, so this division is a two-horse race between Minnesota & Cleveland, and right now it seems that whoever can finish above .500 will get the crown in 2018.
Sources for factual information regarding the MLB: mlb.com