After nearly two months into the 2023 season, the leaders in each MLB division have shown more or less dominance. Here are the latest details.
The American League has a clear leader while the other teams keep pace.
The Tampa Bay Rays, with a 32-13 record, is the clear leader of the Eastern Division and the American League overall. So far, the key to success for the Rays has been the combination of pitching and defense. However, injuries to Drew Rasmussen, Shane Baz, Jeffrey Springs and Tyler Glasnow have put manager Kevin Cash in trouble. The Rays, now more than ever on their offense particularly in players like Randy Arozarena. The Rays will have to be on their toes as the Blue Jays and Orioles are hot on their heels.
The Twins have the benefit of being an above-average team in a weak division. With a 24-20 record, Minnesota leads the Central Division over the Cleveland Rangers by more than three games. The schedule of games will be crucial as series with the Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays and Rays loom.
The Rangers have been a mild surprise in the West Division. While the spending on talent has been significant, the results have not been as expected so far. The addition of Jacob DeGrom promised to give Texas a solid ace. However, his absence has allowed Nathan Eovaldi to be the ace of the rotation. With the Rangers offense, all indications are that the Astros will have strong competition for the division lead.
- Tampa Bay Rays (@raysbeisbol) May 18, 2023
The old circuit has been characterized by big teams taking the lead in each division.
After the Mets' offseason and their multi-million dollar spending, their 22-23 record has been abysmal. Instead, the Braves remain in the driver's seat with an enviable 27-16 mark. Everything has worked out well for the Braves, particularly in terms of pitching. Recent losses to the Boston Red Sox and Blue Jays have raised some doubts about the Braves' ability to face dominant teams.
The Brewers are the least showy division leader. Their rise to the top of the Central Division has been in large part to the mediocrity of the division overall. The 18-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals has been a wake-up call. Considering they will soon face top-tier teams like the Astros and Rays, the Brewers will have to do their best to stay in first place.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers had stirred up a lot of speculation about their performance particularly with the loss of Trea Turner. Despite the start, the Dodgers have found the formula. Dave Roberts' cadre now has a three-game lead over the Rattlers leaving the Giants and Padres on the road.
So far, experiments like Mookie Betts at shortstop have been successful. In addition, the Dodgers will need Clayton Kershaw to continue his form if the Dodgers are to remain atop the West Division.