Since all of the 30 MLB teams have played at least 81 of their 162 scheduled games and its time to hand out report cards for the 14 AL teams I'll list the teams by respective divisions in order of their standing as of June 30th which will mark 3 months into the season and more or less halfway through the season.
Tampa Bay Rays (50-32, +1.5)
Easily MLB's biggest surprise, the Rays dropped the devilish moniker and have been much better for it. But their maturation of players like Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford and a good young pitching staff have kept the Rays in contention. The naysayers (especially those in New York) say that they are a first half fluke and will fade, but as long as that pitching holds up this team will have to be dealt with long into the 2nd Half.
Boston Red Sox (50-35 -1.5)
The defending World Series Champions are still plenty loaded, Manny is still Manny and they have compensated well for the absence of David Ortiz, but you wonder how long they can be this patchwork with their pitching. Im not sold on Dice-K and Sox nation may hate me for saying this, but they will be in the unenviable position of trying to get past the Rays and hold the Yankees off to make the playoffs.
New York Yankees (44-39 -6.5)
The Yankees are a shadow of their once feared self, Derek Jeter and A-Rod cant carry this team, and Jason Giambi is gonna need to grow his power along with the porn 'stache to get the Bombers rollin' The problem that Joe Giradi has is that he cant magically make Moose Mussina and Andy Petitte roll back the years and he cant run Joba out to mound every day. This is a team that has too many flaws to make a serious run. Face Bomber fans, this could very well be the first October since 1993 the regular season ends and the Yankees season ends. A-Rod will be able to show Jeter something he hasnt done, not be in the playoffs.
Baltimore Orioles (41-40 -8.5)
Who are these guys? I dont think that anyone outside of the Oriole Clubhouse knows, the O's have a winning record but they are looking up at 3 teams that are way more talented than them and that in itself will keep them locked in 4th place. They have young talent, but that wont get them far
Toronto Blue Jays (41-43 -10)
Call 'em the Boo-Hoo Jays, beyond Roy Halladay, the Jays have no pitching and their hitting stinks. The crazy thing is that they have outscored their opposition by 32 runs. Cito Gaston is probably thinking "I came back for this???"
Chicago White Sox (47-35 +2.5)
Ozzie and the tempestous Sox keep fussin and fightin and stay in first. A badly needed sweep of their hated North Side rivals helps keep them in the lead. The Sox have pitching and just enough hitting to keep them in contention for the bulk of the summer. As long as Ozzie doesnt meltdown, the division is theirs to lose.
Minnesota Twins (45-38 -2.5)
The Twins lost Santana and Hunter and most pundits expected them to straggle along. Instead the Twins continue to play good fundamental ball and stay in the hunt. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau keep carrying the offensive load, but with no real heavy hitter one wonder how long they can keep this up. The Twins pitching seems to be doing just enough to keep them in ball games, and if Frankie Liriano comes back good they will be in the hunt longer than the Sox want them to be
Detroit Tigers (42-40, -5)
The Motor City Kitties were supposed to dominate this division with their new pricey additions, instead Dontrelle Willis pitched himself to single A and their hitting had trouble hitting anyone's weight. I never count out a Jim Leyland team and the Tigers have made a nice recovery. With the return of relative health of Gary Sheffield to add to a recovering hitting lineup, this team could make some noise in the 2nd half, but that pitching beyond Justin Verlander needs to get much better.
Kansas City Royals (38-45, 9.5)
This is a team that has promise...for 2010, they are learning to win and finishing in 4th should be cause for celebration. But they are going nowhere anytime soon. I'm getting tired of hearing this team cry small market blues.
Cleveland Indians (37-46, 10.5)
Where is C.C. going? This team was in first place on May 15th and their fall has been fast and frightening. This was another team that was supposed to be a real contender and has done little. This might be a fire sale team just months after they were a game from heading to the World Series.
Los Angeles Angels (49-34, +2.5)
The Angels are where everyone expected them to be, in first and making it look pretty easy. The additions of Torii Hunter and Gary Matthews, Jr have made the Angels even stronger. This is one of the best teams that you probably know nothing about and not only a divisional contender but a team with a real shot at winning it all.
Oakland Athletics (45-37, -2.5)
This is another team you probably know nothing about, a real wild card contender that has good pitching and decent hitting. The lack of a real power threat may doom them in a heated battle with the power laden Halos though. But non the less they are still exceeding many's expectations:
Texas Rangers (43-41, 6.5)
Same old Rangers, lotsa hitting...Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley are a nasty 1-2 punch in the middle of the order. No pitching...beyond Vincente Padilla. That combo keeps the Rangers as at best a .500 team.
Seattle Mariners (31-51, 17.5)
Simply put this is the worst team in baseball, when the indomitable Ichiro is hitting under .300 you know your in trouble. This team will struggle to keep from losing 100 games.
That's it for my AL Report Card. If hiya is cool with it I will post my NL Report Card later in the week, if not, you'll probably see it next tuesday.