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Welcome to the 2017 All-Star Break, folks. This year’s season is halfway complete as baseball’s best head to South Beach for the All-Star festivities, which can only mean that it’s a great time to evaluate each team as 50 percent of the road to October (or hibernation) has been covered. Without further adieu, let’s dive in as we dissect the first half for all 30 MLB franchises.

30. Philadelphia Phillies 

Record: 29-58

1st half grade: D

It’s not so sunny in Philadelphia. The Phillies weren’t expected to make much noise given their rebuilding process that has endured the last few years, but 29 wins at the All-Star Break is far worse than many imagined, considering they briefly fought for the lead in the NL East towards the beginning of May. The Phillies are the only team in the majors with less than 30 wins, and should they lose the next four, they’d match their 12th worst start in franchise history. Their 332 runs are second to last in the NL, while their .242 team batting average is 12th. Yikes.

29. San Francisco Giants

Record: 34-56 

1st half grade: F

History, folks. Founded in 1883, the San Francisco Giants are one of the oldest franchises in the majors. They’ve also won the most games of any franchise in history. And here we are in 2017, with the Giants completing their worst first half in their 134-year history. At 22 games under .500, everything that could possibly go wrong has gone wrong along the shores of McCovey Cove. Madison Bumgarner is still hurt from a dirt bike accident. The outfield is posting Single-A batting averages. Matt Moore has the second highest ERA in the majors. And what’s most remarkable of all is that this is largely the same team that posted an MLB best 57-33 record at the All-Star Break one year ago – a team that was expected by many to make a run at the NL West this season. Instead, the Giants have lost 98 games since the 2016 All-Star Break while the Dodgers just wrapped up the best first half by any team since 2001, putting the G-men a lovely 27 games out of first place. I was there for that first Giants series following the 2016 All-Star Break, so it’s clearly all my fault, in case you were wondering.

28. Oakland Athletics

Record: 39-50

1st half grade: C-

Bay Area Baseball: where dreams go to die in 2017. It’s not much better 12 miles east of AT&T Park, where the Oakland Athletics also sit dead last in their division and on pace for some 90 losses. The A’s can cheer about a winning record at home (24-21), but unfortunately, road games count too – which the A’s have only won 15 of. If you want to assign the blame anywhere, well, take your pick. Oakland’s bats have only produced a .236 batting average this season – second to last in the majors. Their .310 OBP is also the sixth worst, which Billy Bean certainly won’t be happy to hear. But the kicker is that the A’s have surrendered an MLB worst 470 runs this season – certainly blown up by playing in the same division as some hot hitting teams among the likes of the Astros, Rangers, and even the Angels.  At least Oakland/Bay Area sports fans have the Warriors to cheer about.

27. San Diego Padres 

Record: 38-50

1st half grade: C

As our friend over at SB Nation Grant Brisbee put it, the Padres “are trying to be the team” that the Giants are – playing like a rebuilding team. So we shouldn’t be too caught off guard that San Diego has an MLB-worst run differential of -128 runs, or that they’ve scored an MLB worst 312 runs at the All-Star Break. The only batting statistic that San Diego isn’t dead last in is slugging percentage – 28th, to be exact. When you consider that the pitching has been relatively middle-of-the-pack this season, there’s no reason to believe that this team couldn’t be somewhere around .500 if they could figure things out at the plate. That’ll start by growing up some hot hitters in the farm system, but as we all know, that takes more time than we’d like.

26. New York Mets

Record: 39-47

1st half grade: D-

It’s hard to explain what’s going on in Queens right now, other than that it’s bad. Just when it looked like the Mets were a force to stay with some super pitching talent and back-to-back playoff appearances, including a World Series appearance in 2015, the Mets have returned to the mediocre squad that we’ve known them to be for the vast majority of the 21st century. It’s easy to pinpoint the woes on Noah Syndergaard’s absence, but it’s also important to point out that the Mets posted the worst infield defense in the majors during the first half by runs saved (-32). Yoenis Cespedes, who missed all of May due to a hamstring injury, also needs to return to his normal self, batting just .087 over the last 10 days. Last year the Mets had one of the better second halves in all of baseball, and they’ll need to do that again this year should they intend to have any chance of salvaging their incredibly slim playoff hopes.

25. Chicago White Sox

Record: 38-49

1st half grade: C+

The White Sox are right about where you’d expect them to be admist their massive overhaul, and that might be the good news despite a 38-49 record – that there’s plenty of rising talent on their roster and on the farm. Think names like Yoan Moncada down below, or Matt Davidson, Jose Quintana and Avisal Garcia among players already in Chicago. It’s unlikely they’ll be able to put together a spectacular second half that will be needed for a playoff appearance this season, but anything can happen in the AL Central, as we’ve seen this season with no team really gaining a significant competitive edge – not even the defending AL Champion Cleveland Indians.

24. Cincinnati Reds 

Record: 39-49

1st half grade: C+

The Reds have certainly made some strides when you compare this season with their atrocious 2016 campaign in which nothing went right, and similarly to White Sox, young talent is the name of the game. Last month, Scooter Gennett dazzled us with a memorable 4-home-run performance in a single game. Speaking of home runs, Joey Votto leads the NL in homers, with 26 as we enter the break. Votto’s surge, combined with Zack Cozart’s .316 batting average, is a large reason why the Reds have cracked the top 10 in team batting average while owning the 3rd best slugging percentage in all of baseball at .450. The bad news – the Reds are last place in the NL Central, but only a 9.5 game deficit from first is about as good as it gets for any team in that position.

23. Detroit Tigers 

Record: 39-48

1st half grade: D+

Simply put, the Tigers have no business being nine games under .500 with the roster they have and the lack of competition in the AL Central – at least not when you have names like Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez on your roster. All of those players have seen their OPS drop more than 100 from last year, and that might explain why Detroit has only won 11 of its last 30 games played. The Tigers performance on the mound can also take a lot of that blame, posting the fifth worst ERA in the majors at 4.87. Justin Verlander has struggled, and rumor has it that there may even be some slight interest for him on the trade market if Detroit’s season continues to go south. The only beacon of light for this team right now is Michael Fulmer, who sits at 9 wins with a 3.19 ERA.

22. Toronto Blue Jays 

Record: 41-47 

1st half grade: F

Another fall from grace among recent postseason contenders. Certainly the loss of Edwin Encarnacion to Cleveland coupled with some April injuries didn’t help the Jays at all, but nobody expected Toronto to spend virtually the entire first half of the season in the cellar of the AL East. At 41 wins, it’s the worst first half for the franchise in 13 years. The problem: the offense, or a lack thereof. The Jays, along with the Padres and Phillies, are averaging less than four runs scored per game dating back to June 1. Likewise, their 366 runs scored are the second worst in the American League – with only the Royals finishing the first half with fewer runners crossing the plate. Simply put, if the offense doesn’t start clicking north of the border soon, Toronto could soon be on its way to being one of the unexpected sellers of 2017.

21. Miami Marlins

Record: 41-47

1st half grade: C

It’s an exciting time for the Marlins considering they are hosting the mid-summer classic this week and may finally be starting to click after suffering a let-down first half. Coming off a sweep of the Giants, the Marlins had one of their best offensive weeks of the season last week, highlighted by a three-homer weekend from Giancarlo Stanton in San Francisco. Marcel Ozuna is also clicking long at last, batting .316 with 70 runs plated on the season. In fact, the Fish has the fourth best team batting average in all of baseball, currently at .268. Per ESPN, Miami has the second easiest schedule of any team in the second half (thanks AL East), so by no means should we write off this team from sneaking into the playoffs come October.

20. Atlanta Braves 

Record: 42-45

1st half grade: B

When you are the worst team in the majors at the end of the season, you’ll get a B when you only finish the first half of the ensuing season three games under .500 and only one game behind the defending World Series Champs. Matt Adams and Freddie Freeman can get a lot of credit for the turnaround, helping the Braves post the 7th best team batting average in the majors during the first half. And a more bizarre stat: while Atlanta is in the bottom third of the league in ERA, WHIP, and BAA, the Braves have found a way to post 46 quality starts, also 7th best in the majors. Mike Foltynewicz led the pitching charge in the first half with 7 wins and a 3.77 ERA. The Braves are far from elite, but the dismal season that was 2016 appears to be buried in the franchise’s past by the looks of this campaign.

19. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 42-47

First half grade: C

It’s been a roller coaster of a season for the Pirates, who entered a freefall following the loss of Starling Marte’s 80-game PED suspension early on, only to make up some ground and enter the break at just five games under .500. And they did by taking 2 of 3 from the Cubs in Wrigleyville this past weekend, putting up 10 runs and chasing Jon Lester before Chicago even had a chance to bat on Sunday. The offensive explosion came as a bit of a surprise considering the Bucs are 12th in the NL in runs scored, but it’s proof that they have what it takes to compete with some of the best teams in the league. They’ll need Andrew McCutchen to step up his production at the plate if they intend to avoid being sellers at the deadline – a sale that would likely see him shipped out of PNC Park.

18. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 42-46

1st half grade: C-

Another team that experienced a drop-off from last year’s success – Baltimore has gone from a 50 win squad at last year’s All-Star Break to being in danger of falling out of the AL East race altogether. The O’s lost five straight last week before winning their last two leading up to the break, but there are still many concerns to be had. Mark Trumbo is nowhere near the top of Baltimore’s batting stats as he was last year, only hitting .254 with 14 homers on the season. Jonathan Schoop’s 18 homers are the most of any Oriole thus far, while Trey Mancini’s .312 batting average leads the team in that department. At 22nd overall in runs scored and 26th in OBP, Baltimore’s offense needs to return to its 2016 prominence in the second half if they intend to avoid being sellers at the deadline.

17. Seattle Mariners

Record: 43-47

1st half grade: C-

Could it be a lot worse for the Mariners? Absolutely, considering their dismal start to the season that saw them go right to the cellar of the AL West standings. A 4-10 finish to the first half certainly stings considering they had worked their way all the way back to briefly eclipsing the the .500 mark several weeks ago,  but by no means is Seattle out of the hunt in the Wildcard race. If anything, the Mariners have figured things out at the plate, as they are in the top 10 in runs, batting average, and OBP, while only 20th in slugging percentage at .418. Nelson Cruz launched his 300th career home run over the weekend, pushing his total to a team-high 17 on the season. The bigger issues lie on the mound, as nobody on Seattle’s injury-prone pitching staff has an ERA of less than 4.00.

16. Chicago Cubs

Record: 43-45

1st half grade: F

Jon Lester became just the 4th pitcher in the last 100 years on Sunday to allow 10 runs in a game and fail to make it out of the first inning. And in case you forgot, the Cubs are also the first team defending champion in MLB history to not send a single player from the championship roster to the All-Star game. Those two statistics alone will tell you everything you need to know about the Cubs first half of the season, which was a complete failure judging by how this stacked team was expected to perform. Nearly all the talent from the curse-breaking team is still there, but the Cubbies just haven’t clicked in what is one of the less memorable first halves that Joe Maddon has ever experienced as a manager. There’s still plenty of baseball to be played, but the Cubs can’t act like it’s all hunky-dory for much longer should they intend to avoid being the fifth straight defending World Series champ to miss the postseason. As Jon Smoltz recently pointed out on a FOX Sports telecast, expect the Cubs to aggressively trade for that “missing piece” at the deadline, whoever it may end up being.

15. St. Louis Cardinals 

Record: 43-45

1st half grade: C-

The Cardinals pulled things together somewhat leading up to the All-Star Break, eclipsing the 400 run mark on the season and entering the positive side of the run differential, but a fairly disastrous stretch in April will force the Red Birds to put together a strong second half if they want to avoid missing the playoffs for a second straight season – something we haven’t seen in a long, long time. Dexter Fowler was activated from the DL over the weekend, so St. Louis certainly appears to be trending in the right direction. If anything, Cardinals fans can delight in their pitching staff, as wacky as the stats are. By wacky, we mean Adam Wainright posting a 10-5 record despite a sky-high 5.20 ERA, while Mike Leake is only 6-7 despite posting an impressive 3.12 ERA. Less wacky is that St. Louis has a 3rd best 48 quality starts this season among all teams.

14. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 

Record: 45-47

1st half grade: B 

Not many people expected the Angels to be a contender after how poorly things went at the Big A in 2016. Yet, here the Angels are, floating right around the .500 mark and staying well alive in the AL Wildcard race. Albert Pujols has had himself a year to remember by joining the 600 home run club, but more impressive is that Anaheim has been able to stay in the hunt despite the absence of Mike Trout and three starting pitchers. Trout is set to return to action following the All-Star Break, so keep a close eye on this team as the trade deadline approaches. If they can stay relevant, expect the Angels to make a big push for a pitcher as they look to overcome the absence of Tyler Skaggs, Garrett Richards and Matt Shoemaker, all currently sidelined with injuries.

13. Texas Rangers 

Record: 43-45

1st half grade: C-

The Bullpen. The Bullpen. The Bullpen. That’s the sole reason the Rangers, who owned the best record in the AL in 2016, are below .500 rather than fighting with the Astros for the top spot once again. Texas blew an MLB-high 17 saves during the first half of the season, a pace that would eclipse the Giants’ 12-year worst 32 blown saves one year ago. The Rangers took the first step in fixing that issue by DFA’ing former closer Sam Dyson, who posted an ERA of over 30.00 in the opening weeks of the season with three blown saves in the first two weeks. Aside from the bullpen, it truly has been all systems go for the Rangers. Joey Gallo has 21 homers, Nomar Mazara has followed up his ROY-caliber 2016 with a team-high 56 RBIs at the break, and the 444 runs scored are the third most in the league. But that won’t be relevant if the pen can’t keep it together – especially if Jon Daniels and company decide to take the selling route at the deadline.

12. Kansas City Royals

Record: 44-43

1st half grade: B

The Royals may have been swept by the Dodgers going into the All-Star Break, but that doesn’t downplay the fact that the team that appeared to have the most pitiful offense in recent history during the first month of the season absolutely tore their way back through the competition to post a winning record by the mid-way point. Mike Moustakas has earned his spot in the All-Star Game lineup with an impressive 25 homers on the season while Eric Hosmer has also produced with a .316 batting average at the break. On the mound, Jason Vargas has been brilliant of late, and put all of it together – the Royals have best record in the AL since June 1. With Danny Duffy returning from the DL as well, look for the Royals to continue their hot streak heading into the second half while pushing for some extra help at the deadline with hopes of their 3rd postseason trip in four years.

11. Minnesota Twins 

Record: 45-43

1st half grade: A

Logic says the Twins shouldn’t be anywhere close to being even near .500 after last season, but here they are fighting for the AL Central lead at the All-Star Break in what is by far the biggest surprise of the 2017 season. How have they defied the odds? Look no further than their 25-15 record on the road, which is bizarre considering they’ve only gone 20-28 at Target Field. They also have a run differential of -60, but Miguel Sano has carried the burden of the team with 21 homers and 62 RBIs on the season, good enough to earn him a spot in the Home Run Derby tonight. It’s hard to say whether or not the Twins can keep up this improbable success, but look for them to make some big moves at the deadline if they’re able to continue their success immediately out of the break. They’ll face a monumental hurdle right away as they take on the Astros in Houston.

10. Tampa Bay Rays 

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Record: 47-43

1st half grade: B+

Tampa Bay has recovered nicely from a disappointing 2016 season, taking a winning record into the All-Star break that would be good enough for a spot in the Al Wildcard game if the season ended today. Logan Morrison has produced at the plate with a team-best 24 homers and 54 RBIs, but the bigger story has been on the mound, where Alex Cobb has been nothing short of outstanding his in last six starts. In those six starts, Cobb posted a 2.38 ERA over 41 2/3 innings, and if he can keep it up, the Rays will have formidable pitching duo when you throw Chris Archer into the mix. The Rays haven’t ever been to the postseason in a year that Joe Maddon wasn’t their manager, but it appears this could be the year that finally happens.

9. Cleveland Indians 

Record: 47-40:

1st half grade: B-

The defending AL champs, as expected, have the lead of the central division at the All-Star Break, but the Tribe hasn’t looked nearly as dominant as it was a year ago. The Indians only sit seven games over .500 with a mere 2.5 game lead over the Twins of all teams, but that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been standouts either. Corey Kluber has been his usual self on the mound, accompanied by what has been by far the best bullpen in the majors this season. Edwin Encarnacion’s presence has also been felt, leading the team with 18 homers on the season. Having won 7 of their last 11 games, Cleveland appears to be finally clicking as many thought they would at the beginning, and they’ll need to continue on that pace if they want to run away with what is really one of the less competitive divisions in baseball.

8. New York Yankees

Record: 45-41

1st half grade: B+

The Yankees have tapered off a bit from what was an explosive start, but baseball has been as fun as it ever has been in the Bronx with the spectacular display of power that is rookie Aaron Judge, who has set franchise records with his 30 homers and 66 RBIs at the All-Star Break. Judge isn’t alone among rookies that have produced, as Clint Frazier became the youngest Yankee in over half a century to hit a walk off homer last week. Considering the Yankees are in the top 10 in nearly every major pitching and batting category, it’s somewhat baffling they are only four games over .500, but hey, the game can be unfair sometimes.

7. Milwaukee Brewers 

Record: 50-41

1st half grade: A

Another shocker this season – the Brewers maintaining first place in the NL Central all the way to the All-Star Break. Of course they’ve been aided by struggles from the Cardinals and Cubs, but an 8-2 stretch that included a series win over the Yankees and an 11-2 win over the Cubs in a makeup game last week was a convincing statement for a team looking to move on from a bumpy 2016 season. Eric Thames has made a name for himself this season with his 23 homers, but even bigger may be the breakout of Travis Shaw, who leads the Crew with 65 RBIs while batting .299 – also a team best. That the Brewers are leading the division with nobody batting .300 is stunning, but that appears to soon change given their play in the last week and a half.

6. Boston Red Sox

Record: 50-39

1st half grade: A-

The first year of Red Sox baseball post-Big Papi has been a smooth one, as Boston has surged to the 50 win mark to take sole leadership of the AL East at the break. The pitching has been responsible for that more than the offense though, as the rotation has thrown together 51 quality starts while posting a top five 3.82 ERA – led by Chris Sale and David Price. Sale’s 11 wins, 2.75 ERA and 178 strikeouts rank among the best of anyone in the majors this season. On the batting side, Mookie Betts’ 16 homers and 53 RBIs both lead the team – not what you’d typically expect for a team that calls Fenway Park home. Either way, it’s clicking in Beantown.

5. Colorado Rockies

Record: 52-39

1st half grade: A-

Losing 12 of 13 games at the end of June was a sour stretch for a Rockies squad that had the best record in the NL, but the fact that the Rockies are still more than 10 games over .500 at the All-Star Break should be celebrated after so many tumultuous seasons in Denver. Nolan Arenado has been nothing but his spectacular usual self, and that’s earned him the starting job in the All-Star game tomorrow night in Miami. The concern has been the young rotation, which ultimately had its bubble burst in sweeps at the hands of the Dodgers and Giants. Even then, Kyle Freeland and Tyler Chatwood can’t complain about how their seasons have been on the mound, recording 9 and 6 wins respectively, with Freeland posting a team-best 3.77 ERA in the process. For the record, that’s not easy to do in the mile high city.

4. Washington Nationals 

Record: 52-36

1st half grade: A-

The Nationals can hit alright, posting an NL-best 486 runs at the All-Star Break. That’s the second-most in all of baseball, and Bryce Harper has contributed to that significantly with a team high 20 homers and 65 RBIs. Coupled with Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy, Washington’s offense may be the scariest in the entire game. Pitching, however, has been a different story. The bullpen has been nowhere near what it needs to be, as only two relievers have an ERA under 4.00. Whatever’s gotten in the water hasn’t affected Max Scherzer though, who has been dealing all season with a 2.10 ERA, 10 wins, and 173 strikeouts. He’s a big reason why the Nats lead all of baseball in quality starts.

3. Arizona Diamondbacks 

Record: 53-36

1st half grade: A

Long at last, the Diamondbacks have broken through, or so it appears. Any other year, they’d likely be leading the division and possibly all of the National League in wins. A 3-7 record in their final 10 games before the All-Star Break may warrant some concerns, but all things considered, the boys out in the desert look complete. Paul Goldschmidt has been nothing short of All-Star worthy, leading Arizona in home runs (20), batting average (.312) and RBIs (67). Meanwhile, pitching has been just as good if not better, as Zack Greinke is back to his normal self with 11 wins and a 2.86 ERA at the break, while Robbie Bay has posted a team high 141 strikeouts. Put it all together, and the Diamondbacks are in the top 5 in virtually every pitching statistic possible, except for saves. Considering that Fernando Rodney blew back-to-back save chances last week, expect Arizona to get some reinforcement there at the trade deadline.

2. Houston Astros 

Record: 60-29

1st half grade: A+

Houston, we have liftoff. All those 100-loss rebuilding years have finally paid off, as the Astros sit atop the AL with 60 wins already at the All-Star break. In a normal year, they would likely boast the best record in the majors, but we’ll get to that in a second. Houston is young, Houston is talented, and Houston is just flat out scary good. Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Jose Altuve have all been lights out at the plate. It’s no coincidence that the Astros have the best team batting average, run total (527!), on-base-percentage, and slugging percentage in all of baseball. And the book doesn’t end there, as Dallas Keuchel has found his game once again en route to 9 wins at the break, while Lance McCullers Jr has broken out with a 3.05 ERA and 106 strikeouts as of Sunday. This team is complete, and should it all hold, be on the lookout for that elusive first World Series title in franchise history.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 61-29

1st half grade: A+ 

You know my fandom, (**vomits internally) but there’s no way around it: The Dodgers are the clear-cut best team in baseball. Heck, they’re the best baseball team that I’ve seen since the 2001 Seattle Mariners. 61 wins at the break is quite frankly absurd, and much more so is a 7.5 game division lead over a team that has 53 wins. Having won six games in a row and 26 of their past 30, there’s no stop in sight with this team. 21-year-old Cody Bellinger is putting together arguably the greatest rookie season in the modern era, already at 24 homers and 56 RBIs. Thrown in names like Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, and so many more, and this organization is stacked from top to bottom. They said Magic Johnson’s money couldn’t buy a trophy, but we may have been wrong. The Dodgers are my early pick to win the World Series, because nobody is even close to the caliber of talent this team is displaying right now.

<p>Dean is a junior at Texas Christian University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He grew up in Lake Forest, California and spent an unhealthy amount of time on the golf course, but never amounted to Lefty or Jordan Spieth. Dean also covers sports for TCU 360, TCU’s student media organization, where he previously served as sports editor. In 2015 he was recognized as the reporter of the year at TCU 360. His other passions including travel, church involvement, watching the big game of the day, and hitting up the beach.</p>

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