How the 2023 MLB season is going so far
The GIST: With the All-Star break behind us, the (unofficial) second half of the MLB season begins today, and this year’s lineup of season storylines is more stacked than ever before. Here are the top players and contending teams to know.
The players to watch: Everything LA Angels pitcher/designated hitter Shohei Ohtani does is jaw-dropping.The two-way star defies the history books night after night, making him the favorite to nab his second career American League (AL) MVP honors. Only question is whether he’ll still be rocking an Angels uniform come August.
- Over in the National League (NL), Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arráez is on a mission to achieve a feat not seen in MLB since 1941: finish the season with a .400 batting average (for context: the league average is about .250).
- Currently sitting at .383, don’t be surprised when La Regaderakeeps on sprinkling them in the second half.
AL standings: The Tampa Bay Rays have cooled off since their red-hot start, but still lead baseball’s most competitive division, the AL East. Meanwhile, things could get wild in the West — the Texas Rangers sit at the top, but the defending champ Houston Astros are right on their tail.
- Last and certainly least, the Cleveland Guardians sit atop the lowly AL Central, where no team boasts a winning record entering the second half. Yeesh.
NL standings: The first, and so far, only team to 60 wins, Atlanta’s elite pitching and incredible offense (led by another history-chaser in outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr.) has the team sitting in a familiar spot with a massive lead in the NL East.
- As for surprises, the Cincinnati Reds — who’ve made the playoffs just 16 times in their 134 seasons — are not only atop the NL Central, they’re in contention for most exciting squad in baseball thanks to rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz.
- Not to be forgotten are the Arizona Diamondbacks, a squad that hasn’t seen the playoffs in six years but is currently tied with the juggernaut LA Dodgers in the West. Bottom line? Expect the unexpected.