Checking In From Halfway Point of 2024 MLB Season

MLB, Pirates, Paul Skenes

The halfway point of the MLB season arrived this past week. While many baseball fans consider the All-Star Break the midpoint of the season, the reality is that some teams will have already played 100-plus games by mid-July.

Out of Contention

Now that we are at the real middle of the year, get ready for a wild second half. Of the 30 MLB teams, only four are considered out of contention for a playoff spot at this point. These include the Colorado Rockies and the Miami Marlins in the National League and the Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox on the American League side. This leaves 26 teams within eight games of a playoff spot.

AL East

The AL East has the two best teams in baseball, the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles. They have been battling each other for first place the entire season. Winning the division will be monumental for one of them. It’s the difference between getting a weekend off at the start of the playoffs and having to face an aggressive and energetic Wild Card team in a best-of-three set. They play an important three-game series in New York in the season’s final week, and it may well decide the division, if not more.


AL Central

The AL Central has three teams above .500. Last season, only the Minnesota Twins were above .500 in this division. This season, the Cleveland Guardians and the Kansas City Royals join the Twins in contention to finish with a winning record. The way things look now, we could see two teams from the AL Central make it to the playoffs.

Top NL Rookies

This season, we have seen quite a few rookies from both the AL and NL make an impact on the game. Without question, Shota Imanaga of the Chicago Cubs has burst onto the MLB scene. His first two months were excellent as he posted a 5-0 record with a 0.78 ERA. He is considered one of the leading Rookie of the Year candidates in the NL. Despite not joining the Pittsburgh Pirates until the middle of May, Paul Skenes is still considered to be a top contender to win NL Rookie of the Year. He erupted onto the scene with 61 strikeouts in eight games.


Some other NL Rookies who have provided a lift for their teams include Michael Busch of the Cubs, Jackson Merrill of the San Diego Padres, and Joey Ortiz of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Top AL Rookies

In the American League, Luis Gil of the Yankees is having a spectacular year. With his mid-to-high-90s fastball and nine wins, he is one of the reasons the Yankees are playing well. Mason Miller of the Athletics, who sports a 100 mph fastball, currently has 14 saves. At this point, 86 of Miller’s pitches have been thrown at least 100 mph and he owns eight of the nine fastest pitches this year.

We have seen other AL Rookies providing a boost to their teams, including Wilyer Abreu of the Boston Red Sox, Wyatt Langford of the Texas Rangers, and Wenceel Perez of the Detroit Tigers.

Other Performances

Other top performers of the first half have to include the surprising Guardians (with rookie manager Steven Vogt) and the Royals. Further, we have seen an NL MVP race play out with the front-runners, Bryce Harper and Shohei Ohtani. AL MVP contention sees Gunnar Henderson and Aaron Judge as the leading candidates.



Even attendance is up at many of the stadiums. The Arizona Diamondbacks have seen an increase of over 10,000 per game. TV and radio ratings are up, too.

Last Year’s World Series Teams

Both of last year’s World Series teams, the Rangers and the Diamondbacks, are struggling. Yes, they have dealt with injuries, but the lack of quality pitching and timely hitting have hindered both teams throughout the first half of the season. If the playoffs started today, neither team would make the cut.

Trade Deadline

The trade deadline is less than a month away. Some teams will trade away players on or before the July 30 deadline. The Athletics, Marlins, Rockies, and White Sox will be selling. However, with the Wild Card races so close, many other teams will hesitate to sell, not wanting to mess with their chemistry or their chances at a playoff spot.

The question is whether contending playoff teams are willing to give up top prospects for a “rental” player. With many teams buying and very few selling, impact players will cost a top prospect (or more). The next three weeks will show and tell us more as we get a glimpse of what the contending teams will want or need and the availability of trade targets.

Exciting Second Half

The second half looks to be just as electrifying as the first. With so many MLB teams in contention for limited playoff spots and good players vying for Rookie of the Year and MVP status, it doesn’t look like things will get boring.

MLB fans of contending teams are excited to see how the second half of the season plays out. They are hoping their teams can continue to play at their current levels and get to the playoffs. Based on what we’ve learned and seen from the first half of the season, it is going to be an exciting and rowdy second half.

Main Image Credit:

Embed from Getty Images


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MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, Paul Skenes
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