NL Team Report Card: New York Mets leading the way

Los Angeles Dodgers Setting Pace in National League West

MLB Dodgers and Mets Earned High Grades at Midway Point

With the Major League Baseball season at the halfway point, it is time to hand out the NL Team Report Card. The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets are the teams leading the way while the Cincinnati Reds might not want to show the report card to their parents!

Here’s a team-by-team breakdown:

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks came into the season expecting to be the worst team in the National League with an expected win total of 66.5.

The Diamondbacks (+10000) are still in need of a map or some high-powered binoculars to see the three heavyweights in the NL West Division odds, however, at their current pace, they would end up with 74 wins. Merrill Kelly has already matched last season’s total of seven wins.

Grade: B+

Atlanta Braves

Despite having to wait for outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. to recover from last year’s knee injury and losing second baseman Ozzie Albies, the Braves are on pace to win 95 games. The defending World Series winner came into the season with an expected win total of 90.5.

The Braves are getting closer to the first-place Mets and in the NL East odds, Atlanta comes in at +150. There has been only a slight change in the World Series odds for the Braves as they are now at +1100 after starting at +1200. Third baseman Austin Riley and shortstop Dansby Swanson are leading the way while pitcher Kyle Wright is beginning to look like a former top-five draft pick.

Grade: B+

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds are showing signs of improvement after a nightmarish start. Still, Cincinnati is on pace to win 56 games and that is well off the projected total of 75.5.

Has Brandon Drury, (who is playing with his fifth MLB franchise) finally found a home? He has already set a career-high with 17 home runs. When it comes to breaking down MLB players stats, Drury is a player who is getting it done in the first half of the season for a struggling team,

Grade: D

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are among the NL Central teams struggling in 2022. The Cubs had an expected win total of 73.5 and it will take some work to get to that mark with 33 wins in the first 81 games. This is one NL Team Report Card that the Cubs hope would blow away in the Windy City.

Catcher Willson Contreras already has 13 home runs and 45 RBIs. Cubs fans are crossing their fingers that their team’s struggles won’t result in Contreras being shipped to a contender.

Grade: C-

Colorado Rockies

This is another team pretty much closer to the projected number of 68.5 as the Rockies would end up with 70 victories if they play the same way in the second half.

C.J. Cron is at 20 home runs and counting so his career-high of 30 set in 2018 figures to fall.

Grade: B

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers were the favorites to win the National League pennant coming into the season but perhaps they were a little undervalued with an expected win mark of 96.5. The Dodgers would finish with 103 wins if they continue to win at the current rate.

For those betting on baseball, the odds for winning the World Series have moved from +550 to +450 since the start of the season.

Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Trea Turner could factor into the MVP race while the Dodgers while Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson are a combined 19-1.

Grade: A

Miami Marlins

Led by pitcher Sandy Alcantara’s incredible first half, the Marlins are on pace for an 80-win season. That might not sound like much, however, the Marlins came into the season with a projected total of 76.5.

Garrett Cooper and Jazz Chisholm are the offensive stars for the Marlins. If Miami can improve on a 19-24 record on the road, the grade could go up.

Grade: B+

Milwaukee Brewers

There have been some injuries to deal with and Christian Yelich isn’t approaching the form when he was a perennial MVP candidate, but Milwaukee is on a pace to win 92 games which would top the 88.5 mark set by the MLB odds coming into the season.

Reigning Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes is in contention for the award again. The Brewers (-225) are still favored to win the NL Central Division title.

Grade: B+

New York Mets

The Mets came into the season with the game-expected win total (90.5) as the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves. They jumped in front in the NL East and are among the teacher’s pets when it comes to the NL Team Report Card.

Even though two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom has yet to throw a pitch for the Mets this season and Max Scherzer has missed multiple starts, the Mets are on pace to win 100 games so they lead the way among the teams exceeding expectations.

Although the Mets have only been playing .500 ball over the last 24 games, the World Series odds are still up to +700 after starting at +1100.

Grade: A

Philadelphia Phillies

While the MLB predictions weren’t calling on the firing of Joe Girardi before the season started, the Phillies are pretty much on the projected pace. Philadelphia would finish with 86 wins at the current rate of success and 84.5 was the mark before the season started.

Perhaps there would have been a few more wins with a healthy Bryce Harper, but it will be interesting to see if the Phillies can make a run at a 90-win season. Will Kyle Schwarber make a run at a 50-home run season?

Grade: B

Pittsburgh Pirates

Suggesting that the bar was pretty low for the Pirates would be quite the understatement. Pittsburgh is on track to win 67 games and that is better than the NL-worst 64.5 projection that the Pirates had coming into the season.
Rookies Jack Suwinski and Oneil Cruz give the Pirates some hope that better times are coming.

Grade: B

San Diego Padres

The Padres are still waiting for Fernando Tatis Jr. to make his 2022 debut. Still, the Padres would end up with 92 wins if they continue at the current rate of success. That would be up from 89.5 before the season. The absence of Tatis figured into that number, but that is still a pretty solid showing.

Keep an eye on pitcher Mackenzie Gore in the second half of the season while third baseman Manny Machado is among the top MVP candidates.

Grade: B

San Francisco Giants

After leading the National League in wins in 2021, the Giants were third in the NL West with a projected win total of 85.5. The slumping Giants would fall short of that number as they would end up with 82 victories at their current pace.

Joc Pederson (17 homers, 41 RBIs) has been leading the way for the offense.

Grade: C+

St. Louis Cardinals

Despite having pitchers Jack Flaherty and Jordan Hicks for a combined total of 13 games, the Cardinals are also exceeding expectations – just barely.

Coming into the season with a regular-season expected win total of 85.5, the Cardinals are on pace to win 86 games.

Miles Mikolas has been a surprise to the pitching staff, rookies Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman are producing earlier than expected while Paul Goldschmidt is the MVP favorite.

Grade: B

Washington Nationals

Expectations were low for the Nationals as only Arizona and Colorado had lower expected win totals than the 71.5 mark set for Washington.

With a subpar first half by star outfielder Juan Soto and little help for one of the game’s best players, Washington would finish the season with just 57 wins if the second half plays out the same way as the first half.

Grade: C-

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