As we continue to roll along into mid-June, it’s the perfect time to break down some standings and see where we’re at in the pennant races. All records listed below were heading into Saturday’s games.

I’ll start in the National League where the Braves (35-27) and Reds (35-27) currently hold first place in their respective divisions. I’m not that shocked to see the Braves there (I did have them as my preseason wildcard pick), but what’s more unusual than that is the team in the second in the NL East. It’s not the Phillies (31-28), but instead the Mets (33-28). Of course all three teams (Braves, Mets, Phillies) are only separated by a couple of games, but still a bit surprising. During spring training I thought there was no chance the Phillies wouldn’t repeat as division champs, but I’m not too sure now. For whatever reason their hitting has gone cold from long stretches, and the pitching hasn’t been consistent besides every fifth day when Doc Halladay pitches. As for the Reds, I still think this team will fade once again. The NL Central stinks so the Reds should hang around second place, but I don’t think they’re a match for the Cardinals (only one game back at 33-27) in the long run.

The Dodgers (36-24) have recovered from a disastrous start to reclaim the NL West lead over the Padres (yes, the Padres were in first). The Dodgers turned their season around thanks to their sparkling 18-5 record against their West opponents. While the Padres (35-25) and Giants (32-27) have shown that they can indeed pitch the lights out, both of those offenses are shitty. You could take the best hitters from each of those lineups and the offense would still be one of the league’s worst. Yes, pitching wins championships, but you need some sort of competent offense to go with it. I haven’t seen that with the Padres and Giants.

Moving to the junior circuit…holy shit how awful are the Orioles? They are 17-43. They are that bad. They had a horrendous month of April at 5-18, a slightly better month of May at 10-18 and now 2-7 to start June. They are off to their worst start in franchise history since 1988 when the O’s started 15-45! The 2010 team isn’t far off the mark. Another fun note (or sad note) is their impeccable record on the road…6-25. Let me type that again. The O’s have won six and lost 25 games on the road. Goodnight, Baltimore.

As for the top of the AL East, the usual three-team race has become a four-team race. Who told Toronto they were allowed to crash the party? The Rays (39-22) still own the best record in all of baseball and remain one game ahead of the Yankees (38-23). Actually they will be tied with today’s games added in. Toronto will eventually fall back…I think. And the three-team race of Tampa-NY-Boston will move right along.

The AL Central is a pretty weak division right now. The majority of the division is under .500 while the Twins (35-25) are starting to distance themselves from the Tigers (30-29) now. The 4.5-game lead over Detroit is the largest gap between first and second place teams in the majors. Not too bad as a lot of tight races are still in place this far into the season. And the AL West is lame too. Seattle (23-37) stinks. The A’s (32-30) somehow continue to hover around .500 while the Angels (33-30) keep hanging around too. I had Texas (33-28) to win the division in March so I’m not surprised with their record and place atop of the standings, but I’m kind of surprised they are only one game up on the Angels and A’s. I expect the Rangers to continue to pull away.

I believe the closest race all season will be in the AL East with the three-headed monster, but I’m starting to think the NL East might be a down-to-wire division too in 2010.

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