Will the teams who are currently leading their division be ahead in October?
Current Division Leaders Aren’t Darkhorses
The MLB season has 162 games per season, and around this time, we see who the genuine contenders are. We also see which teams look like they’ll make the playoffs and will win their division. I’ll be outlining specifically one team from each division that could win it at the end of the year, despite being behind right now. Some of these may also be stretches, but just have faith.
AL Central Darkhorse: Chicago White Sox
The White Sox were seen as contenders to start the season but currently sit at a dismal 37-39 record. Sadly, this is due to two main issues: the loss of ace Carlos Rodon and injuries wiping them out. With players like Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, and Jose Abreu leading the bats, they should be far better. They rank 26th in home runs and 21st in ERA. With Dylan Cease having a good year and hopefully everyone getting back, the all-star break might be coming at the perfect time to give this team the kick in the pants it truly needs.
AL East Darkhorse: Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox started poorly to start the season, which has greatly affected them in the division race. Trevor Story had a languid start, and pitching was inconsistent. But now, they are right into the thick of their division race. Unfortunately, they are stuck with the Yankees, who are by far the best team in the MLB. But, now that Story has gotten his act together, and third basemen Rafael Devers has entered the MVP race, who knows how far this Boston team can go. If I’m them, though, I will go out and get a pitcher at the trade deadline. The starting rotation is a bit weak.
AL West Darkhorse: Los Angeles Angels
This sucks to write that they are now a Darkhorse. They were leading their division for a while at the start of the season and even looked like a real threat to the Astros, who have reigned supreme in that division for the last decade. However, that all grinded to a halt when reality set into their pitching staff. It has been the same issue for the previous ten years, and we still haven’t found a solution. The counter is they still have the two best players in all of baseball, Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. Please don’t count the Angels out, but they need more pitching.
NL Central Darkhorse: St. Louis Cardinals
This one is kind of cheap, but it had to be done. Outside of the Cardinals and the Brewers, none of the other teams have a prayer at winning the division. Sorry to the Cubs, Pirates, and Reds fanbases currently. But this team is loaded. With Nolan Arenado being great, Paul Goldschmidt is playing up to an MVP level, and consistent, speedy contact hitters, the sky is the limit. But like the previous two entries, this team lacks bullpen depth. If they can get some, we could see a world series run.
NL East Darkhorse: Philadelphia Phillies
Phillies fans will love this. But like the Red Sox’s situation, they are stuck in a very tough division with a powerhouse New York team. But while I disagree that he was the sole issue, firing Joe Girardi has been great for the team. Guys are starting to hit better, and we finally see a top 25 bullpen, but the pitching continues to suck. As I write this, I’m beginning to see a theme here. This team has all the hitters to make a run. But with Bryce Harper slated to miss significant time, you have to make a big move and quick.
NL West Darkhorse: San Francisco Giants
The Giants are being swept under the rug due to the awesomeness of the Padres and Dodgers, but they are still a very good team. Carlos Rodon is living up to his contract that he signed with them this offseason to fill the hole of Kevin Gausman, Joc Pederson has absolutely mashed at the plate so far as he has 17 homers to this point of the season. Mike Yastrzemski has also looked like a potential future all star. This team could make a sneaky run while everyone’s back is turned.