UNITED STATES—It is All-Star month, and we can already start trying to project what the field will look like in October postseason. Let us take a look at current leaders.
What Does First Place Mean
Since 1996, 100 of 150 eventual division winners held at least a bit of that division lead going into July 1st. That is 67 percent of division winners.
The teams currently leading their divisions are – The twins, Brewers, Astros, Mets, Yankees, and Dodgers. Whether you want to bet on the division leaders or your favorite teams you should check out MLB betting sites.
Four of the six division-leading teams on July 1st won their divisions last season. 16 of the 25 World Series champions, excluding 2020, were leads in their divisions entering July since 1966.
New York Lead
What stands out is that two New York teams lead their divisions, respectively. This is a first since the implementation of divisions in 1969 that both the Yankees and Mets are entering July with a share of their division’s lead. The Yankees have the largest lead this season, leading the AL East by 12 ½ games.
The Mighty AL East
With the new format for playoffs, there is a chance of four postseason teams coming from a single division. This season the AL East’s winning percentage is .570, and its run differential is +227. A combination of those strengths was on display in June, when the Orioles posted their first winning calendar month (min 5 games) since August 2017. At 12-14, the Rays are the only AL East team under .500. In June, the division had the third-highest winning percentage (.619) in a month (min 25 games). The teams also had the highest combined run differential +168.
This Year’s Leaders Overall
Since 2019, each of the current division leaders has had a share of that lead going into July. Except for the Mets, the six current leaders have won their division at least once as of 2019.
What is Next
Even three months in, there is still plenty of baseball to be played. Fans of the leading teams can relax knowing that, previously, more than half of the division leaders have gone on to win. And fans of teams that are not in playoff position can also have hope since only 67% of the leading teams go on to win, meaning that the other 33% do not.