The 2021 MLB season has been full of surprises, and now that we’ve reached the halfway point, it’s a good time to evaluate some of those surprise teams.
Starting out hot is one thing, but finishing the job is another.
Today, we’re going to take a look at two MLB clubs with division leads that may or may not last.
Let’s get started.
2. San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants weren’t supposed to be contenders in 2021, but they most certainly are.
Not only that, but they also have the best record (57-32) in all of baseball.
“Who would have thought that when the first pitch was thrown this year that the best record in baseball would belong to the San Francisco Giants?” pic.twitter.com/pkueDPF2bM
— Taylor Wirth (@WirthTM) July 14, 2021
The Giants have gotten this far despite being arguably the third-most talented team in the National League West, and that’s the biggest concern moving forward.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres lurking and staying within striking distance, will the Giants be able to hold onto their division lead the rest of the way?
We’ll have to wait and see.
It could take some major deadline acquisitions for San Francisco to feel good about its chances.
1. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are one of the most surprising stories of the 2021 season, and by most measures, they’re legit.
The team had an outstanding first half.
And perhaps the most exciting part is the fact that the Red Sox have even more help on the way.
Veteran ace Chris Sale is set to return from Tommy John surgery very soon, exciting young stud Tanner Houck was just called up from the minors, highly-touted prospect Jarren Duran is set to make his MLB debut on Thursday, and last but not least, the team is almost certainly going to add some key players at the trade deadline.
What a day for Red Sox Nation…
– Red Sox vs Yankees
– Jarren Duran MLB debut
– Tanner Houck back in the Majors
– Chris Sale 1st rehab assignment pic.twitter.com/REeBKkFSph
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) July 15, 2021
Boston (55-36) currently has a 1.5-game lead in the American League East over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Now, with all of these great things being said, the Red Sox may have a very difficult second half ahead.
What lies ahead heavily favors Tampa Bay.
The Rays rank in the top 10 for easiest remaining strength of schedule while the Red Sox rank in the top 10 for toughest remaining strength of schedule.
Boston has shown that it’s capable of beating elite teams, but it could be a grueling slate over the next few months.
At the end of the day, the division could be decided by whichever team dominates the head-to-head matchups.
The Giants and Red Sox are two organizations with winning traditions.
Since 2004, the two teams have combined for seven World Series championships.
Both clubs certainly hope that the 2021 postseason has a similar outcome in store.
There is no doubt that both San Francisco and Boston are capable of winning their divisions, but it’s far from a sure thing.
The AL East and the NL West will probably be the two most compelling division races down the stretch this season.
It will be great to watch the action unfold.