MLB: Five Teams to Watch After the All-Star Break

As we get closer to the MLB All-Star break, let’s take a look at a few teams that should get some attention for better or worse. Who will come crashing down? Who will rise to the occasion and play well in the second half?

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Houston Astros

The Stros are one of the better clubs in the big leagues and have power throughout their lineup. Let’s not forget the pitching performances by Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. If they can continue to pitch like all-stars and roll over the opposition in every facet, then there’s a good possibility that they will find themselves in the World Series hunt.

New York Yankees

Let’s understand that the Yankees are on a tear offensively and that alone is enough to get me to a TV. However, I worry about what this teams rotation will do late in the year and in the playoffs.

I would imagine that New York will find a way to acquire some more arm talent after the All-Star Break Especially in an attempt to bolster their starting five or at least get a long man.

Giancarlo Stanton is supposed to return in August, but we will see if the Bronx Bombers add another bat at the deadline. The more the merrier, right?

Arizona Diamondbacks

Do the snakes out West decide to become sellers at the trade deadline or nah?

Zack Greinke comes to mind as a trade candidate, but who is willing to eat his massive contract?

In general, the D-Backs are interesting because of their bats, but they may grab headlines just by shipping some talent out of town.

Philadelphia Phillies

Despite a bad month of June, I expect the Phils to fight back in the second half and make a run for the NL East crown.

A wild card spot may be in their immediate future, but they have the potential to be so much better than what they were in the first half of this campaign.

GM Matt Klentak will make a move and I would guess the Toronto Blue Jays or San Francisco Giants will be trade partners with the Phitins.

St. Louis Cardinals

It’s odd seeing the Cards struggle to be over .500, but I can’t see them as sellers, especially when they added Paul Goldschmidt this past offseason.

The NL Central is up for grabs with Milwaukee and Chicago failing to build momentum in the first half, so that bodes well for the RedBirds.

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Chicago Cubs

The Cubs are 3-7 in their last 10 games and are entering their weekend series with the crosstown rival Chicago White Sox and it doesn’t look as though they’ll be able to pull themselves out of whatever funk they’re in.

It’s odd seeing a super team like the Cubbies struggle to find the win column, but their pitching is getting lit up like a marshmallow.

Jon Lester has 3.89 ERA but needs more consistency to help the rest of the Cubs rotation. Jose Quintana has a 4.19 and Yu Darvish is posting a 5.01 ERA. The Cubs pen also serves up the long ball.

Joe Maddon may not be back next season. Therefore, let’s see how he motivates his team after the All-Star Break. Does he get the most out of them in the second half of this campaign?

Chicago should play better, but the pitching staff won’t change much and that will ultimately hurt them.

Which team are you keeping an eye on in MLB after the All-Star Break? Leave a comment below.

IroniqMedia is your home for MLB coverage.

Follow Fiuza on Twitter @MakinItBig1.

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