A couple weeks ago, after the Nationals blew yet another winning streak before it had hardly gotten began, I started wondering what was going on with this team this year—a franchise that historically leads the NL-East throughout the regular season, usually by a substantial margin. This time they were sitting in third place in the division, struggling to maintain .500.

But then, I got curious about the rest of the league, because the Nats are certainly not the only team playing less than stellar baseball this year. At least everyone’s play in the National League has been equally mediocre.

Then, I went over to the American League, and never before have I seen such a disparity between teams, in terms of performance. Indeed, in the AL-East, the division-leading Boston Red Sox’ record is almost the perfect opposite to that of the Baltimore Orioles (75 – 33 to 32 – 74, respectively). And, when you look at the once-great Kansas City Royals, currently dwelling in the basement with a 32 – 73 record, the situation gets even more inscrutable.

At any rate, the back half of the season promises to be interesting, in that up is the only direction some of these teams can go.