Through the season's first half, baseball's power has been concentrated in the East. Every team has played more than half its schedule, and four have emerged in a tier of their own on top of all others: the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves.
This is not to say that there aren't potent teams beyond the Eastern Seaboard -- the Giants' and Angels' pitching staffs, for instance, would make them dangerous in a postseason series; the Rangers, Cardinals, Brewers and Reds all have lineups that could slug their way to a title -- but, as the season approaches the All-Star break, the five best teams (also including the Rays) play in the AL East and the NL East.
Most clubs will have about 70 games remaining on their schedules after the break, which is a lot of time for significant shifts in the standings, but for now we look to be on a collision course for a rematch of the 1993 Braves vs. Phillies NLCS (who also play each other this weekend in Philadelphia) and yet another bout of Red Sox vs. Yankees in the ALCS, which would be their fourth playoff meeting since 1999. That was also the last year all four championship-series participants came from the two East divisions.
NOTE: All stats are updated through Wednesday, July 6.
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