Halfway through a season, a team's run differential is usually a better indication of its level of play than its record. So when looking for teams that will rise and fall after the All-Star break, find the ones that have records mismatched from this core indicator. For example, the Giants are 52--40 thanks to a 25--12 record in one-run games, but they've outscored opponents by a mere 10 runs. That could be good news for Arizona (+9), which is in second in the NL West. On the flip side, the Reds have the third-best run differential in the National League, at +29, but a mediocre 45--47 mark. The Brewers (-1) went into the break tied for first with the Cardinals, but they and the surprising Pirates (+8) aren't the biggest threats to St. Louis (+26).
This is an article from the July 18, 2011 issue