The Yankees are really good
And they're likeable to boot! I'm having so much trouble trying to decide how I feel about the Yankees. On one hand, they're the Yankees; they've knocked the Twins out of the playoffs three times this century. They're famous for buying championships. On the other hand, it's fun watching Aaron Judge hit homers, I'm excited about Gary Sanchez, not as a Twins fan or Yankee hater, but just as a baseball fan. Luckily, that won't be a problem when they sign Harper and Machado and forget about the youth in a few years. As for right now, they've been doing all of this with a relatively shaky starting rotation. Assuming they're still good in July, they're going to deal for pitching and be a very dangerous team.
The Cubs are... not really good
They're just not getting the production they got last year. In retrospect, other than Schwarber's injury, nothing major went wrong for the Cubs in 2016, and it would have been unrealistic to expect that again this year. Despite their youthful lineup, the age in their pitching staff is beginning to show a bit. Jon Lester is 33, Jake Arrieta is 31 and neither are performing as well as their expectations, particularly Arrieta, whose velocity has dropped on every pitch this season and has seen in ERA swell as a result. Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo are too talented to keep hitting .222 and .184 respectively, but the pitching could be a serious problem moving forward.
The Royals are just terrible
I chose the Royals to finish second in the Central at the beginning of the year, and it took me approximately 24 hours to regret that decision. I was impressed that they managed to get Jorge Soler for Wade Davis and never really considered that they really needed Davis. Their bullpen has the sixth worst ERA in baseball at 4.95. Of their eight active relievers, six have ERAs above 4.50, five have ERAs above 6.00. The hitting isn't much better. Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Alex Gordon all have sub-.300 on base percentages. Things could be worse though: Eric Hosmer has gotten his numbers up to respectability with a solid May following a miserable April. With Hosmer, Moustakas, Jason Vargas (one of the few bright spots this year) and Lorenzo Cain set to be free agents this winter, blowing it up seems like the obvious option. With that said, they have just enough talent that if they wanted to try to add some pieces for a 2018 run, they have could potentially do it if they get some bullpen help this offseason and add a middle infielder or two.
Can we shut up about how terrible baseball is?
In the past year, fans have been told by the national media that baseball is too slow and that extra innings are going extinct. Pompous assholes like Keith Law are publishing books referring to what's "ruining the game" and the "right way to think about baseball", and that's just in the title. So here's my own idea of how to fix baseball: Chill. Baseball is a great game, why do we spend so much time looking at its faults? As for pace of play, why should us true fans suffer with stupid rule changes that bastardize the game to appeal to a generation that doesn't have the attention span to appreciate it the way it is? (Yes, I know the answer is always "money", just stick with me here.) Why do we like this game in the first place? Why can't we just enjoy baseball for what it is?