If you checked the American League standings, you'd be surprised to see the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros hovering around .500 right now. Both teams, mainly the Yankees, had lofty expectations of getting to the World Series. However, with the Yankees being 2-8 in their last ten and Houston being 3-7 in their last ten, it seems like both are on pace to miss out altogether.
The Houston Astros aren't much of a surprise to fall. After the sign-stealing scandal, it was not much of a surprise to see them fall. Jose Altuve (.224 BA, 12 RBIs, two stolen bases) and Alex Bregman (four homers, 14 RBIs) have been non-existent and having Justin Verlander hurt weakens a weaker rotation.
As for the Yankees, the back end of their rotation has been a dud. Jordan Montgomery (-0.2 WAR, 1.41 WHIP, 5.72 ERA) and James Paxton (-0.4 WAR, 1.48 WHIP, 6.64 ERA) have been useless and J.A. Happ (1.21 WHIP, 4.31 ERA) could be better. Not even the bullpen, which was supposed to be their selling point, is doing anything this season.
Can these two teams turn it around, especially with teams like the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and Los Angeles Angels hot on their heels? It still seems likely, but something better change quickly. Otherwise, it would be a colossal embarrassment for both franchises.
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