The Yankees and Dodgers should be the biggest beneficiaries of players getting in a full second half of action after missing much or all of the first half. The following are playoff projections if the All-Star break stats were adjusted based on how many wins each team would have likely won if all players were healthy for the entire first half (Breitbart Sports will break down the numbers in separate posts on each division):
- Boston at Wildcard winner (Oakland at NY Yankees)
- Texas at Detroit
- St. Louis at NL Wildcard winner (Cincinnati at Pittsburgh)
- Atlanta at LA Dodgers
Remember that the team with the better record starts on the road for the first two games, before going home.
Much is made of the New York Yankees finishing the first half in fourth place in the AL East, but with six players expected to get in most of the second half, they project to take the AL wildcard. The Dodgers project to win the NL West with a full second half from four players.
The Yankees should get a trio of stars back with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson. Stats project a full half from Francisco Cervelli would have been an even bigger addition in the first half, and pitchers Ivan Nova and Adam Warren have been very effective.
A full recovery from injuries for pitcher Stephen Fife and first baseman Scott Van Slyke will be a nice boost, but the key for the Dodgers is how close Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez can stay to their first half performance. If both had played 75 games at their current pace, the Dodgers would be 10 games above their current .500 mark at the break.