Handing out first-half grades for all 30 MLB teams

Philadelphia has been one of the best teams of the first half. We hand out grades to all 30 MLB clubs for their performances. Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a fun, though a bit unexpected, first half of baseball.

Aaron Judge is having yet another historic season, including an absolutely dominant June in which he hit .409 and slugged .864 with a 1.378 OPS and 37 RBIs. Entering this week, he was on pace for 56 home runs and 146 RBIs on the season. The acquisition of fellow slugger Juan Soto has surely helped Judge, as Soto bats in front of the Yankees captain and leads MLB with 77 walks and a .427 on-base percentage.

Young stars have also taken the league by storm so far in 2024. Gunnar Henderson, who would have a strong case to be the American League MVP favorite if not for Judge, is hitting .293 with 27 home runs -- and leads MLB with 6.4 WAR. Elly De La Cruz, who broke onto the scene last season as one of the most exciting players in the game, continues to showcase spectacular skills. Not only does he lead the majors with 45 stolen bases, but he has swiped more bags than five teams have in total, including the Yankees. Pirates rookie sensation Paul Skenes has been perhaps the biggest star of the first half, captivating fans with a 2.12 ERA and 78 strikeouts through his first 10 career games. All three will appear in their first career All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the White Sox got off to one of the worst starts in history and are joined at the bottom of the standings by a handful of teams -- the Rockies, Marlins, A's and Angels -- that simply can't get anything going. The Astros were as many as 12 games under .500 before slowly making their way back to relevancy. Riding a stellar bullpen, the Guardians have been a top team all season, while the Royals surprised many by coming out of the gates hot before tailing off a bit recently.

With the first half in the books, let's give all 30 teams a grade on their performance, relative to their preseason expectations.