The 4th of July is right around the corner and for MLB fans it marks the unofficial beginning of the second half of the season. Right now, several teams that had high hopes coming into the 2017 campaign are struggling just to stay in the wild card hunt, while several other surprise teams are trying to prove that the first half of the season was no fluke.

American League log jam

The race in the American League for a postseason spot is up for grabs for every team, literally! So far, outside of the Houston Astros, no team has run away from the pack. In fact, the AL Wild Card race is so tight that one series sweep could literally turn the season for any of the 15 teams in the American League.

Take the Oakland A’s for example. The A's are in last place in the AL West, 19 games behind the first place Houston Astros. The odds of Oakland catching Houston are slim to none. Okay, more like none. The A’s are also in last place in the Wild Card chase, however, they are just 6.5 games out of a postseason spot. Yes, the team with the worst winning percentage in the AL at .432 is only 6.5 games out of a possible playoff appearance.

If the postseason started today, here is how it would shape up in the American League.

The Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, and Cleveland Indians would be the division winners, while the two Wild Card spots would go to the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. Yes, Tampa Bay. Not The Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays or Baltimore Orioles, all who had high hopes heading into this season, and payrolls that triple the Tampa Bay Rays.

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The good news for these high priced payroll teams is the way the season has played out to this point, one good week or an 8-2 run over a 10 game span would put them right in the thick of things.

National League surprise

Where are you Chicago Cubs? So far things have played out just as MLB experts thought in two of the three divisions, but one surprise has many MLB fans scratching their heads.

It took some time, but the Washington Nationals and LA Dodgers are starting to play like many thought they would, but what in the world has happened to the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs? The Cubs are coming off of their first World Series title in more than a century, however, the hangover of the big win hasn't appeared to have left Chicago.

Right now the Cubs are on the outside looking in when it comes to making the 2017 MLB playoffs, meaning they wouldn't have a shot at defending their first championship in over 100 years if the postseason began today. The Cubbies are only three games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central, however, they are already seven games out of a Wild Card.

The good news is that they have a lot of baseball ahead of them, so anything can still happen.

As of today, July 2, the National League playoff teams would be division winners Washington, Milwaukee and the LA Dodgers, with the two Wild Card teams being Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.