With four teams on pace to lose 100 games, there will already be enough meaningless baseball this summer without declaring any division races dead by Flag Day.

Yet here we are.

A potent combination of organizational brilliance and competitive malfeasance has once again permeated Major League Baseball, with the rich, wise and motivated lapping their less-talented (and perhaps less-inclined) foes.

A case can be made that half the pennant races will be anything but, even though nearly two-thirds of the season remains. So at the risk of getting your dauber down, a look at how the divisions stack up this summer, as if you're cooking meat on a hot grill:

NL West: Burnt to a crisp

It’s something of springtime tradition for colleague Bob Nightengale to declare the Dodgers division champs and send their fans into a jinx-fearing panic.


This will be the seventh consecutive division title for the club, an eventuality that FanGraphs puts at 99.4%. Sure, those playoff projections can shift quickly with a combined hot/cold streak, but it’s just not happening here.

It’s not just that the Dodgers’ rotation is historically dominant. It’s that they have a stash of pitchers in reserve should anything befall their Big 5, from Julio Urias to 2018 All-Star Ross Stripling to rising prospect Tony Gonsolin.

It’s not just that they have the NL’s best player in Cody Bellinger. It’s that they’ve amassed a 45-23 mark with their usual deluge of interchangeable parts, and this before top free agent signee A.J. Pollock returns from injury. Their dominance is dependent on no man.

And it’s overwhelmingly clear the Rockies (nine games back), Diamondbacks (10) and Padres (11 ½) are playing for a wild card, at best.

AL West: Well done

There’s just a bit more volatility here, as FanGraphs says the Astros are 99.9% faves to nail down their third consecutive division title. The Texas Rangers haven’t gone away, but at nine games back, remain likelier to spin off a part or two at the trade deadline than invest in a pipe dream.

The Oakland A’s are on their usual business, starting slowly and then reeling off 10 straight wins in May to regain some relevance. Jesus Luzardo and A.J. Puk are rehabbing in the minors, live arms that bear watching. But with their pitching nearly a full run worse per game than the Astros, they'll need more help than that.

Meanwhile, the Astros have in a way already lived their worst-case scenario. Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and Collin McHugh are all on the disabled list. Lance McCullers Jr. was already lost for the year. Sure, if a Justin Verlander or Gerrit Cole were to join them, it might get dicey, but you get the sense Framber Valdez or Brady Rodgers or J.B. Bukauskas or whomever would just step into the breach and keep the Minute Maid Park trains running on time.

It’s what the Astros do.

AL Central: Medium well

Oh, how the expectations have shifted. When the Minnesota Twins first grabbed a double-digit lead here, the conversation was all about whether rookie manager Rocco Baldelli’s boys were for real.

Now, with the Twins playing .677 ball, the more valid question seems to be, is this all the Cleveland Indians have?

Never mind the injuries to pitchers Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger and the struggles of All-Star Trevor Bauer. An offense that ranks 12th in the AL in runs and OPS looks badly outflanked by the Twins' Bomba Squad.

Had the Twins landed one of Craig Kimbrel or Dallas Keuchel, we’d feel safe putting this one to bed. The Twins’ 4.68 bullpen ERA is disconcerting, and that’s for a unit that’s pitched the fewest innings of any in the AL.

But Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey still has money to burn, and prospect capital to spend. And a fan base that has responded to prosperity (Prince Night, Joe Mauer tribute day and Father’s Day all nearing sellouts this weekend!) will expect reinforcements. They should arrive.

Meanwhile, once the All-Star Game passes through Cleveland, it seems likelier the Indians will continue a retreat that began when they opted to start this season with notable gaps in the lineup and bullpen. And their reign atop this division should end at three years.

NL Central: Medium

It’s going to be a rollicking summer once again on the southwest shores of Lake Michigan, where the Brewers and Cubs are giving us the slugfest we’ve deserved since Milwaukee was kidnapped to the NL in 1997.

With the teams separated by just a half-game and the division lead changing hands four times since May 10, it’s not at all hard to imagine another one-game playoff to decide the Central.