Are you for real?

That’s the question we’re asking of each MLB playoff hopeful a month and change into the 2016 season.

It’s too early to know for certain, of course. We’ve got a summer’s worth of injuries, trades, hot streaks and cold spells to slog through before the postseason picture becomes clear.

But it’s never too early to speculate. And we’ve got tools at our disposal, including stats, trends, track records and, of course, a dollop of old-fashioned gut feeling.

For our purposes, we’ll define a “playoff hopeful” as any team with a winning record as of May 4 (you’re in, Philadelphia Phillies) or any team that was widely expected to contend before the season, regardless of record (you’re in, too, Houston Astros).

Further, we’ll define “contenders” as clubs with the staying power to remain in the race deep into September and “pretenders” as squads that will fade during or before the dog days.

Finally, all the stats you see come courtesy of and unless otherwise noted.

Feel free to sound off with your takes in the comments, and proceed when ready.

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