Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A look at the division Leaders, who will stem the tide?

Yankees - finally hiting a hot streak and take the lead in the AL East
The streaky Yankees have now won five in a row on the heels of three consecutive losses that followed a run of 13 wins in 15 games. And this time, their streak has provided a tangible bit of success. Shortly after Rivera recorded the final out at Yankee Stadium, the Rangers completed a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox in Texas. The Yankees, five games out of first place less than a month ago, now stand in sole possession of it, with solid starts coming from all members of the starting rotation.

LA Dodgers - Manny leaves game after getting hit by pitch

Manny Ramirez, who was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey in the third inning. X-rays were negative and he’s now listed as day-to-day. The Dodgers are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have opened up a 9-game lead in the NL West, the largest of any division leader. It was the Giants who flinched first as both teams started hot after the All-Star break but SF had a tough series with Pittsburgh where they dropped a couple of 1-run games that gave back the two games they made up during Manny’s absence.

Philadelphia Phillies – Looking like champs that aren’t ready to give up their crown
To say that the Phills have come out of the box strong is a massive understatement. Going 10-1 their last 11, with only 2 games being 1-run games they have been winning, and winning easily until the Cubs put an end to the streak with a win to salvage the series. However it doesn’t get any easier for Philly as they get the division leading Cards next. Finally over .500 at home they may be peaking at the right time in order to make a convincing titile run.

LA Angels – Quietly going after the best record in the AL
The Angels got the best medicine you could ask for when trying to increase a division lead on the road, a date with the KC Royals and after sweeping a double header to take 3 of the first four the Angels have opened up a little breathing room however small (3 games). However LA has gone 8-2 in their last 10 and now has a .587 winning pct just behind the NY which they own in head-to-head.

St. Louis Cardinals – (for now!)
Is this a great division or what??!!! Five teams within 2 ½ games of each other?? To try and predict who will be left standing at the end of this one is an exercise in futility. This has just been a great race to watch all year and it promises to only get better. For now the Cards have seat after the music has stopped, but a torrid schedule that includes series with the Houston, Philly, LA, with Houston again could drop them as far back as 4th place in the division. That could mean the current front runners might find themselves a distant 3 games back in early August.

Tigers - Doing their best to fall out of first but manage to hang on
Detroit has only managed to go seven games above .500 for the season and more recently, 5-5 in their last 10 but that is good enough for them to maintain their two game lead in the AL Central because the Sox and Twins can’t seem to gain any kind of mo’ either. The Tigers have held the top spot for a while but series with the Yankees and Mariners might bring them down to reality.

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