Thursday, September 24, 2009

Playoff picture not quite set

Firstly, if things got started today here's how the matchups would look like:
American League
Detroit at NY Yankees (Yankees Lead Series 5-1)
Red Sox at LA Angels (Angels lead Series 5-4)

National League
Cardinals at Dodgers (Cards lead Series 5-2)
Rockies at Phillies (Phillies lead series 4-2)

Perhaps we were a bit pre-mature with our assertion that everything was decided coming down the stretch in MLB with the exception of the Wild Cards and home field. Then without warning or proclamation the Twins went on a tear and won nine out of ten and find themselves only 3 games back with a 4-game series coming up with the Tigers, who had previously gone three of their last ten before recognizing where they were and winning three straight. Not to pick on the Tigers as there are a few clubs that may be taking their positions for granted but have some major issues to address if they’re going to hold on to their playoff position and/or advance beyond one series. Starting with the Dodgers, who have actually increased their lead in the NL West over the last 10 days they haven’t looked good doing it, getting fat off the likes of the sub .400 teams like San Diego, Pittsburgh, and Washington. Even with that schedule they could only go 7-3. The spotlight is on the NL Wildcard race which completely resides in the west as the Giants and Rockies battle to the final game. The major question facing LA is starting pitching which has really come down to earth and when the Rockies made their charge had it not been for the bullpen going 23/24 scoreless relief innings, with best eras in baseball (Belisario 0.49, Sherrill 0.77, Kuo 1.31, Broxton 1.44) they might be more in the WC conversation than division winners. Ironically, despite all of this, the Dodgers have the best record in the NL right now and a magic number of 4, so we must allow them some latitude, however once the real season begins in less than a month all bets are off as we think the Dodgers are very susceptible to a first round upset.
The Wild Card race could be even closer than it looks on paper, as although the Rocks have a 3.5 game lead but six of their last nine are against the Cards and Dodgers who will certainly want to go into the playoffs with some momentum. For most of September it looked like that final series was going to decide the NL West and Wild Card but now the Rocks may need to get out of LA with more than just a series win to take on the Cards in the ALDS, and now Atlanta and Florida are in the picture as well. Which team is most likely to take a first round exit in this years playoffs?Let us know where and in all of the quick links:
MLB Wild Card Standings
MLB playoff series chat rooms
Individual Team Pages

MLB Schedule
MLB scoreborad
MLB betting lines

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