Tuesday, August 11, 2015

MLB Pennant Races - 50 games to go

With only, yes I said only, about 50 games left to play in the season we are beginning to see how the second season might unfold, as many questions as there are still left to answer one thing is certain, that one of the top clubs of the season to date is going to be left out of the playoff picture in both the NL and AL. In the National League the catbird seat will be held by perpetual top-seeds from St. Louis, the Patriots of baseball. The Cards have a five game lead over the Pirates for the NL Central, a four game lead over the Royals for the overall best record. Of course that doesn’t mean much now that we’ve gone to the All-Star Game method, but it still sends a message that the road to riches still travels through the arch. Because of the dominance of the NL Central winner, the silver medalist will also be first wild card so that means there is only one more seat on the last life raft to be fought for by the Mets, Nats, Cubs, Dodgers, and defending champion Giants. Once again the division winner will survive and advance and the runner up will go home. The Dodgers may have a 3 game lead over the Giants in the West but despite a plethora of moves ahead of the trade deadline they don’t look any closer to shoring up that short starting rotation or retched bullpen. Kershaw and Grinke have been carrying the club all season and the addition of Latos and Wood so far haven’t made much of a difference. LA has two golden starters and a closer that’s subject to giving up at least a run in most of his save opportunities. That may be enough to get through a 7-game series if Zach and Clayton don’t lose but much like the NLDS last year, once Kershaw lost game 1 the Dodgers were done. What they do have going for them is that over the next 22 games the Giants will play nothing but clubs that are fighting for playoff spots. All of their opponents have been previously mentioned except the Astros who are currently in first place in the AL East. Astros, Nats, Cards, Pirates, Cubs, Cards, and Dodgers. Look it up, it’s the toughest stretch any club will face all season and it will be the reason why LA will take down its second consecutive NL West flag, but unless something changes right away that will about as far as the Dodgers go. In the NL East, the Nats have been calling their shot the entire year about how they’re the best in the league and how everyone expects them to win the NL, well now that prediction is in serious jeopardy. The Nats currently find themselves a game and a half out of first place which usually doesn’t mean anything with two months to play but the Mets are the hottest team in the NL right now along with the Cubs and that’s who they’re chasing. It would behoove them to come out of a 7-game roadie with the Dodgers and Giants with a winning record because if they fall too far behind the Mets they may not catch up. Meanwhile the Mets are a far cry for the “Mighty Mets” of the eighties but they are playing with a ton of enthusiasm have just taken 2 of 3 from the Nats to take the division lead but have a tough road to finish out the season so they had better continue their winning ways. With all of the talk about global warming and freaky summer weather nation wide it’s no wonder they are talking about the drought ending in Chicago. The Cubs trying to break the curse find themselves 3.5 games ahead of the Giants for the final Wild Card seat that would leave the Nationals out in the cold. The hottest team in baseball at 9-1 over their last 10 the Cubbies finally are giving fans something else to cheer for except the start of football season but a though schedule with series at the Giants, Dodgers, Cards, and Pirates have many thinking that it is perpetual death for Chi Town and come September things will be back to normal with the Cubs on the outside looking in. Next up………………The AL races.

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