MLB Playoff Race

Steve O Speak

AL East:

1. NY Yankees 93-53

2. Boston Red Sox 85-58

AL Central:

1. Detroit Tigers 77-67

2. Minnesota Twins 73-72

3. Chicago White Sox 72-73

AL West:

1. LA Angels 86-58

2. Texas Rangers 80-64

Wild Card:


Texas 5.5 Games back

With less than 20 games left in the regular season, now is a good time to look at the playoff picture and how things should play out. The Yankees have given themselves a comfortable lead in the East, and in getting home field advantage in the playoffs. The Tigers don’t have a big league in the Central, but have the best rotation that should allow them to outlast the Twins and White Sox. The Rangers have made an impressive run this year, but will fall just short of the postseason. They don’t have the pitching to overcome the Angels for the division or Red Sox for the wild card. While there are some very real questions about their rotation heading into October, New York seems destined for a first round match up with the Tigers. The Yankees have the offense to outlast Detroit, and should face a familiar foe in the ALCS. The Red Sox have about zero chance of catching the Yankees for the East, but have established a good lead in the wild card race over the Rangers. Boston will face the Angels in the first round and should be able to squeak by them. Los Angeles is a good team, but Boston’s offense is better and the top of their rotation is much stronger. The Angels might have more depth in their rotation, but they can’t match up with Beckett and Lester. In October anything can happen, especially when it comes to the Yankees-Red Sox match up, in the end though I think New York will get the better of Boston and come out of the American League.

NL East:

1. Philadelphia Phillies 83-60

2. Florida Marlins 77-68

3. Atlanta Braves 76-68

NL Central:

1. St. Louis Cardinals 85-61

2. Chicago Cubs 75-68

NL West:

1. LA Dodgers 87-59

2. Colorado Rockies 82-64

3. San Francisco 79-66

Wild Card:


San Francisco 2.5 GB

Florida 4.5 GB

Atlanta 5.0 GB

Chicago 5.5 GB

The National League playoff picture is a bit murkier than its AL counterpart. The wild card race will be particularly interesting to watch as five teams are separated by 5.5 games. The reigning champion Phillies have a pretty firm grip on the East, but as the Mets know nothing is certain until all 162 games are played. Despite New York’s warning Philadelphia could very well be facing the Dodgers if the wild card comes from the West, but the division leaders are so close its hard to determine the seeding right now. Philadelphia has some strong pitching, especially with the additions of Pedro and Cliff Lee. Their bullpen has a major question mark in regards to Brad Lidge, but Madson still gives them a reliable closer. The Dodgers though are good enough to end the Phillies chance for a repeat World Series appearance. The Cardinals could be the team to beat in October. They have the best 3-4 hitters in the post season, as well as the best post season rotation (unless the Giants win the wild card). They should be more than enough for the Rockies who look ready to take the wild card. I think the Dodgers can outlast the Cardinals in a best of seven series. They can’t match up the top of the Cardinals rotation, but they have a much deeper playoff bullpen. Also the Dodgers have a stronger offense top to bottom, and aren’t as reliant on the middle of their order to produce runs. This will set up the return of Joe Torre to New York to manage against the Yankees in the World Series.

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