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The State of the Races

Sep 7, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

Francisco Cervelli

AL EAST

The spread: Both the Yankees and Red Sox win, the New York stays ahead of Boston by two and a half.

The skinny: All of the rain + the lack of remaining days off + the financial imperative to play all 162 games despite the fact that most of them are fairly meaningless now = a lot of tired Yankees players.

AL CENTRAL

The spread: The Tigers pound Cleveland, the White Sox win. The Tigers are eight ahead of Chicago, eight and a half ahead of Cleveland.

The skinny: Quite the destruction of the Indians.  My favorite take on their season so far comes from the Twitter feed of “Tripping Olney,” which is exactly what it sounds like: “I REPEAT: THE 2011 INDIANS SEASON IS BASICALLY “MAJOR LEAGUE” IN REVERSE.”  In just a couple of weeks Manny Acta can go back to selling that guy some whitewalls.

AL WEST

The spread: Rangers win, Halos lose, Texas’ lead is back to three and a half.

The skinny: Nelson Cruz is starting to ramp up from his hamstring injury and could be back soon.

NL EAST

The spread: The Phillies beat the Braves and are now nine and a half up on the Braves.

The skinny: The Braves bats are sleeping and two of the starters who led them to where they are over the first half of the season — Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson are hurt and/or ineffective.  Momentum from months past will carry them into the playoffs, but what will carry them through?

NL CENTRAL

The spread: Cards beat the Brewers and reduce the deficit to nine games.

The skinny: Too bad the Cardinals didn’t realize that Kyle Lohse on eight days rest was so deadly. They could have done that all year!

NL WEST

The spread: Diamondbacks lose, Giants win, and now six games separate them.

The skinny: The playoff probability column on the standings shows the Dbacks having the second worst odds of any division leader to actually make the playoffs. Their probability: 97.2%  That’s 2011 for ya, folks.

  1. nolanwiffle - Sep 7, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    ……so you’re sayin’ the Giants have a chance!

    • phukyouk - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM

      a billion to one

  2. pestiesti - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    To be honest, the most exciting race right now is probably between Detroit and Texas for home-field advantage in the division series.

    • phukyouk - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      nah… the Halo’s have a very real shot at taking the division and the Yanks/Sox race is still in full force.

  3. shaggylocks - Sep 7, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    AL East: All of the rain + the lack of remaining days off + the financial imperative to play all 162 games despite the fact that most of them are fairly meaningless now = a lot of tired Yankees players.

    When, over the course of 162ish games, the top two teams are only separated by one or two wins–which in and of itself is pretty amazing–I think there’s a question of fairness, too. Should a team with a slightly better win percentage beat a team that’s played three or four more games over the long season? That three or four game differential could make all the difference in the race. That’s three or four more chances to win or lose and tip the balance decisively one way or the other.

  4. southpaw2k - Sep 7, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    “All of the rain + the lack of remaining days off + the financial imperative to play all 162 games despite the fact that most of them are fairly meaningless now = a lot of tired Yankees players.”

    I really hope this keeps up because I’d love to see the Yankees’ fatigue come back to bite them in the playoffs. They could face being eliminated in the Division Series if this keeps up.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Sep 7, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      and i really hope to see more redscum players end up on the DL

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