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The State of the Races

Sep 9, 2011, 8:24 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Milwaukee Brewers Getty Images

AL EAST

The spread: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but both the Yankees and Red Sox lose. New York stays ahead of Boston by two and a half.

The skinny: It’s gonna be funny when the prognosticators look at the stumbling finish each of these teams seems to be embarking upon and uses it to predict playoff doom for them. When, in fact, there is little if any correlation between how a team finishes and how it does in the playoffs. Remember the 2000 Yankees?

AL CENTRAL

The spread: The Tigers were idle and Chicago beat Cleveland. It’s an eight and a half game lead over Chicago, ten over Cleveland.

The skinny: The party’s over.

AL WEST

The spread: Both Texas and Anaheim had the night off. Texas’ lead is two and a half.

The skinny: The Rangers open a series against the A’s. Anaheim hosts the Yankees.

NL EAST

The spread: The Phillies win one and the Braves win two. A ten game lead for Philly, a seven and a half game lead for the Braves in the wild card.

The skinny: The Braves play a series against the Cardinals this weekend. If the Cards sweep I presume there’s a race for the wild card. Anything less and I’m having a hard time seeing it.

NL CENTRAL

The spread: The Brewers lose to Philly, Cards idle. Milwaukee has an eight game lead.

The skinny: I’m informed by Brewers fans that, because they have a lead in the division, Albert Pujols sucks and Nyjer Morgan is just some precocious scamp. At least that’s what I think they’re telling me. Success has a strange effect on a certain brand of fan.

NL WEST

The spread: Diamondbacks win, Giants idle, and the snakes have a seven and a half game lead.

The skinny: The Dodgers are four back of the Giants in the loss column. How sad would it be if San Francisco finishes in third place?

  1. yankeesfanlen - Sep 9, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    “Stumbling finish” Craig? The Yanks are 7-3 in last ten, Red Sox 3-7. The Yabnks problem is still offense and getting themselves in these predicaments of tie and one run games, or extra innings, which we never seem to win.

  2. Matt D. - Sep 9, 2011 at 9:42 AM

    It should be “effect” rather than “affect” under “the skinny” for the NL Central.

    • Jeff J. Snider - Sep 9, 2011 at 10:42 AM

      Also, in “The skinny” for the NL West, you said “sad” when you meant to use a much more positive adjective.

  3. billybeaneismyhero - Sep 9, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Wow, Craig. Either you’re psychic or you read Curly Haired Boyfriend’s latest masterpiece on the playoff chances of the Yankees and Red Sox. Because you know, if Shaughnessy says something, it must be true.

    For your viewing pleasure:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/dan_shaughnessy/09/08/redsox.yankees/

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 9, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      Shaughnessy makes my head hurt.

      He’s probably correct in this instance though.

  4. bcopus - Sep 9, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Another year of watching the Braves play well enough to get to the playoffs, and then hobble along and lose! It’s tough being a Braves fan. It’s easier to be a fan of a losing team. It’s awful to expect a team to do well enough to give you a little bit of hope, and at the same time have an expectation that their efforts will come up short postseason. I guess that’s what going 1 for 15 will do to a fan. It’s no wonder the Atlanta crowd is horridly apathetic.

  5. professor59 - Sep 9, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    “The Dodgers are four back of the Giants in the loss column. How sad would it be if San Francisco finishes in third place?”

    Sad? How about hilarious?

  6. APBA Guy - Sep 9, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    Los Gigantes are cooked. That one’s over.

    The only race left is the AL West. Anaheim hosting the “stumbling” Yankees (I think it’s more like: selectively playing some AAA call ups while resting key performers) may prove to be an obstacle, but they must be within 1 game of Texas by the season ending series agtainst the Rangers.

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