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The State of the Races

Sep 13, 2011, 9:17 AM EDT

Jason Jaramillo, Corey Patterson

AL EAST

The spread: The Yankees beat Seattle, Boston is idle. It’s a four game lead for New York.  The Rays, meanwhile, won again, so they are only three back in the wild card.

The skinny: The Red Sox now have Joey Gathright. So they totally got this, right?

AL CENTRAL

The spread: The Tigers won their tenth in a row, trouncing Chicago. The lead is 11.5

The skinny: I think Detroit’s goal should be to have a larger lead over the second place team in the division than the second place team has over the last place team. Right now Chicago and Cleveland are 14 games ahead of the Twins.  I think the Tigers can do it.

AL WEST

The spread: The Angels fall to Oakland, Texas was idle. The lead is now three.

The skinny: I was going to say something pithy about how you gotta win the games against the Oaklands of the world if you’re going to win the division, but I think the Angels know that already.

NL EAST

The spread: The Phillies and Braves both lose. But since St. Louis did too, Atlanta’s lead in the wild card remains at 4.5 games.

The skinny: The Astros went to town on Roy Oswalt. I’ve asked it before, but really, is he going to be the Phillies’ fourth starter in the playoffs?  Assuming they really need one in a critical game anyway?

NL CENTRAL

The spread: The Brewers were idle an the Cards lost, so Milwaukee’s lead is six and a half games. St. Louis remains four and a half back of the Braves for the wild card.

The skinny: Braves panic aside, it’s not enough for the Cardinals to keep pace with them. On nights Atlanta loses, the Cards have to win. The math is the math and there aren’t a lot of games left.

NL WEST

The spread: The Diamondbacks and Giants both win. The lead remains at eight and a half games.

The skinny: I saw someone in the comments make a case for Charlie Manuel as manager of the year. Kirk Gibson and his inevitable unanimous or near-unanimous vote total in that category chuckle at you in amusement.

  1. proudlycanadian - Sep 13, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Boston has two games against Toronto and Tampa Bay has another two against Baltimore. Advantage Tampa Bay.

  2. sdelmonte - Sep 13, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    Did you see David Schoenfeld’s Sweet Spot blog entry about LaRussa overmanaging last night? It’s quite interesting.

    • Kevin S. - Sep 13, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Don’t the Tigers know that by running away with the division they’re destroying Verlander’s MVP argument?!

      • Kevin S. - Sep 13, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        Speaking of MVPs, I’ve heard no NL discussion, really, but isn’t it basically the same argument between Kemp and Halladay that the AL has between Bautista and Verlander? Unlike the AL, no contenders really have any candidates that are even comparable enough to throw into the discussion the way Granderson and the Boston troika were.

      • Lukehart80 - Sep 13, 2011 at 10:33 AM

        I think Kemp should be the choice in the NL, but to say no contenders really have any candidates is to grossly overlook the seasons that Justin Upton and Ryan Braun are having.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 13, 2011 at 10:38 AM

        I said comparable enough. TJU and Braun are having great seasons, but hurting Upton is the fact that his candidacy is more revealed by advanced stats than traditional ones, and voters who use them are less likely to care about whether or not a player’s team is in contention. To be fair to Braun, I hadn’t realized how close he was to going 30/30. Yeah, 30/30/100/100 with a batting title on a contender will certainly appeal to a lot of voters. I still think it should be Kemp or Doc, but Braun will definitely get his support.

      • paperlions - Sep 13, 2011 at 11:07 AM

        Halladay should probably be the NL MVP at this point. Kemp, Votto, and Braun all have good cases as well.

  3. paperlions - Sep 13, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Cory Patterson has no business being on a ML roster, but he has veterany goodness, so he and his .188 OBP and .255 SLG come trotting up to pinch hit with 2 outs in the 9th, the tying run on 3rd and go ahead run on 2nd, thanks in part to a gazillion unnecessary moves by a manager than just can not stay out of the way of his own team. Predictably, Patterson struck out.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 13, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      In an exchange of unwanted players, as part of the Rasmus trade, the Jays sent Patterson to St. Louis and received Miller and Tallet. Both Miller and Tallet have been waived. Unfortunately for St. Louis, they kept Patterson.

  4. Francisco (FC) - Sep 13, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Oswalt will still get the nod, despite average performance. Worley has been effective out of the BP. Oswalt hasn’t been in the BP since… the dark ages… In addition Oswalt will still eat more innings on average than Worley. When Vanimal is near the 100 pitch mark it’s time to warm up the Bullpen. I think he’s reached 107 pitches once… Oswalt averages 107 pitches. Considering the state of the Bullpen it is to Philly’s advantage to keep the starters in the game as long as possible.

    Oh, and the blog is set up. I have a total of 10 posts of the Craig Lair series. I believe my name links to the blog. I’ll continue to post write-ups in HBT as they occur, but will correspondingly update the blog as time permits.

  5. APBA Guy - Sep 13, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Tha Angels do know that already, and the look on Scioscia’s face pretty much said as much when Willingham homered in the first for 3 runs off Piniero.

    The Angels know also that their weak spot is the rotation after the big 3 (Weaver, Haren, Ervin Santana). They don’t have the offense to come back against decent pitching. So they have to get ahead early, then hold the lead and close with Walden.

    The Rangers’ remaining schedule is tougher, but not by that much, and they are a better team when everyone is healthy. More importantly, they have a lead. Even 3 games looks big when you are doing the chasing with 15 games to go.

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