Sep 19, 2011, 8:25 AM EST
The division races are secondary right now. Let’s go with the wild cards first:
AL Wild Card: Unless you’ve been living under a rock or (worse) watched football all weekend, you know that Boston leads Tampa Bay by a mere two games now after dropping three of four to the Rays. What you can be somewhat more reasonably excused for not knowing, at least if you’re on the east coast, is that the Angels are only four games back of the Sox themselves. And then you look at the schedule and you see that, with their margin shrinking, the Red Sox will trot out Kyle Weiland, John Lackey and an arguably healthy Erik Bedard in the next three games and you wonder if this thing isn’t going to be all tied up soon.
NL Wild Card: Atlanta leads St. Louis by 3.5 and — surprise, surprise — the Giants by four. Big surges by both St. Louis and San Francisco here, along with awfulness by the Braves. Obviously I have my rooting interest and that won’t flag on a personal level, but let’s be objective about this, shall we? As things currently stand, wouldn’t the Braves be the worst team to make the playoffs if they hold on? From the perspective of “do you actually want to watch them play baseball games in the playoffs,” wouldn’t you prefer the Giants or the Cardinals?
As for the divisions:
AL East: The Yankees 4.5 lead seems pretty darn safe. Boston’s struggles also mask the fact that the Yankees are playing some pretty uninspired ball themselves.
AL Central: Congratulations on the clinch, Detroit. Now let’s all join forces to fight the “Verlander for the MVP” wave that I feel is building this morning. Or, if we can’t fight it, let us at least remind its backers that Miguel Cabrera, Alex Avila and the rest of the Tigers team isn’t chopped liver.
AL West: Rangers by 4.5, which means it’s almost over.
NL East: Congratulations on the Phillies clinching. Everyone was so worried about that.
NL Central: Brewers by 6.5. All done but the paperwork.
NL West: Dbacks by 5. Kudos to them for not crumbling as the Giants surged. It would be the wackiest thing ever if two NL West teams made the postseason dance, wouldn’t it?
- Hector Olivera’s camp denies any damage to ulnar collateral ligament 3
- UPDATE: Hunter Pence out 6-8 weeks with fracture in left forearm 21
- MLBPA: leaks are from people “who want to see Josh Hamilton hurt personally and professionally” 20
- Suspending Josh Hamilton for a year would be obscene 145
- Report: MLB panel split on rehab for Josh Hamilton; one-year suspension is in play 45
- Joc Pederson goes 2-for-2 in Cactus League debut 6
- Braves scratch Mike Minor from start with more shoulder problems 6
- Daniel Murphy on Billy Bean: “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual” 373
- Daniel Murphy on Billy Bean: “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual” (374)
- Suspending Josh Hamilton for a year would be obscene (145)
- Curt Schilling lowers the boom on some men tweeting threats against his daughter (137)
- That facts of Josh Hamilton’s case should not be a matter of public record (94)
- Billy Bean responds to Daniel Murphy’s comments (90)