The playoff picture grows clearer every day, but who is in the Top 10? Let’s see how they shake out this week.
#1 Philadelphia Phillies
Could there be trouble in paradise? The Phillies are only 6-6 in their last twelve, with only three of those games against a playoff team (Arizona). This team has been without a real slump all year, better now than in the playoffs.
#2 Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have taken back the lead in the AL East by winning an impressive three out of four in Texas. The celebration will be short lived as this week opens with a three game set against the Yankees and closes with another three game set against Texas. This week could end being Boston’s biggest of the year.
#3 New York Yankees
The Yankees are two games back of the Red Sox heading into their big matchup this week. Aj Burnett has once again proven worthlessness, and it leaves the Yank’s with hole in the rotation. The only thing holding these guys back is who comes after CC.
#4 Milwaukee Brewers
Six of the Brewers next nine games are against the Cardinals, the only team within a mile of Milwaukee for the division. Although, with a 10.5 game lead, the Brewers would have to lose all six games and then completely fall apart over the last few weeks of the season for St. Louis to have a shot.
#5 Atlanta Braves
The Braves have a fairly comfortable lead, 8.5 games, in the NL wild card. This team has had to live in the Shadow of Philly all year, but don’t sleep on these guys in the playoffs. They have plenty of pitching, and a lineup capable of doing some serious damage.
#6 Arizona Diamondbacks
After posting a seven game win streak, the D-Backs followed it up with a six game losing streak, and then another six game winning streak. Arizona needs to figure out how to be more consistent before playoffs, or they’ll be playing golf a little sooner than they’d like.
#7 Texas Rangers
The Rangers division lead is down to only three games, with LA breathing down their neck. With NY and Boston well ahead of any other team, the only way for Texas to make the post-season is to hold on and win the division.
#8 Detroit Tigers
The Tigers are a fairly decent good baseball team, but Justin Verlander makes them a playoff team. Verlander collected his league leading 20th win on Saturday making him 20-5 with a 2.38 ERA, a .90 WHIP, and 218 K’s.
#9 Tampa Bay Rays
The problem for the Rays isn’t the level f their play, but rather their uber-strong division. The Rays are 14 games above .500, good for the fourth best record in the American League, but third in the AL East. It would take a miracle for the Rays to make the playoffs this year, no matter how good they are.
#10 LA Angels
LA has closed the gap on Texas, keeping their post-season hopes somewhat alive. This divisional battle is likely to go on until the very end, with the two teams ending their seasons with a three game set in Texas.
#18 New York Mets
There hasn’t been much Mets fans will want to remember this year, but Chris Capuano’s game on Friday night was a gem. A complete game two hitter with 13k’s and no walks, there’s something worth remembering.