It seems like every day we're one day closer to the playoffs. Actually, that's exactly the case! Want to know which teams should prepare for October and which ones are fading? Read on!
The Yankees and Rays are neck and neck, and speaking of necks, if I was a Yankee I’d watch mine. Seriously, these guys are dropping like flies. A-Rod, Nick Swisher, A.J. Burnett, and Lance Berkman have all been fighting injuries this month. That’s a lot to worry about when being chased by a young team like the Rays. Just how close are these two teams? Check this out. The Yankees have 75 wins, 40 of them at home, and a +154 run differential. The Rays have 74 wins, 39 at home and a +144 run differential.
The Twins now have a four game lead over the White Sox and have won 10 of 15 meetings between the two teams. But that’s not the only beef between the rivals. After former White Sox slugger Jim Thome delivered a walk-off hit for the Twins on Tuesday, Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen had this to say: "For all those people there saying it was my fault about Jim Thome, yes it's my fault.” Thome is mashing for the Twins, so I guess it means that Chicago missing the playoffs is Guillen’s fault too.
Seriously, the Braves seem to have a serious good luck charm. The night their leader Chipper Jones left with a season-ending injury? They win. The next night? They win again. Add to that two walk-off wins and Atlanta is 7-1 without Chipper. Now they’ve got Derrek Lee manning first base and they’ve managed to keep Philly just a couple games back. This is one of the best two-team races in the Bigs but Atlanta is showing no signs of slowing.
If you had to judge the best team in the central based on its latest streak, there’d be no doubt. The Reds are surging thanks to a six-game win streak. The Cardinals are three and a half games back having lost four straight. It just gets more interesting this weekend. The Cards have a big series against the Giants while the Reds head to Dodger Stadium, where they haven’t won a game since – get this – July 28th, 2005. Whoa.
The Padres now have a six-game lead over the Giants and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. Still think San Diego is a fluke? And it’s more than just that separating these two teams. Over the last 10 games the Padres have the second-lowest team ERA at 2.08. The Giants have the highest at 4.79. San Fran is just one game out in the Wild Card, but they’ll need a big series against the Cards this weekend to right their ship.