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May is halfway over, and the unexpected beginnings are still going strong. The Padres are still on top, the Red Sox still suck, and the Reds are now ahead of St. Louis after taking two of three. Even the Nationals were in the Wildcard slot for about the amount of time it takes a frog to eat a dragonfly. And after a good start, the Mets have once more decided not to wait until September to figuratively flip off their fans with a choke job worthy of Mike Tyson. And egotistical punk Dallas Braden showed that he really is a loser after all. Grandmama’s boy. With plenty of tosses and turns still to come, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, May 17 before the day’s games:
Tim Lincecum facing off against Roy Halladay? Can you imagine a more entertaining game? Neither can I. Philadelphia is starting to smooth out its rough edges, and the apparently doesn’t include Brad Lidge, who hasn’t thrown since a May 9 save against Atlanta. Over the last few days, San Francisco has picked up three games on San Diego to pull within 0.5 games. With the progress Philly has been making, and with their powerful bats, “Tase me, Bro” fans, and souvenir-ball-throwing-away-little-girls, Philly is once more the National League’s team to beat.
I know, I didn’t see Cincinnati coming either. Maybe Pete Rose is rigging games. San Diego has lost their last three, while Cincinnati took it to the Cardinals. If Albert Pujols wasn’t much of a problem, why would Adrian Gonzalez be? In a series between two teams nobody saw doing well, Cincinnati currently has the upper hand, despite dropping two of three to San Diego in April.
The Rays have built a 2.0 game lead over the Yankees, and are the only .700+ team in the majors. Texas also has a 2.0 game lead in their division, but only because Oakland has lost even more than they have. With how the Rays have been performing (i.e. beating Cliff Lee twice), does anyone really expect them to get booted out in the first round?
The Twins have finally solved their greatest puzzle, known as Yankee stadium. And the last way we expected them to do it was by hitting a grand slam off Mariano Rivera. With that in mind, and with home field advantage, the Twins might actually have a shot. But against the Yankees, they can’t hit any rough patches.