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Another week gone, and another tumultuous time for the standings. The Mets are back in the running, for now, and the AL Wildcard race is in a virtual tie, just 1.0 games behind the Yankees. The Rays finally dropped out of the lead, having spent more time leading the division since April than in the whole rest of their existence combined. Thanks to taking down Doc Halladay, the Twins are managing to hold off the Tigers, while the White Sox are trying to become relevant again. None of this stopped the Rangers, who continue their climb up the rankings. And a funny story: the third best team in the majors right now isn’t even in the playoffs. I wonder which division they’re in. With so many teams still having a legitimate shot to make some noise, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, June 21 before the day’s games:
Atlanta has won their last five to get a 1.5-game lead over San Diego, while the Cardinals took advantage of Cincinnati’s troubling troubles against Seattle to take a 1.5-game lead in their division. Atlanta’s pitching has been pretty good, save for Kenshin Kawakami (0-9 in 14 starts), though the Braves are the only team whose home record has a single digit in the loss column (24-7). That’s not good for the Cardinals, even with Pujols.
The Mets have not done well against the Yankees, but thankfully for them, the Dodgers have done even worse against the Red Sox. The season series between these two has been split 3-3, but the Padres had a fun 18-6 home blowout over the Mets to end May. Adrian Gonzalez will be the offensive key to complement the pitching. Jason Bay might want to figure out how to hit home runs again.
Minnesota’s done a nice job against Philadelphia, but so has New York. A-Rod, Jeter, Teixeira, C.C.: how do you think Minnesota will do, especially sans home field advantage?
Texas has won their last eight, and 11 of their last 12. Tampa continued to have issues with their in-state rivals Florida, and are now tied with the Red Sox at 1.0 game behind New York, and only have .003 more percentage points than Boston. Tampa started great, but Texas has been greater lately. And if the Cliff Lee rumors turn into something, that’ll do it for Tampa.