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If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 18

Padres vs Yankees: Week 18's prediction for the World Series

Just eight weeks are left in the season, and only one division is led by more than 1.5 games: Texas is beating Oakland by 8.0. For all the talk, the BoSox neither gained nor lost ground over the Yanks, and are now in danger of falling behind the White Sox and Twins. The Cardinals/Reds saga continues strong; the Reds can’t hold a meaningful lead, even facing their adversaries at home. Philly is back in the hunt. Just about anything could still happen, especially with the waiver-wire trade deadline weeks away, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, August 10, before the day’s games:

National League

#1 San Diego Padres vs #3 Cincinnati Reds

The Reds got off on the wrong foot with St. Louis, while the Padres are about to begin a series against the Pirates, which is just the momentum the Padres need. With the roster jostling involving Travis Wood, you have to wonder if the Reds’ rotation is as solid as San Diego’s, especially with three games in San Diego to worry about.

#2 Atlanta Braves vs #W San Francisco Giants

Dropping a game to Houston isn’t exactly the pick-me-up Atlanta wants, while San Francisco is right there in the race with them. With a killer pitching staff, some good bats, and Ramon Ramirez, the Giants will be a serious contender, which is precisely why Atlanta should be grateful they have the majors’ best home record.

American League

#1 New York Yankees vs #3 Minnesota Twins

The Twins finally made their way into position for another playoff game for the division, and again they’ll have to face the Yankees. Don’t look for things to turn out any different.

#2 Texas Rangers vs #W Tampa Bay Rays

You’d think the Rays would do pretty well, especially with their road record, but they have a propensity to completely fail with their offense. They were one out away from being the only team ever to be on the wrong end of a no-no three times in one season. Coupled with Cliff Lee, the Rays will have a tough time of it, though it’s not completely impossible.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • The Twins visit the White Sox to begin a three-game set; the winner will have a huge amount of positive chi going for them in the division race.
  • The Padres visit the Giants later in the week with similar implications.
  • Ditto for the Reds and Cardinals.

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