|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.