|Video: Napoli Beaned, Homers into Fifth Deck in 7-Run 11th Inning for Red Sox||Struggling Season Continues for Xander Bogaerts||Report: Patriots Trade Logan Mankins to Tampa Bay||Red Sox Have Decisions to Make and Money to Spend this Off-Season|
You see the image; the Reds are now the best team in the National League. That’s despite the Cardinals’ two victories in a row and Atlanta losing to Pittsburgh. The Pirates have got to be the ugliest thing in Pittsburgh since Matt Cooke. If Philadelphia hadn’t lost their last two to stay a scant 1.0 game behind Atlanta, they’d be in charge, despite earlier injuries. Speaking of which, what happened to San Diego? The NL is still fun, while the AL’s four teams are pretty much set (in order), so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, September 6, at 8:33pm:
Now that everyone’s infatuation with the Padres is over, let the Reds era begin. Now that their lead over the Cardinals is 6.0 games, the Reds have plenty of time to prepare for the playoffs without worrying too much about getting a slot. As long as they don’t worry too much about clinching home field advantage (which they currently hold throughout the World Series), Cincinnati will be a dangerous team, with pitching and potential Triple Crown winner Seabiscuit (I mean Joey Votto) in the fold.
With San Diego having lost their last ten, how do you think the Braves will do? Side note: the Padres have tied the worst losing streak for a first-place team, held only by them and the 1932 Pirates. With a loss in their late game versus the Dodgers, the Padres would not only set the new mark, but move into a tie for the division lead with San Francisco, leading them only by percentage points.
Cliff Lee is ailing, and the Rangers no longer have Mark Teixeira on their team. Advantage Federer (who’ll probably also be playing for the Yankees sometime soon).
Minnesota has won their last four, and is 3.5 games ahead of Manny’s White Sox, who have won their last seven. Tampa has had pitching problems (including injuries), and has an offense prone to no-nos. Coupled with a pitchers’ park in Minnesota, the Twins have the edge.