|The Yankees Lost, Ellsbury Got Benched, and I’m Still Giddy||Three Red Sox Strengths||Patriots Front Seven Will be Challenged by Cowboys||Patriots RBs LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis: The New Thunder and Lightning|
After nine weeks, the Indians are finally slipping out of the AL lead; even their once impregnable AL Central lead is slipping fast. Ditto for the Marlins and the NL Wildcard. Yes, a lot has changed in the last week. That includes two new teams in the playoff picture for the NL from last week. And now, the top teams in each league are set to have a World Series rematch from two years ago, something that would be even more thrilling now. With all the happenings going on amidst MLB Draft Day, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, June 6 at 9:15pm:
Doc Halladay finally got the Phillies back on track after a rough time against the Pirates. The Brewers are on a roll, having beaten the Marlins three in a row and eying a four-game sweep to supplant the former Wildcard holders. But they’ve been close wins, and Greinke and Gallardo are no Halladay, Lee and Oswalt.
The Cardinals continue to roll, while San Francisco has just managed to wrest the division back from Arizona. St. Louis is only percentage points behind Philly, even without one of their star pitchers. The Giants haven’t always looked like themselves this season, and have been more mediocre on the road than they would’ve liked. With great bats and a pretty good staff, you have to wonder if Lincecum and Wilson can keep the champs in it.
The Yankees have pulled even with the slumping Indians, while the Rangers have won five straight to build a 2.5-game lead over the second place Mariners, of all teams. Texas has regained some of its explosiveness, and has even pitched two shutouts in a row, and three in its five wins. That lack of pitching depth could hurt the Yankees the longer the series goes.
Cleveland has really had a rough time lately, getting swept by Texas at home. Boston is continuing its climb up the standings, and has seemed to have solved its early Cleveland problems. As long as Papelbon doesn’t implode in the 9th again, Boston should be able to move on.