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It’s almost time for the All Star Game, and plenty of races are still tight. Boston has dropped some ground to the Yankees, and the Indians, Cardinals and Angels are all interjecting themselves back into their divisions in real dogfights. The Wildcard spots are locked up fairly securely considering how other races are going, and the Phillies and their rotation are still running the show. So Phillies aside, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, July 4 at 9:00pm:
The Phillies, Cliff Lee’s recent outing not included, are absolutely dominant. Their rotation can go DEEP into games and their bats aren’t too shabby either. And while it remains to be seen how Albert Pujols will respond after returning from injury, the Phillies should be considered the overwhelming favorites over the Cardinals.
Tim Lincecum and former no-name Ryan Vogelsong join Brian Wilson in anchoring a power Giants rotation, which has more punching powers than Atlanta‘s. It’ll be tough, but as long as San Fran can get some good swings in each game, they should come out on top.
All of a sudden, the Yankees somehow have a pretty good overall rotation. Couple that with the home run power, and they can’t lose that easily. When you consider that Los Angeles is barely over .500 (44-41), even after winning eight of ten, then the Yankees look that much better.
Cleveland is back in the lead of their division by half a game, but their troubles still have them struggling to maintain a run at the playoffs. The Red Sox are even harder to figure out right now, but with Ortiz back, they showed that they can have offensive bursts against iffy teams. As long as Lackey and Jenks are barred from the park, Boston’s pitching should do well enough to hold Cleveland at bay.