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Only a month and a half remain in the season, and the races are starting to thin out. The Phillies are pretty well-entrenched in their lead, and the other divisions usually have been whittled down to two contending teams, though the AL Central is a tad more crowded than that. Boston and the Yankees are separated by just half a game; it’s only fitting for baseball’s grandest rivalry. Many teams are getting ready for dogfights down the stretch, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, August 15, before the day’s games:
Arizona has actually won six in a row and has been one of the big surprises this year. However, Philadelphia‘s been on a tear lately, too, expanding their division lead to nine games. Philly’s bats and arms should be overwhelming for an Arizona team trying to rebuild.
Atlanta dropped two in a row to the Cubs, while Milwaukee has won nine of their last ten. The Brewers are getting hits and good pitching, while Atlanta hasn’t gotten to the same level Milwaukee has. Dan Uggla’s hitting streak ended, and Atlanta doesn’t have double aces or double closers in their staff.
The Red Sox have dropped two in a row in Seattle and are winning their division outright only because New York was rained out, but they do hold the tiebreaker over New York from winning the season series. As long as Boston doesn’t give up that one big inning and gets big innings on the offensive front, they’ll beat Detroit without too much trouble.
The Yankees have been doing very well lately, but they still have plenty of questions in their starting rotation. Texas has stable pitching, and like the Yankees, could always back up the rotation’s off days with their destructive offense. The trouble is that New York has been having plenty more off days.