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The MLB season is now underway, and already there have been plenty of surprises. In particular, the AL East has been turned upside down, again. The Dodgers are good, the Angels are bad, and Boston’s pitching is as useless as last year thus far. And a manager (Ozzie Guillen) is already in scalding water. So who can maintain their momentum? Who will rise and who will drop off after awhile? Let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, April 12 at 6:30pm:
The Dodgers have only lost once so far, winning by an average of 4.5-3. Of course, facing San Diego and Pittsburgh will usually trend towards that direction. One has to wonder how they’ll fare against a powerful team like St. Louis, but with the new Wildcard rule burning up their first opponent’s ace, the Dodgers should be fine for now.
Similarly, the Nationals have benefited from facing the Cubs and Mets early on. They have shown great ability so far, but the Cardinals have put up 37 runs so far, and with Adam Wainwright back in the fold, they’ll have another wrinkle to throw around as compared to their title season.
The Mets started 4-0, but then ran into the Nationals. Ditto for the Diamondbacks and the Padres. Early on, the Mets have been scored on slightly more than they’ve scored, with the D-Backs the other way around. With Ian Kennedy’s abilities on the mound and with some good bats, Arizona should be able to pull out a Wildcard win.
The Tigers are 5-1, and all without Victor Martinez. Of course, with Boston being incredibly lackluster, you’d think that might happen. But with Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Alex Avila and others, they can definitely be considered an AL favorite.
Texas has been looking like the team that’s made two straight World Series. While their pitching might not be as good as last year, they still have plenty of power. Toronto has some good pieces, most notably Jose Bautista, but they have awhile to go before all the pieces come together as well as they have with Texas.
The Rays are competing once more out of the toughest division in baseball. Chicago lost Mark Buehrle in the offseason, while the Rays regained Carlos Pena. At this point, the Rays have a good balance to move ahead, while the White Sox concentrate most of their abilities in Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski.
Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB Playoffs, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals