C├ęspedes brings a powerful bat to Fenway Park...until he becomes a free agent after 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Flurry of trades leaves Red Sox in state of uncertainty Chicago White Sox v Boston Red Sox Red Sox Trade Andrew Miller for Top 100 Prospect Rodriguez Stephen Drew (Photo: Bill Kostroun) Red Sox Trade Stephen Drew to Yankees for Kelly Johnson Less than a season after pitching in the World Series clincher against the Cardinals, John Lackey has been traded from the Red Sox to St. Louis at the trade deadline in exchange for Allen Craig. (Boston Globe) MLB Trade Deadline: Red Sox Trade John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for Allen Craig

If The Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 6

Dodgers vs Rangers: Week 6's prediction for the World Series

Interleague play is almost upon us, and that will mix up the races for sure. In fact, there’s a three-way tie for the top AL spot. The NL race isn’t too far away from that either. However, injuries are continuing to hit key names, which should shake things up even more. Where do things stand in the face of all this? Let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, May 17, before the day’s games:

National League

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have lost some major offense with Matt Kemp on the DL, and have now lost two in a row. LA is certainly having a rough time right now, and they’ll need Kemp healthy to contend, but they have some pieces that should hold them well enough until that happens.

#2 Washington Nationals vs #3 St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals are still working on getting Lance Berkman back into form, which will do wonders for them once he’s back to full strength. The Nationals might need Jayson Werth back healthy to compete, but it isn’t really necessary.

#W1 Atlanta Braves vs #W2 New York Mets

The Braves are still maintaining their spot right behind Washington for the division. They haven’t exactly been the best team lately, but New York has been hit or miss lately as well. The Braves have had more overall success in recent years, so they’ll probably have the edge in experience there.

American League

#1 Texas Rangers

The Rangers are busy fighting off Tampa and Baltimore for #1, but they still have a 5.0-game lead over Oakland. And with Josh Hamilton running on all cylinders leading the way, they’ll do well for themselves.

#2 Baltimore Orioles vs #3 Cleveland Indians

Cleveland has won three in a row, but Baltimore is on a winning streak as well. Cleveland is good on the road, but they still have issues playing at home. They’ll need to do a lot better than they are to get somewhere.

#W1 Tampa Bay Rays vs #W2 New York Yankees

The Yankees are already down Mariano Rivera, and now they’re out David Robertson thanks to an oblique strain. Their pitching certainly isn’t doing well, but they do still have Rafael Soriano. But with four straight wins, the Rays certainly have a lot more going for them.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • The Marlins have a decent chance to take over the last Wildcard from the Mets.
  • Similarly, the Rays have a decent chance to take the division from the Orioles.

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