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10 weeks into the season, and pitching continues to hold sway following yet another perfect game, this time from Matt Cain and the Giants. That has the Giants still doing well in the Wildcard race. But that hasn’t stopped things from mixing up elsewhere. The tightly contested AL East has undergone yet more changes, and even the Pirates were tied for the NL Central lead for a spell. If the Pirates can start making noise, anything can happen, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, June 14 at 5:00pm:
Despite wrapping up a series with the Angels with a loss, the Dodgers still hold the best record in baseball. They lead the majors with a 22-11 home record, and at 18-13 on the road, they aren’t too bad there either. Andre Either was just extended, so now the Dodgers have to concentrate on getting Matt Kemp healthy to have the best chance of winning.
The Reds just completed a sweep of Cleveland, but Washington has now won six in a row, and are just half a game behind the Dodgers. Anytime you can sweep two AL East teams, even the bottom two, consecutively, that’s an accomplishment. The Nationals have been on top all year long, and the momentum is on their side.
Anytime you get a perfect game, especially when you’re fighting for a playoff spot, you can contend. San Francisco has really picked things up in the past few weeks, and their pitching and home prowess puts them on track to win the Wildcard playoff over the Mets.
Six straight wins and nine of ten have rocketed New York back into their perennial position as the AL’s #1. With their all-around power, the Yankees are now back as a contender.
Chicago has run into a rough patch, while Texas has won three straight. Roy Oswalt has recently struggled in the minors (7.71 ERA over 9.1 innings), but is now up to a regular pitch count, and can be expected to join the Rangers late next week. With his help in the rotation and skill set (struggles aside), the Rangers will be that much better.
Baltimore‘s won four straight, thanks lately to Pittsburgh, while Tampa was just swept by the Mets. That’s allowed Baltimore to get 1.5 games ahead of Tampa, which could make a difference if Baltimore is able to rest up key players to set up for the playoff.
Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB Playoffs, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals