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If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 15

Nationals vs Yankees: Week 15's prediction for the World Series

The trade deadline is almost here, and the Yankees made the biggest move so far by acquiring Ichiro Suzuki. They’re also rumored to be hunting for a third baseman in A-Rod’s absence, and the Brewers have declared that they will trade Zack Greinke. Clearly, we’re in for a fun next few days, but for now, multiple moves are being made in the standings, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, July 26 at 8:00pm:

National League

#1 Washington Nationals

The Nationals have won five straight games now, and they have plenty of potent weapons. With a great pitching staff leading the way, they just might be the favorites to make it out of the NL.

#2 Cincinnati Reds vs #3 San Francisco Giants

Cincinnati is right there with Washington, having won seven in a row themselves. The Giants have been winning plenty lately themselves, but they haven’t been the most consistent. A perfect game is all well and good, but Cincinnati should be able to easily prevent that from happening again.

#W1 Pittsburgh Pirates vs #W2 Atlanta Braves

The Braves have more overall playoff experience, but the Pirates have A.J. Burnett, who’s had plenty of playoff success with the Yankees, and some decent bats to support them. And I’ll bet you didn’t know that at 33-16, Pittsburgh has the best home record of any of the 30 MLB teams. Atlanta should make things close, but Pittsburgh has just a bit more at the moment.

American League

#1 New York Yankees

The Yankees added Ichiro, and now they may or may not be looking at Chase Headley. The Pinstripes are already very good, and they’re only getting better.

#2 Texas Rangers vs #3 Detroit Tigers

The Tigers have quickly padded their record to tie Chicago on top of the division, but Texas still has the record advantage. And they’re only half a game behind the Yankees. With Texas’ bats, even Justin Verlander will need extra help to put them down. Verlander, Cabrera, Fielder and co. will make things very interesting to be sure, but Texas has a very good home record.

#W1 Los Angeles Angels vs #W2 Oakland Athletics

With a great run of their own, Oakland has broken their way into the Wildcard picture. However, the Angels are still the Angels. They have a deep pitching staff, plenty of offensive capabilities and more overall depth than Oakland, just enough of an edge to move onto New York.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • The Angels, with the Rays and Rangers on deck, are in a bit of danger of dropping their slot to Chicago if they have any sort of slip-up against Tampa.
  • The Phillies have won four straight, so they could play spoiler to drop Washington just behind Cincinnati.

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