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Now that August is here and the teams have passed 100 games, it’s time to get down to business. Contenders will be working with their new talent (Giants/Dodgers, Rangers) while others will use what they can for making a push. All the division leaders save San Fran have a decent lead, but still have to work to maintain their positions in their divisions and leagues. The AL wildcard is getting interesting as well, furthering the intensity of this season’s races, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, August 2 at 7:15pm:
The Reds are easily the hottest team in the majors right now. They may not have traded for their leadoff man, but they acquired a proven arm in Jonathan Broxton to stifle opposing bats further. Certainly, the Reds will be one of the favorites at this rate.
Despite acquiring Hunter Pence, the Giants have lost their last two games; they even have a worse record than the Cardinals, who aren’t even in the playoff picture right now. Despite losing their last two as well, the Nationals are still a much better team overall.
Both teams are doing well, with Pittsburgh maintaining the right to host this game. Atlanta made a move to acquire former Pirate Paul Maholm, but that won’t do much good without him starting the game. In such a close game where it could go either way, the home team always gets the slight edge.
The Yankees are struggling as of late, but they still have a slight edge over the Rangers. With so many big names on the DL, the Yankees might have trouble keeping up with other teams, and they could be in line for a quick upset if they don’t put together a decent end to the season.
As they have been for some time now, the Rangers are mirroring the Yankees in a recent rough stretch. After acquiring Ryan Dempster, the Rangers even moved Roy Oswalt to the bullpen. The White Sox have had a better time lately, and after having re-widened their lead over Detroit, have as good a shot as any of upsetting Texas.
Both teams are very close, with L.A. only one win ahead in their game out of hand. Both teams are better at home. Oakland may be on a surprising run, but with the abilities of the Angels’ pitching staff and with their surplus of power, look for Oakland to be out-muscled on both ends of the ball.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Angels, MLB Playoffs, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals