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Two weeks into the season, Atlanta has now emerged as the best team by far. They lead by 3.5 games, while no other division is led by more than 1.5 games. The Royals and Pirates are sticking around, while the Angels and Nationals are having a bit of trouble. Early on at least, the league is looking a bit topsy turvy when compared to pre-season expectations, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, April 15 at 4:00pm:
The Braves have started 11-1 after winning their last nine, at least 2.5 games ahead of all the other 29 and already 9.0 games ahead of Miami 12 games in. Sweeping a three-game game series in Washington against the team most people are picking to win the division made a statement that Atlanta will be considered the team to beat, and with the way they’ve been playing, who’ll argue?
San Francisco has powered their way to 9-4 to get the second-best record in the NL. St Louis hasn’t regained its footing from its World Series year; if it weren’t for leading a division, the Cardinals wouldn’t even be in the playoff scenario right now. It’s still early, but San Francisco’s start is far more encouraging for a team with high standards.
The Rockies had some problems in San Francisco, but other than that, they’ve won every game after Opening Day. The Diamondbacks took two of three from the Dodgers for their only divisional experience so far this season. Other than that, only the Pirates gave them some trouble. So at this early stage, as long as the Giants aren’t involved, the Rockies should be okay.
After a great start, the Athletics have lost their last two at home to Detroit. We won’t blame them for that, especially after winning nine in a row previously. But with Detroit’s wins and Boston right on their heels, the Athletics don’t have any more room for error.
Kansas City is still hanging in there, something just about nobody expected. Many had mixed feelings heading into the season for Boston, but the Red Sox have jumped ahead in the AL East, as they completed a sweep of the Rays on Patriots Day / Marathon Monday / Jackie Robinson Day. Kansas City is only a game behind, but Boston’s pitching, closers aside, have been just outstanding, and they’ve been winning without David Ortiz’s power (he’ll be ready to return shortly).
Detroit stumbled a bit out of the gate, but they’re getting themselves back on track. Texas is doing well themselves, but lost opening day starter Matt Harrison to back problems, for which he is currently receiving pain management injections with a prognosis for return from the 15-day DL when eligible of questionable to probable. They’ll need both sides of the ball completely healthy in a playoff game against Justin Verlander.
Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, MLB Playoffs, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers