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It’s hard to believe that the season is already almost an eighth over with everyone at or around 20 games played so far. The NL Central is suddenly getting a lot stronger. The Orioles, Royals and now Twins continue to do well. The Tigers and Angels continue to struggle. Many teams are makings noise and have been all season long, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, April 23 at 7:05pm:
Atlanta may have lost a couple of games since last week (three straight in Pittsburgh, actually), but they’re still the best team in baseball. Winning in Colorado proved that they’re going to stick around. If nothing else, they’ll benefit from facing a more tired Wildcard team.
Similarly, the Rockies have lost two straight, but are tied for both second best record overall and second best home record. Interestingly enough, the Reds have the best home record in the majors but are 1-5 on the road so far. With Cincinnati being one of the new successes in the NL Central, Colorado will look to take the series behind their lengthy good record.
San Francisco‘s starters haven’t been the most impressive so far, but they’ve still been winning. St Louis is trying to hang on in the suddenly competitive NL Central, but they still have many All Star caliber players. The Giants have lost all four of ace Matt Cain’s starts this season, but that just makes their record more impressive, which should make this a very entertaining game.
Four straight wins have pushed the Rangers ahead of the Athletics and into a tie for the best AL record. Losing Josh Hamilton didn’t mean much for the Rangers, as they can still make up the production with the rest of the team. After all, what would a playoffs be these days without the Texas Rangers?
Despite being swept in a doubleheader by Kansas City, Boston remains a top team in the AL. Kansas City is on top of the AL Central because of that sweep, but they’ve shown the ability to avoid falling into obscurity like they have for so many seasons now. This should be a fun series, but a healthy David Ortiz really tips the balance in Boston’s favor.
Oakland has lost four in a row, not something that will help going into the playoffs. They have a lot of balance to their team, but so does Baltimore. Having been rejuvenated by last season’s success, Baltimore will look to take advantage of Oakland’s struggles.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, MLB Playoffs, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers