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April is almost over already, and there are plenty of teams that are shaking up the standings from what many expected. Boston, Kansas City and Pittsburgh have all turned things around quite nicely from last season. The Dodgers, Blue Jays and Angels, on the other hand, have completely failed to live up to the hype. Teams are running over each other in the standings even now, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, April 29, before the day’s games:
Atlanta is still #1, but they’re now facing stiff competition from all three divisions. Four straight losses haven’t helped their cause either. We saw what Atlanta is capable of early in April, but the team needs to stay afloat and be more consistent. Otherwise, their World Series hopes will have quickly faded.
Arizona has been sticking around the top of their division all season long, while Pittsburgh has turned a good season into a division lead, and are just half a game away from #1 in the NL (as are the D-Backs). Both teams lead tight divisions and have led similar seasons so far, so anything could happen. Still, the Pirates lead the season series 2-1, and they did it in Arizona.
Both teams have lost two straight, but are still in very good positions. Colorado has turned themselves around much more from last season, but St Louis has much more recent success in the postseason. In a Wildcard sudden death match-up, having someone like Adam Wainwright on the mound coupled with many talented bats could make the difference.
Boston has opened up a two-game lead for #1 in the AL. Houston will do that for you, but Boston still has plenty of ability and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Getting rid of their toxic contracts, rebuilding with cheaper talent and improving clubhouse relations have done wonders for Boston. With the Yankees injured and the Blue Jays the third-worst team in the majors, Boston has the division right where they want them.
Kansas City is still busy fighting off Detroit and Minnesota, while Texas has a comfortable niche atop the AL West. Kansas City has shown good balance, but the Rangers are a more explosive team that has consistently been a contender for several years.
Despite the sheer number of injuries to their roster, New York has taken advantage of Toronto to edge ahead in the Wildcard race. Baltimore continues to be just as good as their unexpected run last season, but if New York is this good without all their stars, how good will they be if they can get healthy?
Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Kansas City Royals, MLB Playoffs, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers