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May is well underway, and there’s plenty of movement going on. Both leagues have new powerhouses in control. Some teams are slipping while others struggle to maintain what they have so far. It’s been difficult for any team to have any sort of lasting stay against those around them, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, May 6 at 7:05pm:
Six straight wins have the Cardinals in sole possession of the NL lead. They lost their closer Jason Motte to Tommy John surgery, but that does allow them to prepare for the future without wondering what might happen later on in the season. The Cardinals have shown plenty of skill early on, and should have the depth to weather this injury.
Six straight victories have pushed San Francisco to home-field advantage in the first round, while the Braves continue to have a tough time stringing together wins. At this rate, San Fran, with their great playoff success, won’t have too much trouble.
While the Rockies have been hit or miss lately, the Reds have won three in a row. However, those three were at Wrigley Field. Discounting those three relatively easy wins, the Reds are 3-10 on the road. That certainly won’t help them at Coors Field, which has been pretty difficult for opponents this year.
Sweeping the Red Sox was certainly an impressive feat the way Boston has been playing this year, and it has Texas in the lead for the time being. Of course, the way Texas has been playing so far, they have the explosiveness to beat any team.
Aside from the sweep in Texas, Boston had been a very efficient team, handling injuries to Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey rather skillfully. Detroit is 9-1 in their last 10, but they can thank Houston, Minnesota and Atlanta for that. Justin Verlander will make things very interesting for the Tigers, but with Boston’s versatility, they have a good chance, especially when they can bring their bats to bear at Fenway.
Both teams are pretty similar, but Kansas City has been flying largely under the radar so far. New York is where they are despite a plethora of injuries. James Shields vs CC Sabathia would be a fun match-up to watch, so this could depend on how healthy the Yankees can get by season’s end.