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Nine weeks are gone in the season and June is upon us. Detroit is struggling while Boston is moving back up. The Dodgers are looking to recover their old form. The Astros are only the fourth worst team in the league. The divisions are starting to open up, with division leads being between 3.0 and 4.5 games (except for 7.5 in the NL West). It’s a critical time early in the season, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, June 2, before the day’s games:
San Francisco continues to be definitively the best team in baseball. They’re one of only two teams (along with Colorado) in baseball to not yet lose 10 home games. On pace to win 105 games, San Francisco is the team to beat right now.
A three-game sweep of Miami has Atlanta three games ahead of the Marlins, which they needed after dropping four games and the home-and-home series to Boston. The Brewers had their own three-game winning streak spanning two series, but were hit-or-miss otherwise. Despite struggles, Milwaukee has avoided dropping much ground, and still has plenty of pitching with which to get things done.
The Cardinals and Dodgers both pack plenty of oomph, but have seen better times. Each side has pretty good pitching as well. That will make this a battle of who can crack the opposition’s pitching first. Even without considering that, it’s hard to pick against Clayton Kershaw in a sudden death scenario.
A three-game sweep of the Angels has reestablished Oakland as a clear division leader, and has vaulted them into #1 in the AL. The Athletics needed that to maintain a top spot. Most importantly, without any big star power (their closer is named Doolittle), the Athletics win as a team.
The Tigers have a deep team with plenty of talent, but their losing ways continue; they’re just 4-10 in their last 14 games. Detroit is better than that, and if they don’t pull a Boston-like turnaround, Toronto‘s big run will let them take advantage.
The Angels had some trouble against Oakland, but Josh Hamilton is slated to return shortly. The Yankees are playing .500 ball lately, and are still out CC Sabathia and Carlos Beltran, among others, and Mark Teixeira’s wrist is causing him problems. LA’s balanced attack will create serious issues for New York if they go into October unhealthy.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB Playoffs, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays