|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
10 weeks of the season have gone by, and it’s getting good. The NL East has three teams atop its standings. The Wildcard races are still hot. Cleveland is moving up the ranks as well. And of course, teams are moving past each other all the time. With so much going on, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, June 9 at 7:05pm:
The Giants are 4.5 games ahead of their nearest NL competition, and 3.0 games ahead of all other teams. With five straight wins and a widening lead, the Giants are the team to beat.
Atlanta is once again having struggles, looking to hold off Washington and Miami, not to mention St Louis and Los Angeles. Milwaukee is firmly locked into #2 for now, and if they can keep their pitching trending in the right direction, can certainly use Atlanta’s sub-.500 road record against them. Of course, with Craig Kimbrel and Francisco Rodriguez at the backs of the bullpens, holding a lead early will be vital to both sides.
In a big situation like this, we’ll all be watching how Stephen Strasburg matches up with Giancarlo Stanton. If Washington can neutralize that advantage, they’ll take away plenty of Miami‘s game. On the other hand, let Miami hang around and they’ll have a good chance to knock a few runs in at any moment.
Oakland is holding their breath with Toronto right on their heels, but has a little bit of breathing room right now. Without any big names, Oakland can win with anyone, which is what has made them so dangerous. The key for opponents will be to force Oakland into awkward positions and make them make mistakes.
Toronto has lost their last two games (to St Louis), but Detroit hasn’t fared any better. The Tigers still have a good lead in their division, but Cleveland isn’t giving them much room for error. Toronto has plenty of pop, so Detroit will need to keep up and limit Toronto in a hurry, or the series will get away from them.
Both sides have won three straight, though Seattle has won eight of nine. On offense, Robinson Cano is only the big name, though with King Felix on the mound and Fernando Rodney in the closer’s role, runs will be tough to come by, even for Albert Pujols and company. Jered Weaver should do well himself for the Angels, but it will take a team effort for the Angels to come out on top.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB Playoffs, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals