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If the Playoffs Started Today – MLB Week 17

Athletics vs Dodgers: Week 17's prediction for the World Series

The non-waiver trade deadline has passed, and many teams made big moves hoping to get into contention. David Price went to Detroit from Tampa, and Boston cleared way to bring the entire Pawtucket rotation up to the majors. With plenty of races still awfully close, it’ll be interesting to see how all the new-look teams work out in the final two months of the season. With those new teams starting to stretch their legs, let’s see what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, August 5, before the day’s games:

National League

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers

A minor setback over the past few days hasn’t stopped the Dodgers, who remain 1.5 games ahead in both the league and division. With so many good bats in the lineup, if the Dodgers go into October healthy they should be fine. That’s especially true when adding their rather powerful rotation into the mix.

#2 Washington Nationals vs #3 Milwaukee Brewers

Both sides are neck-and-neck for home-field advantage. Neither is at its best, but Milwaukee is still having divisional problems after dropping the last two in a three-game set in St Louis, now just a game ahead in that race. Matt Garza has also been placed on the DL by Milwaukee with rib problems, and with one less ace in the rotation, Washington‘s odds just got better.

#W1 San Francisco Giants vs #W2 St Louis Cardinals

Both sides participated in the raiding of the Red Sox’ rotation, with Jake Peavy going to San Francisco and John Lackey to the Cardinals. Neither should come into play in a sudden death game, but St Louis has a superior top of the rotation in Adam Wainwright (always great for a one-and-done scenario) despite giving up a bat in Allen Craig to get Lackey.

American League

#1 Oakland Athletics

Oakland gave up Yoenis Cespedes, a power middle of the order bat, to further boost their rotation by adding Jon Lester. They also got Jonny Gomes in the deal, so it wasn’t a total loss for the lineup. With such a strong rotation, Oakland should just have to score three or four runs a game to get an easy win.

#2 Baltimore Orioles vs #3 Detroit Tigers

Baltimore is still going nicely, but with Detroit nabbing an attractive trade deadline prize in David Price, they’ve given themselves another rotation, along the lines of the Dodgers and Athletics, that can easily hang with anyone. And Detroit didn’t have to give up anyone terribly important to get him. Baltimore, even with how they’ve been doing, will have to be on their game to have a shot.

#W1 Los Angeles Angels vs #W2 Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto has lost their last three games (in Houston), which isn’t a good sign. That’s not just because it was Houston, but because Los Angeles is still a highly dangerous team, only a game behind Oakland for the majors’ best record. Toronto certainly could pick off a game, but Los Angeles will be even more psyched up than usual and retains a significant advantage.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • With the Blue Jays in a tough spot (vs BAL, vs DET), the Mariners (vs ATL, vs CWS) have the best chance to move ahead.
  • Look for Milwaukee (vs SF, vs LAD) to fall out of the division lead, likely to Pittsburgh (vs MIA, vs SD).

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