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Things are now starting to get interesting. Aside from the West, the playoff teams are pretty much set. But the seeding for those that are in is still very much to be determined. For example, the Rays are only half a game behind the Yankees, the Twins are only half a game behind the Rays, and for that matter, the Phillies are only half a game behind the Twins. The Braves have a pretty good hold on the Wildcard spot, leaving the Padres and Rockies to catch the Giants. Anything could happen in the final two weeks, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, September 20, before the day’s games:
Philly has won seven games in a row to become the third team to reach 50 home wins. The Reds are 5-5 in their last 10. With the Phillies trying to become the Miami Heat of pitching (if only they had kept Cliff Lee…), it’ll be very difficult for the Reds to win.
The Braves actually have the better record, and if it weren’t for their terrible road record, they would definitely be the favorites. They’ll still be the favorites if Tim Lincecum is’t up to speed. But as it stands, the Giants’ crowd will help them win in five.
Texas is 8-2 in their last 10 games, while the Yanks are 4-6, but with Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, and Hughes, how can the Rangers hope to contend? That’s not to mention Teixeira, Rodriguez, and Jeter, among others.
All of a sudden, the Twins are just a game back of the majors’ best record. With an excellent pitching staff and bats, and Morneau starting to work out again, the Rays will find home field disadvantage something difficult to climb out of.