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After another week, the standings show little to no signs of stabilizing. Philadelphia is back on top, Detroit and Tampa are making challenges, and here come the Red Sox, among others. Taking down the Reds helped Pujols and the Cardinals take over the division, but Corey Hart is about to return, and the Brewers are right there. Virtually anything could still happen, in a very short time, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, April 25, before the day’s games:
A change in closers has helped the Cardinals stay in contention for the division, but Philadelphia‘s pitching staff has shown that they can go deep into games and still play at an excellent level. With Adam Wainwright out for the year, St. Louis can’t keep up, even with Albert Pujols.
The Rockies have been falling lately, while the Marlins have been improving. This was emphasized by Florida taking two of three from Colorado to end this past week. If the Rockies are to have any chance right now, they’ll need Ubaldo Jimenez to return to form in a huge hurry.
New York did take care of the Orioles, but Mo has blown consecutive save chances. That and their thin pitching staff could present some problems if the delicate balance is interrupted. But for now, they’re still a potent team. And the Royals were just swept in Texas, which isn’t a death sentence since Texas is also an excellent team, but could do too much damage to the great beginning Kansas City had.
Texas has won three in a row to reclaim firm control over their division. Cleveland has lost three in a row, but still has a 1.5-game lead in their division, but losing to a previously struggling Twins team, a division rival no less, has hurt their cause. Texas’ offense will simply overwhelm Cleveland.