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Another week gone, and the Rays have finally faltered out of the division lead. For a brief moment, the Red Sox actually led the division, but then they collapsed against the Cubs. Cleveland’s still in firm command of the AL, while Philadelphia maintains a delicate lead in the NL. The Giants have built a comfortable lead in the NL West. And the Reds are collapsing in favor of the Cardinals quite rapidly. With so much volatility in the league, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, May 23 at 8:15pm:
Philadelphia is just 4-6 in their past 10, but Halladay and Lee are still going well. The Cardinals are now 2.5 games ahead of the Reds after winning two straight, but without Wainwright, it’ll still be rather difficult for them to stand up to Philadelphia’s rotation.
Just like that, the Giants are winners of five in a row to vault within a game of the NL’s top spot. Despite some early success against Tampa, the Marlins have been kind of lackluster lately. The Giants are a well-balanced machine right now, and they’ll be a tough out for anyone.
The Indians remain a powerful dynamo that can’t be kept down for long. After going 4-6 in their last 10, Tampa is now percentage points behind the Bronx Bombers. And with an 18-4 home record, Cleveland isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
The Rangers are still struggling to remain above .500 and the rest of their division. The Yankees, though 5-5 in their last 10, have leapfrogged the Rays to take the division lead, and have put together a good mix of offense and defense lately. With home-field advantage this time around, things might just turn out differently.