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20 weeks into the season and there’s still plenty of drama. Boston and Arizona are faltering, Milwaukee is cruising and the White Sox are back in the race for the AL Central. While the Yankees and Giants are on their way up, St. Louis can still be pretty much counted out. Houston can officially be counted out, by the way. With teams starting to throw everything on the table to nab a playoff spot, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Tuesday, August 23, before the day’s games:
Milwaukee is still quite good, though they did just drop a game to the Pirates, and the Dodgers five games before that. However, those have been their only losses since August 11. Atlanta has won five in a row themselves, those those were against the Cubs, D-Backs and Giants. With these teams’ records so close, Milwaukee’s pitching edge and Milwaukee’s MLB best 47-16 home record, the Brew Crew has the edge here.
Detroit has impressively won four in a row. New York still has some holes in their rotation, but when they’re on they’re on. With C.C. Sabathia no longer a sure thing and Justin Verlander mowing down competition, Games 1 and 5 look to belong to Detroit. However, Ivan Nova and Bartolo Colon give the Yankees a chance in the meantime. Right now, this series relies on a pivotal Game 4; New York’s best chance is to go with C.C. on short rest in an all-or-nothing bid.
Boston is going into a tailspin right now, with sub-par pitching and a suddenly lackluster offense causing a 4-6 record in their last 10. Texas is maintaining a 4.5-game lead over the Angels, and continues their dominance against Boston this season (4-0, all in Texas), despite recent struggles against the White Sox. Looking at the year and recent memory, Texas has Boston’s number.