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August is nearly done, but plenty is still going on. The Wildcard races are very heated, the seeding is by no means determined and the Dodgers are looking to make a MASSIVE push. The AL is especially volatile, with a three-way tie for the second wildcard and a new #1. Just about anything can and will go on in the final month+ of the season, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Friday, August 24 before the day’s games:
The Nationals continue to hold sway as Stephen Strasburg’s inning count nears critical mass. They’re still doing very well, however, and they still have plenty left to compete even without their young ace.
The Cardinals have won three straight to take over the last spot, but those three wins were at home against Houston. The Cards still have a losing road record, and have been struggling to keep pace with many teams throughout the season. The Braves aren’t exactly perfect themselves, but they still have plenty to counter the Pujols-less Cardinals.
Thanks to a rough patch for the Yankees, the Rangers are back on top of the AL. They have deadly weaponry, and with the logjam of a Wildcard spot, the Rangers can expect an even easier time of things in their first series.
The Yankees are struggling, having been swept in Chicago. The Yankees will need to step things up and right their ship in a hurry, because the White Sox have already shown themselves to be capable of picking off multiple games in New York earlier in the season.
The Tigers have won three in a row, but the Rays have a massive advantage. In a tie with the Orioles and Athletics, the Tigers would have to use up Verlander and possibly another starter just to get to this game, not to mention the jet lag. It’s safe to say that if the tie remains, the rested Rays will be moving on.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, MLB Playoffs, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals