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August is here, and there’s still plenty going on. Most importantly, the Biogenesis suspensions have been dished out. A-Rod is appealing, though the Yankees aren’t in the best position anyway with other teams vastly improving their records. Plenty of teams are still in the race, and the trade deadline helped out plenty of them. Especially in the East, anything could still happen, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, August 8 at 9:00pm:
A recent push has gotten the Pirates back on top of the NL, and they still don’t look to be sliding any time soon. Pittsburgh is finally gaining some headway in the division, but they’ll have to be aware of their surroundings if they want to make a deep run, because Atlanta is right on their tail, and even Los Angeles is getting better and better.
All of a sudden, Los Angeles‘ winning ways have them 5.5 games ahead in their division, the second-best divisional lead in the majors. However, the Braves are 12.5 games ahead of Washington and have won their last 10; they sit just half a game behind Pittsburgh for the NL lead. Yes, the Dodgers are very good right now, but it’s even harder to argue against what the Braves are doing right now.
The Cardinals are in a rough patch right now, but the Reds are in one just as bad. It doesn’t look to be a pretty game for either team, but the Cardinals still have home-field advantage, and Adam Wainwright while they’re at it.
Boston passed the test of Arizona to remain #1, and now turns their sights to lowly Houston. Jake Peavy bolsters a good rotation, which has plenty of young talent for depth. The lineup still has an excellent balance of speed and power, and they don’t seem to be missing Jose Iglesias much from a performance standpoint. Boston is a tough team to stop, with many different ways to win.
Don’t look now, but Detroit is up to .587, having won eight in a row and 12 of 13. That’s rocketed them ahead of Oakland for #2. Oakland is a good team, but with Detroit’s pitching, middle of the lineup and overall momentum, Detroit is going places.
Tampa is still only a game behind the Red Sox, but Cleveland is doing just as well as Detroit, having won 10 of 11. Cleveland is turning out to be a good team, already at 62 wins, but they haven’t been able to hold momentum that they’ve gotten this season. Tampa, on the other hand, hasn’t looked back ever since they got good. Tampa still has the edge here.