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June is just about done, and the standings are in quite a bit of flux. Previous division leaders are on their way out. Others are on their way up the standings. Seeding is being jumbled. Anything could happen now, and with just two weeks until the All Star Game, teams will be looking to get position before they get their players some rest. At a critical time just past the halfway mark in the season, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Monday, June 30, before the day’s games:
Thanks to San Francisco’s continuing downfall, Milwaukee is back on top. Of course, going 6-1 against the Rockies in just over a week helps. Milwaukee has shown a good amount of power in their recent run as well. Their pitching hasn’t been terrible, but they’ll want to make it as good as it can be to compete against the best.
Atlanta has won four straight, while San Francisco has lost four straight (and is percentage points above the Dodgers in the division). San Francisco can’t get things going like earlier in the season, and it will cost them.
With five straight wins, Cincinnati has the longest active streak in the majors. However, the Dodgers have been very difficult to stop lately, especially Clayton Kershaw, who hasn’t given up a run in his last three starts (including what would have been a perfect game if not for an error). Discounting one hiccup all season long, Kershaw has gone at least six innings all but once and given up no more than three runs per start. Basically, good luck stopping this guy.
Oakland has once more resumed completely running away with the AL, now 5.5 games ahead of their nearest competition. With such a well-rounded team, Oakland has made themselves into a big threat.
For some time, Detroit was having huge problems while Toronto was soaring. Now, the two seem to have switched. Toronto has lost their last three, while Detroit has gotten their bats going, even considering losing two of three to Houston. Pitching hasn’t always been there, which could cause issues against Toronto’s homer-happy lineup, though Verlander and Sherzer are still pretty great options to have in the rotation.
The Angels and Mariners have continued to work their way up the standings. The Angels have more bats, but the Mariners have one of the better ace/closer tandems in Felix Hernandez and Fernando Rodney. The Angels would counter in a sudden death game with Jered Weaver, a qualified ace in his own right. That would leave each team to the run support battle, likely giving the game to whoever can strike first.
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB Playoffs, Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays