With only 2 weeks to go, here are the division and WC standings:
AL EAST Tampa Bay 88-59 - -- (This week: Boston, Minnesota) Boston 88-61 - 1 GB (This week: @Tampa Bay, @Toronto)
Ok, I acknowledge that counting Toronto last week was a bit premature. If they hadn't lost out to Boston this weekend, they'd be right up here. But now it's REALLY a two-team race, with both teams at 88 wins going into Monday's pivotal head-to-head clash. Whether the winner gets the division remains to be seen, but the winner WILL have a psychological edge if they meet again in the ALCS.
AL CENTRAL Chicago 83-65 - -- (This week: @New York, @Kansas City) Minnesota 82-67 - 1.5 GB (This week: @Cleveland, @Tampa Bay)
These teams are both very close in the standings, but Chicago has a shot to pull away with a series against Kansas City to end the week. The Twins will have their hands full against Cliff Lee's Indians and a Tampa Bay team looking to lock up the AL East. If Chicago doesn't pull away now, the Twins will be licking their chops for their head-to-head series next week.
AL WEST Los Angeles of Anaheim 92-57 - --
Congratulations to Francisco Rodriguez on his save record. See you in New York, Frankie!
AL WILD CARD Boston -- Minnesota 6 GB
Unless something drastic happens, the AL WC goes through the East.
NL EAST New York 83-65 - -- (This week: @Washington, @Atlanta) Philadelphia 83-67 - 1 GB (This week: @Atlanta, @Florida)
The Phillies are getting hot and that doesn't bode well for the Mets. Worse yet, they have a series against the Cubs looming next week while the Phils can coast for the rest of the season against sub-.500 teams. The Phillies look like they might come out of this one ahead, meaning the Mets had better hope the Brewers' collapse continues.
NL CENTRAL Chicago 89-58 - -- (This week: @"Houston", Milwaukee, St. Louis) Milwaukee 83-67 - 7.5 GB (This week: @Chicago, @Cincinnati)
Brewers fans are re-living the end of 2007 again. This collapse has to hurt that much more, knowing the pieces were in place for a big playoff run. And the Cubs are starting to get their act together just in time. Zambrano's shown he's ready. If Harden's ready, then they're the WS favorites again. Furthermore, they can wipe the Brewers off the AL Central map at Wrigley later this week.
NL WEST Los Angeles 77-72 - -- (This week: @Pittsburgh, San Francisco) Arizona 72-76 - 4.5 GB (This week: San Francisco, @Colorado)
The D-Backs are hoping for a total Dodger collapse now, and while that isn't unprecedented, it probably isn't happening. Keep an eye on the Giants, who have series against both these teams this week. If anyone LOVES to spoil a Dodger party, it's San Francisco. And did I mention that they've won eight of their last ten?
NL WILD CARD Milwaukee - -- Philadelphia - -- Houston - 2 GB St. Louis - 4.5 GB
The Brewers and Phils (or Mets) should be fighting for the Wild Card spot for the rest of the season. The Astros are getting totally hosed by having two "home" games in Milwaukee. You're seriously telling me that there isn't a single other ballpark in the state of Texas? I'm looking for the Astros to fall off the grid this week, with the Brewers right behind them after they get shelled by the Cubs. The NL WC also goes through the East.
I like Roy Halladay, but in the 2 biggest starts of his career last week he went 0-2. The Saturday night game blown lead was the death of the Blue Jays though. Does Bobby Cox consider his season a success if the Braves taking 2 out of 3 from the Mets this weekend leads to another Mets collapse? Mets saving grace might be the Cubs having everything wrapped up when they go to Shea next week, and the Brewers might provide them a playoff spot due to default. Ned Yost can't survive if the Brewers fall out of it. Even if the Dodgers collapse at this point, I don't think the Diamondbacks can win enough games to catch them. Shocked the Orioles didn't complete the collapse in the 9th against the Twins on Sunday, and that might be the loss that costs the Twins a playoff spot, because the Orioles have outright quit on the season. Again. And I wouldn't discount Detroit in the K-Rod sweepstakes, as they desperately need him to solidify a leaky pen.
Originally posted by It's FalseThe Astros are getting totally hosed by having two "home" games in Milwaukee. You're seriously telling me that there isn't a single other ballpark in the state of Texas?
The Rangers said that MLB never even called them. But, they were on the road yesterday and have a three game series against Detroit today through Wed. So, they could have easily played yesterday in the Rangers' ballpark. Then, they could have either played this afternoon and then had the Tigers-Rangers game tonight as scheduled. Or, they could have had the Astros-Cubs this evening and move the Rangers-Detroit back to Tues-Thurs. (because both teams have an off day on Thursday).
MLB's explanation was that they didn't want to inconvenience four teams, so they never even asked the Ranger or Tiger organizations if they were willing to accomodate the schedule change. And, as I'm working outside here in suburban Dallas with absolutely perfect weather (73 degress and sunny), I can't help but think there would be no better thing than knocking off work early and enjoying this glorious weather at a baseball game. Especially given it would be a rare chance to see my Astros live.
Yay. I'll actually go a bit further and say that it should've been done five minutes after the Aramis Ramirez/Kenny Lofton for Bobby Hill/Jose Hernandez/Minor Leaguer deal in 2003. Great Moments of the Littlefield Era are highlighted below: