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The W - Baseball - MLB division races
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TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 102 days
Last activity: 102 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
It's shaping up to be an awesome September, with five of the six divisions separated by less than six games and both wild card races just as tight.

AL East:
Yankees (76-52) --
Red Sox (71-58) 5.5 GB
Blue Jays (68-61) 8.5 GB

I offer Toronto's standing here only because them winning the division or wild card are technically possibly and not quite yet in the realm of completely ridiculous, though I think it's highly unlikely. Anyway, that five-game sweep was obviously huge for the Yankees, and I really don't see the Red Sox coming back from this deficit. The two teams play once more - a four-game series in New York starting on Sept. 15 - and the Sox need to win at least three of those four as well as have a great month otherwise to have a chance, I think. The Yankees, A-Rod struggles aside, have been playing pretty well.

AL Central:
Tigers (81-49) --
Twins (76-52) 4 GB
White Sox (75-54) 5.5 GB

I don't know who to root for here. I'm not particularly a fan of either Detroit or Minnesota, but both are great stories. I like the Twins because of their recent surge, but really I think that the Tigers are going to get their act together and stop this slump, putting the division away in the process, and also that the Twins are going to make the playoffs as the wild card. As for the White Sox, Ozzie Guillen is an ass and I can't root for them as a result, and I also can't help but think their recent recession, which is just as due to the Twins being red hot as it is the Sox struggling, isn't due at least in small part to the fact that Guillen's players, behind closed doors, must think he's a complete fucking idiot. Just my opinion, anyway. Detroit plays a four-game series at Minnesota starting Sept. 7 and a three-game series in Chicago beginning on Sept. 18, while Minnesota hosts the White Sox for a three-game series to end the year. Those three series could be what decides this division and the AL wild card.

AL West:
A's (74-55) --
Angels (69-61) 5.5 GB
Rangers (66-65) 9 GB

Oakland has been another surging team that's been fun to watch. I'll be honest, I don't know much about the AL West. Based on what I know about this land of mystery, I'd say the A's - the only team in the division I really could talk about fairly intelligently - should continue to pull away, but someone who knows more about the Angels may disagree.Oakland plays: Texas tonight, and in a three-game series at Arlington starting Sept. 4; and the Angels at home for a three-game series starting Sept. 22 and on the road for a four-game set to close the season; the Rangers host the Angels for four games starting Sept. 14 and play three games at Angels Stadium starting Sept. 25. So I guess the good news for Texas is that, if they want to crawl back into this race, they have a few series where they can do some damage. Same for the Angels.

AL Wild Card:
Twins (76-52) --
White Sox (75-54) 1.5 GB
Red Sox (71-58) 5.5 GB
Angels (69-61) 8 GB
Blue Jays (68-61) 8.5 GB

Like I said, I think the Twins finish the season hot to put the wild card away, but I also wouldn't be shocked to see either the Tigers fall to second and take it, or the Red Sox get hot and overcome the Twins. I guess I'll begrudgingly admit the White Sox have a very good chance of overtaking the Twins as well.

NL East:
Mets (162-0) --
The Mets are the only team in baseball that can count on a playoff spot at this point. Easily the best team in the National League. I think a lot of people predicted they would be very good this year, but not this good. Even someone had told me in April that the Mets would only have a record one game worse than that of the Tigers, my response would have been "you think the Mets are going to be that bad?" not "you think the Mets are going to have the second-best record in baseball?"

NL Central:
Cardinals (68-60) --
Reds (67-63) 2 GB
Brewers (62-67) 6.5 GB
Astros (62-68) 7 GB

AKA, the Division Nobody Wants to Win. St. Louis was hot for the first half of the year, hanging around with Detroit and the Mets in the race for the best record in baseball. Then Pujols got hurt, and they haven't been back on track since. Carpenter is still Carpenter, though. And nobody saw this coming from the Reds. I remember an animated debate between Quezzy and me about the Brewers' merits before the season, but Cincinnati? Anyway, I gotta go with the Cardinals here for a three reasons: they have better players, they have a better manager and they have better fans (including me). This team has dominated the division since the turn of the century and, while this season is obviously far from "dominant," I gotta think that experience and subsequent pride will push them to return to form. St. Louis and the Reds don't play each other anymore this year, while the Cardinals host Houston for a three-game series starting Sept. 12 and go to Houston for a four-game stand starting Sept. 21. The Astros and Reds play once more, a three-game series in Cincinnati starting Sept. 18, but I don't see that series (or any other the Astros play in) having any impact on the division race.

NL West:
Dodgers (67-62) --
Padres (66-63) 1 GB
Giants (64-66) 3.5 GB
Diamondbacks (63-66) 4 GB
Rockies (60-69) 7 GB

I think this division is better than you'd think looking at the records. For one thing, *nobody* in the National League save for the Mets is really that good. The Dodgers have of course been on fire since the All-Star break, cooling off a little bit recently. I like the Padres and actually think they'll take the division. I'm not going to list these teams' remaining in-division games because it's too many teams and this post is taking too long already. I will, however, mention a four-game series in Sana Diego between the Padres and Dodgers starting on Sept. 15 as probably the most important on that long list, and the series that I think will give the Padres the division title.

NL Wild Card:
Reds (67-63) --
Padres (66-63) .5 GB
Phillies (65-64) 1.5 GB
Giants (64-66) 3 GB
Marlins (62-66) 4 GB

Actually here, I see the Reds cooling off (as much as you can cool off from being 67-63 ... *scintillating*) and the Dodgers taking the wild card after the Padres pass them. There are four other teams within seven games of the Reds, but who really cares. I posted this many as an excuse to say that I was wrong to criticize whoever in the mid-season awards thread suggested Girardi as MOTY. In the mediocre NL, he has them in contention, and that's impressive, even if he ultimately shouldn't win the award.

In summary: this post took me way too long to write, and it was a mistake to even start it. If it hadn't been for the fact that by the time I got to the NL Central, I realized I had already invested 25 minutes into it, I wouldn't have even bothered finishing. Also, at this point, I'd say the Twins go to the series from the AL and either the Mets or Cards go from the NL, depending on the health and/or durability of Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez (not to mention Mark Mulder).



"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."

--George Carlin
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StingArmy
Andouille








Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

Since last post: 48 days
Last activity: 21 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.91
All these months and I STILL cannot get used to the idea of not hearing the Braves mentioned when talking about the playoffs. Sigh.

- StingArmy
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 102 days
Last activity: 102 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by StingArmy
    All these months and I STILL cannot get used to the idea of not hearing the Braves mentioned when talking about the playoffs. Sigh.

    - StingArmy


Well they ARE only six games back in the wild card race...

Not to get your hopes up or anything.



"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."

--George Carlin
Quezzy
Knackwurst








Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.01
Well you won't get much argument from this time around Bucs Fan. As much as I'd like to be right about the Cards not winning the division I still think the Reds are going to fade (although I've been saying that all season and they haven't). Don't know who wins the West for sure but I do think Dodgers and Padres win the West and Wild Card. I hope the Padres win. I'd rather the Mets not face Piazza and Cameron in the first round so I can cheer for them both.

The Braves tried to make a run. Their offense was on fire in July and now their pitching is doing really good. Smoltz has actually put on a very good season with not much recognition. Chuck James and Villarreal have a ERA just over 3 this month, and even Hudson who was horrible this season, has a 2.97 ERA in August. Problem is, as soon as they started pitching, they stopped hitting. If they actually did both at the same time they could maybe make a run in September. If I were facing the Braves, i'd just never throw them strikes. Almost all of them swing at garbage all the time. Andruw, Franceour, and Laroche have all passed 100 Ks and Giles will probably get there too.



Lance's Response:

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It's False
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

Since last post: 4 days
Last activity: 1 day
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.82
Regarding the AL West:

I'm almost ready to throw in the towel with the Angels because no matter how much they win, Oakland always seems to win one more. However, here's something to remember. While the A's go on a tear in August, they typically fizzle in September. Considering that these two teams play 7 out of 10 games to end the season, the division is very much up in the air.

But the Angels DO need to be closer than 5.5 games back if they want a chance to catch up.

Oh, and am I the only one who thinks that the playoffs need to be expanded? There's something unfair about knowing a lot of really good teams (Minnesota, Chicago, Boston; Cincinatti, Philadelphia) stand to miss the playoffs despite having outstanding seasons.



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Since: 9.7.02
From: Sleep (That's where I'm a viking)

Since last post: 548 days
Last activity: 6 days
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Y!:
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.94
    Originally posted by It's False
    Oh, and am I the only one who thinks that the playoffs need to be expanded? There's something unfair about knowing a lot of really good teams (Minnesota, Chicago, Boston; Cincinatti, Philadelphia) stand to miss the playoffs despite having outstanding seasons.


Cincinnati is 67-63. Philadelphia is 65-64. Neither are having "outstanding" seasons.

While I wouldn't mind adding an additional playoff team or two to each league, I wouldn't want the playoffs to extend into November. Shorten the season to 156 games, then add the extra round, and maybe I'll get behind it.



TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 102 days
Last activity: 102 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by It's False
    Regarding the AL West:

    I'm almost ready to throw in the towel with the Angels because no matter how much they win, Oakland always seems to win one more. However, here's something to remember. While the A's go on a tear in August, they typically fizzle in September. Considering that these two teams play 7 out of 10 games to end the season, the division is very much up in the air.

    But the Angels DO need to be closer than 5.5 games back if they want a chance to catch up.

    Oh, and am I the only one who thinks that the playoffs need to be expanded? There's something unfair about knowing a lot of really good teams (Minnesota, Chicago, Boston; Cincinatti, Philadelphia) stand to miss the playoffs despite having outstanding seasons.


I'd say this year's AL is as good an argument you'll get FOR an expanded playoff.

Conversly, I'd say this year's NL is as good an argument you'll get AGAINST an expanded playoff.



"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."

--George Carlin
Quezzy
Knackwurst








Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.01
I don't see any reason to expand the playoffs. So a good team doesn't get in, so what? They should've done better. I'd rather a good team like Chicago get left out than a team that doesn't deserve it like Philadelphia gets in. Last year the NL didn't even have enough teams for the 4 spots there are now. I think the other leagues that have 16 teams go to the playoffs are ridiculous, why should the 16th place team get a shot at the championship?



Lance's Response:

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JayJayDean
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: Seattle, WA

Since last post: 13 hours
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Y!:
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.46
    Originally posted by Quezzy
    I don't see any reason to expand the playoffs.


I wouldn't be opposed to them adding two more teams in each league. It would help the AL get past the whole Boston/NY-obsession, and while I *know* the Sox are out as of today that's (pretty much) only because Varitek got hurt. It would also be a good way to penalize the wild card teams by going to an NFL-style playoff format where the top two seeds get a bye.

Obviously sometimes "bad" teams are going to get in, but that has been the case since they split to two divisions, anyway.

However, I'd say there's a pretty long list of things to fix in MLB BEFORE you get to the number of playoff teams.



"You know what you need?
Some new quotes in your sig.
Yeah, I said it."
-- DJFrostyFreeze

Quezzy
Knackwurst








Since: 6.1.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.01
I will say that one good thing out of a 12 team playoff would be the first place team getting a first round bye. Since the current rules for the playoff matchups are simply the wild card team can't face the team in their division, the first place team might not necessarily play the fourth place team, they could play the third place team while the second place team plays the fourth place team. Plus the World Series home field advantage doesn't necessarily go to the team with the best record. Therefore it's possible the team with the best overall record could get pretty screwed by having to face #3 instead of #4 AND not getting home field advantage throughout. So it would be nice to gurantee the team with the best record a first round bye at least.

Still, I'd rather they didn't change it.



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