Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sorting Out the AL Playoff Race

The National League is all but set in terms of playoff teams, barring a "New York Mets type" collapse by the Brewers, Braves, or Diamondbacks. The Phillies have clinched and are just 5 wins from the century mark. This team has dominated all season long and is definitely the favorite going into October.

With the NL all sorted out, the AL is getting quite interesting. There isn't a team within even two games of the four playoff teams, but the Red Sox are playing like crap. They've won just 2 of their last 10 and now face a tough 4 game-series against the Rays this weekend. The Red Sox are getting a little bit of help from the Orioles this week, as the O's have beaten the Rays the past two nights. If the Red Sox take 2 of 3 from the Rays, the Rays are gone, but the Angels are still in the picture. Currently the Red Sox are 4 games ahead of the Rays and 4.5 over the Angels. The Halos play those O's this weekend and are in dire need of a big winning streak. They are just 3 games back from the Rangers, but Texas is playing well and will be tough to catch. Anything can happen though, considering the Rangers and Angels will close out the season with a huge 3 game series.

The Rays play 7 games against the Yankees for the rest of the season and it will be interesting to see if the Yankees will rest their players after they clinch berth in the playoffs. The Yankees might find it beneficial that the Red Sox are out of the playoffs too, so they could just lay over versus the Rays and hope they catch them.  So it is vital for the Red Sox to start playing well and, more importantly, winning.

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