As the MLB regular season begins to wrap up, the NL and AL playoff races could not be more different. Over in the AL, a loss could mean you demise... Every game is full of tension and every day it seems, the playoff races is completely redefined. In the senior circuit (the NL), it seems like the teams who are still fighting to get into the playoffs don't want to be there. The Cardinals, Pirates, and Dodgers seemed to be locked in a 3 team race destined to go down to the wire just a mere 2 weeks ago. The Pirates were fading, but they had hung around all year and could not yet be counted out. But in what seems to be becoming a theme in the Cardinals and Dodgers season... They couldn't put them away. The Cardinals and Dodgers have 2 of the more talented squads in the National League ( especially after the Dodgers trade with the Boston Red Sox at the end of August). Both teams started the season hot and appeared to be real playoff contenders. Both now appear to be backing into the playoffs. Over the last 10 games both the Cardinals and Dodgers have 3-7 records. They have performed so poorly lately that the Phillies and Brewers have both clawed back into the playoff races and they were both sub .500 baseball teams at the time of the big trade by the Dodgers. So that leads me to the question in my title from the famous Bill Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day off. Does anyone want to go to the playoffs? Anyone?
With just over 2 weeks left I just don't know if anyone has it in them right now. Do any of these teams have the talent to make a playoff run like the Cardinals did last year? Absolutely. These are talented and dangerous teams, but whether you call it bad luck, lack of fortitude, or lack of mental strength these teams are not closing down the playoff race like they should be. The Phillies and Brewers while battling back into the race have not played as solid of baseball over the course of the season as the "front runners", but have talent nonetheless. The problem the Brewers will begin to run into is they have shut down several pitchers because their season was supposed to be over. Likewise the Phillies have traded several key pieces. The Cardinals will likely take the final playoff spot because they have a much easier slate of opponents remaining ( 9 games vs. Cubs and Astros) as compared to the Dodgers playing 2 playoff teams this week.
In the Junior Circuit, we could not have a better race. The Orioles and Yankees seem to be switching spots a couple of times a week. Oakland of all teams is finding away to win games and has the Angles looking up at them (gosh that makes me sad after they spent all that money to bring in big names to make them a contender...) This race is going to go down to the wire and even though I am not a betting man, I am making no predictions about what team is going to the world series from this half of the bracket.... heck I'm not sure I even can predict how this Wild Card is going to come out. But I know its going to fun to watch for any baseball fan.
Alright folks, its late, and its be a long day... Enjoy your week and thanks for reading
T.O. signing out