Where Are All The Playoff Races?

It’s August 3rd so let’s take a look at what to expect for MLB playoff races during the next two months .

In the AL East, the Red Sox lead the Yankees by just one game, but the Yankees are up seven games in the Wild Card race. Cool Standings gives the Sox a 97.3 percent chance of making the postseason while the Bronx Bombers have a 97.7 percent chance. Tampa Bay? They are 10 games back in the Wild Card and have just a 1.3 percent chance of playing baseball in October.

The AL Central boasts zero teams with a positive run-differential (yikes!). The race is tight though as Detroit leads Cleveland by three games. Of course, that’s a decent chunk and gives the Tigers much better odds to make the playoffs than the Indians have (61.3 percent vs. 24.4 percent). In the past two months though, Cleveland is 21-32. To put that in perspective, Kansas City was 22-32 in that time. Yes, the Indians just acquired Ubaldo Jiminez but there’s still a lot of questions around his velocity. Given the Indians performance the past two months, a 24.4 percent chance of making the playoffs seems generous.

In the West, there actually is a good race. Texas and Los Angeles are just a game apart. The teams have gone back and forth all year, but Texas upgraded its bullpen at the deadline while the Angels did nothing. Cool Standings gives Texas 62.7 percent odds at reaching the postseason while the Angels have just a 39.0 percent chance.

So in the American League, I only see the AL West as a real playoff race. Detroit is going to pull away and Boston and New York will battle for the AL East, with the loser earning a playoff berth via the Wild Card. That’s pretty weak overall. Continue reading “Where Are All The Playoff Races?”

The AL East is Too Good

Go check out the AL East division and look at who is leading it.

Tampa? Nope
Boston? Nope
New York? Nope

It’s the Toronto Blue Jays. They are 27-19, even though they have lost five in a row. They are a half game ahead of both the Yankees and Red Soxwho are both 25-18. Meanwhile, the Rays are 22-23 and sit 3.5 games back. Sound like a stacked division? It is.

Let’s look a little deeper into the AL East’s dominance:

The Blue Jays, Rays, and Yankees are 1, 2, and 3 respectively in runs scored while the Red Sox are 8th amongst all of Major League Baseball. All four teams are in the top 6 in team OPS in baseball. Without a doubt, these are four of the top offenses in baseball and they are all in the same division, facing each other day in and day out. Continue reading “The AL East is Too Good”

2009 American League East Preview

Time to reveal my predictions for the best division in baseball, the AL East.

Predicted Standings
1. Boston Red Sox
2. New York Yankees
3. Tampa Bay Rays
4. Toronto Blue Jaysjon-lester1
5. Baltimore Orioles

Best Hitter: Kevin Youkilis
Best Pitcher: C.C. Sabathia

Red Sox

The Sox have an aging, but powerful lineup and a strong, deep pitching staff that will eventually lead them to the division title. Reigning AL MVP Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis lead a lineup that also includes Jason Bay, David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, and J.D. Drew. The final three all have injury concerns though and Jason Varitek isn’t going to provide much offense at the bottom of the order. Josh Beckett and Jon Lester lead a rotation that is deeper than any other starting staff in the majors with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, and Brad Penny rounding it up. John Smoltz is due back in June and Clay Buchholz is still in Triple-A though he is major-league ready. Papelbon leads a dominating bullpen that posses multiple pitchers capable of being set-up men. The Sox dominating pitchers and powerful lineup make them a definite candidate for the AL East. For a more in depth preview of the Sox, check the Red Sox page in the upcoming days. Continue reading “2009 American League East Preview”