With each passing week, the MLB playoff picture gets tighter and fans of the contending teams increase their debates and hopes for the teams on sports radio and various internet outlets. What are the odds that your team makes it into October?
The American League Hunt for
The New York Yankees are in
trouble despite being 20 games over the .500 level and leading the AL East by 3
½ games over the Baltimore Orioles and four games over the Tampa Bay Rays. A
once double digit lead in the division has now been reduced to the
aforementioned marginal distances by not one, but two teams.
In the AL central, it remains a
two team race with the Chicago White Sox leading the Detroit Tigers by three
games. In the West division, the Rangers are holding off an incredible run by
the Oakland A’s leading them by just 4 ½ games.
There remain five teams competing
for the two wild card berths. Oakland holds the first wild card berth leading
Baltimore by one game, who owns the second wild card berth. Tampa Bay trails
Baltimore for the second playoff berth by just ½ game, Detroit by two games,
and the Los Angeles by 3 ½ games.
Playing Against the Yankees
I ran the statistical
calculations based on the remaining schedule of the Yankees and they have a 9%
probability of not making the playoffs. Just yesterday marked the one-year
anniversary of the incredible winning surge by the Cardinals to reach the
playoffs by winning the wild card berth on the last weekend of the season. They
trailed the Braves by 9 ½ games with just 28 games left before embarking on
their historic run. So, can lightning strike twice in consecutive years and
will it be inflicted upon the seemingly immune storied history of the Yankees?
I think it is worth a look.
The Yankees have Thursday off and
will be traveling down the I-95 corridor past Philadelphia to Baltimore for a
playoff type three-game series. The matchups favor the Orioles, and MLB odds makers will likely favor them to take a
minimum of 2-of-3 games. After this series, the Yankees will travel to Tampa
Bay for another critical three-game series. They will have Monday off,
September 10, but then will have traveled up the East Coast to play a
three-game set against the Red Sox, who are out of playoff contention, but like
nothing more than to add to the Yankees failing to make the playoffs. So, the
next nine games, I feel strongly that you will make money playing against the
Although a long shot, I would not be surprised at all to see the
Yankees NOT leading the Al East division entering a three-game home set against
the Rays September 14.
The National League Hunt for
The Washington Nationals lead the
Braves by five games in the National League East division. The NL Central has
the Cincinnati Reds leading by a very comfortable eight game lead over the St.
Louis Cardinals and nine games over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The West is the
tightest of the three divisional races with the San Francisco Giants leading
the LA Dodgers by 3 ½ games.
The National League Wild Card
berths are currently held by the Atlanta Braves, who have a 2 ½ game lead over
the Cardinals, who own the second wild card berth. The Pirates trail the
Cardinals by one game and the Dodgers by 1 ½ games. So, essentially this is a
four-team race for the two wild card berths.
The Washington Nationals should
certainly reconsider the shutting down of ace starter Stephen Strasburg if
their true top priority is win the World Series. I need to point one simple
fact why the Nationals should go for now when they are contention. The
Philadelphia Phillies are showing the depth they have in their farm system.
Last night, Tyler Cloyd, who was awarded the International League MVP award
with a 15-2 record and a 2.25 ERA and received the Phillies Paul Owens award
for being selected the best Phillies pitcher in the farm system, made his MLB
Moreover, the Phillies will be
calling up minor league standout Ruf, who just broke Ryan Howard’s minor league
home run record with 38 bombs and 18 of these home runs have occurred over the
past five weeks. So, there never is a guarantee that any team can become a
perennial playoff contender and the Nationals need to wake up, stop drinking the
protect Strasburg kool-aid, and win now.
I encourage all of you to visit all of my threads starting with the MLB with John Ryan thread, and then spend time with other knowledgeable sources and bloggers on the NFL with John Ryan 2012, and the NCAA Football 2012 with John Ryan. These threads were among the most popular on the internet for the simple reason that people, like you, are interested in providing and exchanging meaningful handicapping information.