The race for the National league 2nd wild card birth is full on! But who will go to face Atlanta for a shot at having home field advantage for the first two games against the Washington Nationals? Here is the MLB playoff update.
By: John Ryan -
The Cardinals got what they
needed and are one game up on the Dodgers for the second wild card berth in the
National League. Philadelphia went to Houston where for whatever reason can’t
seem to play well and they did exactly that losing three-of-four games. They
now trail the Cardinals by four games with 17 games remaining.
Oakland won Sunday and ensured
their first winning record season since 1997. They have bigger aspirations, of
course, trailing the Al east leading NY yankees by just one game. The Oriole
shave five remaining series left and none of them against the Yankees so all
they can do is take care of their own business and win. They will play the next
three at Seattle and should be able to win the first two game before having to
face Hernandez in the finale.
They then will go to Fenway,
where Bobby Valentine is being blamed for the last second missed field goal
attempt causing the Patriots to lose to the Cardinals and were installed as
double digit favorites. There is something to say, though, about bad chemistry,
bad kharma, and Bobby Valentine has once again had to retract statements he
made about this being the worst roster in Red Sox history. Here again, I think
Baltimore goes to Fenway and wins two-of three games. They will then return
home for seven straight games with four against Toronto and three against the
Red Sox. The season finale will be a three-game series at Tampa Bay and by then
the Rays are likely to have been eliminated. So, my estimate for the Orioles
down the stretch is to post an 11-5 run down the stretch to finish at 93-69 for
The Yankees took two-of-three
form the Rays and have backed them into a corner and for practical purposes are
out of the race for the division crown and on the brink of elimination for the
second wild card berth. The Yankees start a 3-game series against Toronto, then
face the very hot Oakland A’s for three games. Two of these though start at
1:05 PM and that equates to 10:05 PM ET for the A’s internal clock so that may
favor the Yankees a bit more in winning the series. Yet, only a fool would
underestimate the powerful potential of the Oakland A’s.
Making a long story short, i see
the Yankees completing their remaining regular season schedule with a 10-6
record and being in a tie with the Orioles for the division crown. Anaheim’s
remaining schedule is brutal with six games against the Rangers, three against
the Chicago White Sox, and six against Seattle. So, the East will be won by
Baltimore in a playoff and then the Yankees and Texas Rangers will play a
one-game play-in game to face the Oakland A’s in the ALCS. How do you like
that? But, that is how I see it today!
By: John Ryan -
MLB Playoff Update
A month ago, the focus was on the
incredible race in the American League where no less than eight teams were
within 2 ½ games of each other for divisional and wild card berths. Now, the
National League has joined the excitement and we are at the point where every
game for these contenders takes on huge consequences.
The Dodgers got a huge win
Saturday, but also received some catastrophic news about their ace starter
Clayton Kershaw, who is dealing with inflammation in his right hip. This is a
critical injury as the right hip and right knee are critical to a left hander’s
mechanics and power. If he is not able to plant that right leg without pain or
tightness, he becomes an average starter at best even though he is the
defending Cy Young award winner.
Not often do you find a situation
in MLB where one starter can have this dramatic effect on the playoff race, but
clearly this gives a lift to the Cardinal chances for gaining the second wild
One thing is certain though in
this uncertain playoff race. The team that gains the second wild card berth
will travel to the Atlanta Braves for one game. Should they win that game they
will then host the first two games of the NLDS against the Nationals. Not a bad
opportunity at all given that the Nationals have decided to shelve Stephen
Strasburg as a starter.
Whoever does face the Nationals
in the NLDS will have a solid opportunity to defeat them. The Nationals are
making a huge mistake not bringing back Stephen Strasburg for the playoffs even
if used just for a few innings of middle relief. It is hard enough for any team
to make it to the playoffs, but when you do, you have go into them with all
guns on deck. Period.
Right now, betting on the
Cardinals and Braves to win the Pennant appear to be solid ‘dark horse’