Off to the Races
The Angels: Biggest PostSeason Threat
It’s that time of year again for baseball fans. Teams will rally and teams will fall in epic and moribund fashion alike. Die-hard fans hope for the playoffs like children who hear the sound of the ice cream truck, but just can’t see it anywhere. While, for the most part, the American League seems pretty set, the National League has several teams waging a playoff battle as savage as a Michael Vick dogfight.
On Wednesday night, the Cubs completed their improbable run to first place, leap-frogging the bumbling Brew Crew by one game. The game was won in a quirky manner, as the go-ahead run was scored because Ken Griffey Jr. apparently injured himself trying to throw the ball really, really hard.
Though the Cubs’ magic number is still 9, I have to pick them to take the division. Besides Ben Sheets, who went down again from injury, and Yovani Gallardo, the Brewers do not have a proven starter with an ERA under 4.5. Their offense, which boasts five players with over 20 homers, is much better then the Cub’s feeble bat brigade, but won’t be enough to reclaim the division. Rotation rocks like Ted Lilly and the surprising Rich Hill will lead the charge into 1st place, unless Carlos Zambrano murders the whole team before then.
Out yonder in the NL West, the Arizona D’Backs are doing their thing without the aid of 90-year-old, 6-10 southpaw starters. With Brandon Webb for an ace and Jose Valverde (46 saves!) slamming the door, Arizona has done well enough without their resident AARP representative. Their battle for supremacy against the Padres should be interesting, as both teams have glaring weaknesses. San Diego may have a team ERA of 3.61 and uber-ace Jake Peavy, but their team batting average is a painful .250. The Diamondbacks face similar offensive woes. Ultimately, San Diego’s rotation will put them over the top.
Dont blame Willie, He’s Always Been Low-Key
Finally, there is the case of the Incredible Shrinking Mets, who have seen their lead dwindle to a mere 1.5 games. I don’t see why this is so surprising, as I’ve been waiting all season for their pitching (mainly the bullpen) to fall apart. They won games with Jose Reyes, surprising pitching performances, and Jose Reyes. Now Reyes, who I am convinced is a cloned cyborg of Ricky Henderson, is only batting about .210, and the pitching is showing it’s true colors. The Phillies, who have scored a ridiculous amount of runs this season, need only to sit back and watch the Mets self-terminate.
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