I admittedly was distracted with Football coming back, so let me refocus just a little and take a hard look at things in Baseball and where things stand:
- AL East. Boston remains on top by three games and is starting to show some momentum. They’ve won four in a row, while the Yankees have lost four in a row. With Boston and the Yankees chasing I imagine that there will be some media driven MLB focus if it remains into September.
- AL Central. Cleveland and Kansas City have cooled off, but Cleveland now has a 2.5 game lead on KC, who had better hope they don’t have to play on the road much more cause they struggle there.
- AL West. Houston is up 15 games, but man they are 4-6 their last ten. Guess that decision to stand pat at the trade deadline might not have been as smart as they thought. Was sorry to read that King Felix was placed on the DL for biceps tendinitis.
- NL East. Washington is up 13 and are cruising. They are 5-5 over last ten.
- NL Central. I really thought Chicago would run and hide by now, but Milwaukee is only 0.5 GB while Pittsburgh and St. Louis are 4.5 GB. I would expect Chicago to take off sooner rather than later.
- NL West. LA is up 15.5 and shows no signs of slowing down, in fact everytime I look they are 9-1 their last ten games. I have to wonder who in the NL will beat them.
- AL Wild Card. Yankees and KC have a tenuous grip on these spots, but there are six teams within four games, and two others five games back. So expect a roller coaster ride here.
- NL Wild Card. It’s a bit more stable here with Colorado and Arizona holding a solid lead with Milwaukee five games back, and all the rest nine games or worse back.
So while there are those who will complain about a lack of competition the rest of the way, there is also a milestone or two to keep an eye on:
- Albert Pujols is one home run away from tying Sammy Sosa for 8th on the all-time HR list with 609, and three more away from tying Jim Thome fo 7th all-time.
- Pujols is also 15 RBI’s away from 1900 for his career, and 18 away from tying Willie Mays for 10th all-time.
- I also didn’t realize that Miguel Cabrera in Detroit is sitting on 459 HR’s.
- Robby Cano in Seattle is three HR away from 300.
- Adrian Beltre is three doubles away from typing Albert Pujols for 12th (608).
It’s early August and three divisions have already been decided, so I understand some of the apparent reluctance to follow things in MLB, but August is the time where teams start moving and there may be some strong races yet to come. Of course, history suggests that there’s always a chance that one of those teams with huge leads could come back to the pack.
An example of this are some of this weeks matchups which include Boston @ Tampa, Stankees @ Toronto, Dodgers @ Arizona. Later in the week there’s Cubs @ Arizona, Cleveland @ Tampa, and Boston @ Stankees. But the one matchup that might have bearing on both teams futures are St. Louis @ Kansas City as both are in races – keep an eye on that one because the reality is that if one team dominates over another, it could be the end for the losing side.
While those are marquee matchups that will affect races to some degree, there are things to watch with those who aren’t in the races. A perfect example of this is a very good blogger who I follow that opines about the Minnesota Twins. He had an excellent write up on his opinion of how the Twins should explore August and September. He offers some sage advice for not just the Twins, but possibly for other organizations as well. If you have a free minute, Check it out here.
I get it, Monday sucks, but try to enjoy the day anyway.