Friday, September 28, 2007

Race to the Finish!

(It only reads well if you say it in the Super Smash Brothers voice)

The American League is all but locked in. The only thing left to determine is who plays where, and let's be honest, that's the boring part. Playing for home field advantage, regardless of the sport, has a lot less flavor than playing to squeeze into the playoffs.

Which leads us to the National League. If you haven't taken a look at the standings recently (Michael), I suggest you take a moment and look at what's going on in the senior circuit. Precisely zero teams have locked up playoffs berths. The NL East is tied between the Mets and Phillies, and the loser will likely not make the playoffs. The Cubs have the largest division lead at 2 games, and with a series at Cincinnati should be able to wrap up the division before the Sunday, but nothing is certain in the wild NL Central. And the loser of that race will not make the playoffs.

Which brings us to the most exciting and seemingly strongest division in the NL, the West. The Diamondbacks have a slender 1-game lead over the Padres for the division, and the Padres are in the lead for the wild card. But don't look now; the Colorado Rockies, long dismissed as a "can't pitch" team, are 1 games out of the wild card, and are playing some of the best baseball in the country right now. The reality is that there's a strong chance that games played on Sunday, the final day of the season, will be for playoff berths. And there's just as strong a chance that we'll need "extras," that is, 1-game playoffs, to determine who gets into the playoffs.

As an aside, Matt Holliday is just tremendous. He's hitting .338, and is the NL RBI leader with 132. He won't get the accolades he deserves because he plays out west and isn't on one of the historic teams, but fantasy owners know that he's among the best in the game. If you get a chance to watch him bat, enjoy it.

Especially if it's this weekend. All these games are going to have playoff implications.

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