Posted 07/30/2008 at 03:21 PM
Our last article dealt with the likely decline for two MLB teams the Minnesota Twins and the St. Louis Cardinals. Both squads appeared to over-achieving and continued losing streaks after we posted those thoughts. However things have turned around for both teams and both may be capable of proving they are here to stay.
With back-to-back big wins in Atlanta the Cardinals moved to within a game of the Milwaukee Brewers who failed miserably with its aces in the first two games of the huge Cubs/Brewers series. While the Cubs have taken command of the division for now the Wild Card race is becoming very tight as the trio of NL East squads are picking up ground on Milwaukee and St. Louis as the trade deadline looms. The Cardinals have more good news this week with Chris Carpenter starting tonight and Adam Wainwright's return looking close.
Although the NL Central showdown rightfully received a bit more publicity the AL Central is featuring a similarly important series this week. Minnesota is halfway through a 4-game set hosting the White Sox and the Twins have delivered back-to-back big wins. Facing three left-handers in the four game set looked like a challenge for a Twins lineup that is superior versus right-handers but Minnesota received a brilliant performance from Kevin Slowey on Monday as he holds off Francisco Liriano and on Tuesday the Twins rallied from a 4-run deficit for a narrow win. The Twins have now closed to with a half game of the first place Sox and although Detroit is still in the mix Minnesota has taken a big step.
The big trade of Mark Texeira bolsters the Angels offense and likely keeps them interested in larger goals with the AL West title getting close to wrapped up. Injuries for the pitching staff have killed the Braves this season but they still must be considered a huge disappointment, now finally giving up.