Posted 08/13/2008 at 01:38 PM
We are in for some exciting baseball in the next few weeks as this could be one of the most exciting playoff chases in recent memory. We canít even really start to have discussions about the Wild Card race as five of the six divisions are far from settled. Even teams that most expect to make the playoffs like the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox will be in for very tough battles with challenging schedules and opponents right on their heels.
The NL picture looks a little clearer as the NL Central teams appear to be in line for a Wild Card spot as Milwaukee and St. Louis have been the top Wild Card contenders most of the season but the NL East teams are not far out of that picture and could make things more interesting. The NL East and NL West will feature great finishes in their own right and the way Milwaukee is playing right now there could be a great showdown between the Cubs and the Brewers down the stretch. By the way those teams meet for three games at Miller Park in Milwaukee to close out the year and it would sure be interesting if those games meant something.
The American League could be thoroughly entertaining down the stretch, mainly because of the teams involved. In recent seasons one could generally pencil in Boston and New York at the top of the AL East and there has been a great chance that both teams make the playoffs. This year that does not appear to be the most likely scenario as Tampa Bay has held the division lead for nearly the entire season. Many doubt the Rays ability to close the deal but they have such a lead on New York that it is hard to envision a complete collapse that leaves them with out a playoff spot.
The AL Central has been a back-and-forth battle in the last week with the Twins and White Sox trading places a number of times and the favorites in the division Detroit and Cleveland appear to be out of the picture for good. Even teams like Toronto and Texas could have opportunities to climb into the Wild Card picture and we could end up with six teams fighting for three spots to join the Angels in the American League playoff picture.