Sunday, June 29, 2008

With a week to go...

There is "a week" (8 games) left to go and the playoff picture (in some cases) is getting a little clearer.


AL East: the Louisville Legends (88-66) have clinched their second straight division title. They will likely be the 3 seed when the playoffs start. They cannot get a first round bye and have a 5 game lead on Anaheim for the #4 spot. New York New York (79-73) trail Cleveland by 3 games for the last spot. While not mathematically eliminated, it doesn't look promising for the plucky New York team to repeat last year's surprise playoff run. Huntington (77-77) is technically still alive, but two wins by Nashville puts them out of the race for good.

AL North: Milwaukee (104-50) has wrapped up both their second straight division title and a bye. They have a 1-game lead over defending AL champion Monterrey for the #1 seed. Toledo (83-71) is tied with Nashville; they hold the two wild card spots momentarily. Cleveland (82-72) is one game back and will travel to Toledo for a 3-game series after two more games with Anaheim. That series with Toledo could very well be an eliminator series. The most interesting AL race.

AL South: Much to everyone's surprise, Monterrey (103-51) wins a second straight division title. They're looking for home-field advantage, but Milwaukee currently holds that. Nashville (83-71) can't slack off, as they currently hold a playoff spot but are only one game in front of the #7 spot, which gets you a chance to make early tee times.

AL West: The only team to win an AL division that didn't win in season 1, congrats to the Anaheim Chiles (83-71). They'll likely be the 4 seed and their 1st round opponent is still up in the air. Everyone else is mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

National League:

NL East: Yikes. Insanity rules here. Trenton appeared to be cruising to a 2nd straight division title and suddenly lost 14 out of 16 games, enabling upstart Atlanta to pass them. But after grabbing the division lead, Atlanta promptly lost 3 straight. Meanwhile, the previously left for dead Norfolk Destroyers won 5 straight, leaving us with a 3-way tie at 78-76. Norfolk still has to go to Trenton and host Atlanta. It is almost mathematically impossible for the second place team for win a wild-card berth, adding to the drama coming down the stretch.

NL North: A little more cut and dried than the East (then again, just about anything would have to be, wouldn't it?). Fargo (100-54) will be the #1 seed in the NL and highly dangerous. Chicago (trying to prove the preseason predictions of a certain blog writer wrong) holds the last wild card spot at 84-70, but Toronto is not far behind at 82-72. Both teams have the same two teams (Cincinnati and Fargo) on their schedule to finish.

NL South: Houston (89-65) has emerged as the dominant force in this division and have a 2 game lead for the #2 spot, which could be important come playoff time. Everyone else in this division is just fighting for draft position for next season.

NL West: Defending World Series champs Salem and archrival Arizona are tied at 87-67. They'll both finish with Boise and Salt Lake City and have no more games with each other. If things break right, they could end up meeting in the playoffs, which would just further inflame the rivalry. Here's hoping it happens.

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