Three Weeks to Go
With about three weeks left in the baseball season, the playoff matchups are beginning to take some shape.
In the AL, Boston, Cleveland, and Anaheim (sorry, I refuse to call them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) have what appear to be padlocked leads on their respective divisions, with the Yankees 3.5 ahead of Detroit for the wild-card spot.
While the Tigers have been winning some dramatic games lately, I don't see them catching the Yankees, especially since pitcher Justin Verlander, who's been awful for a month, now may be shut down for the rest of the way due to a bad elbow.
The National League picture is far less clear.
The Mets are six full games up in the NL East, and appear to have the division salted away. A big come-from-behind win last night in San Francisco put the Diamondbacks 3.5 ahead of second-place San Diego in the NL West.
Meanwhile, yesterday's Cubs win and Brewers loss lodged the two clubs into a tie for the NL Central lead. St. Louis has fallen 3 back, but certainly aren't out of it yet, since nobody in the division has been able to take control.
San Diego heads the wild-card chase by 1.5 over the Phillies. The Dodgers are just 2.5 back, the Rockies 3.5, the NL Central teams (Cubs and Milwaukee) 4.5, and Atlanta 5 behind. It should be a crazy last 20 games or so in the NL.