It's that time of year, again! The race is becoming a full-on sprint in several races around the league, and I am here today to offer my opinions on who will win those races, er, sprints.
AL East: Yankees
It was clear to me all year long that Boston was going to win the East running away. Boy, was i mislead. The Yankees have established their dominance now, and are undeniably the ones running the show in the American League. All the right pieces started coming together at exactly the right time to pull the carpet out from under the BoSox, and now they have a huge lead heading into September.
AL Central: Tigers
The ChiSox have tried and tried but just can't can't back on top of the AL Central, where the Tigers now reign supreme. The Royals died off a long time ago, and the Indians, having traded away their major talent, have called in the season. The real and increasing threat is Minnesota. They're currently only 4.5 games back of Detroit, the same as Chicago, but the difference is momentum. The Twins have it. Joe Mauer is quickly becoming, of he isn't already, the best player in the AL. I see the Tigers winning the division, but I will not be sleeping on the Twins at all.
AL West: Angels
I would like so badly to be able to confidently pick Texas to win this division, but I just can't. My opinion is that the LA Angels hold off the Rangers. The Rangers have been such a good story, along with Josh Hamilton, but they just don't have depth everywhere like the Angels do. Sorry, Ranger Nation, but I've gotta go with LA.
AL Wild Card: Red Sox
I hate to say this, but it just seems that no matter how bad the Red Sox play any one game, the Rangers or Rays will never catch them. Tampa Bay has had problems this year that come with being a contender, and that's all I blame it on. There was never pressure for that franchise to make the playoffs before this season, and now that they have that pressure, it's gonna take some time to get used to it. More time than just this season. Advantage Red Sox
NL East: Phillies
Well, I can honestly say I didn't break a sweat with this prediction. Philadelphia has had it in the bag all year, haven't they? New York was supposed to challenge, but, where are they? The bottom line is that there isn't enough time for the Marlins or Braves to make a 7 or 8 game turnaround to upend the Phils. The defending champs get back into the playoffs.
NL Central: Cardinals
Over the past few months, this has become more and more obvious. They have been winning, and everyone else in the Central has been losing, especially the CUBS. First place a year ago, and now the Cubs find themselves with a lot of problems to sort out before next year.
NL West: Rockies
I'm going with the minority of America here, and saying that Colorado will get it done and win the West. Something Jim Tracy did made them start winning again. Does anyone know what Tracy was doing two years ago today? Managing the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, he's got a chance to win a division title with the Rockies, and I think the Dodgers will continue their epic skid and allow Colorado to win the West.
NL Wild Card: Dodgers
The NL's best pitcher, Tim Lincecum, will have to wait at least another year before he can get into the post-season, as I see the Dodgers flailing their way out of the division lead, but hanging on to win the Wild Card. San Francisco's problem all year has been inconsistency with the bats, and when they were consistent, they were consistently bad. You'll never get "there" without solid pitching and hitting. The Dodgers have that, so the edge, and Wild Card, go to Los Angeles.
Please let me hear your opinions, and where you think I'm wrong! Thanks!