A Look at Major League Baseball Down the Stretch

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A Look at Major League Baseball Down the Stretch
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Charlie Manuel

The 2010 MLB season has officially reached the stretch.

As we peruse the standings we have a few new things of interest to note.

First, the Philadelphia Phillies have reclaimed not only the lead in the NL East, but also in the National League as a whole. Philadelphia (80-60) is the first team to reach the 80 win mark in the NL and riding one of the hottest records, since July, in baseball.

Next, the number one team in baseball is, of course, the world champion New York Yankees (86-53). The Yankees really haven't looked back much of this season.

Of course, with the Tampa Bay Rays (84-54) being the second best team record in baseball and in their division, the world champs haven't had any breathing room.

The Minnesota Twins (82-57) own the third best mark in baseball and have a four and a half game cushion in the AL Central division.

Philadelphia owns the fourth best record in the game entering today's contest against the Florida Marlins. With as hot as this team is and their recent success the past two years, you have to strongly favor the Phillies returning to the World Series this year to represent the NL.

Philadelphia's main competition in the NL is the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds, both teams have 79 wins.

The Phillies have played the Reds only twice this season. The first time, in June, the Reds took the series two games to one. The second time they played, the Phillies swept them in a four game set. For the season Philadelphia has the advantage 5-2.

To this point in the season against the Atlanta Braves, the Phillies have won five contests to the Braves' seven. There are six games left to be played between the two teams including the final three of the season.

In the American League, you have to go with the World Champion Yankees to win and go for a repeat, but anything in the AL is possible.

The Rays are certainly capable of beating the Yankees, but they may have to go through either Minnesota or Texas to face them.

You have to like the odds of a repeat World Series in 2010 between the Phillies and Yankees, both teams are stacked and playing well coming down the stretch.

Enjoy the end of an exhilarating season and may the best team win.

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