The American Leauge: How it will all shake down

Ryan DohertyContributor ISeptember 11, 2008

For me there is no suspense left in the MLB season as I sit here and type this post on September, 11. The American League's races are all but over in my mind as one race actually already is.

The Los Angeles Angels have already clinched a playoff spot and can now ease their players towards the finish line.

Then there is the AL East where we can talk about the Red Sox and the, you guessed it, Tampa Bay Rays. Oh, you expected to be talking about the Sox and the Yanks? Sorry friend, the 2008 Yankees are an afterthought sitting in the four spot in the AL East. The Rays will undoubtedly win the division as I've been saying since the trade deadline. They are the feel good story of the year, and it wouldn't be nearly as feel good if they wilted down the stretch to let the Red Sox pass them. So they will hold off the Red Sox, but the Red Sox shouldn't fret as they will get into the playoffs as the wild card.

The AL Central is tight at the moment with only one game separating the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins. The Chi-Sox will make the playoffs, no ifs ands or buts about it. They have the better team, with more experience and should make it to the dance.

That would set up a Rays vs. White Sox and Red Sox vs. Angels ALDS series. The Angels, vs. Red Sox series would be incredible and would most likely stretch to five games. I will go with the Red Sox solely due to the fact that I expect Josh Beckett to take over in the playoffs yet again. Also, a Lester, Matsusaka two-three punch is fantastic.

In the other series the Chi-Sox and Rays would match up in a bit of a snoozer. Give me those hard fought Rays in this one. Let's call it four games. Kazmir, Garza and Shields are a solid one through three also.

That means I like the AL East to represent the American League in the ALCS. Do I dare take the Rays over the defending champs? I DO! In seven crazy games, it will happen folks. The Rays will make the World Series! Now watch the Rays collapse and make me look like a fool, but I've been on the Rays wagon since July and I'm not going to jump off now.