MLB's Stretch Run: Division and Wild-Card Predictions

C KSenior Analyst ISeptember 11, 2008

The Major League Baseball season is entering its stretch run, and I'm here to give you my two cents on the situations.

So let's get right into it (and get ready for one big surprise!)


A.L. East

Current Leader-Tampa Bay Rays

Prediction-Tampa Bay Rays win division

Yes, I'm going with the safe, yet risky, pick and will say the Rays hold on to win the division. But coming into their past series with the Red Sox, I would have said they were going to lose the division.

Since the Rays were able to take two out of three and extend their division lead to 2.5 games, I'm going with the Rays. This young ballclub should clinch the division with around two games remaining, which would give them a few days of rest, if Joe Maddon chooses to do so.


A.L. Central

Current Leader-Chicago White Sox

Prediction-Minnesota Twins win division

The White Sox currently lead the division by 1 game, but I'm still not buying them to beat out the Twins. The Twins have been slumping, and as long as they get out of this thing very soon, they should be able to slowly gain the ground they need to and eventually take over the lead.

This one will definitely go down to the wire, but I don't see the White Sox being consistent enough to pull it off.


A.L. West

Current Leader-Los Angeles Angels (clinched)

Prediction-Los Angeles Angels win division

Or should I say "won"?


A.L. Wild Card

Current Leader-Boston Red Sox

Prediction-Red Sox win wild card

The Red Sox are playing much better baseball and are really pulling away from the Twins. It looks almost certain that the Red Sox and Rays will both make the playoffs, and only the Twins or White Sox will make the playoffs.


N.L. East

Current Leader-New York Mets

Prediction-New York Mets win division

Boooo! Hated to do it, but I had to. The Mets have a four-game lead in the division and have two games in hand. It would take another collapse for the Mets to lose this one in my opinion. They are just playing great ball, and it's hard to go against it. (Ha, watch them have a four-game lead with four left and lose it!)


N.L. Central

Current Leader-Chicago Cubs

Prediction-Chicago Cubs win division

The Brewers aren't playing well enough to catch the slumping Cubs. The fact that the Cubs are 2-8 in their last 10, and the Brewers are still five games back shows me that the race is over. Cubs will win the division easily.


N.L. West

Current Leader-Los Angeles Dodgers

Prediction-Los Angeles Dodgers win division

Not too long ago, the Dodgers were terrible. That's now a thing of the past. They're 9-1 in their last 10, and they don't appear to be slowing down. Manny Ramirez leads the league in many offensive categories since his trade to the Dodgers, and he doesn't appear to be slowing down either.

Plus, if you add in the Diamondbacks 2-8 record in their last 10, and it looks like this one could be over soon.


N.L. Wild Card

Current Leader-Milwaukee Brewers

Prediction-Houston Astros win division

Before you start hollering at the computer, let me explain.

1. The Astros are only three games back of the Brewers for the wild card.

2. The Astros are playing fantastic ball, going 9-1 over their last 10, and 14-1 over their last 15. The next Colorado Rockies...?

3. The Astros have a very easy schedule, except for their three-game set this weekend against the Cubs.

4. The Brewers have a very tough schedule, with three more against the Phillies and six more against the Cubs.

5. If the Phillies can sweep or win three out of four from the Brewers, the Phillies will be two games back from the wild card. But the Astros would likely be at two or one game back as well.

6. I don't think the Phillies have what it takes anymore. That fire isn't there; it's done for them.

Add those six reasons together, and that is why I chose the Astros to win the wild card. Plus, it's a nice, bold prediction, so why not?

Now it's your turn. I want to hear your opinion.

Let me know, down below.


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