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2011 MLB Midseason: Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies Too Predictable

Cliff Lee, waiting for the fall like casual baseball fans.
Cliff Lee, waiting for the fall like casual baseball fans.Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Derek CrouseContributor IIIJuly 12, 2011

There are pennant-chasers out there who have proven to be on their way to the fall classic, as predicted.

It must be hard for the MLB to sell parity and competition when there are maybe four franchises that have a chance at winning the World Series. Baseball is no longer the event that it was years ago.

The culture of baseball now is like America's; the rich stay rich and the bottom-feeders get the scraps.

The Philadelphia Phillies are proving to be as dominant as advertised during Spring Training. While slugging percentage and batting average haven’t been the reasons for their league leading 57-34 record, the pitching is just plain filthy.

It has been over 20 plus years since we have seen a rotation like this!

A team that has three starters under a 3.00 ERA will definitely have a leg up come playoff time. If you’re almost guaranteed three wins in the fall and have a few clutch hits in late-inning games, the road through the National League could be smooth sailing. Philly fans could fill the streets once again if Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Roy Halladay keep this pace up.

The Boston Red Sox have been on a tear as of late.

Red Sox nation has enjoyed watching a team who is winning games on the road as well as at home. Facing the Orioles and the Blue Jays has probably added to the confidence that Boston has had since the All-Star break.

They are 9-1 in their last teen games and have won their last six games. If the Phillies are the pitching-dominant team in the MLB, the Red Sox are the hitting-dominant team in baseball.

If Adrian Gonzalez hitting .354 and David Ortiz leading the team with 19 home runs is not enough, Boston leads the league in runs, batting average, on-base and slugging percentage.

The Red Sox are waiting for an underachieving Carl Crawford to get off the DL and show the franchise that he is worth the contract dollars management put up for him.

The problem is that these two teams will probably end up meeting each other in the World Series. This creates a fan that doesn’t have to be gripped to every game from the outset.

When the experts picked the Red Sox and the Phillies to be the favorites and they are one and two at the break, it shows the lack of parity in the MLB, which other leagues seem to have.

MLB has the time to be in the limelight with the NFL still being in lockout mode, and they have done nothing to bring new viewership. It’s sad when a collective bargaining dispute gets more headlines than players actually playing.

Whether it’s pitching becoming more prominent since the eradication of performance enhancing drugs or All-Stars deciding to “sit this one out,” baseball hasn’t done too many favors to help themselves out this year.

With attendance and TV ratings taking a slide this year, the 162 game season has not evolved for this day and age. Baseball has lost even more juice from 2010. In less than a month, baseball will be in the shadows again as football begins.

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