Mike Trout and the Angels secured a division crown this week (RLRS Photo).
The weekend ahead will have great significance on who gets to keep playing baseball in October. Let’s take a walk around baseball;
AL East – The Orioles have won the division.
AL West – The Angels have won the division.
Detroit (at Kansas City)
Kansas City ½ GB (home vs. Detroit)
With the Royals still carrying a loss in a game to be concluded Monday the division is really a one game difference. It is all on the line in Kansas City this weekend though.
Kansas City + ½ (home vs. Detroit)
Oakland – (home vs. Philadelphia)
Seattle 1 GB (at Houston)
Cleveland 5 GB (at Minnesota)
New York 5 GB (home vs. Toronto)
Toronto 6 GB (at Yankees)
152-153 games in and nothing settled yet. It is amazing to think that the Yankee games in Boston next weekend could have meaning. Oakland is circling the drain, Seattle is on a grueling road trip (Houston then Toronto), Cleveland, Toronto and New York should be cooked but I have a feeling one of those three is sneaking in.
Big Series: Detroit at Kansas City
Probables: Justin Verlander vs. Jason Vargas, Max Scherzer vs. Big Game James Shields, Rick Porcello vs. Jeremy Guthrie
Nothing really as tantalizing as last weekend’s Felix Hernandez-Sonny Gray thriller.
Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates have a second straight over .500 season, can they add a second straight playoff appearance? (RLRS Photo).
NL East – The Nationals have won the division.
St. Louis (home vs. Cincinnati)
Pittsburgh 2 ½ GB (home vs. Milwaukee)
The Cards remain in good shape with no regular season games left against the Pirates this year. Barring a stumble against sub-.500 teams (the Reds, Cubs and Diamondbacks are their remaining foes) a division title is in the offing.
Los Angeles (at Cubs)
San Francisco 2 ½ GB (at San Diego)
These two clubs will do battle next week so the key now is to not look ahead and play this weekend against bad teams like they are the most important games of the year…because they are.
San Francisco +2 (at San Diego)
Pittsburgh – (home vs. Milwaukee)
Milwaukee 3 ½ GB (at Pittsburgh)
Atlanta 6 GB (home vs. Mets)
Not nearly as intriguing as the junior circuit race. The Brewers and Pirates are realistically playing for their spots. Pittsburgh looks unlikely to nab the home field advantage which proved so useful against Johnny Cueto and the Reds last year. As a practical matter the Brewers need a sweep this weekend.
Big Series: Milwaukee at Pittsburgh
Probables: Yovani Gallardo vs. Jeff Locke, Matt Garza vs. Edinson Volquez, Wily Peralta vs. TBA