The Toronto Blue Jays have quickly shredded a seven-game deficient in the AL East down to 1. The New York Yankees are in trouble. The New York Mets continue to gradually grow their lead in the NL East up to 4.5. The Houson Astros are still holding off the Angels with 2.5 game lead.
Ah, baseball. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I predicted the playoff picture a week before the trade deadline only to have each of those divisions go the opposite way. Even the Dodgers have a little cushion over San Francisco in the NL West and the MLB postseason race.
In the AL East the Blue Jays have caught fire while the Yankees has done the opposite. Right before the deadline, Toronto added David Price, the pitcher they desperately needed. He gives them a certified ace. Tulowitzi hasn’t had great numbers, but added his bat with Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion makes their lineup dangerous. The Yankees have won three out of their last four after a five-game loosing streak but these two teams will face each other for two more series, so it should come down to the last week.
The AL wild card standings will be something to keep an eye on. The Rangers have won five straight and look to sneak into a spot, only one game back of the Orioles and half a game back of the Angels. If the Rangers stay hot the AL West might become a three-team race. Plus, the addition of Cole Hamels gives them an arm that’s been in dire situations numerous times.
The Orioles have won four straight themselves as they look to get another wild card berth. Tampa Bay and the Twins are each in striking distance at 2.5 games out. The only thing not in question in the AL is the Royals, who have extended their lead to 12.5 games.
Over in the NL the Nationals have dropped six straight and are under .500. The Mets aren’t playing on another level, they just haven’t slid like the Nationals have. Though the additions of Cespedes and other veteran bats will be a great help to the young stud pitchers in Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom. Since the All-Start break Washington is 11-20 while hitting a MLB worst .223. Not only are they not hitting, they have the 8th-worst ERA since the All-Star break at 4.43. Max Scherzer has a 5.05 ERA over eight starts since July 5. They still have seven weeks left, but the Wild Card spot is out of the question, so they will have to catch the Mets.
The Cardinals still have a decent hold in the Central even though the Pirates and especially the Cubs have been on a tear. But St. Louis has the best record in the majors and a six-game lead. The Cubs, who just had a nine-game winning streak snapped along with the Pirates have pulled away from the rest of the wild card pack. Chicago is famously young this season but some veteran pitching will come up huge. The Pirates have been in the playoffs recently and have competed since 2013 with this team. Look for them to end up in the wild card play-in game.
The NL West is still a relatively close race. Three games separate Los Angeles and San Francisco. This Giants have a though schedule against top teams coming up and they each meet at the end of the month and during the end of September.