State of the Races 9/14

Figured I should start this up because, somewhat incredibly, two teams will likely be division champions within a week, likely sooner: the Orioles (magic #5 vs. Jays, but the Yankees are also still technically in the division race with a tragic number of 4) and the Angels.  The Orioles deserve their spot here, with a very solid run differential and a pretty darn good starting staff and offense, with some great bullpen pieces (including Andrew Miller, traded from the Red Sox in his free agent year, who’s seemingly found his place in baseball after many years of not quite getting there as a starter).  The Angels surged mightily after the August/September collapse by the A’s, and they are a decent bet to win 100 games (need to go .500 the rest of the way)–though they did lose a very effective starter to injury for the season recently when he pitched against the Red Sox.  The NL East is also a technicality now, with Washington’s magic # at 6.

The Central division races are still fraught with Detroit and KC in a dogfight and Cleveland on life support in the AL, and St. Louis with a decent, but not final, 3.5-game lead over Pittsburgh (who the Sox play soon) in the NL.  The NL West is really a great story, with San Fran holding the lead early in the season, the Dodgers taking it and holding it most of the season, and now a true fight to the finish.  Yesterday, with the Dodgers holding a 1-game lead over the Giants, LA beat SF 17-0 to slightly lengthen that lead.

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