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And they’re off – MLB has entered its final month of a long season, but there is still much to be decided in the final stretch. The division, wildcard, and pennant races are yet to be determined. With less than 20 games to play, teams are focused in on magic numbers to clinch a playoff spot. The stats of all the following teams/players come prior to Monday’s action:
AL East: The New York Yankees lead a tough division and are only 3 ½ up on the Boston Red Sox. The Bronx Bombers and Boston are one and two in runs scored, homeruns and RBI’s in the league respectively. The Yankees pitching staff is led by ace CC Sabathia and surprising rookie Ivan Nova.
The Red Sox are led by Jon Lester and Josh Beckett. Beckett is having a great bounce back season and holds an ERA of 2.49. These two will battle to the end of the regular season to see who gets home field advantage in the playoffs.
AL Central: Cy Young and even possible MVP candidate, Justin Verlander has been nothing but spectacular for the Detroit Tigers. He has been the reason the Tigers have built a 10 ½ game lead in the central. He leads the AL in ERA with a 2.44, in inning pitched with 229 and strikeouts with 232.
Verlander also has a no-hitter to his credit this season and a record of 22-9. If the Detroit pitching staff can somehow catch up with Verlander then they could make some noise in the playoffs.
AL West: The tightest division in all of baseball is between the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim. The Rangers lead the Angels by only 2 ½ games. Texas is all offense and improved their bullpen at the trade deadline by acquiring Mike Adams and Koji Uehara.
Los Angeles offense is anemic but their starting pitchers are keeping them in it. Led by Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana they are trying to carry their teams hitting into the postseason.
AL Wildcard: The race is really on with the Tampa Bay Rays climbing back in it after sweeping the weekend series against the Boston Red Sox. They sit only 3 ½ games back and the Sox are worried. Red Sox David Ortiz said, “Hell yeah, you’ve got to worry.” Boston was chosen by many to represent the American League in the World Series.
Let’s see if they can even hold off the Rays for a playoff spot. The two kick off a four game series starting Thursday at Fenway.