Monday, September 20, 2010

A Glance at the Standings with 14 Games Left

The Fan doesn't regularly look at the standings. When you follow every game every day, you pretty much know where everything and everyone is placed. The Fan used to have a standings feature on the site, but no good ones seemed to be found this year. Perhaps it was lousy searching. But every once in a while, scanning the standings leads to interesting observations.

For example, a quick look at the standings reveals that if the Astros finish 9-4 over their remaining games, they can get to .500, which would be a remarkable feat considering how they started and who they traded away. Remember that the Padres and the Reds both had losing seasons last year but really good second halves. That success at the end foreshadowed the success they would have this year.

The standings also reveal that the Marlins have lost six in a row and are finishing the season with a whimper. That won't help Edwin Rodriguez lose his interim status as manager. The Marlins seem to be fraught with underachievers. Their pitchers seem to have an abundance of talent and no natural means of harnessing it. Guys like Uggla play at the wrong positions and Hanley Ramirez is a mystery as deep as Manny Ramirez, his namesake.

The standings also reveal that all the teams in the American League that will be in the playoffs are pretty much decided. The only remaining drama will be whether the Rays or the Yankees are the wild card and if those two beating each other's brains in on a daily basis will allow the Twins to get home field advantage. The Twins are currently one game back on the Yankees for that important status.

The standings also reveal that the Twins have the best record of any major league team within their own division. They are 43-20 against AL Central teams, which means they have played at a .683 clip against them. That's impressive.

The National League still has a few tricks up its sleeve. The wild card isn't settled yet with the Braves, Padres and Rockies all in contention. The NL East seems like it will remain with the Phillies perched on top, but that's not a lock yet. The NL West, of course, is still a shoot out with three teams vying for the top spot. The last two weeks will be exciting in the NL.

The Rangers and the Braves have both played terribly on the road and are the worst contenders in that category. The Rangers are 35-39 on the road and the Braves are 34-41 on the road. Those aren't particularly impressive stats for series when they won't have the home field advantage.

The only team that seems to be a lock for 100 losses is the Pirates who sit at 98. But they've won three in a row, so maybe a miracle will happen and they won't get there. The Orioles would have to lose ten of their last thirteen games to get to 100 losses, the Mariners would need to lose eight of thirteen and the Diamondbacks, nine of thirteen. They are probably safe from that ignominy.

The Angels and the Tigers are finishing strong. The Angels have won seven of their last ten and have a chance to finish over .500. The Tigers have won six of ten and are at .500 right now.There are six teams within 7/100s of a point away from .500.

The Cubs won't get to .500, but they've won eight of their last ten and six in a row. Maybe Quade is the best guy for the job after all? On the opposite end of the spectrum, the D-backs, White Sox and Mariners have lost eight of their last ten and are ending the season with a resounding thud.

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