If you have spent any amount of time near me when ESPN is on, you will know by now that I am miserably bitter about the coverage that is given to the NFL and College Football. I mean really, how many times does ESPN have to showcase the New England Patriots loss to the Jets. I even heard them actually ask the question today if Matt Ryan was a better quarterback than Tom Brady moving forward on PTI. Seriously? Wait...seriously? Sadly, I will now concede that Football is king when it comes to sports in the United States. For those of us who remain interested in watching slow paced games that require unique skill sets, the baseball regular season is coming to a close and the playoffs are promising to be very entertaining theatre once again.
With both Los Angeles franchises likely in, Boston, New York and Philadelphia, there are five large markets that will be represented this October, a pleasing sight for Major League Baseball. Another round of New York vs. Boston appears likely in the American League with the Yankees offense looking lethal against a balanced attack from Boston. The National League favorites have to be the Phillies again, but the Colorado Rockies make for an amazing story and potentially a great Divisional Series match-up with the way Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Marquis and Jorge De La Rosa have been pitching. How incredible is this story? I saw a stat today that De La Rosa has an ERA under 2.00 this past month. If that holds steady to the playoffs (not so far tonight, San Diego's anemic offense put 6 on the board early), Philadelphia will absolutely have their hands full with their left-handed lineup.
Watch the Braves closely these last two weeks of the season. Yeah, I've followed them closely all season, but they have found a way to win games over the past two weeks and have taken ten of their last twelve. If they repeat that feat over their last twelve games (seven against Washington), they will finish the season at exactly 90 wins. Colorado would have to go 5-7 to force a playoff, but talk about amazing theatre if that were to happen. Mathematically, they are currently given a 5.2 percent chance of making the playoffs -- a figure that may still be a bit generous. Everyone loves an underdog.
The AL Central race also is going to be close coming down to the wire. Detroit is ahead by just 2.5 games over Minnesota, who is somehow making a surge without Justin Morneau. I can't see it happening without Morneau, but Detroit has been playing uninspired baseball for a while now.
Last thought of the night is Washington will be the first team to 100 losses this season as they currently sit at 99. A 110 loss season is not out of the realm of possibility too if the Braves continue to play the way they have. The Natinals (please tell me you understand that mis-spelling) are a long way from being contenders, but at least they have Strasburg in the Arizona Fall League and another #1 pick coming in 2010.