Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stretch Run-AL

With me owning an NL team I haven't really paid to close of attention to the AL this season so I'm going to give my best analysis without knowing too much of what has happened to this point.

AL North

In quite possibly the best division in all of Pine Tar, Syracuse is on top again. The lead isn't insurmountable however. Milwaukee stands just 5 back, with Ottawa only 6 back. Not too bad considering they all play each other down the stretch. Either Milwaukee or Ottawa would have to sweep the other and take the series against Syracuse to make a serious run though. Syracuse has 13 games left against teams with winning records but all of those games are at home. Ottawa also has 13 against winning teams but only 3 of those are at home. Milwaukee has 13 as well with 3 of those at home. I'm guessing this division will be won by Syracuse and both Ottawa and Milwaukee will get wild card spots. All 3 of these teams should be tough outs in the post season.

AL East

At 500 Durham is on top of this division be a mere 1 game. Atlanta is in 3rd and only 4 games out, with Toledo in second. This should make a very interesting finish to the season in the East. The final 6 games of the season for Durham will decide their fate as they finish against the other 2 teams. To get to that point though, they have a tough schedule to get by first. Even if they struggle and fall a few games out, the final 6 is where it's at for these guys. Toledo doesn't have it very easy either, but the battle with Atlanta is much earlier than the final 3 against Durham. If they can take Atlanta out of the picture it will be a much easier road to the post season for them. Atlanta has a much easier schedule to finish out but they have to get by the 2 teams in front of them. I'm going to make an off the wall prediction and pick Atlanta to leap frog the other 2 to take the division down the stretch. Realistically all 3 could win it and it will take a little skill accompanied by a little luck.

AL South

Nashville has had a good season, but so has Tampa Bay. With only a 3 game lead this division could come down to the final game of the season. Nashville has a brutal 9 game stretch coming up against Syracuse, Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay. If they can get through that stretch alive and on top then the division is theirs for the taking. While Nashville is starting that stretch, Tampa Bay has it easy until the series against Nashville. It's very possible that Tampa will be on top of the division when that series starts. The biggest problem for them is that after that series they get Syracuse for 4 on the road. It's going to be an interesting finish in the South, but I'm going to give the edge to Nashville.

AL West

Vancouver has a 5 game lead here over Cheyenne. While Cheyenne won't go away, Vancouver looks like they should be able to take the division for a third straight season. Vancouver has an 8 game home stretch against Milwaukee and Ottawa coming up that will be tough to get through that could lead to their unravelling. Cheyenne's only real tough series will be against Ottawa at home until they finish the season with 3 games in Vancouver. That series could very well decide the division which is why I give the edge to Vancouver.

Post Season Predictions

1st Round
Milwaukee over Atlanta 3-0
Ottawa over Vancouver 3-1

2nd Round
Syracuse over Ottawa 3-2
Milwaukee over Nashville 3-2

Syracuse over Milwaukee 4-3

World Series
Fargo over Syracuse 4-2

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