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From The Stretch: Who Makes The Playoffs And Who Wins It All (AL)

Posted By Connor Callaghan On Aug 27 2012 @ 6:12 pm In MLB | 1 Comment

A few days ago I posted my predictions regarding the NL pennant race, giving an edge to the Washington Nationals winning it all. You can find the article here: (http://www.prosportsblogging.com/2012/08/24/from-the-stretch-who-makes-the-playoffs-and-who-wins-it-all-nl/). Today I list my favorites to make the playoffs in the American League while also giving each team their chances of winning the pennant so without further ado:

American League:

East, New York Yankees: They’re the cream of the crop in the American League and even though they have some question marks over their starting pitching, they’re more stable than the AL leading Texas Rangers. They also finish the season against an opponent’s win % of .495 whereas the second place Tampa Bay Rays(4 games back) are up against a .532, one of the toughest in baseball. It also doesn’t hurt that in an offensive-happy American League the Yankees are first in team HRs at 195, more than 25 ahead of second place Chicago at 169. Chances of winning it all: 30%

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Curtis Granderson and the Yankees love the long ball.

Central, Detroit Tigers: I know that right now the White Sox are 2.5 games up on the Tigers, but I’d be shocked if a team with big names like, Verlander, Cabrera, and Fielder don’t find a way into the playoffs, and I just don’t see a team from the Central making it through the Wild Card, so it’s either Detroit or Chicago, not both. However, whoever does make it, is also the least likely to win it all. Throughout the season both teams have faced easier and more favorable schedules than their contending counterparts, which doesn’t help them prepare against the league’s best. Chances of winning it all: 10%

West, Texas Rangers: This one, similar to the Yankees pick, is a no-brainer. The Rangers can match the firepower of anyone in the American League(they’re leading the league in AVG and Runs Scored), but also, like the Yankees, they have some questions when it comes to their starting pitching. They don’t even crack the top fifteen in Quality Start, which means they’re putting way too much pressure on their bullpen, and just 12th in ERA. However, a regular season does count for a lot and the Rangers have a history of winning despite their pitching with an AL best 75 wins. Chances of winning it all: 30%

 

First Wild Card, Tampa Bay Rays: Last weekend we more than likely saw a preview of the AL Wild Card game between the Rays and the Oakland Athletics. The A’s won the series 2-1 but that doesn’t mean we’ll see the same results come October. The Rays’ offense is atrocious. They are batting a dismal .236 AVG yet are still putting pressure on the Yankees to keep winning. Well that’s because they probably have the best pitching in all of baseball, which says a lot considering they pitch against a DH every game unlike NL teams. David Price is having a Cy Young type of season and the team ranks first in WHIP(1.19!) and opposing AVG(.232). Chances of winning it all: No one wants to face this rotation in the postseason, 20%

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David Price can carry a team through the playoffs.

Second Wild Card, Oakland Athletics: Okay, I admit this one has a little bias to it, but how great would it be to see the A’s and Rays reach the playoffs despite having the two worst stadium attendances in the AL? Aside from that, the A’s could be this year’s Cinderella story. I know a lot of people will look to their remaining schedule and point out that they have one of the toughest roads to follow in order to reach the postseason, but let’s be honest, who had the A’s at 69-57 this point in the season? Chances of winning it all: 10%

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