In our quest to prove that there are no more original ideas, we blatantly borrow this feature from The Shutdown Corner, and one of our two or three favorite writers, The Mighty MJD. If you are a football fan and are not reading The Shutdown Corner, we must ask why you hate freedom.
The team in each league with the best record will face the Wild Card winner (shaded) in the first round unless both teams are from the same division. In that case, the Wild Card team will face the division champ with the second best record.
AL Divisional Champs: White Sox, Rays, Mariners
AL Wild Card: Yankees
NL Divisional Champs: Cardinals, Phillies, Dodgers
NL Wild Card: Marlins
Notes on the premature playoffication picture…
- AL East…The Red Sox just do not look like the same team without Manny Ramirez and Daisuke Matsuzaka just went on the DL. We are starting to wonder if this is just going to be one of those seasons. The Rays took two of three from the Red Sox and have fewer question marks than the Yankees so they get the early nod in the best division. A 5-4 start is pretty good for the Yankees considering all 9 were on the road and they are without Alex Rodriguez.
- AL Central…We are one of the few that actually think the Central will be a very good division this year, but we are not ready to start believing in the Royals. Detroit is not going to win anything as long as their #2 starter is named Edwin Jackson and you can almost put a “done” next to the Indians. And until Joe Mauer comes back we are not believers in the Twinkies. That leaves the White Sox who appear to have picked up right where they left off.
- AL West…Last year everybody believed in the M’s and they were oh so bad. This year nobody believes in the M’s. Besides, the Angels were not as good as their record last season, the A’s don’t impress us and the Rangers are still short on pitching, but they are getting closer.
- NL East…We can still see four different teams winning this, but until the Phillies can convince us they are not for real, they are the team to beat. The Mets are just waiting to implode. Can Atlanta play this well all season? Derek Lowe is too old to anchor a staff. On the other hand, the Marlins are the real deal and will be in this all season if they stay healthy and will be the Wild Card.
- NL Central…It will come down to the end, but we only see one team coming from the Central and the Cards just look like they have that MoJo.
- NL West…The Dodgers are the this year’s Angels and will look very good in a very bad division. The other teams in the West will all be below .500 at the all-star break.