New Pennant Races Aren't Much, But We'll Take It

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA - SEPTEMBER 07: A cheerleader dances during the EuroBasket 2011 second round group A match between Germany and Spain at Siemens Arena on September 7, 2011 in Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

It isn't exactly thrilling yet, but it is better than nothing.

 

  • In the AL Wildcard race, the Red Sox lead the Rays by 3.5 games. According to BP's Playoff Odds Report the Rays have just a 2.7% chance of catching Boston. Other sites are suggesting an 11% chance. The problem facing the Rays is that the Red Sox are really really good.
  • In the AL West the Rangers have a 2.5 game lead. According to BP, the Angels have a 9% chance of winning the division. This one isn't over, but the Angels desperately need a five-game Texas losing streak.
  • The Cardinals are still six games back in the Central, but only 4.5 games behind the Braves. I root against the Braves as a matter of principle, though both teams can be maddening in the ways they squander talent. The Braves are something like 95% favorites to win the Wild Card.
These are all really really weak "races" but again, what's the alternative? Sitting around in a circle and talking about how great the Phillies are?

At this point in the season, single days can make a huge difference. If the Rays, Angels, or Cardinals lose ground in the next 24 hours, it could be near fatal for their chances. Sure, once a generation, a team will pull a 2007 Mets and completely collapse, but even really bad teams rarely have a total freefall.

For now, something.
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