The AL Wild Card race is starting to gain some serious heat, with 6 teams within 4 games. Other than that, and the NL Central winner of course, teams are starting to distance themselves from their competition. Here are your top 10 for this week and what they need to be concerned about going into October:
#1 Boston Red Sox
Getting Buchholz back on track. Clay picked up wins in his first two starts back from injury, but his command was not what it was before his DL stint. He’s crucial to the Sox World Series chances.
#2 Atlanta Braves
Getting someone/anyone else going besides J. Upton, Freeman, and Johnson. Dan Uggla and B.J. are both playing miserably. The Braves will need at least one of them to step it up, because there is no telling what they will get from Heyward.
#3 Oakland Athletics
Staying hot at the right time. This is a team that has been one of the streakiest in baseball over the past two years and they are scorching right now. Alsom Cespedes will have to play bigger in October than he has most of the year.
#4 St Louis Cardinals
Finding enough starting pitching to get the job done in the division AND playoffs. This rotation has not been near as good as most people hoped/expected it to be down the stretch.
#5 Los Angeles Dodgers
Getting their “mojo” back. They have cooled off quite a bit and have looked shaky in some close games against divisional rivals. Which wouldn’t bode well for them on the road in the 1st series if they don’t get it together.
#6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Keeping their young players loose. Hardly anyone on this Pirates team has postseason experience, which can be tough for a very young team that plays a ton of close games.
#7 Detroit Tigers
Keeping their pitching and sluggers healthy. This team has arguably the best 1-2 punch on both sides of the ball and they HAVE to keep that advantage.
#8 Cincinnati Reds
Not overreacting. Despite looking like the odd man out in the NL Central for most of the season, this team can be as lethal as anybody in a 1 game playoff….which is where they are likely headed.
#9 Tampa Bay Rays
Where did their pitching go? Cobb and Price haven’t won since August 20th and 24th respectively. Their rotation is supposed to be their strong suit this time of year.
#10 Texas Rangers
Stopping the bleeding. This team is in a free fall right now and needs someone to get hot really quick if they want to fend off the Indians, Orioles, Yankees, and Royals.
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