Monday, December 15, 2008

The Playoff Race

We are 126 games into the season which means there are 36 games left, time to see how things are shaping up in the hunt for those precious playoff spots.

The NL will have a fight to the finish as there are 13 and realistically only 11 teams still in the race and things may not sort themselves out until the final day.

NL North
The Milwaukee Cervezeros currently hold 1st place by 1 itsy bitsy game and are hosting the Dragons, not a good combination at the moment.
The Augusta A's are hot on their suds, but are hosting Helena, another tough combination.
The Chicago FrozenKoreans are doing their best to make up ground and are hosting Honolulu who have dreams of their own.
Toledo Mud Hens are out of the race but are having a great season so far as they rebuild for the future.

NL East
The Syracuse Symbiotes currently hold the top spot and hold the biggest lead of any division leader at 8 games. They can't get complacent yet.
The Washington D.C. Senators are 8 games behind but haven't been able to make up any ground.
The New York Dragons are lollygagging at 11 games back but may be making a run. It is doubtful they could make it to first place in the division or even a wild card spot but 2nd place is a possibility and will have a big say in who makes the playoffs.
The Philadelphia Fighting Quakers would need to win the remaining games on their schedule to have a chance.

NL South
The Florida Storm have a three game lead and are not wowing anybody at the moment.
The Monterrey Rayados are trying to catch Florida but fell prey to the Dragons which disappointed them tremendously.
The Texas Chili and Atlanta Southern Boys both are trying to get back into the race but are having the same problems as their counterparts..winning.

NL West
The Cheyenne Sandors were my choice to win the west at the beginning of the season and currently hold an uncomfortable 5 game lead but are on a 5 game win streak.
The Honolulu Warriors has lost ground recently they couldn't afford to lose.
The Helena Ice Doggs are currently on a 4 game win streak but are failing to gain ground except in the wild card aspirations.
The Santa Cruz Pumas are trying to rebuild and looks like they are about 2 seasons away before they throw their hat into the fray.

The AL has been strange this season. Unlike the NL, the AL is pretty much decided already with 10 teams having a chance to still make the 6 playoff spots. With two divisions all but wrapped up. One division has a fight for the crown between two perennial powerhouse rivals and the loser will get a wild card birth. The AL West could be decided by the most favorable schedule. Boise having a strangle hold on the final wild card spot already. The Austin Black Socks is about the only team that could make a run to change the playoff picture.

AL North
The Toronto FivTs hold the top spot with a comfortable 11 game lead.
The Boise SpudPeddlers are holding down the 2nd spot and a 7 game lead for the last wild card spot.
The Seattle Rain Drops have struggled most of the season.
The Pittsburgh Punks didn't expect to be a contender, but could win 50% more games over last season. That in itself is a job well done!

AL East
The Boston Liberty decided to make it easy on themselves this year as they hold an impressive 19 game lead.
The Charlotte Tar Heels and Richmond Cavaliers both had dreams this year to make the playoffs, but sometimes things happen.
The Pawtucket Whalers were bad last year and still rebuilding and it looks like things could turn around soon.

AL South
The Nashville Hillbillies are on top with the RiverDogs nipping at their heels.
The Charleston RiverDogs moved out of Houston last season. I was worried about their new home and actually struggled early till the right combination was found. They actually maintained their offensive and pitching effectiveness while fixing their dismal defense over last year.
The Austin Black Socks are still fighting for a wild card spot.
The Little Rock Patriots are a team that could be ready to contend next season.

AL West
The Las Vegas Cat House has a two game lead but are learning the hard way that Cashman field can be an unforgiving place to play. Fix here, break there.
The Vancouver Primetimers are hoping Las Vegas will falter.
The Oakland Oaks has struggled the most this season. Could it be just one of those years?
The Scottsdale Spades has not had a spectacular season. But then moving from Colorado was an improvement. I doubt that the hitting matched well in their new home however.