As referenced in my last post, (1998: A Tainted Memory), 1994 was one of the lowest points in baseball history. The strike, which occurred on July 28th of 94′, hindered the achievements of players and teams across the league. The only bright spot, if any, was that the strike put an end to the worst ever divisional race. The Texas Rangers led the newly formed American League West, despite being 10 games under the .500 mark, at the point of the strike. The last place California Angels were 21 games under .500, and trailed the Rangers by only 5 ½ games, despite being on track for a 96 loss season. To make matters worse, two last place teams in other divisions, the Detroit Tigers and the Milwaukee Brewers, had better records than the first place Texas Rangers. Since that tragic season, the Angels have won a World Series title, the Mariners have reached the playoffs 4 times, the Rangers have made it to back to back World Series, and the A’s have emerged as a force to be reckoned with. Now home to 4 contenders and an up and coming Houston Astros team, the AL West is quite arguably the strongest division in the MLB. Here’s a glance at the 5 teams in the West, and their outlooks for the 2014 season and beyond: Continue reading The Strongest Division In Baseball
The Tampa Bay Rays marched into Arlington and beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 behind David Price’s masterful complete game performance on the last day of the regular season. Evan Longoria provided another heroic showing on the final game of the season to lead the Rays to their fourth playoff birth in the last six years.
The Rays jumped out to an early one-run lead in the first inning after Delmon Young hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. Rangers’ starter Martin Perez wiggled out of trouble but the Rays provided Price with an early lead.
The lead was padded in the third inning after Longoria belted an opposite field two-run homerun with two outs.
The Rangers got a run back in the third inning when Craig Gentry lead off with a single and was driven home by Ian Kinsler, but Price had begun to settle down on the mound.
In the sixth inning Evan Longoria doubled and advanced to third, pinch-hitter David DeJesus also doubled down the right field line to give the Rays a 4-1 lead and that was all the run support that David Price required. Texas got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Elvis Andrus singled and stole second. Alex Rios doubled high of the left field wall to once again cut the Rays lead to two but Price settled down and got out of the inning without any further damage. Continue reading Rays Win Play-In Game, Head to Cleveland for Another
Lets take a look at the NL & AL Playoff races with roughly 3 weeks to go in the NL and AL playoff races.
It’s pretty much decided who will be in the playoffs in the National League.
The big question is who will win the NL Central, who will play in the play in game and where will that game take place and who will be the #1 seed in the NL and have home field advantage.
The reason the NL is pretty much decided is the team closest to the current 2nd wild card Cincinnati Reds are the Washington Nationals but the Nats are 7 back in the loss column with just 18 games to play. It would take a historic run and collapse.
In terms of NL home field advantage Braves currently hold that being 2 games up in the loss column on the Dodgers and 3 in the loss column of the Cardinals. Continue reading Breaking Down the Playoff Races