Some of these teams have already played today so the standings may be jumbled. It was getaway day for a number of road teams.
1. New York (96-62, won A.L. East). Tonight they host Baltimore for the last of three games with Daniel Cabrera (8-10, 5.05) taking the mound for the O’s against Darrell Rasner (3-0, 2.50) for the Yanks. At the moment it looks like Cabrera and the O’s are in command, leading 5-0 in the 6th. The Yankees host Toronto over the weekend.
2. DETROIT (95-64, leads A.L. Central by 1/2 game over Minnesota). The Tigers lost a matinee affair to Toronto 8-6 so their magic number essentially stays at 3 (a tie for the division title is a win for the Tigers.) The Tigers wrap up the season with 3 at home against Kansas City.
3. Oakland (92-66, won A.L. West). I wrote down tonight’s pitching matchup (Zito vs. Lackey) last night as Oakland starts their final 4-game series of the season in Los Angeles. Can you tell I was tired?
4. Minnesota (94-64, assured of no worse than wild-card). They finish up the 4 game series with the Royals now trying to draw into a tie with Detroit. Luke Hudson (7-6, 5.49) gets the nod for Kansas City against Minnesota’s Brad Radke (12-9, 4.46). After tonight, the White Sox come to Minnesota to conclude the regular season.
1. New York (93-65, won N.L. East). Fans in Washington will get to see the Mets’ second-stringers and rookies get some playing time this weekend.
2. San Diego (85-73, leads N.L. West by 1/2 game over Los Angeles). The Padres took 2 of 3 from St. Louis, now they end the season with 4 games in Arizona. First on the list is Jake Peavy (10-14, 4.13) for San Diego against Arizona’s Miguel Batista (11-7, 4.36). Magic number for the Padres is 4 for a division title and 3 for a playoff berth. Los Angeles (see below) already won today.
3. St. Louis (81-76, leads N.L. Central by 1 game over Houston). The pressure is on as Houston already won today. Now the Cardinals are in danger of being 1/2 game up if they lose a game in progress with Milwaukee. Doug Davis (10-11, 5.02) got the start for Milwaukee while the Cards sent out Jason Marquis (14-15, 5.80) and Milwaukee leads early, 2-0. This is the first of 4 against the Brew Crew in St. Louis that the Cards play this weekend.
4. Los Angeles (85-74, leads wild card by 1 1/2 games over Philadelphia). The Dodgers played a football game in Denver today, or at least the score was football-like as the Dodgers rolled 19-11 over the Rockies. Colorado must have came up short in the red zone late. Anyway, now the Dodgers head to San Francisco for a weekend 3 game series against their old rivals, the Giants.
5. Philadelphia (83-75). The Phillies are getting their backs firmly placed against the wall and worse yet a rainstorm in Washington has delayed their getaway game, possibly washing the Phillies out for tonight. If they can get it going, it will be Jon Lieber (9-10, 4.92) for the Phillies against Washington’s Michael O’Connor (3-8, 5.04). What also needs to be kept in mind is that Philadelphia needs to catch a plane to Miami tonight so they can play at Florida to finish the year, so a long delay is not helping their cause nor did the Dodgers’ earlier win.
6. Houston (81-78). They shut out the Pirates 3-0 this afternoon in Pittsburgh, now the question is whether Roger Clemens will pitch his last game tomorrow night in Atlanta. They’ve won 9 straight to make the N.L. Central a race.
7. Cincinnati (78-80). Their loss last night put the Reds’ season on life support, but nevertheless they sent out Kyle Lohse (4-10, 6.04 between the Twins and Reds) against Florida’s Ricky Nolasco (11-10, 4.70) and thus far the results are encouraging as Cincinnati leads in the 6th inning 5-1. But if they blow that lead and St. Louis wins, the Reds’ faint playoff hopes are snuffed out. The Reds close up shop this season in Pittsburgh.
It’s starting to look like the National League will have all of the excitement this weekend, with the exception of the A.L. Central title race. But all that determines is who would get the Yankees in the first round.