Monday, September 27, 2010

Baseball's Final Week

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-Digger's Daily-

Here we go. The final regular season week for MLB 2010 has arrived. A few questions remain for certain players and teams ranging from home field advantage, division leaders, wild card winners & the final push for award candidates.

Tampa Bay (93-62) vs New York (93-63) for AL East crown has been an up and down battle for both clubs. The Yanks seemed to have taken a somewhat firm grip on the East mid-week only to lose 4 in a row before rallying to beat Boston Sunday night. They trail Tampa by 1/2 game.

Minnesota (92-63) was the first team to clinch their division and now are in a last week battle to secure home field advantage. They may just do it pressure free as most media attention focuses on TB vs NY.

National League play has followed teams shifting up and down. Philadelphia is NL's top club and look nearly invincible behind a star studded starting rotation (Halladay, Oswalt & Hamels). They'll be tough to beat in playoff competition.

What's wrong with Atlanta (87-69)? Not only have they surrendered first place to Philly, but they're now in jeopardy of missing the playoffs altogether. Not quite how Bobby Cox invisioned his final MLB season. Atlanta is in a hot battle for the wild card vs NL West clubs (SF 88-68 & SD 87-68).

Once again the NL West race comes down to the wire. Will another single game playoff determine West champs? San Francisco currently holds a slim 1/2 game lead over San Diego. These two clubs will go head to head on the final weekend of the season. Every pitch is critical. Whoever finishes second could miss out on the playoffs if Atlanta suddenly wakes up and gets hot.

Baseball awards are up for grabs too. There really isn't any clear cut leader for Cy Young or MVP this year. Here's my revised short list of candidates.
AL Cy Young: CC Sabathia (NYY), Felix Hernandez (SEA), David Price (TB), Jon Lester (BOS), Trevor Cahill (OAK).
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay (PHI), Adam Wainwright (STL), Ubaldo Jiminez (COL).
AL MVP: Adrian Beltre (BOS), Robinson Cano (NYY), Josh Hamilton (TEX), Vlad Guerrero (TEX), Carl Crawford (TB), Miguel Cabrera (DET), Delmon Young (MIN), Evan Longoria (TB).
NL MVP: Joey Votto (CIN), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Troy Tulowitzki (COL), Albert Pujols (STL), Adrian Gonzalez (SD).

2010 represents the final season of a few celebrated baseball stars and managers. Names such as Ken Griffey, Mike Lowell, Lou Piniella, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, Billy Wagner & Cito Gaston have all announced this is their final season. (Ok, Torre only stated he's not coming back to LA but odds are he's done for good).
Stay tuned... the final week of MLB 2010's regular season will be filled with plenty of excitement and emotions. More to follow as the week progresses....


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