Can't believe it is that time of the season already, but 3 games before roster expansion. I have a little time this am waiting for the Old Lady to get her ass in gear.
The Pittsburgh Pirates has wrapped up the division I would say and is competing with Florida for the #1 seed. The Cincinnati Reds are 14 back and would take a real cold streak for the Pirates to lose the title.
The Cleveland Indians lead the division by 4 games over Atlanta. The Indians have set some defensive records this season already, most Plus Plays (111) beating last years NL Kansas City team (93) and the AL Helena team (109) who could still beat their own record they set last year. We still have the chance of tying the Minus Play record (4) held by the great defensive Cub teams of years gone by. The Indians also lead the league with the fewest unearned runs with 26. Of late, the injury bug has plagued the Indians with two of the best hitters on the DL at the same time.
The Atlanta Braves has taken advantage of the Indian woes to mount an attack to get close. The only thing going for Atlanta is hitting and they do it well and have the easiest schedule.
The Philadelphia Phillies aren't out but haven't been playing well at all.
The Florida Marlins like Pittsburgh has all but wrapped up the division and are fighting for the #1 seed. The season ending injury to Rick Hill could be devastating to the Marlins before the season is over. It has showed in the box scores as run production is down.
The Texas Rangers are 15 back but to mount a run would take a miracle.
The Colorado Rockies find themselves in first at the moment. They struggled at home till the All-Star break winning only 17 but have figured it going 18-5 since (or somewhere near that).
The Salem Super Sequoias are 4 back and can't be left out of the picture as the two have see-sawed back and forth, they have solidified their starting rotation but the pen is still struggling. The offense is led by Greg Woods who I think should be in the running for MVP also.
The Wild Cards
At this time the wild card race is between three teams with a couple hopefuls if they can't win their division.
The Cincinnati Reds lead the pack at the moment. Closely following them are the Texas Rangers. The Atlanta Braves are next at 4 back with Philadelphia and Salem the only real contenders at the moment.
The Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins are neck and neck battling it out. This one may not be decided till the final out in the finial series between the two.
The Syracuse Sycamores find themselves in front by 9 games. Boston has been hot as of late and may be making a charge, could it be too little too late?
The Durham Bulls are in first but seem to be a bit languid, maybe DJ's sister has been busy. The Austin Fightin' Armadillos have been trying to play catch up but not gaining much ground. The Kansas City Royals was my pick, they are hot but are out of the picture at 15 back.
The Helena Hot Pockets have taken command for the time being with their 8-2 streak but for how long. The Las Vegas 51s are only 2 back and the Anaheim Angels are 6 back. Any of them could get hot and take over. It may be another 15 games before the three-way is over.
The Wild Cards
This is a tough one with the muddled picture in the North. All 6 teams has a pretty good shot at a play off berth. Even the The Kansas City Royals which would make Durham pretty upset.