CLEVELAND - APRIL 01: General view of Progressive Field stadium prior to the the Opening Day game between the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox on April 1, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

MLB Standings Update September 26: The Final Countdown

Your one-stop shop for updates on the races in the Central and in the rest of the Major Leagues

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MLB Standings Update: The Final Series Of The Year And Both Wild Cards Are Up For Grabs

It has come down to this: all of the divisional races have been decided, but man oh man, the Wild Cards in both leagues truly are up for grabs, with two different teams clinging to a one-game lead as we head into the last three games of the regular season.

Here then is a look at who's in, who plays whom among teams battling for playoff positioning, and of course, where we stand in the Wild Card races.

First for the American League:

  • New York Yankees (97-62) -- The Yankees have clinched the best record in the American League and will have the home field advantage in any series in the playoffs until the World Series. New York, at present, would face the Detroit Tigers in the first round, since the Red Sox are in the same division and the team with the best record cannot play a team in its own division in the first round.
  • Texas Rangers (93-66) -- The Rangers lead the Tigers by one game, and at present would face the Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs. Texas will finish the regular season at Los Angeles against the Angels, who have just a breath of a chance left.
  • Detroit Tigers (92-67) -- The Tigers, as noted above, would play the Yankees if the playoffs started today. Detroit finishes the regular season with a three-game series at home vs. the Indians.
  • Boston Red Sox (89-70) -- The Red Sox hold a slim one-game lead for the AL Wild Card and conclude the regular season with a series in Baltimore vs. the Orioles.
  • Tampa Bay Rays (88-71) -- The Rays are giving it their all in the Wild Card chase, but must finish the season with three games at home against the Yankees. If Tampa Bay wins the Wild Card, they would play either Detroit or Texas in the first round, depending upon which team finishes with the second-best record in the AL.
  • Los Angeles Angels (86-73) -- The only way that the Angels could be in the postseason mix would be if they sweep the Rangers while the Red Sox are swept by the Orioles and the Rays lose at least two-of-three to the Yankees. If the Angels survive to make it into a Wild Card playoff and end up winning the Wild Card, they would play New York in the opening round.

And now for our final look at the National League:

  • Philadelphia Phillies (99-60) -- The Phillies have clinched the best record in the National League and have home-field advantage all the way through the World Series. As it stands at present (and subject to change), Philadelphia would face the Diamondbacks in the first round, since the Braves at present own the Wild Card spot and the Phillies and Braves -- being from the same division -- could not meet in the first round.
  • Milwaukee Brewers (94-65) -- The Brewers, if the playoffs started today, would have a very interesting matchup in the first round with the Braves -- who of course left Milwaukee over 40 years ago for Atlanta. The Brewers finish the regular season at home against the Pirates.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (93-66) -- Arizona is at present in the unenviable position of having to play the Phillies in the first round if the playoffs began today. The Diamondbacks wrap up the regular season at home vs. the Dodgers.
  • Atlanta Braves (89-70) -- The Braves are hanging on by a thread with a one-game lead over the Cardinals heading into the last three days of play in the regular season. Atlanta is at home for a season-ending series vs. the Phillies, who may have much to say about who their opponent will be in the first round. If the Braves hang on and win the Wild Card they would play either Milwaukee or Arizona in the first round, depending upon which of those teams finished with the second-best record in the NL.
  • St. Louis Cardinals (88-71) -- The Cardinals have a distinct advantage even though they trail the Braves by a game, as Atlanta must finish with Philadelphia while St. Louis goes to Houston to play the 104-loss Astros. Should St. Louis earn the Wild Card they would play Philadelphia in the first round.

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I hope, if you have been following along through the course of the season, that you have enjoyed these updates. There has been trial-and-error and experimentation along the way, and I am sure that next season things will be more refined from the get-go.

One thing is for certain: it has been fun for me to take this ride and watch things begin to clear up, and then to fall into place as week has followed week.

If you have any suggestions on how this would be "better" or "more pleasing" for you to read next season, please let me know.

Continue

MLB Standings Update: AL Wild Card Set Up To Be A 'Wild' Finish

With only ten days left in the regular season, lo and behold we have seen a couple of races develop where it looked like their would be no drama at all.

In the American League the Wild Card race is suddenly a dogfight, and the San Francisco Giants in the National League are determined not to give up their world championship status without a fight.

Let's take a look and see how things are shaking out with a week and a half to go. As always, we will give you the upcoming schedule for all teams still in contention...though that list gets shorter and shorter.


AL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Detroit 89 64 .581 0 Won 1
Cleveland 75 75 .500 12.5 Won 3
Chicago 74 78 .486 14.5 Won 1
Kansas City 67 87 .435 22.5 Lost 1
Minnesota 59 92 .390 29 Lost 8

(updated 9.19.2011 at 11:15 AM EDT)


The Tigers are in, and the Indians are, believe it or not, still alive for the Wild Card (see below). Detroit currently has the second-best record in the American League, and if the season ended today would be facing the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs.

Detroit begins a series at Kansas City against the Royals on Tuesday, while the Indians play a make-up game against the Mariners on Monday before opening a home series vs. the White Sox on Tuesday with a day/night doubleheader.


AL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
New York 91 60 .602 0 Lost 1
Boston 87 65 .572 4.5 Lost 2
Tampa Bay 85 67 .559 6.5 Won 2
Toronto 77 75 .506 14.5 Won 1
Baltimore 62 89 .410 29 Lost 1

(updated 9.19.2011 at 11:18 AM EDT)


The Yankees have a magic number of 7 to clinch a playoff spot, while Boston and the Tampa Bay Rays are in a sudden duel for the Wild Card spot in the AL (see below).

New York currently has the best record in the league, and if the season ended today would be facing Texas in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Yankees are home to Minnesota on Monday, while the Red Sox are hosting Baltimore. Tampa Bay begins a series in New York on Tuesday.



AL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Texas 88 65 .575 0 Won 2
Los Angeles 83 69 .546 4.5 Won 1
Oakland 69 84 .450 19 Lost 1
Seattle 63 89 .414 24.5 Lost 2

(updated 9.19.2011 at 11:22 AM EDT)





The Rangers currently have the worst record of a division leader in the AL, and if the season ended today would open the playoffs in New York. (The reason that the Yankees, with the best record, would not be playing the Wild Card winner in the first round is that a team cannot play another team in its own division in the first round, and as the Red Sox at present hold the Wild Card lead, they could not play the Yankees first.)

Texas has a magic number of 6 to win the West, while the Angels are still alive for the Wild Card as well as their division.

The Rangers are at Oakland to face the Athletics beginning Tuesday, while the Angels begin a series in Toronto vs. the Blue Jays on Monday.


American League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Boston 87 65 .572 0 Lost 2
Tampa Bay 85 67 .559 2 Won 2
Los Angeles 83 69 .546 4 Won 1
Toronto 77 75 .506 10 Won 1
Cleveland 75 75 .500 11 Won 3
Chicago 74 78 .486 13 Won 1
Oakland 69 84 .450 18.5 Lost 1
Kansas City 67 87 .435 21 Lost 1
Seattle 63 89 .414 24 Lost 2
Baltimore 62 89 .410 24.5 Lost 1
Minnesota 59 92 .390 27.5 Lost 8

(updated 9.19.2011 at 11:26 AM EDT)


Toronto and Cleveland are both mathematically alive for the Wild Card, although the "tragic number" for elimination is 1 for each club.

Boston's magic number to win the Wild Card stands at 9, but the way the Rays are coming on, don't be shocked if Tampa Bay makes Boston pay for their slow start so many months ago. And the Angels are hovering in the wings, ready to pounce should the Red Sox and the Rays falter down the stretch.

Now for the Senior Circuit:

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NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Milwaukee 90 63 .588 0 Won 3
St. Louis 83 69 .546 6.5 Won 1
Cincinnati 74 79 .483 16 Lost 3
Pittsburgh 68 85 .444 22 Lost 3
Chicago 67 86 .437 23 Lost 1
Houston 52 100 .342 37.5 Won 1

(updated 9.19.2011 at 11:29 AM EDT)


The Brewers have been pushed a bit by the Cardinals, yet still Milwaukee's magic number is 4 to win the Central. St. Louis is still alive for the NL Wild Card (see below).

Milwaukee has the second-best record in the NL, and with the same situation as in the American League (best record and Wild Card leader from the same division), if the season ended today the Brewers would host the Wild Card-leading Braves in the opening round.

The Brewers begin the week in Chicago to face the Cubs on Monday, while St. Louis finishes a series in Philadelphia, also on Monday. The Cardinals then come home to face the Mets beginning Tuesday.


NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Philadelphia 98 53 .649 0 Lost 1
Atlanta 87 66 .568 12 Lost 1
New York 73 80 .477 26 Won 1
Washington 72 79 .476 26 Won 1
Florida 69 84 .450 30 Lost 1

(updated 9.19.2011 at 11:35 AM EDT)


The Phillies have clinched the NL East, while Atlanta is the Wild Card leader. Philadelphia's magic number to clinch the best record in the National League is 2, and if the season ended today, the Phillies would be hosting the Diamondbacks in the opening round.

Philadelphia finishes a series with St. Louis on Monday and then hosts the Nationals starting Tuesday, while Atlanta begins a series in Florida on Monday vs. the Marlins.


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 88 65 .575 0 Won 1
San Francisco 83 70 .542 5 Won 8
Los Angeles 76 76 .500 11.5 Won 3
Colorado 70 82 .460 17.5 Lost 4
San Diego 65 88 .424 23 Lost 1

(updated 9.19.2011 at 11:39 AM EDT)


Arizona continues to hold on in the est, with a magic number of 5 to clinch the division. If the season ended today the Diamondbacks would face the Phillies in the opening round. The Giants, meanwhile, have won eight straight to stay alive in both the division and Wild Card races, but they are running out of time.

Arizona begins the week at home on Monday vs. the Pirates, while San Francisco will be in LA to face the Dodgers beginning Tuesday.


National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 87 66 .568 0 Lost 1
St. Louis 83 69 .546 3.5 Won 1
San Francisco 83 70 .542 4 Won 8
Los Angeles 76 76 .500 10.5 Won 3
Cincinnati 74 79 .483 13 Lost 3
New York 73 80 .477 14 Won 1
Washington 72 79 .476 14 Won 1
Colorado 70 82 .460 16.5 Lost 4
Florida 69 84 .450 18 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 68 85 .444 19 Lost 3
Chicago 67 86 .437 20 Lost 1
San Diego 65 88 .424 22 Lost 1
Houston 52 100 .342 34.5 Won 1

(updated 9.19.2011 at 11:42 AM EDT)


Only three teams are left alive for the National League Wild Card. Right now the Braves' magic number to clinch is 7 over the Cardinals and 6 over the Giants.

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And there we have it as the last full week of the season dawns. Be sure to check back on Friday for another update, as the season will head into its final two series for each club still in contention.

Continue

MLB Standings Update: Phillies Are In, With Others Soon To Follow

Since last we met, the Philadelphia Phillies have clinched a playoff spot, and other teams are getting close, with the Detroit Tigers right on the cusp.

Here is our Friday look at the Major League standings with a little less than two weeks to go in the regular season. We will give the "who's playing whom" for all teams still in contention.


AL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Detroit 87 63 .580 0 Lost 1
Chicago 73 76 .489 13.5 Lost 5
Cleveland 72 75 .489 13.5 Lost 3
Kansas City 65 86 .430 22.5 Won 5
Minnesota 59 89 .398 27 Lost 5

(updated 9.16.2011 at 11:53 AM EDT)


Although the White Sox are technically in second place, Chicago has already been eliminated from any chance at the division title, as have the Royals and the Twins. Only the Indians have a "chance", and that chance will vanish with Cleveland's next loss or the Tigers' next win.

The Indians are in Minnesota this weekend, while the Tigers continue a series in Oakland.


AL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
New York 90 58 .608 0 Lost 1
Boston 86 63 .577 4.5 Lost 2
Tampa Bay 83 66 .557 7.5 Won 1
Toronto 75 74 .503 15.5 Won 1
Baltimore 60 88 .405 30 Won 2

(updated 9.16.2011 at 11:56 AM EDT)


The Orioles and the Blue Jays have no chance to win the East, although Toronto is still barely alive in the Wild Card race (see below).

The Rays are facing the Red Sox in a battle royale over four days, with Tampa Bay having won on Thursday and climbing closer to Boston. The Yankees are in Toronto over the weekend, with a magic number of 10 to win the division.


AL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Texas 86 64 .573 0 Won 4
Los Angeles 82 67 .550 3.5 Won 2
Oakland 68 82 .453 18 Won 1
Seattle 62 87 .416 23.5 Won 1

(updated 9.16.2011 at 11:59 AM EDT)


The Athletics and the Mariners are both out of contention, but the Angels still have a shot at both the division title and a Wild Card (see below).

The Rangers, with a magic number of 10, are in Seattle this weekend, while Los Angeles is in Baltimore.


American League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Boston 86 63 .577 0 Lost 2
Tampa Bay 83 66 .557 3 Won 1
Los Angeles 82 67 .550 4 Won 2
Toronto 75 74 .503 11 Won 1
Chicago 73 76 .489 13 Lost 5
Cleveland 72 75 .489 13 Lost 3
Oakland 68 82 .453 18.5 Won 1
Kansas City 65 86 .430 22 Won 5
Seattle 62 87 .416 24 Won 1
Baltimore 60 88 .405 25.5 Won 2
Minnesota 59 89 .398 26.5 Lost 5

(updated 9.16.2011 at 12:01 PM EDT)


Technically, six teams are still alive in the Wild Card race in the AL, but in reality it is down to a three-team fight.

The Red Sox have a magic number of 11 to clinch at least a spot in the playoffs, and are embroiled in a series with the Rays all weekend in Boston. The Angels are in Baltimore, the Blue Jays are entertaining the Yankees, the White Sox (who will be out with a Boston win or a loss themselves) are in Kansas City, and the Indians are in Minnesota.

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Now for a look at the National League:


NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Milwaukee 87 63 .580 0 Lost 1
St. Louis 81 68 .543 5.5 Won 2
Cincinnati 74 76 .493 13 Won 3
Pittsburgh 68 82 .453 19 Won 1
Chicago 65 85 .433 22 Lost 3
Houston 51 98 .342 35.5 Lost 1

(updated 9.16.2011 at 12:05 PM EDT)


The Cardinals have come back to make a race of it in the Central, but the Brewers magic number is down to 8, and all four other teams in the division are already eliminated.

Milwaukee is in Cincinnati to face the Reds this weekend, while St. Louis has what might be a mixed blessing as they head to Philadelphia. The Cardinals will be hoping that the Phillies take it easy, having already clinched a playoff spot.


NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Philadelphia 97 51 .655 0 Won 3
Atlanta 86 64 .573 12 Won 2
Washington 71 77 .479 26 Won 5
New York 71 79 .473 27 Lost 6
Florida 67 83 .446 31 Lost 4

(updated 9.16.2011 at 12:09 PM EDT)


The Phillies, as stated more than once in this report, have clinched a playoff spot, and their magic number to win the East is down to 2. The Braves, far from being despondent, are sitting pretty with the Wild Card lead (see below).

All other East teams are officially out of any playoff contention.

Philadelphia entertains St. Louis this weekend, while the Braves are home to take on the Mets.


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 87 63 .580 0 Lost 1
San Francisco 80 70 .533 7 Won 5
Los Angeles 73 76 .489 13.5 Lost 1
Colorado 70 79 .469 16.5 Lost 1
San Diego 63 87 .420 24 Lost 3

(updated 9.16.2011 at 12:11 PM EDT)


Arizona is hanging on while the defending champion Giants are getting hot in a last ditch effort to return to the playoffs. The Diamondbacks have a magic number of 6 to win the West.

Arizona is in San Diego this weekend to take on the Padres, while San Francisco is on the road to take on the Rockies.



National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 86 64 .573 0 Won 2
St. Louis 81 68 .543 4.5 Won 2
San Francisco 80 70 .533 6 Won 5
Cincinnati 74 76 .493 12 Won 3
Los Angeles 73 76 .489 12.5 Lost 1
Washington 71 77 .479 14 Won 5
New York 71 79 .473 15 Lost 6
Colorado 70 79 .469 15.5 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 68 82 .453 18 Won 1
Florida 67 83 .446 19 Lost 4
Chicago 65 85 .433 21 Lost 3
San Diego 63 87 .420 23 Lost 3
Houston 51 98 .342 34.5 Lost 1

(updated 9.16.2011 at 12:14 PM EDT)


Cincinnati and Los Angeles would both be eliminated with a loss or an Atlanta win, so this -- like in the American League -- is realistically down to a three-team race.

Atlanta's magic number to win the Wild Card is 9.

The Braves are home to the Mets this weekend, while the Cardinals are in Philadelphia. San Francisco is in Colorado, while the Reds are home to Milwaukee and the Dodgers are hosting the Pirates.

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Be sure to check back on Monday. By then it is pretty clear that things will have sorted out even more than they are sorted out now.

Continue

MLB Standings Update: A Little Over 2 Weeks Left, And Things Are Heating Up

Last Friday, I lamented on the lack of drama in the final weeks of the regular season in the Major Leagues, and lo and behold, both Wild Card races went and tightened up over the weekend, and suddenly, there is indeed drama. And just in time too, what with the Indians about out of it and the Tigers running away with the AL Central.

Here then is the latest standings update as we near only two weeks left in the season:


AL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Detroit 84 62 .575 0 Won 9
Chicago 73 72 .503 10.5 Lost 1
Cleveland 72 72 .500 11 Won 1
Kansas City 62 86 .418 23 Won 2
Minnesota 59 87 .404 25 Lost 3

(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:08 PM EDT)


There is no drama here, and no chance for the White Sox or the Indians as far as the Wild Card goes, but alas, it was not a bad ride this year, and the Tribe has a shot to finosh .500 or better. And hey, that would be a twelve-game improvement over 2010.

The Tigers have a magic number of 7, and the Royals and the Twins have been eliminated.


AL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
New York 88 57 .606 0 Won 1
Boston 85 61 .582 3.5 Lost 5
Tampa Bay 81 64 .558 7 Won 4
Toronto 74 73 .503 15 Won 2
Baltimore 58 87 .400 30 Lost 2

(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:10 PM EDT)


This division suddenly is starting to heat up. While the Yankees have a pretty firm grip on a playoff spot, Tampa Bay could still make a run at New York, what with the way the Rays are playing.

The Yankees begin the week in Seattle on Monday, while Boston hosts Toronto starting Tuesday. The Rays are at Baltimore beginning tonight.

New York has a magic number of 14 to win the East, while the Red Sox own the Wild Card lead at present (see below).

Only Baltimore is officially eliminated in this division.


AL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Texas 83 64 .564 0 Won 1
Los Angeles 80 66 .547 2.5 Lost 1
Oakland 66 80 .452 16.5 Lost 1
Seattle 61 85 .417 21.5 Lost 2

(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:13 PM EDT)


The Angels continue to hang tough in the West, and also have an outside chance at a Wild Card (see below).

The Rangers entertain the Indians starting Tuesday night, while Los Angeles begins a series in Oakland on Monday.

Texas' magic number is 14, and the Athletics and the Mariners have both been eliminated.


American League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Boston 85 61 .582 0 Lost 5
Tampa Bay 81 64 .558 3.5 Won 4
Los Angeles 80 66 .547 5 Lost 1
Chicago 73 72 .503 11.5 Lost 1
Toronto 74 73 .503 11.5 Won 2
Cleveland 72 72 .500 12 Won 1
Oakland 66 80 .452 19 Lost 1
Kansas City 62 86 .418 24 Won 2
Seattle 61 85 .417 24 Lost 2
Minnesota 59 87 .404 26 Lost 3
Baltimore 58 87 .400 26.5 Lost 2

(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:15 PM EDT)


This is a three-team race that has, indeed, become a race. Boston, as noted above, takes on the Blue Jays beginning Tuesday, while Tampa Bay is at Baltimore starting tonight, and Los Angeles is at Oakland.

Boston's magic number to clinch the Wild Card (at least) is 14. Oakland, Kansas City, Seattle, Minnesota and Baltimore have all been eliminated from postseason consideration.

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And, in the National League...


NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Milwaukee 86 62 .581 0 Won 1
St. Louis 79 67 .541 6 Won 5
Cincinnati 71 75 .486 14 Lost 2
Pittsburgh 66 80 .452 19 Lost 3
Chicago 64 82 .438 21 Won 2
Houston 49 97 .335 36 Lost 1

(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:18 PM EDT)


This division was a runaway a few days ago, but has tightened up quite a bit.

The Brewers begin the week at home against the Rockies on Tuesday, while the Cardinals are in action tonight in Pittsburgh.

Milwaukee's magic number to clinch the Central is 10, and the Pirates, the Cubs and the Astros have all been eliminated.


NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Philadelphia 94 49 .657 0 Lost 1
Atlanta 84 63 .571 12 Lost 3
New York 71 75 .486 24.5 Lost 2
Washington 67 77 .465 27.5 Won 1
Florida 66 79 .455 29 Won 3

(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:21 PM EDT)


Philadelphia is just about ready to be crowned as the champs of the East, and yet the Braves have the lead in the Wild Card (see below).

The Mets, the Nationals and the Marlins have all been eliminated.


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 85 62 .578 0 Lost 1
San Francisco 76 70 .520 8.5 Won 1
Los Angeles 72 73 .496 12 Lost 1
Colorado 69 77 .472 15.5 Won 2
San Diego 63 84 .428 22 Won 1

(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:22 PM EDT)


The world champion Giants are just about gone, as the Diamondbacks' magic number has shrunk to 8.

Arizona is at the Dodgers to begin the week, while San Francisco is at home to face the Padres.

Colorado and San Diego have both been eliminated from the West race.


National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 84 63 .571 0 Lost 3
St. Louis 79 67 .541 4.5 Won 5
San Francisco 76 70 .520 7.5 Won 1
Los Angeles 72 73 .496 11 Lost 1
Cincinnati 71 75 .486 12.5 Lost 2
New York 71 75 .486 12.5 Lost 2
Colorado 69 77 .472 14.5 Won 2
Washington 67 77 .465 15.5 Won 1
Florida 66 79 .455 17 Won 3
Pittsburgh 66 80 .452 17.5 Lost 3
Chicago 64 82 .438 19.5 Won 2
San Diego 63 84 .428 21 Won 1
Houston 49 97 .335 34.5 Lost 1

(updated 9.12.2011 at 1:24 PM EDT)


The Cardinals got much closer to the Braves and are making a Wild Card race of it after all, and the Giants are still breathing, though just barely, for the fourth playoff spot.

Atlanta starts a series at home vs. Florida on Monday, while St. Louis is at Pittsburgh and San Francisco is at home to take on San Diego.

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And there we have it, looking ahead to our next update on Friday. Two divisions are still up in the air and both Wild Card races have become interesting. Not much to look forward to, yet much more to look forward to than there was last Friday.

See you next time.

Continue

MLB Standings Update: The Season Winds Down With Very Little Drama

There is not a lot of drama left in Major League baseball's regular season, with a little less than three weeks to go. There is talk of perhaps adding another Wild Card sometime in the near future, and that is all well, fine and good -- unless you are a traditionalist and prefer not to see maybe 16 teams in the postseason, as there are in hockey and basketball.

However, we are not here to talk of the future, but the present, and here is another look at the standings, as well as the weekend schedule for those teams which are either pretty much in, or are still realistically alive.


AL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Detroit 81 62 .566 0 Won 6
Chicago 72 70 .507 8.5 Won 1
Cleveland 70 71 .496 10 Lost 4
Kansas City 60 85 .413 22 Lost 2
Minnesota 59 84 .412 22 Won 1

(updated 9.9.2011 at 10:27 AM EDT)


Unfortunately for Indians fans, the Tribe needs to be counted out, painful as that is. The Tigers are at home this weekend vs. the Twins, while the White Sox continue their home series against Cleveland.

Detroit's magic number is 12, and the Royals and Minnesota are mathematically eliminated.


AL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
New York 87 55 .612 0 Lost 2
Boston 85 58 .594 2.5 Lost 2
Tampa Bay 78 64 .549 9 Won 1
Toronto 72 72 .500 16 Won 2
Baltimore 57 85 .401 30 Won 2

(updated 9.9.2011 at 10:29 AM EDT)


Here is one race that is alive, but not with much drama. Why? Because the second-place finisher in the East almost certainly will be the Wild Card, and it may come down to a second-place team with a chance to win a division resting players down the stretch instead of "trying" to claim a division title.

The Yankees are out West to play the Angels, while the Red Sox square off with the Rays in Tampa Bay. Although I am inclined to say that the Rays are finished, a good weekend could keep them in the hunt.

New York's magic number to take the East is 18. We will discuss Boston's magic number for the Wild Card after the Wild Card standings.

Baltimore is the only East team that has been mathematically eliminated from the playoff race.


AL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Texas 81 63 .562 0 Lost 1
Los Angeles 78 65 .545 2.5 Won 1
Oakland 65 78 .454 15.5 Won 1
Seattle 60 83 .419 20.5 Won 1

(updated 9.9.2011 at 10:33 AM EDT)


Although there is the same gap between first and second in the West, the drama is completely different, as the second place team will probably have no shot at a Wild Card.

The Rangers entertain the Athletics this weekend, while Los Angeles is at home vs. the Yankees. Texas has a magic number of 17.

The Mariners have been mathematically eliminated from all playoff contention.


American League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Boston 85 58 .594 0 Lost 2
Tampa Bay 78 64 .549 6.5 Won 1
Los Angeles 78 65 .545 7 Won 1
Chicago 72 70 .507 12.5 Won 1
Toronto 72 72 .500 13.5 Won 2
Cleveland 70 71 .496 14 Lost 4
Oakland 65 78 .454 20 Won 1
Seattle 60 83 .419 25 Won 1
Kansas City 60 85 .413 26 Lost 2
Minnesota 59 84 .412 26 Won 1
Baltimore 57 85 .401 27.5 Won 2

(updated 9.9.2011 at 10:42 AM EDT)


The AL Wild Card race is a three-team battle, though Boston has a pretty healthy advantage, and has a magic number of 14 to clinch -- unless they overtake New York for the AL East crown.

Oakland, Seattle, Kansas City, Minnesota and Baltimore all have no shot at a Wild Card.

Now to the National League:

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NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Milwaukee 85 60 .586 0 Lost 3
St. Louis 76 67 .531 8 Won 2
Cincinnati 70 73 .489 14 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 66 77 .461 18 Won 1
Chicago 62 81 .433 22 Won 1
Houston 48 95 .335 36 Lost 1

(updated 9.9.2011 at 10:37 AM EDT)


Yet another two-team race, and yet another race where there is really no drama.

The Brewers have lost three straight and might be showing a dent in their armor, but even so, Milwaukee's magic number is 11.

Milwaukee faces the Phillies through this weekend, while the Cardinals are at home against the Braves.

The Cubs and the Astros have both been mathematically eliminated from all postseason contention.


NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Philadelphia 92 48 .657 0 Won 4
Atlanta 84 60 .583 10 Won 2
New York 70 73 .489 23.5 Lost 2
Washington 65 76 .460 27.5 Lost 2
Florida 63 79 .443 30 Lost 2

(updated 9.9.2011 at 10:40 AM EDT)


Philadelphia just keeps rolling along and has reduced their magic number to 11. But the Braves have much to play for even though they will not catch the Phillies. Atlanta has a healthy lead for the NL Wild Card, which we will look at below.

Only the Marlins have been eliminated from playoff contention.


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 83 61 .576 0 Won 2
San Francisco 75 68 .524 7.5 Lost 1
Los Angeles 70 72 .492 12 Won 2
Colorado 67 76 .468 15.5 Lost 1
San Diego 62 82 .430 21 Lost 1

(updated 9.9.2011 at 10:45 AM EDT)


The final of the two-team races is in the NL West, where the Diamondbacks have reduced their magic number to 12. Arizona takes on the Padres at home this weekend, while the defending champion Giants try to hang on to flickering hopes as they face the Dodgers, also at home.

Only San Diego has been mathematically eliminated.


National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 84 60 .583 0 Won 2
St. Louis 76 67 .531 7.5 Won 2
San Francisco 75 68 .524 8.5 Lost 1
Los Angeles 70 72 .492 13 Won 2
Cincinnati 70 73 .489 13.5 Lost 1
New York 70 73 .489 13.5 Lost 2
Colorado 67 76 .468 16.5 Lost 1
Pittsburgh 66 77 .461 17.5 Won 1
Washington 65 76 .460 17.5 Lost 2
Florida 63 79 .443 20 Lost 2
Chicago 62 81 .433 21.5 Won 1
San Diego 62 82 .430 22 Lost 1
Houston 48 95 .335 35.5 Lost 1

(updated 9.9.2011 at 10:47 AM EDT)


As in the American League, the NL has a three-team race for the Wild Card -- and like the AL, the Senior Circuit has basically no drama here.

Atlanta's magic number for the Wild Card is 12. Florida, the Cubs, San Diego and Houston are all eliminated.

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We will be back on Monday for another update, Maybe something will happen this weekend to amp up one or two of the battles for playoff spots -- or maybe by Monday it will be down to just a few teams with any real chance.

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MLB Standings Update: As August Wanes, So Do The Hopes Of Many Teams

As we get into this last weekend of August, many teams are seeing their hopes for the postseason start to dwindle, if they haven't already disappeared. And magic numbers for leaders in the playoff race now begin to take on real relevance.

Here is our look at the standings as the last weekend of the month is underway. We will show you the current standings, tell you who the contenders will be facing over the next three hurricane-affected days, and give you the magic numbers for such teams as the Tigers (which would of course translate to a "tragic number" for the Indians, as the current second-place squad). Any number in parentheses will be a team's magic number in the body of text:


AL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Detroit 71 59 .546 0 Won 1
Cleveland 63 64 .496 6.5 Lost 2
Chicago 63 65 .492 7 Lost 2
Minnesota 55 75 .423 16 Lost 5
Kansas City 54 77 .412 17.5 Won 1

(updated 8.26.2011 at 11:39 AM EDT)


The Tigers (28) are looking pretty, having gained a full five games on their lead in the past seven days, Detroit is at Minnesota to take on the Twins this weekend, while the Indians entertain the Royals, and the White Sox head for Seattle to face the Mariners.


AL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Boston 80 50 .615 0 Won 3
New York 78 50 .609 1 Won 1
Tampa Bay 70 59 .542 9.5 Lost 1
Toronto 66 64 .507 14 Lost 1
Baltimore 51 77 .398 28 Won 4

(updated 8.26.2011 at 11:41 AM EDT)


The Red Sox and the Yankees have the same amount of losses, and so technically there is no magic number in the East at present. Boston will play against the Athletics on Friday and Saturday, with two games being held on Saturday rather than even try to face Irene's wrath and get a game in on Sunday. Meanwhile, New York plays at Baltimore, and The Tampa Bay Rays -- marginally alive -- are in Toronto to face the Blue Jays.


AL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Texas 74 58 .560 0 Lost 3
Los Angeles 71 59 .546 2 Won 6
Oakland 59 71 .453 14 Lost 1
Seattle 56 73 .434 16.5 Won 2

(updated 8.26.2011 at 11:44 AM EDT)


The West is strictly a two-team race, with the Rangers (30) and the Angels ready for a head-to-head showdown in Arlington this weekend.


American League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
New York 78 50 .609 0 Won 1
Los Angeles 71 59 .546 8 Won 6
Tampa Bay 70 59 .542 8.5 Lost 1
Toronto 66 64 .507 13 Lost 1
Cleveland 63 64 .496 14.5 Lost 2
Chicago 63 65 .492 15 Lost 2
Oakland 59 71 .453 20 Lost 1
Seattle 56 73 .434 22.5 Won 2
Minnesota 55 75 .423 24 Lost 5
Kansas City 54 77 .412 25.5 Won 1
Baltimore 51 77 .398 27 Won 4

(updated 8.26.2011 at 11:46 AM EDT)


The Yankees (26) are just about assured an AL Wild Card, and as noted above, the Angels are at Texas this weekend while the Rays are in Toronto.

And now for the National League:


NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Philadelphia 83 45 .648 0 Lost 1
Atlanta 79 53 .598 6 Won 1
Washington 62 67 .480 21.5 Lost 3
New York 61 68 .472 22.5 Won 1
Florida 58 72 .446 26 Lost 1

(updated 8.26.2011 at 11:48 AM EDT)


The Phillies (27) are at present comfortably ahead of the Braves. Philadelphia entertains the Marlins this weekend in another series affected by Irene, while Atlanta takes on the Mets in New York in -- you guessed it -- another weather-affected series.


NL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Milwaukee 78 54 .590 0 Lost 1
St. Louis 68 63 .519 9.5 Won 1
Cincinnati 64 66 .492 13 Won 1
Pittsburgh 61 69 .469 16 Lost 1
Chicago 57 74 .435 20.5 Lost 1
Houston 43 88 .328 34.5 Won 1

(updated 8.26.2011 at 11:50 AM EDT)


This division is a true runaway, with the Brewers (22) having the smallest magic number in the Majors. Milwaukee is home this weekend to the Chicago Cubs, while the Cardinals are also at home to face the Pirates.


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 72 59 .549 0 Won 3
San Francisco 69 62 .526 3 Lost 1
Colorado 63 68 .480 9 Won 5
Los Angeles 60 69 .465 11 Won 3
San Diego 60 71 .458 12 Lost 1

(updated 8.26.2011 at 11:51 AM EDT)


This is a two-team race that, in fairness, should probably get at least one more weekend involving three teams, since the Rockies are hot and are capable of making up serious ground at the end of a season, as we discovered a few years ago. The Diamondbacks (29) are home to the Padres this weekend, while the Giants entertain the Astros. And those barely-in-it Rockies are in Los Angeles to face the Dodgers.


National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 79 53 .598 0 Won 1
San Francisco 69 62 .526 9.5 Lost 1
St. Louis 68 63 .519 10.5 Won 1
Cincinnati 64 66 .492 14 Won 1
Colorado 63 68 .480 15.5 Won 5
Washington 62 67 .480 15.5 Lost 3
New York 61 68 .472 16.5 Won 1
Pittsburgh 61 69 .469 17 Lost 1
Los Angeles 60 69 .465 17.5 Won 3
San Diego 60 71 .458 18.5 Lost 1
Florida 58 72 .446 20 Lost 1
Chicago 57 74 .435 21.5 Lost 1
Houston 43 88 .328 35.5 Won 1

(updated 8.26.2011 at 11:54 AM EDT)


The Braves (22) are looking excellent to claim the NL Wild Card, and as noted above are on the road to face the Mets this weekend, while the Giants are home to Houston.

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And there we have it. Please check back on Monday, when we will again update -- and perhaps have a team or two less to consider a contender.

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MLB Standings Update: The Stretch Run Nears With A Couple Of Teams On The Verge Of Dropping Out

As we reach the middle of August, things are still good for about half the teams in the Major Leagues and looking pretty grim for the other half or so.

The American League has eight teams either leading or within 10 games of the lead in their division, and the National League has only six.

Here is a team-by-team look at how the contenders stand as of the morning of August 15.

American League --

In the AL East, the Red Sox (73-46) have the thinnest of leads over the Yankees (72-46), while the Rays (64-55) are basically the only other team in contention in this division, albeit barely in contention at nine games behind. As the week begins Boston heads to Tampa Bay for a series the Rays simply must win, and New York is on the road in Kansas City, hoping to beat up on the Royals while their division rivals battle it out.

The AL Central is also a three-team race, and this one is more legitimate than the race in the East. The Tigers (64-56) entertain the Twins at the beginning of the week, while the Indians (60-57 and 2.5 games back) take on the White Sox (60-60) in Chicago.

The West is down to two teams left in contention, with only the Rangers (69-52) and the Angels (65-56) having any shot at the postseason. Los Angeles probably needs to catch Texas, because the Angels trail the Yankees by 8.5 games for the American League Wild Card. The Rangers and Angels open up a critical series in Anaheim on Monday night.

National League --

The National League is even "simpler" than the American, with only six teams in true contention for the four playoff spots.

In the NL East, the Phillies (78-41) continue their runaway for a division crown, with a nine-game lead over Atlanta (70-51).

However, the Braves hold a four-game lead over the Giants and a five-game lead over the Cardinals at present for the National League Wild Card.

The NL Central is a two-team race with the Brewers (70-51) a full five games up on St. Louis (65-56). Nobody else in the Central is within 11 games of either a division title or the Wild Card.

The West is also a two-team race with the Diamondbacks (68-53) two games ahead of San Francisco (66-55). Nobody else in the West is within 12 games of a playoff spot, at present.

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Be sure to check back on Friday for the latest update as the season winds down to its last 40 or so regular season games. As we all know, the fourth quarter is truly the quarter that counts.

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MLB Standings Update: Off To Texas 3 Games Back, Indians Try To Hang In There

The Indians may well have accomplished a psychological win if nothing else in splitting four games in Boston, especially considering that they well could have won three of the games, or even swept, with a timely hit here or a fly ball a few feet shorter there.

Now the Tribe is off to Texas for three games, but what about the rest of the contenders in the Major Leagues?

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The American League still has eight teams at least within ten games of their division lead, and thus, for the sake of argument, still in contention.

Starting first with the Indians' division, the Tigers (59-52) have a three-game lead over Cleveland (55-54), and while the Tribe spends the weekend in Texas against the Rangers, Detroit heads to Kansas City.

Let us hope that the Royals can do to Detroit what they did to the Indians last weekend -- take two of three (at least).

The White Sox (52-58, 6.5 games behind) have lost six straight, but have to be considered still in the hunt. Chicago will take on the Twins (51-60, 8 games behind) this weekend in Minnesota.

The AL East truly is a two-team race, with the Red Sox and the Yankees tied at 68-42, and getting ready to play each other this weekend in Boston.

Nobody else in the East is within ten games of the lead -- or for the Wild Card, which is also a tie at the moment between Boston and New York.

Even more than in the East, the AL West is a two-team battle, with the Rangers (62-50) a game up on the Angels (61-51). While the Rangers deal with the Indians this weekend, Los Angeles will be home to take on the Mariners.

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As does the American League, the National League also has eight teams "in contention" according to my parameters.

The NL East is pretty much a one-team race now, with the Phillies (72-39) a full 8.5 games up on the Braves (64-48).

But it is Atlanta that leads in the NL Wild Card chase by 2.5 games over the Diamondbacks (61-50), so a large deficit for a division title is not so daunting to the Braves as of now.

The NL Central is seeing some separation, but four teams have to be considered still in the race.

The Brewers (62-50) lead the Cardinals (59-53) by three games, and then there is a drop-off to the Pirates (54-56, 7 games behind and losers of seven in a row) and the Reds (54-57, 7.5 games behind).

The NL West is a two-team battle between the Giants (62-50) and Arizona, which resides just a half-game behind the defending champs.

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Be sure to check back on Monday, when we take a look at where things stand entering the second week in August.

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MLB Standings Update: Indians Embark On Critical Road-Trip Hanging On By Their Fingernails

The Indians enter the first days of August in big trouble in the AL Central, as the Detroit Tigers have opened up a 2.5 game lead over the Tribe as Cleveland heads out on what could be a brutal visit to Boston and Texas.

In this latest look at the standings it will be noted that Detroit's lead is now tied for second for the widest margin in the Majors.

Here is a look at what the contenders in each league look like, and who plays who in the American League at the beginning of the week:

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In the AL Central, the Tigers (57-51), as said, lead the Indians (53-52) by 2.5 games. Detroit entertains Texas beginning Tuesday night while the Tribe heads for four in Boston starting Monday.

The White Sox (52-54) find themselves four games back as they get ready to face the Yankees at home beginning Monday, and the Twins (50-58), seven games behind, now face the Angels at home starting on Tuesday.

Only two teams in the AL East are at present in contention, with the Red Sox (66-40) two games ahead of the New York Yankees (64-42). Third place Tampa Bay is 10.5 back, and that, in the East, is surely a near-insurmountable margin.

The AL West is also a two-team race, with the Rangers (61-48) leading the Angels (59-50) by two games.

The AL Wild Card is pretty much a two-team race as well at present, with the Yankees 6.5 games up on the Angels. Next in line, but 8.5 games back in the wild card race, are the Rays.

In case you wonder, the Indians are a full 10.5 games back of the Yankees. In other words, it pretty much boils down to: win the Central or watch the playoffs on TV.

The National League features eight teams that are in or on the cusp of contention. At this stage of the season, I would say that that would be any team within ten games of a division lead, although in truth, it is getting a bit too late even for a team that far back, although of course there is the wild card.

The NL East is assuredly a two-team race, with the Phillies (68-39) checking in six games up on the Braves (63-46). The Braves are the leader in the wild card battle in the National League, 3.5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks.

In the NL Central, the Brewers (60-49) have a solid 2.5 game lead over the Cardinals (57-51), while the Pirates (54-52) have faded to 4.5 games back. Also in marginal contention in the Central are the Reds (53-55), 6.5 games in arrears of Milwaukee.

The NL West features a two-team race, with the World Champion Giants (61-47) coming in two games ahead of the Diamondbacks (59-49).

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Obviously there is still time for the 14 teams at least ten games back to make a move, and also obviously, a couple of these teams have a much better chance than -- say -- the Astros, owners of baseball's worst record at 35-73.

But in truth, it looks more and more as if each league might have as few as eight teams in contention for four playoff spots as August rolls along.

Be sure to check back on Friday for our next update.

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MLB Standings Update: Tigers Move 2 Up On Indians As Last Week In July Dawns

The Detroit Tigers have moved two games up on the Cleveland Indians in the Central Division as the last week of baseball in July begins.

As with the last update, there are eight teams in the American League who can be said to be in legitimate contention, while six AL teams are probably focusing more and more on the off-season.

But there is still a lot of baseball to be played.

Let's take a look at the contenders in each division, and where they stand overall in the standings for the entire league, since one team that is contending will not win a division, but probably will win a wild card.

In the AL East, the Red Sox (62-37) lead the Yankees (59-40) by three games. Frankly, the second-place team in this division will in all probability be the Wild Card, as New York leads in that race at present by 5.5 games over the Angels. The Rays (53-47) are slowly slipping into non-contention land, from which they could possibly recover. But it would take passing at least one of the East juggernauts to do so.

The Central became more of a three-team than a four-team chase over the weekend. The Tigers (54-47) lead the Indians (51-48) by two games, while the White Sox (49-51) are 4.5 back of Detroit, but getting ready to open a series in Chicago against the Tigers.

Meanwhile the Twins (47-54) have slipped seven games off the pace after losing three-of-four at home to Detroit.

The West is a two-team race with the Rangers (58-44) three games up on the Angels (55-47). Nobody else in the West is any closer than 13.5 games.

Cleveland takes on the Angels for three to begin the week, while, as said, the Tigers face the White Sox. The Twins have the unenviable task of going into Texas to take on the red-hot Rangers, while Boston hosts Kansas City and the Yankees face the Seattle Mariners, who have lost 15 in a row as of Monday morning.

We will take a more in-depth look at both leagues in the next update.

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MLB Standings Update: With 10 Weeks Left In The Season, The Races Are Heating Up

With only 10 weeks to go until the end of the baseball regular season, nine teams in the American League are either first or within 7.5 games of the division lead.

Meanwhile five teams (Toronto, Baltimore, Kansas City, Oakland and Seattle) are just about to the extinction point, although of course in two months, things could change.

Yet the Blue Jays and the Orioles would not only have to make up major ground on a division leader, but also two other teams well ahead in the standings in the East, while the Royals in the Central have four squads well ahead of them, and in the West the Athletics and Mariners have the daunting task of somehow trying to make up ground on the defending American League champion Rangers and the challenging Angels.

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Here is a look at the nine teams in the American League who can be said to be in legitimate contention, and at who their opponents will be over the weekend.

In the East, the Boston Red Sox (59-37) hold a two-game advantage over the New York Yankees (57-39). Boston is home vs. the Mariners over the weekend, while the Yankees are also at home, against the Athletics.

The Tampa Bay Rays (52-45) are 7.5 games behind yet still dangerous, and will be in Kansas City to take on the Royals beginning Friday.

The AL Central is, as you know, tight and becoming tighter, as the Detroit Tigers (52-46) are a half-game up on the Indians (51-46), while the Chicago White Sox (47-51) and the Minnesota Twins (46-52), though trudging under .500, are both within six games of the lead.

Detroit is in the midst of a four-game series in Minnesota over the weekend, while the Indians will go head-to-head with the White Sox in Cleveland beginning on Friday night.

The West has pretty much morphed into a two-team race, with the Rangers (56-43) three games up on the Angels (53-46). Los Angeles just took the last two games of a series with Texas to stay within range, and the Angels will now go to Baltimore before coming to Progressive Field to begin next week, while the Rangers will be at home this weekend to take on the Blue Jays.

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Eight teams in the National League are either first or within four games of a division lead, while eight teams are ten games or more behind and cannot be said, at this time, to be in contention.

In the East, the Philadelphia Phillies (61-36) are four games in front of the Atlanta Braves (58-41), with the Mets next closest at 12.5 games behind.

The NL Central is a four-team battle, as is its counterpart in the AL. The Pittsburgh Pirates (51-45) and the Milwaukee Brewers (53-47) are in a virtual tie for the lead, while the St. Louis Cardinals (51-47) check in only one game behind. The Cincinnati Reds (48-50) are struggling, yet are only four games behind the Pirates and Brewers.

In the NL West, the defending world champs are leading the way as the San Francisco Giants enter the weekend at 57-42. The only team within hailing distance of the Giants are the Arizona Diamondbacks (53-46 and four games back), while all other teams in the West are at least ten games behind.

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With the weather insufferably hot, a hot pennant race is conversely a "cool" thing to witness and to be a part of. With 17 teams firmly alive and ten weeks to go, things are sure to stay interesting, and should one of the teams "out of it" catch lightning in a bottle and make a move, we will be sure to tell you all about it...

...in our next installment.

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MLB Standings Update: As Season Enters Last Weekend Of Interleague Play, It's 3-Team Race In The Central

The Indians and the Detroit Tigers continue to play hot potato with the lead in the AL Central, as during the past few weeks both teams have had the top spot, lost it, got it back, lost it, etc.

As things stand now, the Tigers are a half-game ahead of the Indians, but in the rear-view mirror and approaching fast are the Chicago White Sox, as a two-team race is morphing into a three-team battle.

And the Minnesota Twins, you just have a feeling, are not out of it by a long shot.

Here then is a look at the standings in the Majors, with a focus on the AL Central, and on who will be facing whom this weekend in the Tribe's little cluster of the baseball universe:

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The Detroit Tigers (44-38) are, as said, just a half-game ahead of the Indians (42-37). Detroit will be at home this weekend to face the Giants, while the Indians will be in Cincinnati for the Battle of Ohio, part two.

The White Sox (40-42, 4 games behind) will be "on the road" to take on the Cubs on the North Side this weekend.

Meanwhile, and rounding out the Central, the Minnesota Twins (34-45, 8.5 games behind) will be at home to take on Milwaukee, and the Kansas City Royals (33-48, 10.5 games behind) will be in Denver to take on the Rockies.

In the AL East, the New York Yankees (48-31) have the best record in the American league. In second place are the Boston Red Sox (46-34, 2.5 games behind), with the Tampa Bay Rays (45-36, 4 games behind) also in striking distance. Then there is a drop-off to the Toronto Blue Jays (40-42, 9.5 games behind) and the Baltimore Orioles (35-43, 12.5 games behind).

On a side note, I have to say that I am glad that the Indians do not have to face the annual juggernaut of the top three teams in the East that the Blue Jays and Orioles have to contend with.

The AL West is still led by the Texas Rangers (43-39), but the Los Angeles Angels (42-40, 1 game behind) are breathing down the Rangers' necks. The Seattle Mariners (39-42, 3.5 games behind) are next, with the fourth spot in the West going to the fading Oakland Athletics (36-46, 7 games behind).

The Red Sox are at current the leaders in the Wild Card race, with the Indians 3.5 games behind Boston. Translation: it would behoove the Tribe to win the Central, as the Wild Card will probably come from the East, Yes, it is too early to say for sure, but with the power of the top three teams in the East, that is the place where a sensible fan expects the fourth playoff contestant in the American League to come from.

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The leaders in the National League East are the Philadelphia Phillies (51-31), who also have the best record in the Major Leagues. The only team within shouting distance of the Phillies are the Atlanta Braves (47-35, 4 games behind), while the New York Mets (41-40), the Washington Nationals (40-41) and the Florida Marlins (36-45) can just about write off any chance at a divisional crown in 2011.

The NL Central is a much tighter division at the top, with the Milwaukee Brewers and the St.Louis Cardinals tied for the lead at 44-38. The surprising Pittsburgh Pirates (41-39) and the Cincinnati Reds (42-40) are both just two games back, and then there is a major chasm before we find the Chicago Cubs (34-48, 10 games back) and the Houston Astros (29-53, 15 games behind).

The National League West has become a two-team race at present with the San Francisco Giants (46-36) on top, followed by the Arizona Diamondbacks (44-38 and just 2 games behind). The Colorado Rockies (39-42) are by no means out of it, but it could be said that the San Diego Padres (37-45) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (36-46) are getting close to the point of non-contention.

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And there you have it, for another weekend. I will update again on Monday, when baseball gets back to strictly intraleague play -- for a week, at which point everyone will take a break for the All-Star game.

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MLB Standings Update: 6 More Interleague Road Games Could Leave Tribe Well Behind Detroit

The Indians have slipped behind the Detroit Tigers by virtue of having been swept over the weekend in San Francisco while the Tiger took two-of-three from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Unfortunately for the scoring-challenged Tribe, there are six more games upcoming on the road in interleague play, and thus six more games where pitchers hit and Travis Hafner is relegated to pinch-hitting.

Here is the latest look at the standings in the Major Leagues, again with emphasis on the American League Central.

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The Detroit Tigers (42-36) took over possession of first place on Sunday, although being tied with the Cleveland Indians (40-36) in the loss column. Detroit plays a make-up game on Monday against the Toronto Blue Jays before jumping back into interleague play on Tuesday against the New York Mets in Detroit. The Indians, meanwhile, will travel to Arizona beginning Monday for three games with the Diamondbacks.

In third place in the Central are the Chicago White Sox (38-41, 4.5 games behind), who will be taking on the Colorado Rockies in Denver beginning Tuesday.

Rounding out the AL Central are the Kansas City Royals (33-45) and the Minnesota Twins (32-44), who are locked in a virtual tie, nine games behind the Tigers. Kansas City plays in San Diego against the Padres on Monday, while Minnesota will be at home to face the Los Angeles Dodgers to open a three-game set.

The New York Yankees (45-31) are owners of the best record in the American League, but lead the East by only a half-game over the Boston Red Sox (45-32). Breathing down the leaders' necks are the Tampa Bay Rays (44-34, 2 games behind), while the Blue Jays (39-39, 7 games behind) are showing some life, having won three straight. The Baltimore Orioles (35-40, 9.5 games behind) are last in the East.

Meanwhile, in the AL West, the defending American League champions are on top, with the Texas Rangers checking in with a tepid 41-38 mark -- tepid but still good enough to lead the Seattle Mariners (39-39) by a game and a half. The Los Angeles Angels (39-40, 2 games behind) are right in the mix, while there is a slight drop off to the Oakland Athletics (35-44, 6 games behind).

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The National League has the team with the best record in baseball with the East-leading Philadelphia Phillies (49-30). The Phillies lead the Atlanta Braves (44-35) by five full games for the largest lead at present in the Majors.

Third in the East are the Washington Nationals (40-38, 8.5 games behind), who are holding their own record-wise. Next are the New York Mets (39-39, 9.5 games behind), while last place in the East goes to the Florida Marlins (34-44, 14.5 games behind).

The NL Central is opening up at the top with the Milwaukee Brewers (44-35) leading the pack. The St.Louis Cardinals (41-38, 3 games behind) have been slipping, and are being threatened by the Pittsburgh Pirates (39-38) and the Cincinnati Reds (40-39), both of whom are four games behind Milwaukee.

The rest of the NL Central is in real danger of being basically out of the race by July 4. The Chicago Cubs (31-46, 12 games behind) and the Houston Astros ((28-51, 16 games behind) will soon need telescopes to see the four teams in front of them, if they do not find lightning in a bottle and turn things around quickly.

The world champion San Francisco Giants (44-34) have won five in a row -- the last three courtesy of the Tribe. Meanwhile, Cleveland's next opponent, the Arizona Diamondbacks (43-36, 1.5 games behind) were in first place as recently as Saturday morning, but are now looking up at the Giants.

Third place in the NL West goes to the Rockies (38-39, 5.5 games behind), followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers (35-44, 9.5 games behind) and the San Diego Padres (34-45, 10.5 games behind) needing to turn things around to have any hope, now that the Giants are getting things together.

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Look for your next update on the goings-on in the standings on Friday morning, when baseball prepares to enter its last weekend of interleague play in the 2011 season.

Continue

MLB Standings Update: Tribe Heads West, Tigers Are Home As Indians Try To Hold AL Central Top-Spot

After dropping two out of three to the Colorado Rockies, the Indians embark this weekend on a three-city, nine-game road trip through the National League -- where there is no designated hitter, and thus where a sputtering offense will face the challenge of producing with one less bat in the lineup (yes, pitchers will hit...allegedly).

As we head into the last week of July, here is the latest look at the standings in the Majors, with emphasis on the American League Central.

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The Cleveland Indians (40-33) continue to hold on to first place in the Central, but are only a game ahead of the Detroit Tigers (40-35). While the Tigers will be home this weekend to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Indians will be in San Francisco to face the defending World Champs.

The Chicago White Sox (37-39, 4.5 games behind) are quietly getting closer and closer to the top of the Central, and will be entertaining the Washington Nationals this weekend, while the Minnesota Twins (32-41, 8 games behind) were cooled off in their last two games but have still won 15 of their last 19 as they prepare to play their cross-border rivals when they face the Milwaukee Brewers.

Bringing up the rear in the Central are the Kansas City Royals (31-44, 10 games behind), who have lost five straight and are tumbling fast. Hard to believe it wasn't all that long ago that the Royals were neck-and-neck with the Tribe.

The American League East is tight at the top as well, with the Boston Red Sox (44-30) only a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees (43-30). The Tampa Bay Rays (41-34, 3.5 games behind) are hanging tough, but the Toronto Blue Jays (36-39, 8.5 games behind) and the Baltimore Orioles (33-39, 10 games behind) are still in danger of falling out of the AL East-leaders' zip code.

In the American League West, the Texas Rangers (40-36) have opened up a little breathing room over the Seattle Mariners (37-38, 2.5 games behind) and the Los Angeles Angels (37-39, 3 games behind), with the Oakland Athletics (34-42, 6 games behind) still in contention in what is -- at present -- the weakest division, record-wise, in the big leagues.

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In the National League East, the Philadelphia Phillies (47-29) enter the weekend with the best record in the Majors. The Atlanta Braves (43-33, 4 games behind) are by no means out of the divisional race, plus the Braves at present have the Wild Card lead by 1.5 games in the NL.

Third place in the NL East belongs to the Washington Nationals (38-37, 8.5 games behind), who are above .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2005, but have just lost manager Jim Riggleman to resignation. Behind the Nationals are the New York Mets (37-38, 9.5 games behind) and the Florida Marlins (33-42, 13.5 games behind).

The National League Central is tied at the top with the Milwaukee Brewers and the St.Louis Cardinals both coming in at 41-35. Not far behind are the Cincinnati Reds (39-37, 2 games behind) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (37-37, 3 games behind). After that there is a chasm-like drop-off to the Chicago Cubs (30-44, 10 games behind) and the Houston Astros (28-48, 13 games behind).

The NL West leaders are the Arizona Diamondbacks (42-34) -- Cleveland's opponent at the beginning of next week. But first the Indians will face the San Francisco Giants (41-34, .5 games behind).

Talk about a tough start to a road trip.

In third place in the NL West are the Colorado Rockies (37-37, 4 games behind), while the Los Angeles Dodgers (34-42, 8 games behind) and the San Diego Padres (32-44, 10 games behind), round out the National League standings.

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Be sure to check back on Monday for the next update, as all 30 teams in the Majors approach the halfway point of their schedules and the games begin to "matter" (not that they all don't) more and more.

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MLB Standings Update: As Season Nears Halfway Point, Tribe Retakes Top Spot

After sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates over this past weekend, the Indians find themselves once again in first place in the AL Central.

Cleveland (39-31) embarks on a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies at home to begin this week, while the second place Detroit Tigers (39-33 1 game behind) go to the West Coast to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Chicago White Sox (35-38, 5.5 games behind) are home for three against their crosstown rivals, the Cubs.

The Minnesota Twins (31-39, 8 games behind) have been on fire, winning 14-of-16, and have moved into fourth place in the Central. Minnesota now heads to San Francisco to begin the week, while the Kansas City Royals (31-41, 9 games behind) will entertain the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The AL East sees the Boston Red Sox (43-28) on top, followed by the New York Yankees (41-29, 1.5 games behind). The Tampa Bay Rays (39-33, 4.5 games behind) are still within range, but the Toronto Blue Jays (36-36, 7.5 games behind) and the Baltimore Orioles (32-37, 10 games behind) are rapidly digging themselves a hole which it will be hard to crawl out of.

In the AL West, the Texas Rangers (38-35) lead the way, but the Seattle Mariners (37-35, 0.5 games behind) are hot on Texas' trail. After Seattle are the Los Angeles Angels (35-38, 3 games behind), with the Oakland Athletics (33-40, 5 games behind) bringing up the rear.

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The National League East is becoming the Philadelphia Phillies' (45-28) playground. Philly checks in at the beginning of the week with the best record in the Major Leagues. The Atlanta Braves (40-33, 5 games behind) are well in the Phillies' rear-view mirror, but do find themselves tied, at present, for the Wild Card lead. Tied for third in the East are the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals, both at 35-37 and both 9.5 games behind, while the Florida Marlins (32-40, 12.5 games behind) are falling shockingly fast, having lost 10 in a row.

The NL Central finds a tie at the top between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St.Louis Cardinals, both of whom check in at 40-33. In third place are the Cincinnati Reds (38-35, 2 games behind). The Pittsburgh Pirates, after being swept by the Indians, have fallen back below .500 at 35-36, but find themselves only four games out of first.

Fifth place in the Central belongs to the Chicago Cubs (29-42, 10 games behind) while the Houston Astros (27-46, 13 games behind) find themselves with the worst record in baseball and the dubious distinction of being the only sixth-place team in the Majors -- helped, of course, by the fact that their division is the only one with six teams.

The NL West is led by the San Francisco Giants (39-33), but the Arizona Diamondbacks (39-34, 0.5 games behind) are hot on their tail. The Indians' next opponent, the Colorado Rockies (35-36, 3.5 games behind) slipped back below .500 with their loss on Sunday to the Tigers, while the West is rounded out by the Los Angeles Dodgers (32-41, 7.5 games behind) and the San Diego Padres (30-43, 9.5 games behind).

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As stated above, the Braves are tied for the NL Wild Card lead with both the Brewers and the Cardinals, although, of course, the latter teams are also tied for first in their division.

In the American League the Yankees at present hold down the Wild Card spot, three games ahead of the Rays and the Tigers.

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MLB Standings Update: The Pressure Is Getting To Some Teams

The Indians still lead the AL Central, but that lead has shrunk to a mere one game over the Detroit Tigers, and those Tigers have caught Cleveland in victories with 34 wins.

The Tribe isn't the only team that has been slumping. For example, the New York Yankees -- the Indians' next opponent -- have just been swept (for the second time this season) by the Red Sox at home.

Here is your look at the standings in the Major Leagues, with emphasis on the American League:

American League Central -

  • Cleveland Indians  34-26  .567  0 Games Behind  --  Up Next: @ Yankees June 10-12
  • Detroit Tigers  34-28  .548  1 Game Behind  --  Up Next: vs. Seattle June 10-12
  • Chicago White Sox  31-34  .477  5.5 Games Behind  --  Up Next: vs. Oakland June 10-12
  • Kansas City Royals  27-36  .429  8.5 Games Behind  --  Up Next: @ Angels June 10-12
  • Minnesota Twins  24-38  .387  11 Games Behind  --  Up Next: vs. Texas June 10-12

American League East -

  • Boston Red Sox  36-26  .581  0 Games Behind  --  Up Next: @ Toronto June 10-12
  • New York Yankees  33-27  .550  2 Games Behind  --  Up Next: vs. Cleveland June 10-12
  • Tampa Bay Rays  33-29  .532  3 Games Behind  --  Up Next: @ Baltimore June 10-12
  • Toronto Blue Jays  32-31  .508  4.5 Games Behind  --  Up Next: vs. Boston June 10-12
  • Baltimore Orioles  29-31  .483  6 Games Behind  --  Up Next: vs. Tampa Bay June 10-12

American League West -

  • Texas Rangers  35-29  .547  0 Games Behind  --  Up Next: @ Minnesota June 10-12
  • Seattle Mariners  32-31  .508  2.5 Games Behind  --  Up Next: @ Detroit June 10-12
  • Los Angeles Angels  30-34  .469  5 Games Behind  --  Up Next: vs. Kansas City June 10-12
  • Oakland Athletics  27-37  .422  8 Games Behind  --  Up Next: @ White Sox June 10-12

The National League has three fairly tight races, with the division-leader with the biggest lead being the St.Louis Cardinals leading the National League Central by 2.5 games over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cincinnati Reds are next, 5 games back, followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 6.5 behind, and the Chicago Cubs, who trail by 11.5 games. In the dust and in last place in the Central are the Houston Astros, languishing 13.5 games behind and with the largest deficit in the Majors.

The National League East sees the Philadelphia Phillies 2 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves, while the slumping Florida Marlins have dropped to third, 5 full games behind. The New York Mets find themselves trailing by 6.5 games, and the Washington Nationals have fallen 10 games behind the Phillies.

Finally, in the National League West, the San Francisco Giants are on top, but only by a game over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Third place in the West goes to the Colorad Rockies, 4.5 behind, while at 6.5 back and deadlocked for fourth place are the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.

 

Be sure to check back on Monday for a look at how the standings change after this second weekend in June.

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MLB Standings Update: Will Tribe Swoon In June?

Even after losing six of their last nine games, the Indians still hold onto the best record in the Major Leagues, albeit by percentage points over the Philadelphia Phillies, as we head into the first weekend of June.

Ah, June, when many teams which have been hot in the cooler months of spring begin to wilt in the increasing heat. An increasing heat both literal, as the temperatures rise, and metaphoric, as the pressure rises to stay on top while rivals begin to draw closer (as the Tigers have drawn to within 4.5 games of the Tribe).

Here is a detailed look at the American League standings and upcoming schedules for the AL, and a thumbnail peek at the National as we move well past the one-third-of-the-season stage:

American League Central -

  • Cleveland Indians  33-21  .611  0 Games Behind - Up Next: vs. Texas June 3-5
  • Detroit Tigers  29-26  .527  3.5 Games Behind - Up Next: @ White Sox June 3-5
  • Chicago White Sox  27-31  .466  8 Games Behind - Up Next: vs Detroit June 3-5
  • Kansas City Royals  25-31  .446  9 Games Behind - Up Next: vs. Minnesota June 3-5
  • Minnesota Twins  18-37  .327  15.5 Games Behind - Up Next: @ Kansas City June 3-5

American League East -

  • New York Yankees  31-23  .574  0 Games Behind - Up Next: @ Angels June 3-5
  • Boston Red Sox  30-26  .526  2 Games Behind - Up Next: vs. Oakland June 3-5
  • Tampa Bay Rays  29-27  .518  3 Games Behind - Up Next: @ Seattle June 3-5
  • Toronto Blue Jays  28-28  .500  4 Games Behind - Up Next: @ Baltimore June 3-5
  • Baltimore Orioles  25-29  .463  6 Games Behind - Up Next: vs. Toronto June 3-5

American League West -

  • Texas Rangers  31-26  .544  0 Games Behind - Up Next: @ Cleveland June 3-5
  • Seattle Mariners  29-27  .518  1.5 Games Behind - Up Next: vs. Tampa Bay June 3-5
  • Los Angeles Angels  29-29  .500  2.5 Games Behind - Up Next: vs. Yankees June 3-5
  • Oakland Athletics  27-30  .474  4 Games Behind - Up Next: @ Boston June 3-5

The Philadelphia Phillies lead the National League East by two games over the Florida Marlins, while the Atlanta Braves are 3.5 back. Then there is a significant drop-off to the New York Mets, eight behind, and the Washington Nationals, who find themselves nine full games back.

The National League Central is led by the St.Louis Cardinals, who have a two-game lead on the Milwaukee Brewers and a 3.5 game margin over the Cincinnati Reds. The Pittsburgh Pirates are fourth in the Central, 5.5 games behind, followed by the Chicago Cubs, eight games back, and the Houston Astros, who find themselves 9.5 back of the Cardinals.

Finally, in the National League West, the World Champion San Francisco Giants are only a half-game in front of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The slumping Colorado Rockies are 4.5 behind, with the West rounded out by the Los Angeles Dodgers in fourth place, 5.5 games in arrears, and the San Diego Padres, coming into this weekend 7.5 games in the Giants' rear-view mirror.

 

And there we have it, our latest look at who plays whom and what is what in the AL especially and the Major Leagues in general. Be sure to look for the next update, as the screw start tightening for some teams, and other teams begin to get into their annual contention mode.

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MLB Standings Update: Indians Are Only Team With Clear-Cut Lead

The Indians, even after their woes in the last two games against Boston, are the only division-leader with a sizable advantage as we head into the last weekend of May. The Tribe's six-game lead over the Tigers is 3.5 games better than the Cardinals' 2.5 lead over the Brewers.

Here is your Friday look at the standings and the American League schedules for the weekend.

 

American League Central -

Cleveland Indians  30-17  .638  0 Games Behind -- Up Next: @Tampa Bay Friday-Sunday

Detroit Tigers  25-24  .510  6 Games Behind -- Up Next: vs. Boston Friday-Sunday

Chicago White Sox  24-28  8.5 Games Behind -- Up Next: @ Toronto Friday-Sunday

Kansas City Royals  22-27  .449  9 Games Behind -- Up Next: @ Texas Friday-Sunday

Minnesota Twins  16-32  .333  14.5 Games Behind -- Up Next: vs. Angels Friday-Sunday

 

American League East -

New York Yankees  27-21  .562  0 Games Behind  -- Up Next: @ Seattle Friday-Sunday

Boston Red Sox  28-22  .560  0 Games Behind -- Up Next: @ Detroit Friday-Sunday

Tampa Bay Rays  26-23  .531  1.5 Games Behind -- Up Next: vs. Cleveland Friday-Sunday

Baltimore Orioles  24-24  .500  3 Games Behind -- Up Next: @ Oakland Friday-Sunday

Toronto Blue Jays  24-26  .480  4 Games Behind -- Up Next: vs White Sox Friday-Sunday

 

American League West -

Texas Rangers  26-24  .520  0 Games Behind -- Up Next: vs. Kansas City Friday-Sunday

Los Angeles Angels  26-26  ,500  1 Game Behind -- Up Next: @ Minnesota Friday-Sunday

Seattle Mariners  24-25  .490  1.5 Games Behind -- Up Next: vs. Yankees Friday-Sunday

Oakland Athletics  24-27  .471  2.5 Games Behind -- Up Next: vs. Baltimore Friday-Sunday

 

The National League features the St.Louis Cardinals in the Central with a one-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cincinnati Reds have slipped to four games behind.

The NL East sees the Philadelphia Phillies on top by only a game over the Florida Marlins, with the Atlanta Braves in third place, 3.5 games back.

And the National League West has the San Francisco Giants a game and a half clear of the Arizona Diamondbacks, with the Colorado Rockies having slipped to third place and under .500 after their fast start.

 

And there is your somewhat abbreviated look at the standings. I have streamlined it a bit to make it less "wordy", but I would appreciate any input from you, the reader, into how you would like to see things written-up in the future. This column can always be a work in progress, and your contributions would be welcomed and implemented if they were good suggestions for what I am trying to do here.

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MLB Standings Update: First Weekend Of Inter-League Play Completed

After the first weekend of inter-league play of 2011, the Indians have seen their lead over the Tigers expand to seven full games, while in the AL East, the Yankees are percentage points ahead of the Rays and the Red Sox are only a half-game out as Boston comes to Cleveland. The AL West has the Rangers on top at only a game over .500.

Here is your Monday look at the standings in the Major Leagues, as well as a look at early-week action in the American League.

 

American League Central -

Cleveland Indians  29-15  .659  0 Games Behind -- The Indians finished off a sweep of the Reds on Sunday and find themselves well clear of the Tigers, for now. Now the Boston Red Sox come to Cleveland for a three-game series beginning on Monday night.

Detroit Tigers  23-23  .500  7 Games Behind -- The Tigers dropped the first two games in Pittsburgh before salvaging the finale of their series with the Pirates on Sunday, As the new week begins, the Tampa Bay Rays come to Detroit for a three-game set starting on Monday, before the Red Sox come to town for a series beginning on Thursday.

Kansas City Royals  22-24  .478  8 Games Behind -- The Royals are sinking rapidly, and are coming off of having lost two of three at home against the St.Louis Cardinals. Now Kansas City goes to Baltimore for three with the Orioles, beginning on Tuesday evening.

Chicago White Sox  22-26  .458  9 Games Behind -- The White Sox are playing well and have crept to within two games of second place after taking two of three at home vs. the Dodgers. Chicago plays three in Texas Monday through Wednesday, before heading to Toronto to begin a series with the Blue Jays on Thursday.

Minnesota Twins  15-30  .333  14.5 Games Behind -- The Twins continue to sink in the Central, after being swept in Arizona by the Diamondbacks. Minnesota is back home for three with the Mariners beginning on Monday night.

 

American League East -

New York Yankees  25-20  .556  0 Games Behind -- The Yankees took two-of-three from their rivals from New York over the weekend, and now welcome Toronto for three games against the Blue Jays.

Tampa Bay Rays  26-21  .553  0 Games Behind -- Only percentage points separate the Rays and the Yankees after Florida took two of three over the weekend against Tampa Bay. The Rays go to Detroit for a three-game set starting Monday night against the Tigers.

Boston Red Sox  25-21  .543  .5 Games Behind -- The Red Sox took two of three from the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, and now stop off for three in Cleveland starting on Monday before moving over to Detroit for a series beginning on Thursday.

Toronto Blue Jays  23-23  .500  2.5 Games Behind -- Toronto lost two of three over the weekend at home against the Houston Astros, and now must go to New York for three games against the Yankees starting on Monday. Then the Blue Jays return home to open a series with the White Sox on Thursday.

Baltimore Orioles  21-24  .467  4 Games Behind -- The Orioles took two of three from the Washington Nationals this past weekend, and now welcome Kansas City for a three-game set beginning on Tuesday.

 

American League West -

Texas Rangers  24-23  .511  0 Games Behind -- In the tightly-bunched West, the Rangers crept over .500 on Sunday when they salvaged the final game of three in Philadelphia. Texas is back home on Monday to start a three-game set with the White Sox.

Los Angeles Angels  24-24  .500  .5 Games Behind -- The Angels took two of three from the Braves at home over the weekend, and now entertain the Oakland A's for four games beginning on Monday night.

Seattle Mariners  22-24  .478  1.5 Games Behind -- The Mariners are getting hot, having just swept three games in San Diego against the Padres. Next Seattle heads to Minnesota for three games with the Twins starting on Monday.

Oakland Athletics  22-25  .468  2 Games Behind -- The A's have slipped into last place in the West but are only two games out of first after being swept in San Francisco. Oakland will try to regroup starting on Monday when they travel to Anaheim to take on the Angels in a four-game series.

 

In the National League Central the St.Louis Cardinals (28-20) benefited from the Indians sweep of the Cincinnati Reds (25-22) to open a little margin. The Milwaukee Brewers (24-23) are next, followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates (22-24). The Chicago Cubs (20-25) are fifth, while the Houston Astros (17-30) languish in last place, 10.5 games behing.

The National League East sees the Philadelphia Phillies (28-18) on top, with the Florida Marlins (26-19) within striking range. Next are the Atlanta Braves (26-23), and then there is a drop-off to the New York Mets (22-24) and the Washington Nationals (21-25).

Finally, in the National League West, the San Francisco Giants (27-19) are firmly in first, followed by the Colorado Rockies (23-22) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (23-23). Bringing up the rear in the West are the Los Angeles Dodgers (21-27) and the San Diego Padres (19-28).

 

And there you have it, your Major League standings as a new week begins. Be sure to check back on Friday for another update.

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MLB Standings Update: Intriguing Match-Ups Dot The Schedule In The First Round Of Interleague Play

This is the time of year when things start to get interesting. Up until now the cumulative wins and losses of both leagues adds up to a .500 record, but now inter-league play starts, and if a team cannot hold their own in inter-league and other teams in their divisions excel, it can put a team in a hole.

When the Indians were winning six of seven division titles in the last '90s and early '00s it was due in large part to being dominant against the National League. In the past few years that has not been the case, and it has been reflected in the final record. But now in 2011, the Tribe is having a renaissance. It will be important for continued success to fare well in the 18 scheduled inter-league games that Cleveland will play in 2011.

Note: Since every American League team was scheduled to play back-to-back two-game series to begin this week, I will forgo being redundant and saying "X split two games with Y and swept two from Z". For this edition of our Standings Update, I will simply give the won/lost totals for each team for Monday through Thursday. Those totals will not always add up to four games, as weather did play a factor in early-week action. Also note that, since all series this weekend are three-game sets (no wraparound four-game series this time around), I will forgo saying "team X will play three this weekend against team Y".  No sense numbing your mind with a bunch of redundancies with "twos" and "threes".

 

American League Central -

Cleveland Indians  26-15  .634  0 Games Behind -- The Tribe has gone 2-2 so far this week, and welcomes their downstate rivals to Progressive Field this weekend when the Cincinnati Reds come to Cleveland.

Detroit Tigers  22-21  .512  5 Games Behind -- The Tigers are looking for their first win of the week, having gone 0-3 thus far. Now Detroit goes to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates.

Kansas City Royals  21-22  .488  6 Games Behind -- The Royals pulled one out last night against Texas and has gone 1-3 this week. Kansas City is home this weekend to take on their in-state rivals when the St.Louis Cardinals pay a visit.

Chicago White Sox  20-25  .444  8 Games Behind -- The White Sox, after sweeping the Indians, are 3-1 this week, and now welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to town, in a rematch of the 1959 World Series' opponents.

Minnesota Twins  15-27  .357  11.5 Games Behind -- The Twins have won three in a row and are 3-1 on the week, as they head to Arizona this weekend to take on the Diamondbacks.

 

American League East -

Tampa Bay Rays  25-19  .568  0 Games Behind -- The Rays have gone 2-2 so far this week, and now head to the Atlantic Coast-side of Florida to take on the Marlins this weekend.

New York Yankees  23-19  .548  1 Game Behind -- The Yankees have gone 3-1 on Monday-Thursday and now the action heats up in New York as the Mets come to the Bronx for an intense weekend series.

Boston Red Sox  23-20  .535  1.5 Games Behind -- The Red Sox have won six in a row and are 3-0 on the week, as they get ready for a visit from the Chicago Cubs.

Toronto Blue Jays  22-21  .512  2.5 Games Behind -- The Blue Jays are fourth in the tightly-bunched East and are 2-1 on the week. Now the Houston Astros go north of the border for a series in Toronto.

Baltimore Orioles  19-23  .452  5 Games Behind -- The Orioles are slipping back again, having gone 0-3 to start this week, Now it is time for a neighborhood rivalry of sorts when the Washington Nationals visit Baltimore this weekend.

 

American League West -

Texas Rangers  23-21  .523  0 Games Behind -- The Rangers have gone 2-2 at the beginning of the week but have overtaken the slumping Angels for first in the West. Texas now goes to the Keystone State to take on the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Oakland Athletics  22-22  .500  1 Game Behind -- The A's have also passed the Angels simply by going 2-2 to start the week. It will be fun and games this weekend when Oakland heads across the Bay to take on the San Francisco Giants in a renewal of a bitter rivalry.

Los Angeles Angels  22-23  .489  1.5 Games Behind -- It's hard to believe that this is the same team that has given the Indians so much trouble this year. The Angels have lost five straight and are 0-4 on the week, as they face the Atlanta Braves in Anaheim this weekend.

Seattle Mariners  19-24  .442  3.5 Games Behind -- It's anybody's division so far in the West as the Mariners, after slumping for much of the season, win a couple of games and find themselves only 3.5 out of first. Seattle has gone 3-1 this week and now travel to San Diego to take on the Padres.

 

In the National League Central, the St.Louis Cardinals (26-19) have climbed back into first, just ahead of the Cincinnati Reds (25-19). After these two teams there is quite a drop-ff to the Milwaukee Brewers (21-23) in third. Next are the Pittsburgh Pirates (20-23), while the Chicago Cubs (19-23) are fifth, with the Houston Astros (15-29) now sporting the worst record in the Majors and 10.5 games behind the Cardinals.

The National League East sees the Philadelphia Philles (26-17) leading the way, with the Florida Marlins (24-18) not too far behind. The same can be said of the Atlanta Braves (25-21). The New York Mets (21-22) enter the weekend a tick below .500, and the East sees the Washington Nationals (20-23) in last place.

Finally, the the National League West, the San Francisco Giants (24-19) have the thinnest of leads over the Colorado Rockies (23-19). The Arizona Diamondbacks (20-23) are improving and have slipped into third, while the Los Angeles Dodgers (20-25) are enduring struggles on and off the field and are five games back of the Giants. Fifth and last in the West are the San Diego Padres (19-25), just a half-game from dropping the Dodgers into the cellar.

 

And there is our look at the standings until Monday. This brief taste of inter-league play will only last the weekend, before a gap that will stretch until June 17, when the meat of the inter-league slate will kick in.

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MLB Standings Update: The Season Reaches The Quarter Pole

The baseball season is just about a quarter of the way over. While the Indians have only managed to get in 37 games thus far, there is more than one team that has already passed 40, and several others have at least 40, and so we can rightly say that the season is about 25% of the way over.

The Indians held onto the best record in the American League over the weekend, although they only ended up playing one game. This week features a slew of two-game series between Monday and Thursday.

Let's take a look at where things stand as we enter the second half of May and the second quarter of the 2011 season.

 

American League Central -

Cleveland Indians  24-13  .649  0 Games Behind -- The Indians only got one of their three scheduled games against Seattle in over the weekend. This week begins with a two-game set in Kansas City against the Royals, followed by two more against the White Sox in Chicago.

Detroit Tigers  22-18  .550  3.5 Games Behind -- The Tigers are on a roll, having won seven in a row. Over the weekend Detroit took two from the Royals but were rained out yesterday at home. This week starts off with two in Detroit against Toronto, before the Tigers go to Boston for two vs. the Red Sox.

Kansas City Royals  20-19  .513  5 Games Behind -- The Royals lost the first two of a three-game set against the Tigers before being rained out yesterday. On Monday Kansas City hosts Cleveland for the first of two games, before the Royals welcome Texas for another pair, against the Rangers.

Chicago White Sox  17-24  .415  9 Games Behind -- The White Sox went into Oakland over the weekend and took 2-of-3 from the A's, but still languish far in the Indians' rear-view mirror. This week begins for Chicago with a pair at home against Texas, and then Cleveland comes to the Windy City for two more.

Minnesota Twins  12-26  .316  12.5 Games Behind -- The Twins are free-falling, having dropped eight in a row after having been swept at home by Toronto over the weekend. Now Minnesota tries to right their ship beginning Monday as they head to Seattle for two, followed by two more in Oakland.

 

American League East -

Tampa Bay Rays  23-17  .575  0 Games Behind -- The Rays have barged into first place in the East, but did drop the last two of three games at home against Baltimore over the weekend. Tampa Bay opens a big two-game set with the Yankees in Florida on Monday, then on Wednesday head to Toronto for two against the Blue Jays

New York Yankees  20-18  .526  2 Games Behind -- The Yankees are in a funk, having just been swept by Boston in three games at Yankee Stadium and losers of five straight. Now New York goes to Tampa Bay for two with the first-place Rays beginning on Monday, followed by two more in Baltimore starting on Wednesday.

Boston Red Sox  20-20  .500  3 Games Behind -- The Red Sox have reached .500 for the first time this season and did it in the most impressive fashion possible, sweeping three games in New York. Now Boston returns home for two vs. the Orioles, before hosting Detroit for two beginning on Wednesday.

Toronto Blue Jays  20-20  .500  3 Games Behind -- The Blue Jays duplicated the Red Sox' feat, sweeping Minnesota over the weekend to reach .500. Toronto plays on Monday and Tuesday in Detroit, then return to Canada to host the Rays for two games starting Wednesday.

Baltimore Orioles  19-20  .487  3.5 Games Behind -- The Orioles round out the tightly-packed East, having won two of three against the Rays on the road. Baltimore plays in Boston on Monday and Tuesday before hosting the Yankees the next two days.

 

American League West -

Los Angeles Angels  22-19  .537  0 Games Behind -- The Angels are barely holding on to the top spot in the West after dropping 2-of-3 in Texas over the weekend, Los Angeles' road trip continues now with two games in Oakland and two more further up the coast in Seattle.

Texas Rangers  21-19  .525  .5 Games Behind -- The Rangers crept closer to first place by taking two out of three at home against the Angels. Now Texas goes on the road for two in Chicago against the White Sox, followed by two more in Kansas City.

Oakland Athletics  20-20  .500  1.5 Games Behind -- The A's had a chance to perhaps claim first in the West over the weekend, but dropped 2-of-3 to the White Sox at home. Oakland now has another chance to move up when they entertain the Angels for two games beginning on Monday, with the Twins coming into town for two more games beginning on Wednesday.

Seattle Mariners  16-23  .410  5 Games Behind -- The Mariners are the only team not in the mix at the top of the tightly-contested West. Seattle dropped their only game of the weekend on Friday in Cleveland, and this week returns home to take on Minnesota for two, with the Angels following the Twins into town for two more.

 

Meanwhile, the National League Central has seen the Cincinnati Reds (23-17) take over first place, followed by the St.Louis Cardinals (22-19) after a Reds' sweep of St. Louis over the weekend. In third in the Central are the Milwaukee Brewers (19-21), followed by the Pittsburgh Pirates (18-22) and the Chicago Cubs (17-21) in a virtual tie for fourth. Last in the Central are the Houston Astros (15-25).

The National League East has the Philadelphia Phillies (25-14) on top, followed by the Florida Marlins (23-16). The Atlanta Braves (23-19) check in at third in the East, and then there is a tie for fourth between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals, both of whom start the week with a record of 19-21.

Finally, in the National League West, the defending world champion San Francisco Giants (22-17) are leading the pack, followed by the Colorado Rockies (20-18), who have been slipping mightily. Third in the West goes to the Los Angeles Dodgers (19-22), followed closely by the Arizona Diamondbacks (17-22) and the San Diego Padres (17-23).

 

And there, once again, is your look at the current standings in Big League baseball. Be sure to check back again on Friday for an update that will reflect a lot of results from two-game sets in the American League.

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MLB Standings Update: Rays Rise To Top Of AL East, With Assists From Cleveland And Kansas City

As we near the middle of May, the Indians have seen their momentum slowed by back-to-back series in which they lost two of three. The Royals are still hanging in there and the Tigers are coming on strong. In the AL East, the Rays have managed to overtake the Yankees for the top spot.

As the weekend begins, here is another look at the standings in baseball, and at who plays whom in the American League over the next three days.

American League Central -

Cleveland Indians  23-13  .639  0 Games Behind -- The Indians have lost two series in a row to come back to the pack a bit after dropping two of three to Tampa Bay. Now the Seattle Mariners come to town for three games beginning Friday night.

Kansas City Royals  20-17  .541  3.5 Games Behind -- The Royals come off of having gone into Yankee Stadium and winning two of three from New York. Kansas City now goes to Detroit for three in a battle for second place in the Central against the Tigers.

Detroit Tigers  20-18  .546  4 Games Behind -- The Tigers are hot, having won five in a row after taking two from the Twins earlier this week. Detroit welcomes Kansas City to Motown for three games this weekend, with the winner of the series finding themselves in second place come Monday.

Chicago White Sox  15-23  .395  9 Games Behind -- The White Sox managed something that the Indians were unable to in two trips into Anaheim -- Chicago took two of three from the Angels. Now the Sox head up the coast for three games in Oakland.

Minnesota Twins  12-23  .343  10.5 Games Behind -- The Twins had a short first four days of this week, playing only two games, both against the Tigers, and both losses, to sink firmly into the Central cellar. This weekend the Twins entertain the Toronto Blue Jays for three games.

 

American League East -

Tampa Bay Rays  22-15  .595  0 Games Behind -- The Rays have completed a comeback from a 1-8 start to vault to the top of the East after taking two of three in Cleveland. Tampa Bay goes back home to Florida now for three games against Baltimore.

New York Yankees  20-15  .571  1 Game Behind -- After losing two of three to Kansas City, the Yankees find themselves looking up at the Tampa Bay Rays. Now comes a fun weekend for one and all as New York hosts Boston for three games against the Red Sox.

Baltimore Orioles  17-19  .472  4.5 Games Behind -- The up-and-down Orioles are up again after sweeping three from Seattle at home, but now have the unenviable task (ask the Indians) of facing Tampa Bay for three games in a weekend series.

Boston Red Sox  17-20  .459  5 Games Behind -- The Red Sox keep getting to the cusp of .500 and dropping back, as they did again this week by being swept in a two-game mini series in Toronto. Now Boston gets to have fun and play three games in the Bronx against the Yankees.

Toronto Blue Jays  17-20  .459  5 Games Behind -- Toronto got a little energized by winning two in a row at home against the Red Sox to stay within five games in the East, and now head to Minnesota for three games against the stumbling Twins.

 

American League West -

Los Angeles Angels  21-17  .553  0 Games Behind -- The Angels slipped in their series at the beginning of the week, losing two of three at home against the White Sox, and now head to Texas for an important three-game set with the defending AL champion Rangers.

Oakland Athletics  19-18  .514  1.5 games Behind -- The Athletics split two games in Texas before the scheduled third game of their series with the Rangers was washed out, and find themselves tied for second in the West as they return home for three games with the White Sox this weekend.

Texas Rangers  19-18  .514  1.5 Games Behind -- The Rangers were on fire in the early going, but now find themselves only a game above .500 after splitting a pair with Oakland. Now the Rangers entertain Los Angeles for a big three-game set against the first place Angels.

Seattle Mariners  16-22  .421  5 Games Behind -- Seattle comes off of being swept in three games in Baltimore, and now take on the Indians for three in Cleveland, after having been swept by the Tribe earlier this season in Seattle.

 

In the National League Central, the St.Louis Cardinals (22-16) lead the way, with the Cincinnati Reds (20-17) within a game and a half. Then there is a drop-off to the Pittsburgh Pirates (18-19) in third. The Chicago Cubs (16-20) are fourth, with the Milwaukee Brewers (16-21) a half-game back in fifth. The Houston Astros (14-23) are sixth, 7 1/2 games behind the Cardinals.

The National League East has the Philadelphia Phillies (24-12) on top with the best record in the majors. The Florida Marlins (21-15) have slipped back a bit, followed by the Atlanta Braves (21-18). The Washington Nationals (18-19) are next, 6 1/2 games behind the Phillies, with the New York Mets (17-20) another game back and in last place.

Finally, in the National League West, the world champion San Francisco Giants (21-16) have overtaken the free-falling Colorado Rockies (19-16). The Los Angeles Dodgers (18-20) trail their ancient rivals by 3 1/2 games, with the Arizona Diamondbacks (15-21 next, and the San Diego Padres (15-22) last in the West, six games back of the Giants.

 

And there you have it. Please check back on Monday for the results from this weekend, and a preview of a week that starts with a lot of two-game series in the American League

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MLB Standings Update: Indians, Phillies Lead The Pack At 21-9

With my unique vantage point in central Pennsylvania, I find myself sandwiched between the two best teams in baseball at this point in 2011. The Indians to the west and the Philadelphia Phillies to the east both check in at 21-9 as we head into the sixth weekend of the season.

Here, again, is our look at the Major League standings, with an emphasis on the American League -- where teams have been, where they are going, and how they have done.

 

American League Central -

Cleveland Indians  21-9  .700  0 Games Behind -- Here we are, well into the second month of the season, and the Indians continue to cruise along at a .700 clip, after having taken two of three in Oakland, It doesn't get any easier this weekend as Cleveland goes to Anaheim for three against the Los Angeles Angels.

Kansas City Royals  17-14  .548  4.5 Games Behind -- The Royals took two out of three from the Orioles at home to extend a decent run to 5-1. Now Kansas City welcomes the Oakland Athletics to town for a three-game weekend set.

Detroit Tigers  15-17  .469  7 Games Behind -- Detroit was looking dead in the water at the beginning of the week, but, after losing the first of four against New York, the Tigers won three straight over the Yankees to keep within hailing distance of the Indians. Now the Tigers go to Toronto for four games with the Blue Jays in a series which extends through Monday.

Minnesota Twins  11-18  .379  9.5 Games Behind -- The Twins have played only two games this week, sweeping an abbreviated set in Chicago. The first of those games was a no-hitter for Minnesota's Francisco Liriano. Now the Twins go to Boston for a four-game wraparound weekend series with the Red Sox.

Chicago White Sox  11-21  .344  11 Games Behind -- After beating Baltimore on Monday, the White Sox dropped games on the next two days to Minnesota, and after an off-day yesterday, Chicago heads to Seattle to kick off a road trip with three against the Mariners.

 

American League East -

New York Yankees  17-12  .586  0 Games Behind -- There may be trouble in Yankee-town as New York dropped the last three games of a four-game set against the Tigers in Detroit. It doesn't get any easier for the Yankees this weekend, as they head into Arlington for three games with the Texas Rangers.

Tampa Bay Rays  17-14  .548  1 Game Behind -- The Rays creep ever-closer to first place in the East after their awful start. After taking two out of three at home against Toronto, Tampa Bay now heads to Baltimore for three this weekend versus the Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles  14-16  .467  3.5 Games Behind -- Baltimore finds themselves in the middle of the pack in the East, but only a half-game from last place. After losing in Chicago on Monday, the Orioles dropped two of three in Kansas City, and now comes back home for three games against Tampa Bay.

Boston Red Sox  14-17  .452  4 Games Behind -- The Red Sox got the week off to a good start, beating the Angels on Monday and Tuesday, but Los Angeles returned the favor by winning in Boston on Wednesday and Thursday. Now the Red Sox entertain the Twins in a four-game set that concludes on Monday.

Toronto Blue Jays  14-17  .452  4 Games Behind -- After dropping two or three in Tampa against the Rays, the Blue Jays now come back home for four games with the Tigers, in a series which stretches through Monday in Toronto.

 

American League West -

Los Angeles Angels  18-14  .562  0 Games Behind -- After losing the first two games of four in Boston, the Angels rebounded to win the last two and split the series, Now Los Angeles goes back home and begins a three-game set with Cleveland on Friday night.

Texas Rangers  17-15  .531  1 Game Behind  -- The defending American League champions are scuffling a bit but are always dangerous. After losing in Oakland on Monday, Seattle took two of three from the Rangers in Seattle as the week continued. Now Texas returns home to face the Yankees in a three-game weekend set in Arlington.

Oakland Athletics  16-16  .500  2 Games Behind -- The A's beat Texas on Monday, and then dropped two out of three to the Indians to wrap up a home-stand. Now Oakland  goes to their "old home" in Kansas City for three games with the Royals this weekend.

Seattle Mariners  15-17  .469  3 Games Behind -- The Mariners have improved since a bad start to 2011, and that improvement continued when they took two of three at home against the Texas Rangers.  This weekend Seattle has three at home against the reeling White Sox.

 

In the National League East, Philadelphia (21-9) is holding off the stubborn Florida Marlins (19-11) for first place. Next in line in third are the Atlanta Braves (18-15) coming in 4 1/2 games behind. The rest of the East included the Washington Nationals (14-17) and the New York Mets (13-18).

The NL Central continues to look congested, but there has been a little separation between top and bottom. The St.Louis Cardinals (18-14) lead the Central, with the Cincinnati Reds (16-15) a game-and-a-half behind. Next are the Pittsburgh Pirates (15-16), who have to be thrilled to be this close to .500 at this stage of the season. The Chicago Cubs (14-16) are right on the heels of the Pirates, with the Milwaukee Brewers (13-18) and the Houston Astros (12-19) rounding out this division wherein there are only 5 1/2 games separating first place from sixth.

In the West, the Colorado Rockies (18-11) have cooled down a bit, but still enjoy a four-game lead over the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants (15-16). Right behind the Giants are the Los Angeles Dodgers (15-17) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (14-16), while the San Diego Padres (12-19) languish seven games behind.

 

And there you have it as we get set for a full weekend of fun. Be sure to look for another edition of this Update on Monday.

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MLB Standings Update: The Indians Are Best In The Majors; How Does The Rest Of MLB Look?

As May begins, the Indians keep rolling right along. After their sweep of a six-game homestand, Cleveland finds itself a full 4 1/2 games ahead of the Royals...and after that there is a gulf between second and third, and then between third and fourth.

Can the Tribe maintain their advantage during an upcoming six-game West Coast swing? We will see, and while we are at it, here is your look at the latest standings in the Major Leagues.

 

American League Central -

Cleveland Indians  19-8  .704  0 Games Behind -- The Indians, after sweeping both Kansas City and Detroit at home last week, now head to the West Coast for six games. After a day off today, Cleveland is back in action on Tuesday night against the Athletics as a three-game set begins in Oakland.

Kansas City Royals  15-13  .536  4.5 Games Behind -- The Royals rebounded nicely at home, sweeping the Minnesota Twins to once again edge over .500. Kansas City also broke clear of the pack below them and have a three-game lead over third-place Detroit. The Royals begin a three-game series at home against Baltimore beginning on Tuesday.

Detroit Tigers  12-16  .429  7.5 Games Behind -- The Tigers have been swept in consecutive series, after losing three in Cleveland, and have fallen well behind in the Central. Now Detroit gets the Yankees at home for four games beginning tonight.

Chicago White Sox  10-19  .345  10 Games Behind -- The White Sox are free-falling, having dropped the first three games of a wraparound weekend series against Baltimore which ends today, and five straight overall. After the Orioles' series concludes, Chicago plays two at home against Minnesota, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Minnesota Twins  9-18  .333  10 Games Behind -- The Twins have dropped six in a row, after being swept in Kansas City over the weekend. Minnesota now has days off Monday and Thursday, sandwiched around a two-game set in Chicago beginning on Tuesday.

 

American League East -

New York Yankees  16-9  .640  0 Games Behind -- The Yankees just finished taking two-of-three at home against Toronto, and now head to reeling Detroit for a four-game set beginning on Monday night.

Tampa Bay Rays  15-13  .536  2.5 Games Behind -- The Rays lost two-of-three to the Angels at home over the weekend, and now welcome the Blue Jays for three in Tampa beginning on Tuesday night.

Baltimore Orioles  13-13  .500  3.5 Games Behind -- The Orioles have been the ultimate streaky team so far this season, and are at present on a three-game winning streak after having taken the first three games in a series that concludes tonight against the White Sox. Then Baltimore goes to Kansas City for three with the Royals starting tomorrow.

Toronto Blue Jays  13-15  .464  4.5 Games Behind -- Toronto took the first of three with the Yankees but then dropped the last two over the weekend, Now the Blue Jays go to the Sunshine State to take on Tampa Bay beginning on Tuesday.

Boston Red Sox  12-15  .444  5 Games Behind -- The Red Sox lost two-of-three at home to the Mariners over the weekend, and now entertain the Angels in four straight games in Boston.

 

American League West -

Los Angeles Angels  16-12  .571  0 Games Behind -- The Angels and the Rangers have been battling for most of the early-season and now find themselves tied atop the West. Los Angeles took two-of-three against the Rays in Tampa, and now go to Boston for a big four-game set with the Red Sox.

Texas Rangers  16-12  .571  0 Games Behind -- The Rangers find themselves tied for first with the Angels after losing two of the first three against Oakland in a wraparound series that concludes tonight against the Athletics. Then Texas heads up the coast to Seattle for three with the Mariners, beginning on Tuesday.

Oakland Athletics  14-14  .500  2 Games Behind -- The Athletics are hanging close to the lead in the West as the Angels and the Rangers both rather stumble along. Oakland will finish their four-game series against Texas at home tonight, having won two of the first three, before entertaining the Indians in three games beginning Tuesday night.

Seattle Mariners  13-16  .448  3.5 Games Behind -- The Mariners have somewhat resurrected their season. After winning five in a row in Detroit and Boston, Seattle lost the last of their three-game set yesterday to the Red Sox. Now the Mariners welcome the Rangers for three games back home.

 

In the National League East, the Philadelphia Phillies (18-9) have the smallest of leads on the Florida Marlins (17-9), and then there is quite a drop-off to the Atlanta Braves (14-15) and the Washington Nationals (13-14), who both trail by five games. The New York Mets (12-16) bring up the rear in the East.

The Central is still congested, but there is at least a little separation now. The St.Louis Cardinals (16-12) lead, and are the only division team above .500. In second are the Cincinnati Reds (14-14), with the Milwaukee Brewers (13-14) in third. The step-ladder-looking Central then has the Pittsburgh Pirates (13-15) in fourth and the Chicago Cubs (12-15) in fifth. The dubious honor of Only Sixth-Place Team In The Majors goes to the Houston Astros (11-17).

The NL West is led by the Colorado Rockies (17-9), who have a healthy lead of 4 1/2 games -- tied with Cleveland for largest lead -- over the Los Angeles Dodgers (14-15) and the San Francisco Giants (13-14). The Arizona Diamondbacks (12-15) and the San Diego Padres (11-17) round out the last of the National League.

Look for your next MLB Standings Update this coming Friday.

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MLB Standings Update: The Indians Open Some Space, And New York And Texas Reside At The Top Of Their Divisions

As April comes to an end, the Indians have separated themselves from the rest of the American League Central, taking a 4 1/2 game lead over Kansas City and Detroit. The margin is tied with Colorado's for the largest in the majors.

But it is early, the Tribe have the Tigers coming to town with a chance to draw closer -- and here is your latest look at the standings in the American League specifically, and the majors in general.

American League Central -

Cleveland Indians  16-8   .667  0 Games Behind -- The Indians, with their sweep of the Royals over the last three games, found themselves also picking up three games on Detroit. The Tigers come to Cleveland for the weekend for three games. Another Tribe sweep would seriously damage Detroit, but one feels that there will be a roar of Tigers sometime in the next three days.

Detroit Tigers  12-13  .480  4.5 Games Behind -- Detroit was looking good at the beginning of the week, having just swept Chicago, but the Mariners came to Detroit and swept the Tigers in three straight, and now Detroit goes to Cleveland needing to win at least two-of-three to stay within shouting distance of the Indians.

Kansas City Royals  12-13  .480  4.5 Games Behind -- The Royals have nose-dived, and only the struggles of the White Sox and the Twins keep Kansas City as high in the standings as they are. After being swept in consecutive series by the Rangers and the Indians, the Royals entertain Minnesota for three games this weekend.

Chicago White Sox  10-16  .385  7 Games Behind -- The White Sox won the first two games of four in New York, but dropped the final two games for an overall split with the Yankees. Now Chicago welcomes the Orioles for four games on the South Side, stretching through Monday.

Minnesota Twins  9-15  .375  7 Games Behind -- The Twins come off of being swept at home in three games by the Tampa Bay Rays -- including a doubleheader loss on Thursday. Minnesota now goes to Kansas City for three games with the Royals, in a series matching a six-game (Royals) and a three-game losing streak.

 

American League East -

New York Yankees  14-8  .636  0 Games Behind -- The Yankees dropped the first two games against Chicago, but rebounded to win on Wednesday and Thursday, and now face the Toronto Blue Jays for a four-game series extending through Monday in the Bronx.

Tampa Bay Rays  14-11  .560  1.5 Games Behind -- The Rays have come storming back from a 1-8 start, and are riding a five-game winning streak, after beating the Twins in three straight in Minnesota. Now the Angels come to Tampa for a three-game series.

Toronto Blue Jays  12-13  .480  3.5 Games Behind -- Toronto went into Texas and acquitted themselves well, winning three-of-four against the Rangers, and now enter the second of a set of daunting road series, taking on New York for four games in a series which runs through Monday.

Boston Red Sox  11-13  .458  4 Games Behind -- The Sox stumbled a bit this week, losing two-of-three in Baltimore after rising to within a game of .500, but still, Boston has gone 9-3 in their last twelve games. The Red Sox now entertain Seattle for three games.

Baltimore Orioles  10-13  .435  4.5 Games Behind -- The Orioles took two-of-three from Boston to stop their downward slide, yet find themselves last in the East. Now Baltimore heads for Chicago for four games with the White Sox in a series which carries over to Monday.

 

American League West -

Texas Rangers  15-10  .600  0 Games Behind -- The Rangers have cooled off after their red-hot start, and are coming off losing three out of four to Toronto at home. Texas now goes to Oakland for a four-game wraparound series that lasts through Monday, against the Athletics.

Los Angeles Angels  14-11  .560  1 Game Behind -- The Angels took two-of-three from Oakland to start their week, creeping closer to the Rangers in the process. Now Los Angeles heads to Tampa to take on the Rays for three this weekend.

Oakland Athletics  12-13  .480  3 Games Behind -- The Athletics managed to salvage the last of three games in Anaheim and now must go to Texas to take on the Rangers in a four-game series that will continue through Monday, with a chance to draw closer in the divisional race, and also in danger of falling much further behind.

Seattle Mariners  11-15  .423  4.5 Games Behind -- The Mariners, who seemed to be...well...sunk at the beginning of the week, have righted their ship with a three-game sweep in Detroit. Now Seattle moves on to Boston for three games against the Red Sox.

 

In the National League...

The Philadelphia Phillies (16-8) have reclaimed first place in the East over the Florida Marlins (15-8) in a division which has see-sawed a bit at the top. Then there is a drop off to the Atlanta Braves (13-13), who trail by four. The Washington Nationals (11-13) and the New York Mets (11-14) round out the East.

The St.Louis Cardinals (14-11) have opened up a one-game lead over the Cincinnati Reds (13-12) in the hotly-contested Central Division. Right behind the Reds are the Milwaukee Brewers (12-12), with the Pittsburgh Pirates (11-14) and the Chicago Cubs (10-14) next in line. Trailing the pack in the Central are the Houston Astros (9-16), who trail the Cardinals by five full games.

In the West is found the team which -- currently -- owns the best record in the major leagues. The Colorado Rockies (16-7) have a lead which matches the Indians' 4 1/2 games as the largest leads in the majors. The Los Angeles Dodgers (13-13) and the San Francisco Giants (12-12) are tied for second, with the Arizona Diamondbacks (11-13) alone in fourth. The San Diego Padres (9-16) share the worst mark in the bigs with the Padres, and are already eight games behind the Rockies.

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I Wonder Who Has The Best Record In The American League?

After several teams endured a wild and windy weekend and after a couple of double-headers, baseball heads into a new week with one wraparound series finishing up and new matchups all around. Two East teams that hit bottom fast have shown signs of bouncing back, while the leaders in the West have come back to earth.

And the Indians -- yes, the Cleveland Indians -- have the best record in the American League as we sit here on this Monday morning.

This could be a very interesting season indeed.

Let's have a look at the current standings, as well as a glance at who-plays-whom heading toward next weekend:

American League Central --

Cleveland Indians (11-4  .733  0 Games Behind)  The Indians finished off their third sweep of the season in five series, taking down Baltimore and assuming first place alone on Sunday afternoon with the Royals' loss. The Tribe now goes to Kansas City for four games to decide who will lead the division entering next weekend.

Kansas City Royals (10-5  .667  1 Game Behind) When the Seattle Mariners finally broke through to win the finale of a four-game set in K.C., the Royals fell into second place, a game back. But now the Indians come to Missouri for four games in an intriguing battle for the divisional lead.

Chicago White Sox (7-8  .467  4 Games Behind) Chicago comes off of being swept by the Angels and finds themselves four games back of the Tribe, after beating Cleveland two straight to open the season. The White Sox are off to Tampa Bay for a four-game series against the resurrecting Rays.

Detroit Tigers (7-9  .438  4.5 Games Behind) The Tigers climbed to .500 by winning the first two of a four-game set in Oakland, but then dropped the final two to once again fall below the break-even point. Detroit continues their West Coast swing with a three-game series in Seattle.

Minnesota Twins (5-10  .333  6 Games Behind) The Twins won in Tampa yesterday, salvaging the final game of their series against the Rays, and now head to Baltimore for four, in a somethings-gotta-give kind of series between two teams in early-season trouble.

 

American League East --

New York Yankees (9-5  .643  0 Games Behind) The Yankees took two out of three from the Texas Rangers over the weekend (thus allowing the Indians to claim the best record in the AL). Now New York -- after a day-off today -- heads north of the border for an abbreviated two-game set with the Blue Jays.

Toronto Blue Jays (7-8  .467  2.5 Games Behind) In this division, there is a danger of the Yankees getting so far ahead that all the other teams will have to settle for contending for a wild-card. Toronto -- after completing a four-game set in Boston with a Patriots' Day game today -- will have a chance to keep the Yankees close, with a two-game series at home against the Bronx Bombers beginning tomorrow.

Baltimore Orioles (6-8  .429  3 Games Behind) The Orioles had it going on, sitting at 6-1, but a devastating seven-game losing streak has Baltimore sinking fast. Can the Orioles right their ship in the friendly confines with four against the Twins? We will see, beginning tonight.

Tampa Bay Rays (6-9  .400  3.5 Games Behind) The Rays broke out of the doldrums of a 1-8 start with five straight wins -- a streak that ended yesterday against Minnesota -- and are showing signs of life, although without Johnny Damon winning game after game in the last at-bat...Tampa now entertains Chicago for four games in the Sunshine State -- although it is hard to see sunshine through a dome.

Boston Red Sox (4-10  .286  5 Games Behind) The Red Sox -- after losing the series opener to fall to 2-10 -- have taken two in a row from Toronto, and wraps up their series with the Jays this morning on Patriots' Day in Boston. The Sox then head to Oakland for two, and then on to Anaheim for the opener of a series with the Angels on Thursday.

 

American League West --

Los Angeles Angels (10-5  .667  0 Games Behind) The Angels ended the Indians' eight-game run last Tuesday and are now on a five-game run of their own, having just come off a sweep in Chicago. Now the fun really starts for Los Angeles, which heads to Texas for a three-game battle for first place with the Rangers. The Angels then head back home to take on Boston, which comes to Anaheim on Thursday.

Texas Rangers (10-5  .667  0 Games Behind) The Rangers were at one time sitting at 9-1, but -- after losing four-of-five, including two-of-three in New York -- find themselves deadlocked atop the West with the Angels, who visit Arlington for three games starting tonight. Whoever wins the series will lead the West heading into next weekend.

Oakland Athletics (8-8  .500  2.5 Games Behind) The A's were able to salvage the final two games against Detroit to give them a split with the Tigers and to climb back to .500. By winning those last two games, Oakland was able to pick up two full games on first place and to stay in range. Now Oakland plays two at home against Boston before heading up to Seattle on Thursday to begin a series against the Mariners.

Seattle Mariners (5-11  .312  5.5 Games Behind) After a closed-door clubhouse meeting, the Mariners finally beat Kansas City yesterday, salvaging one of four from the Royals. Seattle now returns home for three against Detroit, and begins a series against Oakland on Thursday.

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In the National League, the Cincinnati Reds lead the Central by a game-and-a-half over the St.Louis Cardinals. Cincinnati sits at 9-6 and is the only team in the division over .500. In the East, the Philadelphia Phillies -- at 10-4 -- lead the Florida Marlins by two full games, and in the West, the Colorado Rockies have the best record in the majors at 12-3, and lead the San Francisco Giants by four full games.

For a full look at the standings, for breakdowns of home/away, division records, etc, please check the standings on Yahoo! Sports.

I will "see you" again on Friday and we will see where...why, where we stand...so to speak.

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Two Weeks In, Some Squads Are Already Feeling Desperate

As baseball enters its third week, some teams are already feeling desperate, or at least, their fan bases are. An example of that would be the fan base of the Boston Red Sox, who seem to be falling back into that old "woe is us" syndrome that they carried for so many years.

Maybe they still haven't absorbed that they won it all in 2004 and 2007?

Be that as it may, here is a look at the standings in the American League as we head into the third weekend of the season. The format will be different starting with this edition. It won't be so much like Wiley Coyote trying to look for the Roadrunner when you search for the record of each team. I hope that you will like this more user-friendly format.

American League Central

Cleveland Indians -- 8-4  .667  0 Games Behind. The Indians come off of a tough last two games in Anaheim but are still tied for first entering the weekend against Baltimore.

Kansas City Royals -- 8-4  .667  0 Games Behind. The Royals are one of the surprise teams of the early season (along with the Tribe). Kansas City took the first of a four-game set at home last night against Seattle, a series which will continue through the weekend.

Chicago White Sox -- 7-5  .583  1 Game Behind. Chicago has had a couple of bullpen implosions this week, but is lurking right behind Cleveland and Kansas City. The White Sox open a series at home tonight against those pesky Angels.

Detroit Tigers -- 6-7  .462  2.5 Games Behind. Detroit has started to put it together, beating Texas on consecutive days in their last at-bat and then opening a West Coast trip with a victory last night in Oakland, where the Tigers will spend the weekend.

Minnesota Twins -- 4-8  .333  4 Games Behind. The Twins are having a tough time of things, as was exemplified last night when they surrendered a two-run lead in the ninth, retook the lead in the tenth, only to lose in the bottom half to Tampa Bay, in the opener of a four-game set in Florida.

 

American League East

New York Yankees -- 7-4  .636  0 Games Behind. The Yankees have returned to their comfort zone, beating Baltimore in their last two games to overtake the Orioles and climbing into first in the East. New York has what should be a good test this weekend at home, against the Rangers.

Baltimore Orioles -- 6-5  .545  1 Game Behind. The Tribe's opponent this weekend has lost four in a row, suffering a tough loss last night after jumping ahead of New York, 5-0. Even so, pitching has been a strength for the O's so far, and the Indians will need to be at their best offensively.

Toronto Blue Jays -- 6-6  .500  1.5 Games Behind. After losing the first two of three in Seattle, the Blue Jays beat the Mariners in the final game of their set to climb back to .500. Toronto goes to Boston this weekend to take on the Red Sox, in what could be a revival for Boston or what could be a nail in their hopes, even this early in the season.

Tampa Bay Rays -- 4-8  .333  3.5 Games Behind. The Rays got off to an awful 1-8 start, but have rebounded with two wins earlier this week in Boston, and a stirring come-from-behind win last night at home against Minnesota, with Johnny Damon hitting a walk-off, two-run homer to win it for Tampa in the opener of a four-game series.

Boston Red Sox -- 2-9  .182  5 Games Behind. In an oddity, the Red Sox' only two wins on the season came at the expense of the Yankees. Against all teams not in New York, the Sox are 0-8. After losing twice this week to Tampa, Boston welcomes the Blue Jays for a weekend series at Fenway, needing a spark to keep the Yankees in sight.

 

American League West

Texas Rangers -- 9-3  .750  0 Games Behind. The Rangers, like the Indians, rolled through the better part of their first ten games, but have now lost two straight, but still maintain a decent lead in the West. The defending American League champs will be tested this weekend with a three-game set in New York against the Yankees.

Los Angeles Angels -- 7-5  .583  2 Games Behind. The Angels come off of back-to-back wins over the Indians at home, and take their act on the road to Chicago this weekend for a three-game set before heading to Texas next week. A critical time for the Halos, who were able to shave two games off of their deficit in two days, keeping the Rangers in sight.

Oakland Athletics -- 6-7  .462  3.5 Games Behind. Oakland is treading water in the West, winning one, losing one, winning one etc. this week. Thus they are due for a win after dropping the opener of their four-game set at home against Detroit.

Seattle Mariners -- 4-9  .308  5.5 Games Behind. It is hard times for the Mariners, who won their first two games of the season and have gone 2-9 since. After losing a rain-shortened game last night to the Royals, Seattle will continue their series in Missouri tonight, looking to somehow stay in contention at least through April.

 

In the National League, your division leaders are Philadelphia in the East at 9-3 and with a two-game lead over the Florida Marlins; the Cincinnati Reds in the Central at 8-4 and a game up on the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Colorado Rockies in the West, who, at 10-2, have the best record in baseball and a solid four-game lead over the World Champion Giants.

I hope -- as I said at the beginning of this piece -- that you have found this format more favorable. Any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to let us know.

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Rangers Join Tribe In Racing To Division Leads, And Orioles Lead East

The Indians, who have just completed their second of consecutive sweeps of Boston and Seattle, and who stand at 7-2 on the season, will go to Anaheim on Monday night to begin a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels (5-4), who won the final two games of their weekend series against Toronto (5-4) and reside in second place in the AL West. Cleveland finds itself -- at the beginning of a new American League week -- atop the Central Division by one full game over the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox, both of whom begin the week at 6-3.

Chicago will be in action on Monday at home against the Oakland A's (4-5), while the Royals will be off on Monday and will begin a series on Tuesday in Minnesota against the Twins (3-6).

The final member of the Central Division, the Tigers (3-6), have the unenviable task of welcoming the Texas Rangers (8-1) to Comerica Park on Monday for the beginning of a three-game series against the defending American League champions, who have the best record in the major leagues, and who bounced back from their first loss of the season in the opener of a Saturday doubleheader in Baltimore with two straight wins over the Orioles (6-3).

The Rangers are already three games clear of second place in the West, and Seattle (2-7) -- the victim of the Indians' sweep -- already finds itself six full games behind Texas after only nine games. The Mariners have lost seven in a row and will welcome Toronto to town on Monday night, looking for a win, any win.

In the East, the Orioles, despite their two straight losses, still lead by a full game over the Yankees (5-4), after New York's late loss on Sunday night against the Red Sox (2-7), who, believe it or not, are at present ahead of the Rays (1-8).

The Blue Jays find themselves in a tie with the Yankees, a game behind the Orioles

For a couple of good sources for checking out all the standings for yourself, I recommend Yahoo! Sports, which gives a good breakdown and also has a handy link to current wild-card standings.

Another resource that I like to peruse is mlb.com, which is excellent for all things major leagues, not just for standings.

Be sure to check back here for another update on Friday morning, when we will take a look at how things have changed between now and then, and give you the weekend match-ups all throughout the AL.

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