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The AL Report 9-13

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LOLtron
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The AL Report 9-13

Postby LOLtron » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:27 am

 The season is coming to a close, andwith two weeks left in the season, the race for the playoffs isheating up. Late September has always been the most exciting time ofthe season and this year is no exception. The Tampa Bay Rays and theBoston Red Sox are battling to the American League East, while in theCentral Division the Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins arefighting it out for a playoff spot. This week, we'll take a look atboth of these battles. 

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston RedSox:Currently the RedSox are 2.5 games behind the Rays and they're closing in fast. Acepitcher Josh Beckett has rejoined the rotation while Third Basemanand last year's World Series MVP Mike Lowell has returned to shoreup the left side of the infield. And the Sox have been steadilygaining steam, winning 6 of their last 10 games. But the Sox recentlydropped two out of three against the Rays, and the next nine gameswill be a real challenge. They'll be facing the red hot TorontoBlue Jays, who recently went 9 and 1 in their last 10 games, thenthey'll be facing the Tampa Bay Rays for another three game set,followed by three more games against the Blue Jays. This week coulddecide if the Red Sox can take this division.Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Rays fight toremain at the top of the division, but have struggled recently losing6 of their last 10 games, although they managed to win a big seriesagainst the Red Sox. Could the injuries to Evan Longoria and CarlCrawford be catching up to this team? And much like the Red Sox, thenext 10 games could be a major test for this team. They'll befacing off against the New York Yankees in a three game set in NewYork and then a three game set against the Red Sox, followed by afour game set against the dangerous Minnesota Twins. The Rays showedlife in the series against the Sox, and they'll need to carry thatmomentum forward to win the American League East.
Chicago White Sox vs. MinnesotaTwins:Few people expectedthis race to end up like this. Many thought the free spending DetroitTigers and last year's AL Central champs, the Cleveland Indians,would be fighting for the division by now. But the White Sox andTwins have surprised many people. And with the Red Sox leading theWild Card race by 5.5 games, this race could decide who plays inOctober and who goes home. Right now, only one game separates theTwins and the White Sox.The White Sox havemanaged to keep their edge despite going a mere 5 and 5 over theirlast 10 games. But the coming week could be a big boost to this team.They'll be facing the Detroit Tigers for three games, the New YorkYankees for four games in New York and then three games against theKansas City Royals. Only one of those teams is above .500, and theYankees haven't even shown much life lately. If the White Sox cantake advantage of the schedule, this could be a big opportunity togain an edge in the division.The Minnesota Twinshave a rocky road ahead of them, and they've struggled going only 4for their last 10. The Twins will face the hapless Baltimore Oriolesfor three games, but then they'll be facing the Cleveland Indianswho have been playing exceptionally well, and then the first placeTampa Bay Rays. The Twins will need to pull out all the stops if theywant to avoid losing any ground in this race.In Other News:The Toronto BlueJays and Cleveland Indians deserve special recognition for theirrecent success. The Blue Jays just won 9 of their last 10 games,overtaking the New York Yankees for third place in the AmericanLeague East. The Indians have won 20 of their last 30 games. While playoff hopesare a long-shot for both teams, they could play the role of spoileras they both will be facing teams who are battling for a spot in theplayoffs.Discuss
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