AL East AL Central AL West
Boston Detroit Texas
New York Cleveland Los Angeles
Tampa Bay Chicago Oakland
Toronto Minnesota Seattle
Baltimore Kansas City
NL East NL Central NL West
Philadelphia Milwaukee Arizona
Atlanta St. Louis San Francisco
New York Cincinnati Colorado
Washington Pittsburgh Los Angeles
Florida Chicago San Diego
I think we can all agree that Baltimore, Seattle, Kansas City, Minnesota, Oakland, and Toronto are out in the American League (yes, Blue Jays fans, I realize I left the White Sox in with their losing record...ya'll are in the AL East...'nuff said). Likewise, it is safe to say that Houston, Chicago, San Diego, Los Angeles, Colorado, Florida, Pittsburgh, Washington, and New York are also looking to 2012 by now.
That leaves 8 teams in the AL and 7 in the NL still battling for 4 spots in each league. Let's start with the Junior Circuit.
The Boston Red Sox started slow, but will finish strong and win the East and secure home field advantage. As the Yankees will be the Wild Card, and they are in the same division as the BoSox, Boston will open up at home against...wait for it...the Detroit Tigers. Detroit will ride Justin Verlander to the Central title, nipping a game but overmatched Cleveland Indians club. The Yankees will open at West repeat champion Texas Rangers, who will put away the Los Angeles Angels this month (7 games in the next two weeks). Tampa Bay will make it close, but will be unable to make up their deficit to the Yankees for the Wild Card. And the White Sox? Well, you can't win the division with a losing record. And the Sox can't win at Comiskey. Next year, South Side! On to the Senior Circuit.
Oh, to be a Philadelphia Phillies fan! Start with arguably one of the best starting rotations in the league, then add Hunter Pence into the mix and, damn. The Phillies will run away with the East, leaving the Wild Card Braves deep in their wake and secure home field. Again, as in the AL, the Phillies will not open with the Wild Card Braves, but host the Milwaukee Brewers, champions of the Central, come playoff time. St. Louis and a surging Cincinnati Reds team, feasting on weaker clubs in the last two months of the season, will fall just short, but keep the Brew Crew on their toes through the final week of the season. This leaves Atlanta to once again hit the road for..."I left, my hearrrrrrrrrrt, in Saaaaaan Franciscooooo!" The Giants will awaken their offense, and their stellar pitching staff will carry the Giants through to the West championship. Arizona, playing way over their heads, will falter on a vicious 10 game road trip through Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Washington beginning Tuesday, then wither under the pressure of playing the surging Giants 6 times in the final month.
So there we stand on this day, August 15th, 6 weeks left in the season. Red Sox-Tigers and Rangers-Yankees in the AL. Phillies-Brewers and Giants-Braves in the NL.
You read it here first.
P.S. It's too early to predict the political side of 2012, other than to say one thing:
Obama is toast, and will go down as the worst president ever.