As we near the end of the “Dog Days of Summer” the pennant chase begins to warm up. And it’s with that in mind that we examine three teams riding high and three that are falling flat.
1 Up: Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are hitting their stride. And even though they lost last night, they maintain a 5.5 game lead in the NL East. Atlanta is playing nearly .600 ball for the season and .800 over the previous ten games. Add in a plus 74 in the run differential column, and the Braves are poised to control their postseason destiny.
1 Down: Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers were a pleasant surprise last season during their postseason run. However, this season, they aren’t playing at the same level. The Brew Crew dropped a laugher to the NL Central-leading Cardinals and are 6.5 games behind them in the Central. Over the last ten games, Milwaukee’s gone 4-6. But the most eye-opening fact about the Brewers is the fact they have a minus 42 in the run differential column. The Brewers will need to turn it around quickly if they are going to make the playoffs once again.
2 Up: Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are seen as one of the favorites in the World Series odds. Over their last ten games, the Astros are 8-2 and are currently riding a five-game winning streak. The Stros also have the second-best run differential in Major League Baseball with plus 211. With the three-headed monster in the Astros starting rotation it makes them a devastating opponent to match up with in October.
2 Down: Cleveland Indians
The Indians are in a tough position; they are currently 3.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Cleveland has dropped six of their last ten games. But the most significant loss, however, is the damage is that of Jose Ramirez. Ramirez broke his hamate bone and had successful surgery, but he will be out 5-7 weeks. This loss is a crucial blow to Indians, and they will have to find a way to survive this injury.
3 Up: St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals have arguably been baseball’s best team over the last week. The cards hold a three-game lead in the NL Central division. As well as a + 66 run differential and have gone and have gone nine and one over the last ten games. The battle for the NL Central will be a difficult one, but the Cardinals seem poised to head back to the playoffs.
3 Down: Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers have been eliminated from every sort of contention. The division they’re done the wild-card they’re done. At a record of 39-90, the Tigers have been outplayed by everyone. With a run differential of – 257, the Tigers are the worst club in Major League Baseball. No one honestly expected them to compete, but achieving this level of pitiful performance is tough to endure.
B.O.L.O: Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies are Club to pay attention to as they currently, they sit 10.5 games behind the NL East-leading Atlanta Braves. But in the NL Wildcard, the Phillies are just two games behind the Chicago Cubs for the 2nd Wild Card spot. The long and arduous journey of the Major League Baseball season has peaks and valleys for all clubs. And recently the Phils have experienced that very sentiment. But in those moments the Phillies are hitting home runs, and Citizens Bank Park is rocking the playoffs look within reach.