By Josh Mosley
I hate this. I REALLY do. Less than 30 days left in the baseball season and the Cards have a 10.5 game division lead. Back in April you couldn’t have coaxed me to predict that situation even if you offered me a lifetime supply of Pringles and a remote control that would put Mrs. Andy Roddick by my side in bed every morning. Actually, I’d totally make the prediction for that last caveat. Man she’s fine.
Needless to say, the Cards are up by a decade on the Cubbies with less than 30 to play. Still have you heard of the ’64 Phillies (they whose misery benefitted the ’64 World Champ Cards)? How about the Mets the last two seasons? People cough up leads. It’s not unheard of and what major motion picture studios pray for every year in order to feed their feeble creative minds.
Still I decided to look ahead to the three possible teams the Cards could face in the Division Series come October provided they avoid a September swoon.
National League West: The Dodgers lead by 5.5 games.
LA Confidential: Rather than trying to shore up the team with a move or two, the Dodgers played it safe and sat on their hands and watched the deadline come and go. They picked up Jim Thome last night, which could add pop to the lineup come playoff time. Once looking like the class of the NL, the Dodgers came out firing in the wake of Manny’s suspension and came out leading the Majors. Still a spell of complacency hit the LA Blues while the rival Giants and Rocktobers caught fire in July to make it interesting down the stretch.
Telling Number: The Dodgers dropped 5 of 7 in the month of August to St. Louis. That means New Jersey (shit) in the playoffs but it’s nothing to scoff at while you prepare to rip a gnarly wave, brah.
National League East: The Phillies lead by eight games.
Cheese Steakin’ Asses: Man, the Phillies are good. I say that sans jest, folks. They’re defending that title like Johnnie defended OJ in ’95. They’ve hit, they’ve pitched and fielded like the good lord intended ball to be played. Still as all Cochran followers know, the Phils needed a move worthy of being deemed a Chewbacca-esque. Enter Cliff Lee, who literally hasn’t lost since dropping into the City of Brotherly Love. Stack him with Cole Hamels, Pedro and J.A. Adande Happ and the Phillies have a terrorizing triad for the October run. Call me a girl (please don’t) but I don’t want to see the Phils in the Division round though if the Cards finish the way they can, as at least a top two seed, they won’t meet till the NLCS.
Telling Stat: You know how season numbers don’t matter? Well hopefully that holds true against the Phils, who have suffocated the Cards by winning 4 of 5 meetings this season.
Wild Card: Colorado and San Francisco are tied.
Always Something with these guys: Oh the fight for champions of the first losers. This race is never boring so your hats off to those guys. The top four teams are only separated by four games with the Rockies and Giants playing hot potato with the lead on what seems like a nightly basis. The Rockies rode a torrid July and August up to the top of the Wild Card with the Giants right behind them. I know Carp and Waino are dealing right now but Tim Lincecum is my Cy Young if I had a vote. His team was atrocious last year and he won it so why would a bad Giants September knock him down? He and Matt Cain and possibly returning Randy Johnson present the other staff I’d not want to run in to come playoff time. Oh yeah and I forgot about them picking up Brad Penny’s big boned ass and him returning to his pwning best in his first start for the Giants.
Meanwhile the Rockies have that team of destiny vibe they were rocking in Rocktober of 2007. Nothing I’d want to mess with either. By the way, from here on out, the Wild Card team from the NL will cease their usual mascot and be called the “Fighting Charlie Kelly’s” for all of October. Fans of “Always Sunny” dig what I’m scoopin’.
Telling Stat: Cue the Wild Card minutia: last season was the first time since 1999 that a Wild Card team didn’t make it to the World Series. Way to buck the trend Philly and Tampa Bay. You guys will NOT be invited back this season.
My prediction: Because this is what you sheep really care about. The Phillies don’t have a very daunting September with two series against the Astros and Phillies and some Pirates and Brewers actions. There’s no reason they shouldn’t go at least .500 this month and maintain the top spot in the NL. The Cards beefed their lead with a Magnolia cupcake-like August set chewing up and spitting out bad teams like Chris Brown did to Rhianna’s arm. Basically, I see no way the division champs change. As for the Wild Card, I see the Rockies and the Rocktober gods prevailing in the Wild Card to complete the bracket.
MY DIVISIONAL SERIES PREDICTIONS:
Cards over Dodgers in 4
Phillies over Rockies in 5.