In MLB 10 games of high drama two divisions up for grabs

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After 152 games in a long beautiful summer of play, we have most of our cast slated for the high theatre drama that is about to unfold.

There are 10 games to go with two divisions up for grabs and 11 teams competing for four Wild Card entries into the postseason. Last season, we had perhaps the greatest final regular season day in baseball history with implications occurring in four different cities that netted two surprise teams into the party.

As much as we pay attention to the Wild Card chases, the two AL division races in the East and Central are getting somewhat overshadowed. For the White Sox and Tigers, neither team looks capable of winning a Wild Card spot if not winning the division.

In the East, we have the Yankees – who were in cruise control all summer – now in a position of being possibly forced into a one and done Wild Card game if the Orioles pass them.

The Yankees have put it into high gear, winning seven of their last eight through Sunday, and realize the importance of their team – not rich in pitching – at least getting five cracks of advancing in the divisional series than a do or die Wild Card game.

The Rangers are in a similar spot this week as they face the A’s for a four game set that started Monday. Oakland is four games behind Texas in the West, but still maintains a Wild Card position. The A’s lost four of six games coming into this series and the fate of their season will be determined by how well they do against the Rangers. 

After the four games in Texas, the A’s will go home for three against the Mariners and then get the Rangers for the final three games.

The hard charging Milwaukee Brewers won eight of the past 10 games heading into Monday’s action and are 2½ games behind the Cardinals for the final Wild Card. Their chances of advancing look good because of the schedule in front of them. 

Milwaukee plays a Reds squad this week that has been going through the motions and resting players after clinching the division. Their final six games will be at home against the Astros and Padres, both of whom have been playing well, but nevertheless, are still the Astros and Padres.

The LVH Super Book currently has the Brewers 40-to-1 to win the World Series while the Cardinals are 15-1. With Oakland having such a tough road ahead of them, you have to look at the Angels only 2½ behind Oakland for the Wild Card. 

The Angels, 25-1 to win the World Series, face the Mariners six times. Sandwiched in between is a three game set at Texas. The Angels have won seven of their last 10 games and their starting pitching has been very strong. 

If LAA somehow made it to the playoffs, they could be very dangerous in any series just because of their starting pitching. It also helps to have a proven playoff winner like Albert Pujols and the most exciting player in the game, Mike Trout, on offense.  

AL MVP

I’m a little surprised that no sports book in Nevada petitioned the Nevada Gaming Control Board to take wagers on the voted upon MVP award. A few years ago, the Board said they would be open to allowing such type of wagers as long as the sports book detailed the format of how the voting process worked.

The voting process by the baseball writers is surely more sophisticated than the three judges who vote on NGCB approved boxing events.

Right now we have an AL MVP race that should go down to the wire between Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout. Lately, Cabrera has been making it easy to forget about all the statistical wonders Trout has put up in his rookie season because he’s in line to win the Triple Crown. Starting the week Cabrera led the AL in average (.331), RBI’s (133) and was tied with Josh Hamilton at 42 home runs each.

We have seen a Triple Crown winner not win the MVP. It happened to Ted Williams in 1947 when he lost out by 1-point to Joe DiMaggio, in part because Williams didn’t socialize with the media while DiMaggio was holding court at Toots Shor’s in New York City every night.

There is something that could doom Cabrera this season, even if he wins the Triple Crown for the first time since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. It’s because the baseball writers all use the Sabermetrics to decide who is better statistically now. We saw wins being taken out of the scheme for the 2010 Cy Young Award when Felix Hernandez won it with a 13-12 record. It’s very possible all the glittering stats Trout has put up will overcome Cabrera. 

Because of all the drama that is going to unfold statistically between these two, it only seems logical that a sports book would capitalize on it and offer odds. If there was betting, my money would be on Cabrera, but then again, I also thought C.C. Sabathia’s 21 wins should have won the award in 2010 and my Grandfather thought Williams was robbed in ’47.

Micah Roberts is a former race and sports book director, and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Contact Micah at [email protected].

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