Outside of Seattle, it’s up for grabs

Jul 10, 2001 2:39 AM

   Mid-point of the major league baseball season is at hand. Should the season end with the same teams holding their position, the stronger teams that would be part of the playoff scene would be in the American League.

   Seattle Mariners would lead the pack (beat record in baseball) followed by the N.Y. Yankees, Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox. In the NL it would be Chicago Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

   Outside of the Mariners, all positions up for grabs.

   Games for week ending Sunday July 15.

   Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs: Inter-city series brings out the best in these two foes. Pitching matchups not carved in stone, however we are going with Kip Wells and Rocky Biddle to slow the Cubbies down.

   San Diego Padres at Houston Astros: The Astros are making noise about getting into playoffs and Padres have little hope of slowing them down at Enron Field. Astros, feeling they can catch the Cubbies, will send Scott Elarton and Wade Miller to the mound in hopes of gaining some ground.

   Toronto Blue Jays at Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies are in a precarious position having to play Blue Jays three games, then heading home to face Yankees in another three game set. Lots of luck. In the Blue Jays series, going with Chris Carpenter and Chris Michalak.

   N.Y. Yankees at Florida Marlins: The Marlins are slumping, while the Yanks are on a roll for the first time this season. Looking for Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens to step up for New York and notch a couple of victories.

   Cleveland Indians at Cincinnati Reds: Reds seem to be in a funk. However, sight of the Tribe brings out the best in the Redlegs. Pitching is a problem, but Indians have worries of their own surrounding the pitching staff. Look for games to go over the total. Expect Reds rookie hurler Lance Davis to win his start.

   Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Montreal Expos: These games will be played in an empty stadium. Hope the noise of ball hitting bat doesn’t disturb the sleeping customers. When the patrons wake up they will find Montreal has won two of the three games with more runs than the other team. Tony Armas Jr., and Mike Thurman are the guilty parties.

   K.C Royals at Pittsburgh Pirates: If you wager on anything but the totals, you’re safe. Selecting a winner is harmful to your bankroll.

   Boston Red Sox at N.Y. Mets: Sox hurting at all positions. The disabled list is more like a housewife’s grocery sheet when the husband foolishly tells her to buy anything she wants. Mets could be very dangerous in this series. Sox pitching very iffy. Going with Mets pitchers Kevin Appier and Al Leiter.

   Baltimore Orioles at Atlanta Braves: Baltimore could be very pesky when Greg Madux takes the hill. Braves swat them like flies. Young Orioles pitchers are not that bad, just erratic. Going against Tom Glavine here and will make double play should Jose Mercedes be the opposing pitcher.

   Minnesota Twins at Milwaukee Brewers: Twins roaring into second half of season to gain playoff spot and there is no one in sight to stop them. Brewers have shown lots of improvement. Going with Minny’s Brad Radke and Joe Mays.

   Detroit Tigers at St. Louis Cardinals: Cards can’t get out of their own way. Should perk up versus Tigers. Cardinals pitching so bad that it could be other way. Going against Andy Benes and Dustin Hermanson of St. Louis.

   Colorado Rockies at Texas Rangers: Two of the most overrated teams in the majors with their Triple A pitching staffs. Forget about sides. Going ”˜over’ in the totals. Will make double play wager when and if Darren Oliver and Shawn Chacon meet.

   S.F. Giants at Seattle Mariners: From here, it doesn’t look like the Giants can cut the mustard. Pitching erratic and there’s too much faith in Barry Bonds. Mariners should help Giants slide into oblivion. Seattle looks like the class of baseball and proves it here by sweeping the Giants. Double play on Freddy Garcia and Aaron Sele.

   L.A. Dodgers at Oakland Athletics: Dodgers winning streak went by the boards and they were fortunate not to be swept by Seattle. Los Angeles is a poor road team and will show fail in Oakland. Can’t succeed with Kevin Brown and Chan Ho Park so how are they going to win with lesser lights? Going with Mark Mulder and Barry Zito.

   Arizona Diamondbacks at Anaheim Angels: The Angels will see Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, which adds up to a couple of losses, right? Wrong. Schilling starting downhill slide and how long can Randy Johnson go on? Johnson’s innings are limited to six so better hope when he leaves the game that the D’backs have a big enough lead for the bullpen to hold. Going against both Johnson and Schilling.