Twin killings: Minnesota, Philly look ready to fall

Jul 24, 2001 3:00 AM

Baseball division races are tightening up with Minny and Philly hitting a wall. Cleveland is making inroads into the Twins lead. Minnesota is now in danger of losing out in Wild Card with Oakland making a tremendous run at the spot.

The Red Sox and Yankees are in danger of losing out in race for either the Wild Card or AL East lead.

At this stage of the season, the baseballs powers lie in Seattle and Oakland with the Mariners rating early favorites to make it to the World Series.

Games for the week ending July 29:

Marlins at Reds: Marlins making a determined run at a playoff position since their five game debacle versus the Phils. Marlins have right opponent to continue their drive towards a playoff position. Reds, playing atrocious ball at home, don’t figure to be much of a problem to the Marlins. Florida will throw A.J. Burnett and Brad Penny at the Reds in hopes of continuing its drive towards the top.

Cardinals at Cubs: Cubs have had pretty much their own way versus St. Louis. Methinks the worm is going to turn. One thing in Cubs favor is their pitching staff has held up with career years by five starters. Darryl Kile and unbeaten rookie Bud Smith will try to halt Cubs rush to division title.

Braves at Expos: Braves meet their sparring partners in Montreal (seems like that’s the only matchup these two teams have). Expos lost three of four, however with a break or two they could have won three. Good teams win, bad teams could have. Greg Maddux and Odalis Perez win two with Tom Glavine in line to make it three wins.

Astros at Pirates: Pirates have been showing improvement lately, especially with Todd Ritchie on the mound. Astros do well to take Pirates seriously in this series. Ritchie and Jason Schmidt try to slow Houston down.

Phillies at Mets: Phillies come to New York for a return engagement against the Mets. Phils took two of three from New York in Philly and would like to do it again. Phils will send Dave Coggin and Randy Wolf in hopes of doing just that. Going with Al Leiter over any one of the Phils and make it two with Rick Reed.

Giants at D’backs: Giants with all their vaunted power have been easy pickings for Arizona. D’backs one two punch of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling have been nothing but awesome of late. No use changing the routine. Going with Johnson, Schilling and for good measure throw in Brian Anderson.

Rockies at Dodgers: Rockies a team of losers making Dodgers drive towards first place in NL West a lark. Rockies are playing in a windblown park where pitching and batting averages are awesome. Rockies may play better on the road, but, you have to prove it to me.

Yankees at Blue Jays: Yankees were lucky to steal a victory when Jays last visited New York. Yankees hope to reverse that trend by throwing Roger Clemens and Mike Mussina at Toronto.

Indians at Tigers: Indians, on a roll, will try to catch Minnesota before July turns into August, and who says they won’t. Twins are going badly and in danger of being caught by Oakland in their Wild Card quest. Don’t look for Detroit to stop Indians. Going with Jake Westbrook and Charles Nagy and against Bartolo Colon, if his suspension doesn’t start.

White Sox at Red Sox: White Sox have been tormenting Boston all season long. No reason to stop now, though they’re playing in Boston. Red Sox have many injuries and pitchers like David Cone and Tim Wakefield can’t cut it. Going against Wakefield and Tomo Ohka (another washed up finisher).

Tampa Bay at Rangers: Rangers have been playing out the schedule since early May. No reason to change now. Pass on these two inept squads.

Twins at Mariners: Mariners put the fork into the Twins’ hide. Now they bury Minnesota forever. Mariners can do no wrong. They better hope it holds up in the playoffs. Could be a bust. No matter the pitcher or situation, Mariners overcome all at this time. Another sweep very possible.

Royals at A’s: A’s have been unbelievable the past month of the season, playing like they were meant to at season’s beginning. Royals can’t stop A’s and Cory Lidle and Barry Zito compound the felony.

Orioles at Angels: Both teams playing out the string. Unlike Texas, the Angels are going all out to win. Ramon Ortiz and Scott Schoenweis pick up two.