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Tag:Playoff race
Posted on: September 24, 2011 5:12 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2011 12:38 am
 

Playoff race: Cardinals receive a gift

Carlos Marmol

By C. Trent Rosecrans
 

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol hand-delivered an extension of the of the Cardinals' wild card hopes, giving St. Louis a 2-1 victory over the Cubs. Marmol walked three straight batters to force in the tying run and then allowed the winning run on a walk-off wild pitch. St. Louis' gift victory plus a Braves' loss in Washington cut the Braves' lead in the wild card race to two games with four left to play for both teams.

If the Cardinals win the rest of their four remaining games, the Braves would need to win two of their remaining four to force a playoff, but three wins would give them the wild card.

So, let's take a look at exactly where we stand:

Atlanta Braves
89-69
Remaining schedule: 1 @ WAS, 3 v. PHI
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 83.9 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
87-71, 2 GB
Remaining schedule: 1 v. CHC, 3 @ HOU
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 16.1 percent

The Giants were eliminated from playoff contention with their 15-2 loss to the Diamondbacks.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 12:56 am
 

Playoff Race: Red Sox win, despite not playing

By Matt Snyder

The Red Sox -- who are still in position to make the playoffs, by the way -- didn't have a game Friday night. They were washed out at Yankee Stadium and will have to play a doubleheader Sunday. Still, the night ended up being a very good one for them. Both the Rays and the Angels lost, inching the Red Sox closer to winning the wild card and avoiding a historic collapse.

Let's break it down.

Boston Red Sox
88-68
Remaining schedule: 3 @ NYY, 3 @ BAL
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 95.2 percent

Tampa Bay Rays
86-71, 2.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 v. TOR, 3 v. NYY
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 3.7 percent

Los Angeles Angels
85-72, 3.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 v. OAK, 3 v. TEX
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 1.1 percent

I'd say we can write off the Angels. They need to win out and have the Red Sox go 1-5, while also leap-frogging the Rays. The Rays have a pretty big uphill battle themselves, but if they won out -- which isn't a ridiculous notion, actually -- there's a shot. The focus has to just be on winning every game. The odds say this thing is over, though.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 12:34 am
 

Playoff Race: Braves win, get help in wild card

By Matt Snyder

Friday night did a lot in sorting out what the National League playoffs will look like. Both the Brewers and the Diamondbacks clinched their respective divisions, for one thing. For another, both the Cardinals and Giants lost while the Braves won. We can write off the Giants now, as they trail by five with five games to go -- and have a team between them and the Giants. They haven't been mathematically eliminated, but let's be real: It ain't happening. The NL wild-card race is a two-teamer now. And probably soon to be one.

Let's break it down:

Atlanta Braves
89-68
Remaining schedule: 2 @ WAS, 3 v. PHI
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 92.8 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
86-70, 3 GB
Remaining schedule: 2 v. CHC, 3 @ HOU
Coolstandings.com expectancy of wild card: 6.8 percent

Let's lay this out in the most understandable way possible: If the Cardinals win their remaining five games and the Braves only go 2-3, a one-game playoff would be forced. The Braves' magic number is three, meaning a combination of Braves wins and Cardinals losses equaling three clinches the wild card for Atlanta. It's still possible for the Cardinals to get in, but it's a pretty big mountain to climb.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:39 pm
 

Playoff race: Red Sox split, keep 2-game lead

Connor Jackson

By C. Trent Rosecrans


I have a saying at the blackjack table -- pushing ain't losing. And that's about how the Red Sox feel after splitting a doubleheader with the Orioles while the Rays were idle. It wasn't pretty, that's for sure, but Boston entered Monday with a two-game lead in the American League wild-card standings and finished the day with a two game lead in the wild-card race.

Boston dropped its first game of the day, 6-5 to the Orioles, before rebounding to beat Baltimore 18-9 in the nightcap. Boston starter John Lackey was awful again, allowing eight runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings, but he was better than Baltimore's Brian Matusz, who didn't get out of the second inning, allowing six runs on six hits.

Boston trailed 3-0 after the top of the first, but came back with four in their half of the inning and had an 11-2 lead after three innings. Baltimore got as close as 11-0 before the Red Sox pounded out seven runs in the seventh.

Boston plays Baltimore five more times to try to hold on to their lead.

Here's the rest of the particulars: 

Boston Red Sox
88-65
Remaining schedule: 2 vs. BAL, 3 @ NYY, 3 @ BAL
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 86.1 percent

Tampa Bay Rays
85-67, 2 GB
Remaining schedule: 4 @ NYY, 3 vs. TOR, 3 vs. NYY
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 8.5 percent

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
83-70, 4.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 @ TOR, 3 vs. OAK, 3 vs. TEX
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 0.6 percent

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 10:35 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 11:10 pm
 

Playoff race: Braves' heartbreaker tightens race

Omar Infante

By C. Trent Rosecrans

After just having beaten Roy Halladay and the Phillies, the Cardinals were likely in their clubhouse watching a Chipper Jones misplayed ball lead to an Omar Infante two-run, game-winning homer and pulling St. Louis to within 2.5 games of the Braves in the National League wild-card race.

If the Cardinals can come back to overtake the Braves, they've certainly earned it this weekend, taking three of four in Philadelphia, beating both Cole Hamels and Halladay in the process.

Atlanta saw an error by Infante give them a lead in the seventh inning, but then Jones' inability to field Emilio Bonifacio's chopper that Jones lost in the lights set up Infante's walk-off homer off of Braves closer Craig Kimbrel.

St. Louis' remaining schedule is nowhere near as daunting and the way the Cardinals are pitching, it could come down to the last series of the season, when St. Louis is playing the team with baseball's worst record and Atlanta is hosting the team with baseball's best record. 

There may only be a little more than a week left in the season, but it's hard to see this not going down to the wire.

Atlanta Braves
87-67
Remaining schedule: 2 @ FLA, 3 @ WAS, 3 vs. PHI
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 78.2 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
84-69, 2.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 vs. NYM, 3 vs. CHC, 3 @ HOU
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 17.7 percent

San Francisco Giants
83-70, 3.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 @ LAD, 3 @ ARI, 3 vs. COL
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 3.4 percent

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 10:32 pm
 

Playoff race: Another step back for Angels

Vernon Wells

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Angels are only nominally still in the American League West race -- and that may be debatable after Monday's 3-2 loss in 10 innings to the Blue Jays in Toronto.

The Rangers were off on Monday but saw their lead increase to five games in the AL West with nine games remaining for both teams. The two teams finish with a three-game series in Anaheim, but it may not matter by that point.

Here's the pertinent information:

Texas Rangers
88-65
Remaining schedule: 3 @ OAK, 3 vs. SEA, 3 @ LAA
Coolstandings.com chances of winning AL West: 98 percent

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
83-70, 5 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 @ TOR, 3 vs. OAK, 3 vs. TEX
Coolstandings.com chances of winning AL West: 2 percent

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 18, 2011 11:02 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 11:06 pm
 

Playoff Race: Cards, Giants creeping up on Braves

By Matt Snyder

The Braves coughed up a late lead Sunday and things continued to get interesting in the NL Wild Card race. With both the Giants and Cardinals winning, it's possible to view this as a three-team race. Hey, we'll take anything we can get this season, where many of the races have seemed foregone conclusions for the better part of September.

Unfortunately, none of these three teams play head-to-head the rest of the way. And keep in mind the Braves would have to lose 3 1/2 games of ground in just nine games. For some perspective, remember the Rockies winning 14 of 15 to close out 2007? They made up 4 1/2 games. So it's likely still going to be the Braves winning the Wild Card. Still, it's no sure thing and certainly bears watching.

Let's break it down.

Atlanta Braves
87-66
Remaining schedule: 3 @ FLA, 3 @ WAS, 3 vs. PHI
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 88.8 percent

St. Louis Cardinals
83-69, 3.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 1 @ PHI, 3 vs. NYM, 3 vs. CHC, 3 @ HOU
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 8.1 percent

San Francisco Giants
83-70, 4 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 @ LAD, 3 @ ARI, 3 vs. COL
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 2.6 percent

Make serious note that the Phillies will not be playing for anything in those final three games against the Braves. They'll be trying to get healthy and set a playoff rotation first; playing to win the games second. In light of that, the Braves do have an easy path, but the Cardinals' schedule is pretty easy. The Giants have a tough task in front of them, just as they do in the West.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 18, 2011 7:22 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 7:39 pm
 

Playoff Race: Rangers, Angels both win

By Matt Snyder

The Angels avoided a sweep in Baltimore Sunday when Jered Weaver picked up the win on the strength of some great run support. The Rangers went out and beat Felix Hernandez and the Mariners, 3-0, however, so the AL West lead remained 4 1/2 games. The Rangers have nine games left and the Angels have 10. It's a tall mountain to climb, but the Angels do get to host the Rangers for a three-game series to close the season. So if they can chip 1 1/2 games off the lead in the next week, they'll have a shot.

Let's break it down.

Texas Rangers
88-65
Remaining schedule: 3 @ OAK, 3 vs. SEA, 3 @ LAA
Coolstandings.com chances of winning AL West: 96.3 percent

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
83-69, 4.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 4 @ TOR, 3 vs. OAK, 3 vs. TEX
Coolstandings.com chances of winning AL West: 3.7 percent

As we said above, the Angels need some help in the next seven days, but if they get it, they'll control their own destiny in one final series. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com