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SI Article on the Wild Card Race...

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by rrj_gamz, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. rrj_gamz

    rrj_gamz Contributing Member

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    SI Article

    Here's the jist of the NL:

    National League
    Division leaders: Braves, Astros, Giants.

    Wild-card wannabes: Philadelphia Phillies, Florida Marlins, Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado Rockies, Montreal Expos.

    The Braves and Giants have their divisions wrapped up, so every other decent team in those two divisions, the East and West, has wild-card dreams. Eight teams, in all, are within 5 ½ games of the wild-card lead.

    Wild-card calls: We're gonna eliminate the Dodgers, Rockies and Expos right off the bat. Those teams all have glaring weaknesses. They may not even finish .500.

    Next, we'll pick a Central winner so we can ID the wild-card possibles. Right now, the Central is a three-way among the Astros, Cards and Cubs. If Roy Oswalt is healthy, we really like the Astros to stay on top. If not, it's closer. On the other hand, neither the Cards nor Cubs have impressed, so even though the Cubs play a ton of losing teams down the stretch, we'll stick with the Astros.

    That leaves the Cards and Cubs from the Central, the Phillies and Marlins from the East and the West division's Diamondbacks. As we said, the Cards and Cubs haven't impressed so … see ya. We're down to the Phils, Fish and D'backs. It's hard to go against Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, but Arizona has seven games left against the Giants (the D'backs are 2-10 vs. S.F.), seven with L.A. (6-6) and six against Colorado (6-7). Plus big series against Atlanta, the Cubs and St. Louis. Sorry.

    So, between Philly and Florida … the Marlins are 9-4 against the Phillies, they have six more to play against them and they're hot, going 15-7 since the break (the Phils are 12-13 in that time). We like their rotation, the pen and maybe even the lineup better than Philly's. Florida's on the road a lot down the stretch, but we like the Marlins as a wild card.

    It's a close one this season, with lots of starry eyes out there still. As for true baseball fans, this could be downright exciting in the next few weeks.

    Even a purist would have to say so.

     

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