The Pirates and the Yankees haven’t had this much in common since 1960.
Here they are staring into September, and the view from the Bronx is very much like the view from Pittsburgh: Both teams are in second place in their divisions and both teams are clinging to a Wild Card spot.
This week’s games – like all the games that follow them (and all the ones that came before) – matter. It’s a long season. But the narratives that surround those games change with the standings.
Normally, the matchup between the Yankees and the Red Sox has its own meaning, and maybe it still... Read More
When MLB instituted the Wild Card, many baseball purists gasped and wagged fingers. It will diminish the excitement that’s earned from teams trying to win the pennant during six months of baseball and 162 games, they said.
In some ways – and in some cities – they might have a point. But don’t try to make that argument in Chicago or San Francisco right about now.
The Wild Card is presenting the Cubs and the Giants with both sides of what proponents of the expanded playoff system argue makes the system so great.
The Cubs are third in the extremely tough N.L. Central but, barring a... Read More
For the Mets to win the N.L. East, they’ll have to go through the Nationals. For the Yankees to win the A.L. East, they’ll have to fend off the Orioles (and also the Rays, Blue Jays and—yes—maybe even the Red Sox).
The Mets enter Monday’s contest with Washington two games behind, which sets up a series that could alter the division race. The Mets send ace Matt Harvey against Gio Gonzalez and the rest of the series, pitching-wise, will also be difficult for the Nationals to handle. It would be difficult for anyone to handle.
Hall of Famer John Smoltz recently said that the Mets' rotation is more talented... Read More
This team has been hit hard by injuries to ace Adam Wainwright and sluggers Matt Adams and Matt Holliday, among many others, and yet here they are nearing the All-Star break with the best record in baseball, 53-28, which is also good for the best record after 81 games since 1944.
The Cardinals play three times this week on Sling TV, twice against the division rival Chicago Cubs. Entering Monday’s games, St. Louis has an 8.5-game lead over Chicago in the N.L. Central.
The Cardinals lost Wainwright after just four starts but the pitching staff is talented... Read More
With the recent World Series success of the Giants and Cardinals, it would be easy to go with the National League. Those teams account for four of the past five World Series titles.
Then there’s the All-Star Game. Baseball nerds will point out that since the ill-fated tie in 2002, the A.L. has dominated, winning nine of 12.
But this week offers a good look at which league might be stronger. From Monday through Thursday, every team will play a two-game home-and-away interleague series (that’s four total games for those scoring at home) against the same opponent.
The A.L. East has worn the de facto label of the toughest division in baseball for many years and, from the top to the bottom, it is tough once again this year.
But is it the best? Some would eagerly say no but ask anyone in Boston or the Bronx and you could get a different answer.
For example, Wednesday’s game on ESPN between the Red Sox and Orioles. As of this writing, both teams are under .500, and in the cellar of the division. Yet they are still very much in the race, just 5.5 games off the lead.
This week’s other game on ESPN is Sunday’s contest... Read More
Every game on Sling TV this week features preseason favorites for the World Series title.
The Washington Nationals and Boston Red spent a lot of money in the offseason to fortify their chances while St. Louis made some deft trades and the Yankees… well, the Yankees must think quite a bit of the team they already had because they didn’t go after any big names.
In fact, some pundits don’t consider the Yankees contenders at all. The A.L. East is loaded with talent, as always, and New York is relying on many aging stars and also have some serious question marks in the rotation.
Meanwhile, the Nats assembled one of the best pitching staffs in modern memory with the addition of Max Scherzer. But somehow they’ve gotten... Read More