Tomorrow we will all flip the calendar over to September, and with it comes 40 man rosters and do or die situations for teams across MLB. Teams that find themselves in a hunt for the playoffs will try to put everything together in the last month of the season to earn a playoff spot. At this point in the season there are several teams with comfortable divisional leads and several others find that they are underachieving and might be looking at spending October on the couch.
All the first place teams in the NL (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Arizona) have comfortable leads, all 6 games or larger, and the Wild Card leading Atlanta Braves have 8.5 game cushion as well. One of surprises from the NL this season has been the Arizona Diamondbacks. They have managed to stretch their NL West lead to 6 games over the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The Giants have have really struggled to score runs this year and have dealt with several injuries during the 2011 campaign. The champs are now on the verge of ending their championship defense without a trip to the playoffs. Since the addition of the Wild Card (1995), only 6 teams have won the World Series and failed to make the playoffs the following year. The 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies are looking like the strong favorites to win the National League with their amazing rotation, but the recent surge from Milwaukee has them competing for the best record in the league.
In the AL the races are a slightly closer and as always the Red Sox and Yankees will be battling it out for the AL East with the loser winning the Wild Card spot. The current standings show the Red Sox (82-52) with .5 game lead over the Yankees (81-52) with about 30 games to play. Both of these teams are pretty much guaranteed to be playing in October. The Yankees, like the Braves, have a healthy 8.5 game over Tampa Bay in the Wild Card race. The other division races aren't as close as the AL East but the Central and West are far from won. The Rangers have a 3.5 game lead on the Angels in the West, and Detroit is leading the Chicago White Sox by 5 games in the Central. The Rangers have 3 games remaining against L.A. and the Tigers have 6 games left with Chicago. So, both the Angels and the White Sox will have an opportunity to keep themselves in the hunt during the month of September.
Playoff baseball will be here in just one month! Time to get ready to watch 8 teams fight for the most storied championship in American sports. But before we get to far ahead, there is still a month left of baseball to be played. At Sports Traveler we have greats deals on MLB tickets for your favorite team or any team for any game. The 2011 season is coming to a close so don't miss your chance to see baseball in the fall. Sports Traveler has travel packages available for all remaining regular season games and the World Series! Other playoff tickets and travel packages will become available as the teams and match-ups are confirmed. Fall is upon us and soon a new World Series champion will be crowned. If you're looking for a chance to catch the action this autumn then look no further than your best resource for sports travel.
Written by: Craig Kibler