The Minnesota Twins are proving once again why they always seem to come out on top at the end. They just play baseball. It is that simple.
Look at what happened. The Chicago White Sox went on an amazing tear to jump a few games in first. The Twins just keep playing, and they handle the division foes, only losing two games to the White Sox in eight games.
The biggest mistake from the White Sox may have been to let Jim Thome go to Twins. He may be older, but he proves he still has power off the bench and is a better designated hitter than anything other teams have. Plus, he is the left-handed power hitter they lacked all year.
The White Sox need to take the next two games, or the Twins will simply run away with the division. But, don’t count them out. They still have very good pitching, even with the Jake Peavy injury. They simply just need some luck to pull out some of the closer games.
Well, no surprise that the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays are tied a top the division. The big deal comes with both teams handling the Texas Rangers.
The winner of the division is still the prize; however, and the Rays and Yankees play each other six more times in September. But, the Boston Red Sox will not go away yet. They are 5½ games back, and they play two big series with the Rays in the next few weeks and two series with the Yankees at the end of the season.
There is still plenty of baseball to be played in the Eastern Division.
The one problem with having your division locked up so early is losing the drive to need to win. The Rangers were on a roll, but they have slumped lately.
It is never a good thing, when you lose a step in September. It is rare that a team can suddenly catch fire when the playoffs start. However, the Rangers have good pitching and lots of power.
So, they need to do better against the playoff contenders. They have four with the Twins next week, and the other home-field advantage spot is on the line. It would be a good statement to take care of business at home against a potential October opponent.
TOP FIVE AL TEAMS August 11:
1.) Tampa Bay Rays - With the season winding down, the Rays have one of the best pitching staffs from top to bottom..
2.) New York Yankees – It really should be a tie for the top spot here, but the Rays are looking like they did in 2008.
3.) Minnesota Twins – When you beat the division rivals, you move up in the standings. The Twins may have the best defense of any team and rarely make mistakes.
4.) Texas Rangers – They aren’t in trouble, but they don’t want to stay mediocre for long.
5.) Boston Red Sox – They will be one of five teams with 70 wins before any other AL team, but they have the least chance to make the playoffs.