Now that the Angels have shown who the boss is in the AL West, whipping the stunned Athletics six times in the past 10 days to take a commanding 5-game lead into Labor Day, our attention turns to the NL West.
That’s where another fight to the finish looms for the rival Dodgers and Giants, who entered play on Monday separated by just two games in the loss column. The teams still have six games against each other, (Sept. 12-13-14 in SF and Sept. 22-23-24 in LA).
The GW crystal ball sees the division race being clinched during the final week of the regular season.
This week’s GW power rankings:
1. Angels (1): The AL West leaders received A’s in every department during their four-game sweep of Oakland this past weekend.
2. Dodgers (4): How cool would it be for the World Series to be played entirely in warm Southern California?
3. Athletics (2): How quickly the team bounces back from being swept by the Angels will determine their chances of successfully defending the division title.
5. Giants (5): All of a sudden the Giants’ starting pitching looks as good, if not better, than the Dodgers.
6. Mariners (3): All of Seattle wants to know why King Felix has a history of fading badly in September and have collective fingers crossed that it will change this season.
6. Padres: (6): One Hall of Fame (Padres) down for former closer Trevor Hoffman and one to go – the big one in Cooperstown, NY.
7. Astros (7): The next 11 games are against the top three teams in the AL West, which should be a great experience for such a young team.
8. Diamondbacks (8): It was good for the fans for the D-Backs to bring back some of the big names in franchise history for an Alumni Game.
9. Rangers (9): It’s either feast or famine for the offense – three runs or fewer in 15 of their last 20 games and at least 10 runs in four of the other five games.
10. Rockies (10): Three players – Michael Cuddyer, Wilinb Rosario and Troy Tulowitzki – that were in the lineup when play was suspended by rain in a game against the Giants on May 22 were not available on Monday when the game was resumed.
(Last week’s ranking in parenthesis)