Comparing 2008-2009 Pennant Races
On this date last year the pennant races were much closer than this year. The following comparison of the 2008 and 2009 pennant race breaks down who was leading in each division both years.
Division Leaders on August 27,2008 and August 27,2009
2008: The Rays had a three-and-a-half game lead over the Red Sox with the Yankees 10 and-a-half games out in third place.
2009: The Yankees hold a six game lead over the Red Sox and a 10 game lead over the Rays. The Red Sox have been in second both seasons while this year the Rays are in third place instead of the Yankees.
2008: On this date in 2008 the White Sox were one game ahead of the Twins with the Indians 10 and-a-half games back in third place.
2009: The Tigers who finished fourth in the AL Central in 2008 lead the AL Central this season with a four and-a-half game lead over the White Sox and Twins who are tied for second place. The third place Indians are a half game further back this season and 11 games behind the Tigers.
2008: The Angels were 15 games ahead of the Rangers last season with the A’s 19 and a half games back on this date last year.
2009: This season the Angels are ahead of the Rangers by five games a ten game improvement over last season. The Mariners are 10 games back.
On this date in 2008 the Mariners were 30 and-a-half games behind the Angels but are greatly improved this season. They were 33 games under .500 in 2008 and this season they are five games over .500.
2008: The Mets held a slim half game lead over the Phillies on this date in 2008. The Marlins were five and-a-half games and in third place.
2009: The Phillies are seven games ahead of the Marlins today while the Braves are third and eight games back. The Mets who were leading the NL East on this date in 2008 are 17 and-a-half games behind the Phillies this season.
2008: This time last season the Cubs were six games ahead of the Brewers with the Cardinals nine and-a-half games behind the Cubs.
2009: The Cardinals hold a nine game lead over the Cubs this season but the Cubs do have four more games left than the Cardinals which could be a difference maker. The Brewers and Cubs are in third place and tied at 12 games back of the Cardinals.
2008: Last year the Diamondbacks were three games ahead of the Dodgers and six games ahead of the Rockies.
2009: This season the Dodgers have a three game lead over the Rockies and a six game lead over the Giants.
American League: On this date last season there were only five AL teams still in the race.
There are seven teams in the race this season. The Tigers will be tested late in the season with thirteen of their last sixteen games against the White Sox and Twins and will finish the season at home against the White Sox.
National League: The closest race as of today in the NL is the NL West race with the Rockies and Giants battling the Dodgers for the lead in the division. The Dodgers were three games behind on this date in 2008 and three games ahead this year.
The Philies in the NL East have a seven game lead and the Cardinals have a nine game lead in the NL Central. The Phillies do have concerns about their closer Brad Lidge who has given up 15 runs in his last 19 innings and has blown nine saves this season.
He has a 8.31 ERA in August which makes me wonder how much longer Charlie Manuel will send him to the mound in a closing role.