Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

2009 Wild Card Races

Todd Helton has been a big part of the Rockies resurgence after the firing of Clint Hurdle and has hit over .300 every month this seaon.

Todd Helton a local Knoxville native has been a big part of the Rockies resurgence after the firing of Clint Hurdle earlier this season and has hit over .300 every month this season.

Four teams have already been eliminated from the 2009 pennant race. Those four teams are the Orioles, Blue Jays, Nationals and Pirates.

The Royals, Padres and Diamondbacks magic number to be eliminated is three so they could be eliminated as early as tomorrow. That makes seven teams out of the pennant race.

Next in line for elimination are the Athletics with magic number of 6, the Reds with magic number of 7 and the Rays with a magic number of 8. They could be eliminated by the end of the week making a total of ten teams eliminated from the pennant race.

The focus is close to changing from the pennant races to the wild card races. The NL West is the only race where the division leader has a lead of less than five games. The Dodgers hold a three and-a-half game lead over the Rockies.

On this date in 2008 there were five divisions still up for grabs with only the Angels holding a huge 17 and-a-half game lead over the second place Rangers in the AL West.

The other races on this date last season:

AL East: Rays a half game ahead of the Red Sox

AL Central: White Sox held a  two-and-a-half game lead over the Twins

NL East: Mets a half game lead over the Phillies

NL Central: Cubs had a four and-a-half game lead over the Brewers

NL West: Dodgers were a game and-a-half ahead of the Diamondbacks

So 2009 has only one real pennant race as of today compared to the 2008 season when there were still five pennant races up for grabs.

The wild card race this season as of today is more exciting than the pennant races. Nine teams are less than 10 games behind the wild card leader in their division.

American League: Red Sox hold a slim two and-a-half game lead over the Rangers. The Mariners are tied for third with both of them being seven and-a-half games behind the Red Sox.

All four teams have losing streaks as of today with the Rays losing six in a row, Rangers and Mariners losing two in a row and the Red Sox losing one in a row.

The Rays are 2-8 in their last ten games and with the loss of Carlos Pena for the season they have little hope since they are playing the Yankees again today after losing a doubleheader to them yesterday.

National League: The Rockies hold a two game lead in the NL wild card race over the Giants. The Marlins are five and-a-half games back of the Rockies while the Braves are seven and-a-half games behind the Rockies.

The Cubs are eight games behind the Rockies and are 5-5 in their last ten games.

Rockies have a four game winning streak while the Braves have a five game losing streak.

It is ironic that the Braves and Cubs were big spenders in the free agent market last offseason but likely will be eliminated from the NL Central race in the next couple of weeks.

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