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UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

The Gore Report: Baseball playoffs a clear but undecided picture

As the calendar enters the last week of September, almost all of the MLB’s playoff spots are spoken for. The Yankees and the Red Sox find themselves back in the postseason, while it is highly unlikely that any of the three teams near Jacksonville will have an October game.

Atlanta and Florida are not yet mathematically eliminated, but it’s highly unlikely they will advance; Tampa Bay has already been eliminated.

The race that is really heating up is in the American League Central Division. The Detroit Tigers are holding the surging Minnesota Twins off by 2.5 games. The Twins have won seven of their last eight, and they still have four games on the road against Detroit the last week of the season. So brace yourself for that one, because I predict that the Twins will come through. Nonetheless, it should be interesting.

The hype is the Yankees are the team to beat. The Yankees have a lot of talent on their team this year, that actually has a chance to pan out. Their line-up is really pick-your-poison with Jeter, A-Rod and Texiera.

But it doesn’t matter how many times the Yanks can beat the Rays or Red Sox in a season; after next week, everyone is on a clean slate.

The team that is going to slip past everyone’s radar is the Los Angeles Angels. As good a team as they are, every year they are looked over because they are a West Coast team and don’t find themselves on ESPN every night, like Boston or New York.

The Dodgers fans can chant Mannywood all they want, but they need to think twice if they think they are going to get past the Phillies. Manny Ramirez is only one player, and despite his effort. Dodgers’ pitching will let the team down in the close games.

You want a longshot; here you go. The Colorado Rockies — barring a miracle they will make it to the playoffs. The Rockies don’t seem to have much of a chance against powerhouses like the Dodgers and Phillies, but anything can happen in October. Colorado isn’t even in the playoffs yet; they have a four game lead with a nine game homestand at Coors Field.

But if you’re not the risk taker and want to bet on a favorite, the Phillies are the way to go. Despite the fact that no player on the team has a .300 batting average, they are clutch, and their pitching staff is dominant.

But altogether, the difference maker for the Phillies is Jimmy Rollins. If he gets on base, he can torment a pitcher. His leadoffs require many pick off attempts and cause the pitcher to lose focus on the batter.

Despite the American League dominance over the National League in the All-Star Game year after year, the National will bring home the Commissioner’s Trophy this season.

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