Scoreboard Watching - 9/3/2012

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(if the right graphic is cut off for you, I suggest clicking the wide button on the right-hand side of the page. I couldn't make the images any smaller without them being illegible)

Baltimore Orioles
Record: 74-59
2nd Place, AL East (2 GB - NYY)
2nd Wild Card (2 GB - OAK)

It was an exciting week in Birdland, as the Baltimore Orioles went 3-1 against the Chicago White Sox and 2-1 against the New York Yankees, both first place teams. Last Monday morning they were in third place in the AL East, 4.5 games behind the Yankees. As of this morning they sit in second place, just 2 games behind the Yankees and 1.5 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. This week they'll play three against the Toronto Blue Jays on the road and follow that with a huge four-game weekend series against the Yankees at home.

New York Yankees
Record: 76-57
1st Place, AL East (2 games ahead - BAL)

Even before the Yankees ran into the buzzsaw that is the Baltimore Orioles over the weekend, they lost a series to the hapless Blue Jays, who had lost seven games in a row before taking two out of three in New York. They followed that with their series loss to the Orioles, and the result was 2.5 games cut off of their lead in the AL East.

Now the Yankees go on the road, as beginning this afternoon they play the Rays for three games and then immediately head to Baltimore. It's do or die time in the AL East, folks.

Tampa Bay Rays
Record: 73-61
3rd Place, AL East (3.5 GB - NYY)
3rd Place, AL Wild Card (1.5 GB - BAL, 3.5 GB - OAK)

It was not a good week for the Rays. They went into Texas and despite outscoring the Rangers, they lost two out of three. From there they went into Toronto where they split a four-game series. In one week they lost their hold on both 2nd place in the AL East and their wild card spot.

The Rays have a chance to help out the Orioles this week as they play the Yankees at home for three games. If they get swept by the Yankees their AL East division hopes will be pretty much dashed. Then, after an off day on Thursday, they have to play the Rangers again. Tough two weeks for the Rays.

Oakland Athletics
Record: 76-57
2nd Place, AL West (3 GB - TEX)
1st Wild Card (2 games ahead - BAL)

So, the Oakland Athletics have been playing absolutely ridiculous baseball. They did have the good fortune of playing both the Cleveland Indians and the Boston Red Sox, the two most pathetic teams in the American League. But that doesn't take away from the fact that they have won nine games in a row and have played their way to the top of the wild card heap. Thanks to their 7-0 week they gained 1.5 games on the Rangers in the AL West and went from being tied with the Orioles for the 2nd WC spot to 2 games ahead of them.

This week won't be as easy for the team, as they play three games against the Los Angeles Angels at home, then go on the road for a three-game weekend series against the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners have cooled down a bit but they are a tougher team than the Indians or Red Sox.

Chicago White Sox
Record: 72-61
T-1st Place, AL Central
T-4th Place, AL Wild Card (2 GB - BAL, 4 GB - OAK)

The White Sox did not had a good week. They started the week with a 2.5 game lead in the AL Central and although they lost three out of four to the Orioles, the 2nd place Tigers were swept in three by the Royals, meaning the White Sox actually gained a half-game on Detroit. They went into Detroit with a 3 game lead and one sweep later, the two teams are in a tie for first.

On paper, this week will be an easier one for the White Sox. They have three games against the Twins and, after a day off, a weekend series at home versus the Royals. The Royals are doing a pretty good job of playing spoiler lately, so it might not be as easy of a series as the White Sox hope.

Detroit Tigers
Record: 72-61
T-1st Place, AL Central
T-4th Place, AL Wild Card (2 GB - BAL, 4 GB - OAK)

The Tigers had to be smacking themselves for getting swept by the Royals while the White Sox were losing in Baltimore, but they made up for it this weekend with their sweep.

Detroit starts this week with a home series against the Indians, who are 2-8 in their last ten and who seem to enjoy rolling over for contenders. But then the Angels come to town for three over the weekend, a much tougher task.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Record: 71-63
3rd Place, AL West (8.5 GB - TEX)
6th Place, AL Wild Card (3.5 GB - BAL, 5.5 GB - OAK)

The Angels are running out of time to make a run for the WC, but they have enough talent that I'm not ready to drop them off of the scoreboard watching list. They went 5-1 last week with a sweep of the Red Sox and a series win against the Mariners.

This week is a real test for the Angels as they'll play three games against the red-hot Oakland A's and three games against the Detroit Tigers. If they get swept by the A's or combined win just one or two games this week, it could be lights out on their postseason hopes.

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