With less than 40 games to go in the regular season - barring some sort of major collapse by either team, I hereby pronounce the Yankees and Cardinals divisional champions in the American League East and National League Central, respectively. Tammy's greatgrandfather can begin churning in his grave right now. Which team will Tammy root for? (Of course, both teams have to get through the divisional and league playoffs first in order to meet in the World Series, but still!)
Since August 3rd, both the Yankees and Cards have been on a torrid winning pace. The Cardinals have won very close to 80% (!) of their games, with the Yanks not far behind at 75% - both records making it next to impossible for other teams in their division to try and play catchup.
At the other end of the scale, both Chuck's Cubbies and Steven's Blue Jays have tried to see who could 'undo' each other in the race to lose the most games. The Jays won this race, but just barely, losing 68% of their games. Chuck's team came in a very close second - 65% - both absolutely disgraceful numbers!
Not that I'm proud of what my Astros have done, you understand. (They're not alone in their just below .500 winning percentage in the last month. My son-in-law's Red Sox have 'distinguished' themselves similarly.) However, I did it to them (the Astros)! It's all my fault, you know. I jinxed them. Ever since I posted "If this is a dream, please ... ...", they have been slowly but surely removing themselves from any thoughts of a divisional championship and now are completely out of the playoff picture, including any possible Wild Card hope.
I don't want to ignore Patrick's Braves, who have been winning over half of their games since the beginning of August, but they're in the same division (National League East) as the Phillies, who are continuing their winning ways. The best that Patrick can hope for, I think, is a Wild Card berth.
It's unlikely, but possible. Currently, they are 5.5 games out. Ahead of his team in that race for the Wild Card in the National League are the Rockies (#1) and the Giants (three games back of the Rockies), both of whom are in the National League West, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
There was a time when I thought the Dodgers might be uncatchable. While they're still leading their division, and ranked #5 for power by Aram, the Rockies have been slowing creeping up - little by little. Yesterday they were only two games back of the Dodgers. Today the figure is three. Very close, indeed!
My son-in-law's Red Sox are currently leading the American League pack in the Wild Card race, with the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays not far back, so that will give us something interesting to watch in the coming few weeks.
I told Tammy that I would post something about the Wild Card. Well, Tammy, the 'wild card' is a designated spot (in baseball) where a team (not the divisional champion) in each league (both American and National) with the best winning percentage* advances to the playoffs. As there are three divisions within each league, the 'wild card' would make a fourth team.
*I can just hear you asking the question now and so, in anticipation of your question, here's the answer ... ... In the case of a statistical tie, a one-game playoff between the two teams would determine who the 'wild card' would be.
[In further anticipation of another question of yours, Tammy, which might be, "Has there ever been a 'Wild Card' World Series champion?" Well, yes there has ... four of them, actually, the most recent of which (2004) was the Red Sox. Go here for more detailed info.]
Now, for the divisional playoffs. The 'wild card' team will always play, in the first round, against the team in their league with the best record - unLESS that team happens to be in their same division, in which case they would play against the team with the second best record.
Once that first round of playoffs has been concluded, then the two winners will meet in opposition to see who will represent their league (American or National) in the World Series.
It's impossible for me to conclude this post w/o mentioning the Phillies, whose road record (as of this writing) is an unbelievable 41-22!! What the devil is that percentage, anyway? 65%? Something like that.