Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-9-15

9/15/2008
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

Billy-Ball – From the diamond to your desktop…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

Subscribe to Billy-Ball – it’s free – www.billy-ball.com

The only spin here is on my screwball

Monday, September 15, 2008

Top of the 1st
BIG PICTURE
With two weeks to go we have only one division clinched and, oh so many, teams clinging to hopes.

AL East
The Rays went 3-6 on their 10-day trip to Toronto, Boston and New York and will carry a one-game lead into their three-game series against the second-place Red Sox beginning tonight in Florida. The Rays have a two game margin in the loss column so all they have to do is win one of these games to remain in first place. Their magic number to eliminate the Sox is 14 and any combination of five Rays wins or Jays losses or Yankees losses will eliminate those two teams. The Rays are happy to done with NY; they went 7-11 against the Yankees this year. Even if the Rays fall out of first into the Wild Card slot, the likely AL Manager of the Year is Joe Maddon.

Boston is 26-13 since trading Manny Ramirez and are well positioned for the Wild Card slot if they don’t beat out the Rays. Their magic number to eliminate the Twins is 8 and Toronto and New York is 5. The Red Sox play the Rays and Jays this week.
The Orioles are guaranteed its 11th consecutive losing season but is improving. Baltimore is 36-37 at home, compared to 35-46 last year.

AL Central
The road weary Twins have more to come this week; they have to play four games in Tampa beginning Thursday. They need to hold tough because they come home to face the White Sox three games at the Metrodome starting next Monday.

The White Sox have to try to make it through every game now without the injured AL MVP candidate Carlos Quentin, Paul Konerko and Joe Crede. They have a magic number of 13 but every game is now a battle. Their next 10 games are on the road. also face the Twins on the road next week, and could have a Sept. 29 makeup game to play if necessary.

Just a passing thought – If Joe Girardi is not to blame and Jim Leyland is not to blame, are GMs Brian Cashman and Dave Dombrowski the ones responsible for the demise of the Yankees and Tigers respectively?

AL West
The Angels just keep winning and need X more to reach 100 wins.

Larry Stone points out that the Mariners are 57-91 with 14 games remaining, meaning their magic number is six. That’s how many Mariners’ victories it would take to ensure they don’t lose 100. But to get there, they’d have to go 6-8 against the Royals (4 games), A’s (6) and Angels (4). That’s a .429 win percentage — 44 points higher than their current .385.

NL East
New York has 14 games left and a tenuous 1