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article imageOp-Ed: The chase for October is on

By Michael Bearak     Sep 16, 2010 in Sports
While September signifies the beginning of fall, the start of football it also opens up to the chase for October's playoff spots in Major League Baseball.
Major League Baseball has roughly 17 games left it their 162 game season and now is when for most fans the season gets the most interesting. This year three out of the six divisions have less than four games separating first and second place. Two of those divisions have just .5 a game spiriting the two teams, which means on any given day the lead can swing back and forth between the two teams.
The Tampa Bay Rays took over first place in the American League East by just a half a game. The Boston Red Sox are in third six games back. While the Red Sox aren't out of it yet, they are getting pretty close.
In the National League West the San Diego is a half game behind San Francisco and just 2.5 up on Colorado and with 17 games out west it really is anyone's game.
The National League East has three games separating first place Philadelphia and Atlanta, in Bobby Cox's final season with the Braves. If the season ended today the Braves would secure themselves the wild card spot, but they are just slightly a head of the San Francisco Giants out west.
Hypothetically if the season did end today the playoffs would look like this:
American League:
Tampa Bay Rays
Minnesota Twins
Texas Rangers
New York Yankees (wild card)
National League:
Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati Reds
San Diego Padres
Atlanta Braves (wild card)
While three of the divisions are all but settled with the Chicago White Sox having lost pace with the Twins, St. Louis Cardinals falling way off of the Reds, and the Oakland A's being 10 back from Texas you still have three good close races. Not to mention the eight games that White Sox and Cardinals are trailing by is not insurmountable but pretty close. Only nine teams have been mathematically eliminated for the season meaning 21 teams still have a shot at a playoff spot whether it is a legitimate shot or not is subject to debate.
What is sad is that all of this will be over shadowed by football. Some will argue that it is rightfully so because it is football's time to shine. The chase for October is on though and this year there is plenty to watch, besides the start of football.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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