Baseball Playoffs Now is taking a few weeks' break for a much-needed vacation. We'll be bumming around Europe without the computer power necessary to update you with the best power rankings and playoff predictions. Enjoy the All-Star Game and break, as well as Independence Day and the dog days of summer.
Three cheers for the NL in the All-Star Game -- they need all the help they can get in the World Series.
Finally, as long as Baseball Playoffs Now is in the prediction business, here are the next three or four weeks:
- Toronto overtakes Baltimore, but can't get any higher than 4th in the AL East.
- Kansas City, tied for last in the Central, earns it by losing at a faster rate than Cleveland.
- Philadelphia and Washington anchor the top and bottom of the NL East, but when we return, the central three teams will rank #2 Atlanta, #3 Florida, #4 Mets.
- Pittsburgh falls behind Houston for last place in the NL Central.
- The NL West remains boring and noncompetitive. Arizona will still be in first place and will have a sub-.500 record.
- Milwaukee leapfrogs St. Louis for the #2 position in the Central and consequently is in the wild card lead. Bratwurst around the nation quiver in fear as Brewer Nation assembles to tailgate. Troubled pitcher Eric Gagne returns to Miller Park -- but only as a Sausage Race runner. Randall Simon attends a game to give Gagne the cathartic thumpin' Milwaukee fans need.