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A Loaded National League

As the regular season has come to a close and the Major League Baseball Playoffs are upon us, it's tough to imagine a team from the National League not winning the World Series this October. 'Imagine', being the key word of course.

   Many a fan knows the playoffs rarely stick to the script, said script being the picks of the experts. How many experts saw the 1988 Kirk Gibson-led Dodgers upsetting the 'Bash Brothers' Oakland A's of Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco? Or the 2004 Boston Red Sox winning their first Worlds Series in 86 years? Let alone they way in which they won it. Lest we forget the '69 Miracle Mets, a team the current crop of Metropolitans is being compared to, who upset the mighty Baltimore Orioles.  

   If the ten teams that are most likely going to the playoffs were ranked one to ten, it probably wouldn't surprise most fans to see four out of the top five from the National League. The Toronto Blue Jays, the top American League team at the moment, would be fourth at best. Many would put them fifth.

   It's difficult to remember a year in which the deck seemed as stacked in favor of one league heading into the playoffs as it appears to be this year. The great Yankee teams of the late 90's were favored to win the World Series almost every year during their dynastic run, but the leagues were fairly evenly matched. So much so the Yankees were given all they could handle in beating the Mets four games to one in the 2000 Subway Series, which was a lot closer than the final tally of games makes it appear to have been. In addition, who can forget the Arizona Diamondbacks, behind the greatness of Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson, along with a flare from Luis Gonzalez, taking the Yankees down in seven in the 2001 Fall Classic?

   The National League is loaded this year. The NL Central, which is sending three teams to the playoffs, has arguably the three best teams in baseball. Both the Pirates and the Cubs, in second and third place respectively, would be in first place in each of the other five divisions.

   The Mets throw four young fire-balling studs from the hill, backed by Yoenis Cespadas, who has ignited the Met lineup and is arguably the MVP of the National League. All the Dodgers have is one of the greatest one-two punches to anchor a pitching staff in years with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

  The American League has some very good teams, but none of them appear to stack up to any of the National League teams.

   Since it's starting to look like a fait accompli that a team from the National League will win the World Series, clearly the second wild card from the American League will end up on top by the end of October. 


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