The spread: Both the Yankees and Red Sox win, the New York stays ahead of Boston by two and a half.
The skinny: All of the rain + the lack of remaining days off + the financial imperative to play all 162 games despite the fact that most of them are fairly meaningless now = a lot of tired Yankees players.
The spread: The Tigers pound Cleveland, the White Sox win. The Tigers are eight ahead of Chicago, eight and a half ahead of Cleveland.
The skinny: Quite the destruction of the Indians. My favorite take on their season so far comes from the Twitter feed of “Tripping Olney,” which is exactly what it sounds like: “I REPEAT: THE 2011 INDIANS SEASON IS BASICALLY “MAJOR LEAGUE” IN REVERSE.” In just a couple of weeks Manny Acta can go back to selling that guy some whitewalls.
The spread: Rangers win, Halos lose, Texas’ lead is back to three and a half.
The skinny: Nelson Cruz is starting to ramp up from his hamstring injury and could be back soon.
The spread: The Phillies beat the Braves and are now nine and a half up on the Braves.
The skinny: The Braves bats are sleeping and two of the starters who led them to where they are over the first half of the season — Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson are hurt and/or ineffective. Momentum from months past will carry them into the playoffs, but what will carry them through?
The spread: Cards beat the Brewers and reduce the deficit to nine games.
The skinny: Too bad the Cardinals didn’t realize that Kyle Lohse on eight days rest was so deadly. They could have done that all year!
The spread: Diamondbacks lose, Giants win, and now six games separate them.
The skinny: The playoff probability column on the standings shows the Dbacks having the second worst odds of any division leader to actually make the playoffs. Their probability: 97.2% That’s 2011 for ya, folks.